Thank you to The Thinking Horndog for "Buying Wholesale" which is the background for this story. Some paragraphs from that story were lifted completely and without change. Mostly the PA announcements. Some of the scenes in "Buying Wholesale" are told from the viewpoint of my characters. I also took some liberties with how the concubine allocation was handled as I calculated that the 862 volunteers [40% 6.5+'s (345), 35% 7's (301), 17.5% 8's (151) and 7.5% 9's (65)] mentioned in the story need 3,320 concubines. Three 'sales' areas at 3 minutes per concubine makes for over 55 HOURS of auctioneering. Place your bets on everything going smoothly. Since the action seems to take place in 5 to 6 hours either my math is off by an order of magnitude or something really had to be changed.
I had been wandering about the Clark County Fair enjoying the show that two and a half years of waiting for the Sa'arm had brought into being. The girls were dressed in next to nothing and occasionally less. I'd missed the Fair last year when my wife died and I was finding that wandering the Fair without her wasn't quite as much fun even though there was even more skin than when I was here last.
I'm not sure when I first noticed them. It probably wasn't too long before my internal alarms went off and had me wondering at the large amount of men and women who were six and a half feet tall or taller that were wandering about. I did twenty years each as a Marine and as a cop. I'm retired now at 62. Habits die hard though. When you see dozens of late teen and early twenties tall people who had that feel of military training you start to wonder and I put two and two together.
I got my cell phone out and hit the speed dial for my daughter. When she answered I said "Hi, Jess. It's me. What are you doing today?"
"Nothing much, Dad." she replied. "The boys are off on a camping trip and John is off at a motorcycle rally."
I never did like my son-in-law. Being a cop I knew some things about that cheating son of a bitch that if I told Jess she'd kill him and then never speak to me again. Hell, I'd help her kill him, but I didn't want to lose my daughter or two grandsons.
"I'm out at the Fair." I said. "I'm finding out that doing it alone isn't as much fun. Why don't you join me out here and we can tour the Fair together. I'll meet you by the security shack."
"Sounds like fun, Dad" she said with a silver giggle. "I'll see you in a half hour, forty-five minutes." It was just after nine.
"See you then. Drive safe." I told her while hoping that she had the time before whatever was going to happen happened.
We hung up and I decided to take the bull by the horns.
I walked up to the nearest tall guy and said, "Hi. I'm Tim Kirkland. I'm a retired cop and I notice things. Lets go over to the bench and sit down. You won't be quite as obvious then." I moved in that direction and continued "With a whole bunch of Confed Marines standing around trying to look innocent I wonder ... when does the containment shield go up?" He did a marvelous double take. "I just want to know if my daughter has enough time to get here before the extraction starts. She's a 7.2."
He looked at me ... but his attention was somewhere else. He was still situationally aware and I knew I couldn't surprise him, but ... After a short pause his attention came back to me and he said "Mr. Kirkland, if you weren't an 8.1 yourself I'd be doing my best to quietly get you to a uncrowded spot other than this bench. We figure that at about ten thirty will be the maximum crowd. I'm PVT Dan Langhorne." He held out his hand.
"Good!" I said, shaking his hand. "That's over a hour from now and she said that she'd be here before then. Thanks for answering my question."
"How did you spot us?" he asked.
I laughed and replied "Dan, a bunch of over six and a half foot tall, very fit, very disciplined, very... martial ... people wandering about or standing around looking at nothing much, but aware of everything rang a bell. I read about the Confed Marines. Especially since I was one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children in my youth. Your height is distinctive. You'd be doing better setting down. The height isn't so obvious and there's plenty of park benches and lots of grass."
He got that far away look again and I noticed a few of the other marines sitting down.
"That must be handy in a fire fight." I said.
He looked at me with a puzzled expression.
"The sub-vocal comm link." I explained. "I just noticed some of the others setting down. That had to come from you."
"Oh, you're good." he grinned. "Since you were a marine are you coming back into the fold?"
"Yeah," I said. "You know the attitude. Once a marine, always a marine."
He gave the expected snort of laughter.
I stood and said, "I have to get over to where I was going to meet my daughter, so I'll look you up on board. And yes, I will keep quiet about what's going down."
I strolled over to the Fair security booth and waved at a couple of marines casually sitting on the grass near there. I stood just outside of the main flow of pedestrian traffic and watched the girls in their designed to attract outfits. I made my usual discovery that those who wore as little as possible were less sexy than some others who dressed in a peek-a-boo manner.
It wasn't too long, and with the show I didn't mind the wait, before Jess showed up. See through blouse, miniskirt and sandals really show off her curves. Being a 32 year old mother of two didn't show. She always had looked way younger than she was.
We greeted each other and started wandering about the exhibits. We hadn't got far when she motioned to a park bench and sat down. I joined her.
"Alright, Dad," she growled at me. "What's up? You're not paying attention to things and you're very ... distracted. What are you up to?"
I never could surprise her. Almost as savvy as her Mom.
"The Confed is going to do an extraction from the Fair." I said. "Things will kick off at ten thirty. In fifteen minutes or thereabouts."
She glared at me and said "Did you call and alert John, too?"
Damn! I really didn't want to get into that, but she had me backed into a corner. "Get out your PDA, access the net and get the phone number of the Stardust Motel up near the Interstate and call them. Ask for John."
She looked at me funny, but did as I asked. "He's at a motorcycle rally thirty miles in the other direction, Dad." and then the phone connected.
"Yes, I'd like to be connected to John Peterson."
"Yes, I'll hold."
Her face went white, then red. She snarled into the PDA phone, "John, you cheating son of a bitch! I'm at the Fair. There's going to be a Confed pickup. I'm picking a couple of studs and getting off this planet and I'm taking the kids. Hope you have fun with your playmate."
"Ok, all knowing one" Jess growled at me as she closed the phone, "Who's he with and how long have you known?"
I sighed and said to her "Jess, I know he's an accountant and handles all your family finances, but I thought you would have tumbled on to him years ago. He doesn't even bother to use a fake name and uses his own credit card. If I would have told you before today you would have forgotten the mantra... 'Murder is a felony, they put you in jail for it' ... Your kids and I need you out of jail."
"Who and how long?" came the growl again.
"He's been playing around for at least four years that I know of." I answered. "He switches partners every four to six months. He's currently with a woman named Karen Glass and must be near to dropping her since it's been four and a half months. As far as I can tell he's never boffed anyone you know."
"That's supposed to make me feel better?" she yelled ... and then collapsed crying into my arms.
I had held her for comfort last year when the most important lady in our lives died. Before that was almost sixteen years when she was fifteen and the star quarterback had taken her cherry, dumped her and bragged about it. It hadn't been rape and guys dumping girls has been a fact of life for forever. But bragging about it I just can't abide. I was testifying in the next county when he got himself beat to dogshit. He lived, but that college scholarship had disappeared and they never did find out who had stomped him. I'd been wanting to pull that trick with John, but couldn't because of Jess and the boys. Now we'd just leave him to be Sa'arm food.
She cried and hugged me tight. As I held her the horizon turned into a scene from a black and white TV.
The PA system blared, "Ladies and Gentlemen, if I may have your attention, please! You are about to participate in a historic experiment ... in an effort to speed things, we plan to attempt to fill a transport today from this site! Please remain calm and cooperate with my troops ... they can be identified by their armbands. We have a lot of work to do and can't really put up with anything serious in the way of a disturbance, so I'm asking you now to follow our instructions and try not to start any trouble ... and I think you'll be pleased with the results!"
There was a pause and then "According to our data, there are seven hundred thirteen male and a hundred forty nine female volunteers here with us on site ... if you would make yourselves known to the nearest Marine, we'll see to it that you're not molested in any way while we conduct the next phase of things. People, I know that many of you are in family groups ... while you may wish to take your spouse with you, you are under no obligation to do so ... but if you already have a group of dependents sorted out, we'll be happy to honor it."
Another pause and "As for everyone else ... if your last name begins with A through H, please report to the amphitheater. If your last name begins with I through Q, please report to the sales barn. All others, please report to the ring where the riding events are held. Thank you in advance for your cooperation."
"Well, that's it." I said to Jess. "Let's find a marine and see what we're supposed to do."
We walked over to a marine with a gaggle of other volunteers.
When we had all showed our cards the marine said, "We're going to do this two ways. One is an auction at the three places you heard people being directed to. That is where most of the young and pretty ones will be. The other way is to go to the holding areas and just choose a husband and wife combo or you can pick two older or butt ugly women. You can change that on board. The men who want to be concubines are being sent to the stock pens. While you ladies could fill your slots with all guys I heartedly recommend against it. You're going to need the rest and who watches your kids when you're on deployment ... and not allowed to have kids."
One of the guys said, "Define 'older'."
That must have come up in the pre-briefing since he didn't pause answering "Forty and up. Over fifty-five and even Confed medical technology can't restart the baby maker so that's the upper limit."
A woman asked "Are you going to give us one of those card reader thingies?"
The marine said "At the auctions we're going to put up a hologram of the sub-scores as well as a three times life size image of the woman so everyone can see what they're buying. At the holding areas for the concubines we've set up dozens of CAP card readers that will allow you to drill down and see the sub-scores. Just because the main score is a 2.9 doesn't mean that the libido score isn't an 9.2. You can get a real good idea of the personality of the selectee by using these sub-scores."
When no other questions were fired off he continued, "OK, the concubine males are at the stock pens. The concubine females are at pens near the amphitheater, the sales barn or the riding event ring. If you go that route you should split up in the same alphabetical groupings as the concubines. Listen to the PA system. It will have any new information and will repeat who should be where every quarter hour or so. Have fun and keep your card handy. When you're done go to the collection point near the auction sites."
Jess and I started walking and I asked "How you going to handle your four? I'm gonna get a husband and wife pair, maybe another pair, one old, one ugly and then see what's going on at the sales barn. One guy and five women is what I'll shoot for."
She said, "I'm thinking two and two. I'll probably get two husband and wife pairs."
As we walked toward the stock pens we saw several bodies laying about. One of them had a 'Do NOT resuscitate - CAP counterfeiter' sign pinned to him and his arms looked broken.
As we passed a marine I asked, "Besides the idiot counterfeiter what's with the other bodies?"
"They were causing panic or some such." she said. "We sting them. They're out for a couple hours and then have the mother of all headaches for double that. They're OK."
We reached the stock pens. I just have to say it. It was a zoo. The actual stock had been taken into the barns and hundreds of guys were trying to get the attention of the mostly lady volunteers. We got near one of the card readers attached to a metal I-beam that was chained to the fence and had an instant line form up. Well, not really a line. More like a bunch of sheep trying to get to a food bucket.
I saw one guy back hand another littler dude out of his way. I pointed at him and said in my best parade ground voice, "You! Go somewhere else. We're not picking you or anyone else with violent tendencies."
He started to argue and there was a zap and he fell over.
The marine who stung him touched his collar and his amplified voice said, "Someone pick him up and drape him on the fence so he doesn't get trampled. Any of you others try shoving your way forward and you'll buy some nap time, too. The way this is going you might even wake up before this cluster fuck is over."
I smiled at the marine and turned back to the crowd, "Any of you guys married?" A whole bunch of hands went up. "How many of you are here with your wife?" Most of the hands stayed up. "How many of you guys will let your wife go hang if you get selected?" Maybe three quarters brought their hands down. "No loyalty. Guys with their hands up should just go away. How many of you other guys have their wives waiting to see how you do before they go into the meat market to sell themselves off planet?" About twenty guys raised their hands. "You lot, come up here, form a line and we'll talk."
"OK, guys," I said while the line was forming. "If any of you have a problem with me fucking your wife and getting her pregnant ... repeatedly ... just go away." A couple guys actually did go away. "When we start talking to you give us your card and your name and your wife's name and how many kids, and what kind, that you have under fourteen and how many are now adults. Tell us what you and your wife do for a living, your hobbies and anything else you think will get you and her selected. Don't be too long winded though."
And so it began. I did the listening and Jess scanned the card. Knowing Jess and myself anyone who listed their church as a major activity was gone. When the fourth guy asked why I was letting my concubine fail guys Jess gave an evil laugh, held up her card and told him to go away. We were dropping any who had sub-scores saying that they would be a handful to keep in line. We wanted decent intelligence, high sex ratings and low confidence and aggression. The marine had wandered by on his rounds and I had made sure that we could take a bunch of guys over to the female pen so that if the wife didn't work out we wouldn't have to start all over again.