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Report 22.LOT.1122.7.a
The Lotto

On the surface, the lottery seems like a good thing. But if you scratch that veneer even a little bit – things get weird.

They tell us it’s a benevolent public-private program designed to promote equality and social mobility. Integration. Collective culture. Ownership over the future of civilization.

But we all know that it is at least partially a state-sponsored census program designed for the challenges of keeping tabs on a hyper-diffuse decentralized society. It’s a devilishly clever solution, honestly. The major cooperative stations are easy enough to keep tabs on, since they’re brimming with sensors and scanners already. But you can’t exactly have census agents roaming the Dark trying to knock airlocks with each and every traveling drifter, not to mention rogue stations like The Wreck, which are less-than-amenable to being counted and cataloged.

So you do what every semi-benevolent accidentally-malevolent innovator has done: make the people come to you.

The cost of entry: biometric data, collected via survey and a tiny, self-collected vial of blood.

The reward: An extremely well-paying job in the Core with enough benefits and housing to bring along an entire household. This is otherwise a pipe dream for the masses of families sharing wayward ships orbiting the major stations, popping in and out to take advantage of whatever temporary work is available. Usually that means dangerous jobs building out haphazard station extensions or at the very best low-wage, menial work on behalf of the white collar expansion crowd.

But I think the lottery goes much deeper than that. And I can’t believe I’m saying this but: I think Venus is right.

As I understand the history, before we all ended up out here, human beings had just barely begun scratching the surface of the science behind long-term homo sapien existence in zero gravity and all the lovely accessories that come with it: unlimited access to tight, confined spaces; lack of natural elements; overexposure to or desperate lack of real sunlight... all that fun stuff. For all we knew then it might’ve been a death sentence for human civilization if we don’t put our feet on solid 1g ground from time to time. And we still don’t really know shit about shit.

They act like it’s fine, but there’s a reason the rich are leaving their cushy floating palaces and stuffing themselves into whatever tiny squares of terraformed land we’ve been able to scrounge up.

I think the real purpose of the census is threefold: someone gets a house or whatever (like The Spire & Tower give a shit), some basic census data is collected from the core through the penumbra, and the government finally gets to see what the fuck space is doing to our bodies.

Say what you want about our state of daily existence but technology has been fucking launched forward by rocket-powered catapult and we can tell a hell of a lot about a person from their blood these days. It is likely that the only people who really know what the future of human bodies in space is going to be is whatever vampire is ending up with warehouses of space-affected, radiation-mutated, optimistically donated human blood.

Lotto paraphernalia covers the walls of most stations outside the Core, screaming at you wherever you go, making sure you can’t forget how shit your life is.
The submission kit is… intrusive, to say the least. The proof of submission becomes a very valuable object, since it not only proves you entered, it contains the ID number that ultimately gets “randomly” selected for a total caste system upgrade.