- Nightmares kept you up. That's why you're awake now, staring at the bleach white hospital ceiling, heart monitor beeping next to you, mild painkillers pumping through your blood, fluorescent lights bearing down oppressively against you, pervasive sense of emptiness surrounding you. You're due to be released soon, after that, probably physical therapy. You're terrified at how much all of this is going to cost, afraid that the bill will come crashing down on the plans you have, and all the money you saved seeing all those terrible people and doing all those terrible things will blow away with one swift mistake, one violent act of cruelty committed by the wicked fates that control your life.
- Your name is Richelle Dixon, alpha of your pride, loving wife… soon-to-be aunt of your husband's daughter, Manhunter, and manticore missing a tail.
- Way back when, two worlds were connected. There is much conspiracy and controversy surrounding the event, but most people quietly agrees it was all engineered by the lilim that make the worlds tick, and the succubi that follow their beck and call. The lilim, the top-dogs, the ones who look down from the seats of power they were born into, lording over the New and the Old World alike, they fucked up and caused a war, a war monster-kind had to fight in penance, and a war they won. A whole world for the taking, a whole world as spoils, a whole world to drain of the only important resource that mattered: men.
- It has been about two centuries, and the New World ran all out of men to give. Natural-born men are the stuff of legend, and if they still exist, they're either ancient incubi living in some pocket-realm, or their a lilim-only privilege. The rest get the bio-engineered ones, like your husband.
- Your husband, your mind snaps to him. Pale skin, thin but toned, a kind, soft smile, and sad eyes that stared right into your soul. He reminds you a bit of a puppy you saw on television once, only he has a bit more fight in him. He has markings, tattoos really, numbers on his right hand and across his back, stretching from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. Tube-born but custom-made. The reason you and your two other pride-mates, your little sisters, are in a fuckton of debt. They put the tattoos on the back so that if you fuck them you can pretend that they weren't made in such a cold, unnatural manner, undeserving of something as pure as they are, that is if you can ignore their right hand as well. Humans, flawed creatures that needed a guiding hand, a hand the Demon Lord thought she could give, and the result was them being manufactured and sold as commodities.
- This industry is something hated, but something necessary, because without it, the world would stagnate completely. This necessary evil is what keeps the world's population on a slow decline, rather than a rapid nosedive. Yet, there is many who cannot handle the disgusting nature of the world, who want to lash out against it. There are those who steal men as they're shipped off from the plants, or even raids on the production facilities themselves. Some have even begun illegal-manufacture rings, to try and counter the steep prices many of the man-making corporations ask for their level of quality; quite simply, the world has degraded to bio-factories for husbands and making bootleg people.
- The Manhunters were made for this new and crazy world, a special division of the police force with the express purpose in mind of making sure that no underground bio-farming, black market sales, hijacking of delivery trucks, and invasions of factories, goes unpunished. Their job is usually not to prevent these things, that's more a task for private security, your job is to track down the men that aren't supposed to be where they are, and to fuck up the ones who made sure they got there, rescue the men that can be saved for emotional, physical, and sometimes even genetic salvaging.
- However, the job has it's perks: the pay. You could afford yourself quite a bit of nice things, but you and your sisters decided that you wanted a man. A good portion of the population can't afford purchasing a husband, and those that can't have to make due with more… public means of satisfying themselves. These men, usually made for the job, are prostituted in all but name to countless monsters, before finally being retired and auctioned off. There has been many measures taken in attempts to prevent sudden infatuation with these men, and all of them have failed. However, for those who can afford to buy a husband for themselves, many will go for the basic shit, just a slew of healthy genes and a number, no effort put into making a decent personality or real features other than "average," and you hope the natural demonic energies that permeate all the monsters will mould these poor souls to their buyer's liking. Spend a pretty penny more, and they'll custom-make one per your specifications. Spend an even heftier sum, and they'll give you an in-depth evaluation to make you the best fucking man they can for your situation. That last one, that's what you and your sisters went for. You thought, between all of you, that you could handle it, work to pay off the debt and share him between the three of you.
- You were wrong.
- He was perfect, just what all of you wanted, the way he had a keen mind and a kind soul, the way snuggled into everyone as they all slept in the same bed, the way his skin felt against yours, fingers brushing through the hair by your ears or the mane around your neck, the way he nodded his head to the beat of whatever song he played through the shitty digital music-player one of your sister's got him on a whim as he cooked all of you breakfast, baggy t-shirt sagging just enough to reveal the edges of the black, bold numbers on his back. You all soon came to realize two things, that he didn't deserve the conditions of your shitty apartment, and that you all wanted him for yourselves. No one had the gall to run off with him though, least of all you. That's a crime, a man-related one, one that puts you at the wrong end of some Manhunters, and running from Manhunters is an effort in futility. So you all do the next best thing, and race to earn more of his affection. It's something you all shouldn't do, he always says he loves you all equally and makes sure to spend time with each of you in equal measure, but you all have different jobs and different lifestyles, and that means different periods of time where each of you has free time, and your youngest sister, that lucky fucking cunt, got pregnant.
- Declining birthrates mean benefits for mothers and mothers-to-be, yet a daughter is still an expensive thing. You now need to work hard, so you can make enough to move out of the shithole you live in, so you can give your husband the life he deserves, and so you can have enough for the cubs you and your sisters will no doubt be making, plus the one on the way.
- You know it would make everything harder, you have the highest paying job after all, but you really hoped you would get pregnant first. But this job, this terrible, terrible job has eaten your time and left you time and time again tiredly slumping into the already-sleeping pile that had to cuddle up together without you because it was 1 AM and you still weren't home, and has left you standing over roomfuls of bodies filled with bloody holes made from your gun, wondering if it was all worth it, and has left you in your breaks that are never long enough waking up from an idle nap screaming and gasping for your husband that no doubt would come running into the room to comfort you. This job has cost you so much of your life, so much of your humanity, and now, what it means to be a manticore.
- Fuck this job, and fuck how much it pays. You can't take it anymore, at the rate you're losing parts of yourself there'll be nothing left by the time you claw your pride out from the slums and into better living conditions. You've no doubt built enough credentials to work at some private security firm or some shit, anything but this.
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