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Your Local Clinic: Chapter 1

By Kalila
Created: 6th September 2022 04:13:45 AM
6th September 2022 02:23:40 PM

  1. You Local Clinic
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  3. If someone has given up, reached their lowest, nestled comfortably into their rock bottom, and submitted their resignation to life’s challenge; is it our obligation to help them? Do they have the right to quit? Should they be allowed to pull themselves out of the game, or do we force them back in?
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  5. The year is 2031. Not much about our way of life has changed in the past decade. We still rely on coal power, cars can’t drive themselves, and McDonald’s still hasn’t made spicy nuggets a permanent part of their menu. Genuinely, I don’t understand it. Everyone loves the spicy nuggets, man. Just stop taking them away.
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  7. Anyway, my point is, life here in the US is largely the same as it was back in the early 2020s. Some might find this a little disappointing, considering the amount of societal disdain that was brewing a decade ago; but others might take solace in the fact that our standard of living has been able to live-on, so to speak. Was there a civil war? No. Did the housing market crash? Oddly, no. Has Trump died? Yes, actually. However, the cult now follows his cronies, so we’re still dealing with that can of worms.
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  9. Despite all this, though, we’ve somehow managed to turn the tide and have drastically reduced humanity’s negative impact on this side of the world. We’ve also improved our GDP per-capita and quality of life for the majority of Americans. On paper, this country’s average citizen is wealthier than at any point in history. Not just by the numbers, either. Like, most citizens now have far more spending power with their incomes than ever before.
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  11. So what gives? How are we still running coal power, driving gas cars, and living as a free market society in a sustainable manner? Well, the solution is not something anyone would have guessed all those years ago. A pretty abstract approach to civil unrest with no one cause. I suppose it was for this reason that nobody thought there could even be one solution to address such a menagerie of problems. It wouldn’t be fair to say it’s solved all of our problems, but it’s definitely taken care of quite a few.
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  13. You see, around 2026 the national suicide rate had hit an all-time high. Inflation, political corruption, corporate overlords… you get the idea. All of it was just too much for large portions of the population and after years of first-world torment with no end in sight, the suicide rate ticked upward at rates we’ve never seen before. It’s pretty nauseating to think about, but this sort of thing doesn’t usually grab the attention of those pulling the strings. The elite don’t really value the lives of us commoners. Well, that is until it starts dipping into their wallets. Unpaid debts, lost consumers, worsening labor supply– yeah death is bad for business. Eventually they noticed, and it’s only when the elite notice do we start seeing real change.
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  15. So, what happened? What was the revolutionary solution that changed everything?
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  17. As much as I’d love to tell you they created some mind-boggling device out of a science fiction novel that changed the course of human history, that would only be half the story. In fact, the solution to the chaos was actually a step backward, in a way.
  18.  
  19. The solution… was to begin selling people as property.
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  21. Okay, it's more nuanced than that, but that’s what it seems like at face-value.
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  23. Before I dive into the semantics, let me ask you a question.
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  25. Have you ever looked at a cat or a dog basking in the warmth of a lazy, afternoon sunbeam and thought to yourself “man, I’d love to just lounge about all day and eat food like this little asshole”? If the answer is ‘yes’, then you’ve already found yourself deep in an ethical whirlpool you would have never even considered. Would you really like to do that? Is that a life you could actually see yourself living?
  26.  
  27. …Are you starting to connect the dots?
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  29. To say ‘they’ didn’t invent something would be a lie, it just wasn’t the ‘something’ everyone was hoping for. James A. Foratake, a biological engineer from Orange County, CA, invented what he called “The 21st Century Pony”. If you think this is a euphemism for something, I’m incredibly sorry to disappoint you. The 21st Century Pony is literally a man-made pony. A small, manufactured equine with DNA that has been manually programmed to create the most ideal human companion. This little creature was no larger than a medium sized dog, but was far more intelligent and had a lifespan of fifty to sixty years.
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  31. Their restructured DNA is composed of genetic characteristics from a number of different mammals. By gathering these varying components, they were able to take the most appealing aspects of different domestic species and combine them… or something. I’m not sure how it all works. I’m no scientist, but from what I understand there seems to be some sugar, spice, and everything nice in their DNA. There’s some dog, some cat, but above all, there’s a lot of horse. I’m not entirely sure why the final product was predominantly equine in nature, but that’s far beyond my pay-grade.
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  33. All I know is that these ponies contribute to our society in ways I would never have dreamed ten years ago. Police ponies, services ponies, security ponies, blind-seeing-eye ponies, therapy ponies; you name it. The most common pony, though, are your average, domestic, household ponies. They’re still not as common as say, a dog, but I’m seeing them around more and more, so change is definitely coming.
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  35. It just makes sense, though, right? Like, a dog is gonna die in 10-15 years so you spend all that money training an animal over and over again. Meanwhile, ponies live 5-6 times longer so your training expenses are lowered respectively. Same with domestic ponies. Not only will your pony drastically outlive your cat, but they have the intelligence to go along with it.
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  37. Oh, right, their intelligence. Probably should have touched on that. The only reason ponies are able to wield this sort of intelligence is because they weren’t ponies to begin with. That’s right. These little equines were once the aforementioned humans in distress. The individuals who found themselves stuck in lives that seemingly had no escape. Those who, on paper, were a lost cause. A black hole in our economically-driven way of life.
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  39. It’s a harsh way to put it, but let’s not kid ourselves; survival in the US is hard. Not all of us are dealt a good hand. Some people aren’t partial to their freedom of choice. Some people are overwhelmed with the decisions needed to prosper in such a complex system. Personally, I kind of get it. Some of my fondest memories are times where someone else took the reins for a bit and my only job was to sit back and experience.
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  41. This is what many have struggled with morally since the implementation of the program, though. Is it wrong to take someone’s freedom if they don’t want it? Is it their freedom to discard their freedom? Should people be forced to live with absolute freedom? Is offering another option malicious? Is it better than the alternatives these individuals might seek (self harm, suicide, etc.)? There’s an argument to be made about the functionality of our society as a whole and the actual causes for this suffering that I 100% agree with. If we addressed many underlying issues then these people wouldn’t need to seek out an alternative in the first place; but I’ll say it again.
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  43. That’s not the world we live in.
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  45. We don’t get to decide what kind of world we live in, despite what childhood fairytales would have you believe. Us little guys don’t have that kind of power. Only those up top get to decide and, from what I’ve seen, they’re still hellbent on staying the course.
  46.  
  47. So how does a savvy capitalist keep themselves afloat when their profits are suffering? They liquidate their assets, of course. In this case, assets being human capital and liquidation being… well.
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  49. Once these people finish the process of becoming our 21st Century Pony, they’re adopted out in various ways to various people and organizations. It’s a big, confusing, machine with many moving parts, so I’ll try to keep it simple:
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  51. People find themselves in inescapable situations and want a fresh start in life. Said people elect to become a pony to rid their obligations and misfortune. Folk with the means adopt these ponies for a hefty fee, which brings in revenue. These earnings are then used to pay off the people-turned-pony’s debts, fund the program, and keep the pockets of our beloved corporate overlords filled to the brim.
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  53. Is it starting to make sense?
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  55. Now, I might have a bias because I play a small part in this large machine; but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in it. I see people go from misery to euphoria on a daily basis. I get to watch as these ponies totter out of the clinic with their new owners happier than they’ve ever been. Families ecstatic to welcome a new member as if it were always meant to be. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes it kind of makes me envious. Not of the ponies, but the amount of wealth these people have to up and buy sapient horses. It’s nuts.
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  57. So what is it I do, exactly? How does a simpleton like myself play a role in this well-oiled machine? Well, I’m an agent, of sorts. An agent for the clinic specifically. I’m like a social worker except instead of checking in on abused children, I check in on the ponies. My job is more superficial than anything. I’m sure if the suits had it their way, they’d sell off their product and that’d be the end of it; but you know how the public is. They have morals and such. So to ensure that ponies aren’t being given to abusive, toxic households, they send agents like me to check up on them. I visit a few houses every day, head back to the clinic to log my paperwork, maybe hit up the bar with some cohorts on the way home, and that’s about it.
  58.  
  59. It’s not much, but it’s honest work… in a way. Here, let’s just ignore the ethical gray area and come see for yourselves. Maybe once you’ve had a peek into this crazy new world, it won’t seem so terrible. Plus, you’ll learn a lot about how this whole operation works on the way, because let me tell ya, we haven’t even scratched the surface.

YLC: Chapter 2

by Kalila

Your Local Clinic: Chapter 1

by Kalila