Ephraim and Bailey were both thirty-two. They met in Community B623 when they were twenty-eight, and their pairing was recommended by High Command based upon their DNA and brain chemistry. They were a very good match-the High Command rarely got their recommendations wrong. Everyone married and moved into A Communities before they turned thirty. Those who refused their chosen partner, or who didn’t find a partner on their own prior to turning thirty, were denied credits for three months. If, after three months, they still refused High Command’s mating recommendation and did not find a mate on their own, they were given the same options as those elderly residents that could not pass mental and physical tests.
Bailey and Ephraim resembled every other couple in many regards. Without sunlight, the human race had become fairer and fairer. Variation in height and facial features regressed toward the mean – every woman was between 5’6” and 5’10” tall; every man between 5’10” and 6’2”. All jaws were on the square side; all noses were straight; all eyes wide set. All hair was straight and thin; all hair was blond or some lighter shade of red or brown. Everyone was mesomorphic. When power was more reliable, government identification had been made through biometrics. That method had become more and more unreliable as people started to resemble one another more and more. That fact, and increasingly strong and more frequent solar flares, drove High Command to mandate that all community uniforms must be embroidered with name and an individual identification number.
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