on Cults, though his name carried respect and prestige, a number of scientists considered Joe tohave picked up a few too many Cult habits. Consequently, Joe kept his acquired taste for illegal beef to himself, sharing his obsession for this primitive food source with a few well-chosenpoliticians who had consequently put off the usual raids for two decades now.“With any luck,” Joe said,” we can convince The Powers That Be to leave these people alone foranother decade or so. I’ve been arguing that we can’t observe how “natural processes” amonghumans evolve if we keep interfering from the outside by removing the most violent of thesepeople. Let them kill each other off---“Jim reeled with shock. He stared at the older man, whose strong hands on the steering wheel of the ancient truck were full of veins and sunburned.“You would allow these people to kill each other off, in their petty wars?” he pressed.Joe licked his dry lips. The hot, desert air dried them immediately.“The state goes in there and eliminates 1% of the most violent of the Cultists every decade,” hesaid. “Know how they do that?”“No.”Joe licked his lips again. “Pass me some water,” he said, ”and I’ll tell you what they do.”Jim handed over the canteen, from which Joe took a swig, not even stopping the vehicle to doso. That’s how skilled he was at driving the truck. Jim could see beads of sweat on Joe’sforehead. and knew that he, too, was
. It was a phenomenon that produced a strange,prickly feeling wherever the sweat glands opened up and burst forth with their products of moisture, minerals and – he shuddered—bacteria. Bacteria would quickly begin to grow inthese cesspools of moisture all over his body, because he, just as Joe, was not grooming his body with viruses and sound to eliminate attacking bacteria. The smell of groomed humans wasalmost intolerable to Cultists, who preferred the odor of ungroomed humans—complete withsweat glands producing sweat and infected with –ugh—bacteria.Had they groomed themselves properly, they could never pass as dissidents fleeing the State. And that could stop them from being allowed entry at the gates, because obviously, they werenot Tourists. The game was to pretend to be Tourists, but the fact that they were bringing
-- desired form of contraband-- would be their entrée to ‘real’ life in the Cult Plantation.Instead of being shepherded everywhere by Tour Guides, they hoped to be invited to live withreal families. Since Jim had never had any contact with any human social system that includeda family, he understood how important it was to success in this ploy. It was an essential part of his research for his dissertation. “Okay,” Joe said, taking a second swallow from the canteen, “You wanted to know how whathappens in a raid. Here’s what happens---““Do you have to say it all in Old English?” Jim complained. “Can’t we just Empath?” His very lips were aching form having to pronounce words out loud.