THE PROGENARIUM


 

Where Did I Come From? The Progenarium & Me

Written and Illustrated by Zoe Doubleday

zoedoubleday.com

© 2014, Denver

All Rights Reserved

This children’s book is an illustration of a Speculative Future in which the role of procreation no longer rests within men and women. Rather they have their eggs and sperm removed from them and the ability to procreate is now proliferated by a State run surrogacy structure called The Progenarium.

The Progenarium

By Zoe Doubleday

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The Progenarium Backstory

The Progenarium is a massive infrastructure (and physical structure) located in all major cities that is responsible for: 1.) The care, storage and maintenance of each Progenee’s ChromosXX or ChromosXY. 2.) The Mixing, gestation and healthy growth of a Progenee. 3.) Mitigating any preProgenee issues. 4.) PreProgenee vaccination of all viruses and diseases. 5.) The delivery of the Progenee to the Progenor.

The creation of The Progenarium was necessitated by a number of widespread circumstances within society. The center of surrogacy came to be in a society that is under one world wide government that calls itself The State of the Citizens of the World, or more commonly known as The State. The reasons that impelled The State to enable The Progenarium are as follows:

  1. Rising dissension and violence over women’s rights to their own womb
  2. Increased desire and subsequent advances in gene manipulation abilities that allows for mutations, illnesses and weaknesses to be avoided.
  3. A major drop in population due to women preferring to advance their career and attain life aspirations rather than pause to raise a child/children
  4. Mass infertilization due to unforeseen effects of fertilizers, GMOs and other chemicals that were pervasive in the water system, food and air.

As The Progenarium gained power, it became more and more ingrained in culture so that questions about the nature of its control were no longer asked by the populace. This Speculative Future includes a number of new vocabulary that is important to define before further discussing the details and implications. A Progenee is a Citizen of the World, they are a human without the denotation of gender. A Progenee was created in The Progenarium and is what Old Society used to call “humans.” A Progenor is The State’s term for a parent. If one has Mixed with another Progenee that was then delivered, those two Progenees are now Progenors.  Chromos are a blanket term for chromosomes. ChromosXX represent eggs that are harvested from a female. ChromosXY represent sperm that is harvested from a male. The classification of ChromosXX and ChromosXY is seen as arbitrary. Propellums are the workers in The Progenarium. They have an almost mystical reputation and are highly revered. A case that mentions OpenChromo refers to Chromos of a Progenee (deceased or living) that has released their private rights to their Chromos.

The Progenees are educated about The Progenarium as a benevolent and wonderful structure in their life from day one. Fear of ChromosXX and ChromosXY are instilled in them in order for the Gathering to be seen as a beneficial and life saving procedure. The timeline of both Progenees with ChromosXX and ChromosXY are almost parallel excluding the manner of Chromos Gathering. The timeline is as follows:

Progenee with ChromosXX

Full Gestation at Progenarium >> Delivered to Progenors >> When Progenee with  ChromosXX comes of age with proof of the Red >> the Progenee with ChromosXX is taken to onsite Progenarium facility and all ChromosXX are Gathered >> The Chromos are labeled with an identification number, sifted through to determine if any DNA sequences are malformed, chosen satisfactory ChromosXX are stored at Progenarium facility >> ProgeneeXX is older and decides to bring a Progenee into the world >> If ProgeneeXX has a partner Progenee, they can choose to Mix Chromos together >> If ProgeneeXX has no partner, ProgeneeXX can contact a fellow Progenee and if said Progenee desires, they can release their private rights to the requesting Progenee >> If ProgeneeXX has Gold Plan, ProgeneeXX can also mix with an OpenChromo.

Progenee with ChromosXY

Full Gestation at Progenarium >> Delivered to Progenors >> When Progenee with ChromosXY comes of age at age 10  >> the Progenee with ChromosXY is taken to onsite Progenarium facility once a month for 6 months and ChromosXY are harvested >> Ability to produce ChromosXY is removed >> ChromosXY of Progenee are labeled with an identification number, sifted through to determine if any DNA sequences are malformed, chosen satisfactory ChromosXY are stored at Progenarium facility >> ProgeneeXY is older and decides to bring a Progenee into the world >> If ProgeneeXY has a partner, they can Mix Chromos together >> If ProgeneeXY has no partner, ProgeneeXY can contact a fellow Progenee and if said Progenee desires, they can release their private rights to the requesting Progenee >> If ProgeneeXY has Gold Plan, ProgeneeXY can also mix with OpenChromo.

Because of the introduction of a massive infrastructure, many enterprises arose around The Progenarium. Unsurprisingly, a class stratification arose in regards to monetary wealth and the choices available to those with more wealth. The plans are comprised of different benefits. There are four plans: Platinum, Silver, Gold and Diamond. Their benefits are as follows: Platinum – Everyone has access to this plan and it includes Mixing and Propagation. Silver – Medium price point and it includes Mixing, Propagation, Choice of Chromos characteristics, except gender. Gold – High price point and it includes Mixing, Propagation, Choice of Chromos characteristics, including gender. Diamond – Exorbitant price point and it includes Mixing, Propagation, Choice of Chromos characteristics including gender and many additional options including HomeGro Unit and a broader range of possibilities for simulations within The Progenarium.

Progenee and Progenor interaction within the walls of The Progenarium is highly limited. The Progenees experience the Gathering of their Chromos and their next interaction with The Progenarium would be when they decide to Mix. There are various interfaces for simulated interactions provided based on which plan a Progenee has. There is also a basic simulation that provides the future Progenor a sort of “ultrasound” that simulates the growth. Any knowledge of what actually happens beyond the monumental walls of The Progenarium is strictly maintained by the Propellums and high ranked officials of The State.

The Progenarium infrastructure and society in which it exists does carry with it a number of implications. Most concretely it eliminates monthly periods, concerns of fertility and birth control/contraception. It also eliminates the burden of carry a pregnancy to term by a female. Due to this change, gender is seen as arbitrary. Sex in general, has become less stigmatized and much past emotional significance is all together lost. New abortion issues arise due to the explicit choice of engendering life and then the explicit termination of life. Due to the nature of storage within The Progenarium, the ability to reproduce after death is a possibility. New issues and curiosities arise due to the ability to “sell” or give away the rights to one’s Chromos. Progenees in power and with much monetary wealth have a much wider field to play in terms of selective mixing.

The Progenarium arose as a reaction and as a solution to the many fertility crises occurring during the time that The Progenarium was first suggested. Although based up on the implications, the nature of The Progenarium and the other effects, it is hard to say if The Progenarium is a Utopian construct or a Dystopian construct. I wish to challenge the reader to explore the implications of a society that allows for The Progenarium to exist.

I chose to illustrate this society with a children’s book to be read in a performance format that simulates a State Worker to read the book to a group of Progenors and Progenees. The book carries with it an amount of propagandist overtones. The way that the book was written was meant to insinuate a sort of State that has a high amount of control over their citizens. Again, this directs the audience to develop their own conceptions based on the performance and information gleaned from the session.

The Performance aspect is as follows:

“Welcome!

We are all so glad you and your Progenees could come to the reading of this newly published book – Where Did I Come From? The Progenarium and Me.

For some of the older members of the audience, I would like to briefly reiterate the meaning of some new vocabulary implemented by The State.

The Progenarium:

A massive infrastructure (and physical structure) located in all major cities that is responsible for: 1.) The care, storage and maintenance of each Progenee’s ChromosXX or ChromosXY. 2.) The Mixing, gestation and healthy growth of a Progenee. 3.) Mitigating any preProgenee issues. 4.) PreProgenee vaccination of all viruses and diseases. 5.) The delivery of the Progenee

Progenee:

A citizen of the World, aka, a Citizen of the State who was Mixed within the Progenarium

Progenor:

A Progenee who has Mixed with another Progenee and received their own Progenee from the Progenarium

Chromos:

A term for the scientific classification called Chromosomes.

ChromosXX:

A term for Chromosomes that derive from a Progenee with the arbitrary classification of XX

ChromosXY:

A term for Chromosomes that derive from a Progenee with the arbitrary classification of XY

Propellum:

A Progenarium worker

Now, the moment you have all been waiting for! Let’s begin!”

—Commence reading of Where Did I Come From? The Progenarium & Me.

 

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