A mother and her daughter are sitting in front of a seemingly endless life-size digital catalogue of models for The Procedure. The mother, Sarah, tells her daughter, Rachel, “I think Model Number Eight might suit you better. Most girls your age want to look better. Aren’t you excited? Earth to Rachel… What are you looking at? ” Rachel replies, “A picture of you before The Procedure. I think you looked beautiful. Mother, if I didn’t want The Procedure, I wouldn’t have to have it, would I? ” “What are you talking about? ” Sarah condescendingly responds. “It’s the most marvellous thing that can happen to a person.

Just think, you could look like me, wouldn’t that be wonderful! What’s so terrible about being beautiful? After all, everybody is. ” Later that day, Rachel is sitting out on the balcony outside her room. Rachel’s friend, Marnie, walks out onto the balcony. “Your mum let me in, and she told me about you. Why don’t you want The Procedure? It’s not like it hurts or anything. When I had mine, I didn’t feel a thing,” says Marnie, in a reassuring tone. “I know that,” says Rachel, “but I liked you before The Procedure. I want to be unique. Being like everybody, isn’t that the same as being nobody? ”

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Marnie asks, “Where are you are getting these radical ideas from? ” “I used to talk to my dad a lot,” confesses Rachel, “just the two of us, about real things. ” “So we don’t talk about real things? ” asks Marnie. “No, it isn’t that,” Rachel says, “but there has to be more to life than our silly conversations, don’t you understand? ” After serious concerns by her mother, Rachel is taken to The Procedure Clinic by her mother to talk to a psychologist about Rachel’s hesitations. “So you must be Rachel,” The Psychologist says. “It must be just about time for you to have The Procedure. You are tired of being a monster, aren’t you?

I can give you The Procedure right away. ” “No doctor, it’s not that,” responds Sarah, “she isn’t anxious about The Procedure… ” Rachel finishes her mother’s sentence, “… I don’t want to have The Procedure” “You understand it’s a normal part of growing up, don’t you? ” asks The Psychologist. Rachel answers with lightning speed, “What, becoming just like everyone else? ” “Now, I understand your hesitation,” responds The Psychologist, “but experience shows that it plays a very important role in maturity. Now Sarah, you don’t know what triggered this resentment, do you? ” “I can’t imagine”, replies Sarah.

“I see your husband died five years ago in a car crash. Did you and he ever have an occasion to discuss this matter between yourselves? ” asks The Psychologist. “Yes, he was opposed to it first,” Sarah answers, “but he chose to get it done himself. ” “Now Rachel,” says The Psychologist, “I take it that u were quite fond of your father and respected his opinion. What did he say about The Procedure? ” Rachel responds, “He said he thought it was tragic that such an event is a normal part of everyone’s life. I’ve made up my mind, why are you trying to force me to do something that I don’t want? ”

“Now,” says The Psychologist in a comforting tone, “no one has ever been forced to undergo The Procedure. All we have to do is rid you of these fears of this necessary and important step in your life. ” “Why do I have to do something that I don’t want to do? ” replies Rachel, still without an honest answer. “For your own good,” says The Psychologist, finally coming clean. “Many years ago the finest scientific minds were enlisted with the task of eliminating hideousness in mankind, as ugliness was one of the factors that made people hate. In the process, they eliminated the causes of illness, prolonging life.

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