I've often wondered what it would be like if women ran the world. In Asylumland we were about to find out. Or at least a sizable portion of the population was hoping things would end up that way. Problem is, testosterone is a dangerous and powerful drug and with no means to keep it in check its biggest producers and consumers-- young men-- can become very dangerous and hard to control. And the biggest problem with the production and consumption of testosterone is that in young men you need only young men to produce it.
It was the day before the election when 2 of the youngest girls, Angie and Flora came to where I was reading. Seems they had a conflict between themselves they needed resolved. For The Brain, conflict resolution had been a real cash cow, so much so that he had outlawed conflict resolution without first coming to his court. Of course, The Brain's poor conflict resolution skills had also been a very big part of his downfall.
I don't even remember what it was the girls came to me about. Fact was, it was nothing of consequence and nothing the two of them couldn't work out with just a bit of counseling. And there-in lies the rub.
You see, while there was lots of sex and coupling going on in Asylumland and it was being overlooked by the institution's staff, once someone spoke with a councilor or therapist then the problem got written down. And if the problem that was written down just happened to involve a couple then at least one half of that couple would be moved to another wing where we'd never see him or her again. And it just so happened that Angie and Flora were the most devoted of couples.
"So," Angie said, "with The Brain gone and nobody else in charge we thought we should talk to you about our conflict."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because it's the law," Flora answered. "We don't want to break the law."
"Yeah," Angie said, "we don't want to get punished."
It sounds silly but these girls were emotionally damaged and used to living under a very oppressive albeit small, regime. The idea that a new leader whoever he might be, would run things any differently was simply outside their realm. "That was The Brain's law," I replied. "Now that The Brain is gone his laws are gone with him."
"But what about our conflict?" Flora asked. "What about that?"
"Can you solve it yourself?" I asked. "Without fighting?"
"I don't know," Angie replied. It was obvious the concept of thinking for one's self was not well practiced by both her and Flora.
"Maybe," Flora said.
"I tell you what do," I suggested. "You two be very nice to each other and try to work it out. Don't fight and remember you've got all the time in the world to come up with a solution. And day after tomorrow if you haven't worked it out for yourselves then I'll work it out for you. How's that sound?"
"That sounds good," Flora said. Angie nodded her head. "How much will you charge us?" Flora asked. "We don't have much money."
"Free of charge," I replied.
"Wow," Angie smiled, "Now I know why Irene loves you so much. You are the sweetest man."
"Just keep that to yourselves, okay."
As predicted the election was a landslide with Janice winning with 95% of the vote. Even many of the men voted for her. Her opponent was a guy named Joe who claimed to be former Marine Special Forces. If he was then apparently even the government didn't want him back as even the VA has lots of better places than Asylumland to lock away shell shocked veterans. He was smart and would make a good vice president provided that was what he intended to do. Of course, in Asylumland he got tagged with the name GI Joe. Never mind that GIs are usually soldiers and not Marines, this was Asylumland and the name stuck.
To keep things running smoother than before it was decided that each of the clicks that had formed on their own would send one representative to a newly formed congress. Doing so would take a little bit of power away from the women while still leaving them in control. The men, while vastly outnumbered, still represented a physical threat the women were not yet ready to overcome. Hopefully the men would be pacified.
The election came and went without incident with GI Joe apparently happy to take over the number 2 spot. I went back to working on a plan to get ride of the Brain Bucks and reduce the amount of currency in circulation without stirring up the population. It wasn't going to be easy to convince people they had too much money and needed to give some back to restore a healthy economy. Admittedly, it wouldn't have played well with me either if someone else were asking the same from me.
It was my assumption that being that Angie and Flora hadn't returned for help with their conflict that everything had been resolved and all was well. Fact is: everything had been resolved but not everything was well. Janice, Irene, GI Joe and I were in the cafeteria when Floria walked over to us. "Good morning Floria," I said, "Are you and Angie doing okay today."
"No," Flora said as tears began to flow from her eyes and her hands tremble, "It's not okay."
"I better talk to her alone," Janice said getting up from the table and leading Flora across the room.
Later that day Janice informed us that Angie had been raped by Rocco and was so traumatized that even Floria couldn't get near her. Unlike most of the other girls, Angie had never been with a man and Floria was unable to convince her that she would recover. To make matters worse, if the rape was reported to staff, Angie would almost certainly be moved and never see Floria again. After having been together for several years there was little doubt a permanent separation on top of a rape would simply be more than she or Floria could stand.
It was decided that Rocco should come before congress to face trial. Of course, with no real means to enforce the order he simply refused, thought it all just one big joke. Add to that the fact that our congress had no real authority and couldn't publicly enforce its mandates and we were stuck with egg on our faces. "So what do we do?" Janice asked privately.
"I say I take a few guys over and beat him to death," GI Joe said.
"Too obvious," I replied. "It will draw staff down on top of us."
"But if Rocco gets away with it then things will only get worse," Joe said.
"You're right," I agreed, "but we need to be a little more subtle. Besides, it's time the girls learned to take care of some of these things on their own."
"You're absolutely right," Janice said, lighting up as if I'd flipped a switch. "If a bunch of sweet little girls take Rocco down the thugs around here will be scared shitless."
With a few tips from Joe and I, Janice helped the girls work out a plan. Knowing what happened next it puzzles me how men and not women, ever got in charge in the first place.