Cooperation was all right back in the dark ages but this was an era of super culture and hi-psi intelligence. And love was no laughing matter. People who cooperated, even biologically, were unlawful and....
bet," she said. "But it's nice. I like it."
Mark just grinned at her, happy for the moment, secure in the knowledge that it would be impossible for her ever to know that it was really identical with his protobody. Not that it would matter, just so long as it was artificial. He listened to the humming of the elevator for a few minutes. When it stopped the door vanished, and the two of them moved out into a sea of wild, colorful beauty. High above them was a simulated sun that made as good a substitute for the real thing as had been developed since the underground movement.
"Bright," Mark commented.
"Oh, that's right. I've been forcing some Venerian puffers and scent flowers, and raised the radiation level ten decibels. They always do well under a strong sun, you know." She left his arm and moved to a control panel beside the entrance to the elevator. She manipulated something and the sun dimmed a little. "There," she turned around. "Better?"
Mark looked at the landscape, then back
This future post-atomic war world is downright peculiar. You kill anyone you come across, and that way you won't ever form alliances that lead to wars. Anyway, everybody has multiple manufactured bodies, so it isn't that inconvenient to be killed, and no one goes out in public in his real body.
The likelihood of this culture ever existing is slim and can't be extrapolated from modern society. That means it's damn hard to take seriously.
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