The Principle of Existence
Summary: Due to a declining birth rate, the government of Japan imposes a drastic new law that forces healthy males and females to get together to make children. For Inuyasha, a hanyou, this may be a chance he thought he never had to have a family. But will he ever find love too?
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha and Co. They belong to the wonderfully talented Takahashi Rumiko.
Warning: Adults doing adult things.
Chapter 1 Sound the Alarms
"As you can see from this graph, if things continue as they do now, we'll reach a negative birth rate, meaning more people are dying than being born.
"Revenue is dwindling as the workforce shifts to retirement. Social security is starting to dry up since less people are paying into it. And just recently, an elderly woman died due to a lack of staff at 30 different hospitals. Each year, the workforce is growing smaller and smaller. There will be no one to care for the elderly, us. Not to mention the other ramifications it will have. Some we can predict; others we cannot."
Kagura turned her laser pointer off as she stepped into the light of the projector screen, casting her shadow over the depressing graph with its thick red lines sinking deeper into negative territory. Brushing a well-manicured hand through her bangs, her Swarovski crystal-fan earrings sparkled in the light as she thought about her answer.
"Fifty years?! Are you serious woman?"
Kagura narrowed her eyes at the man who referred to her as 'woman.' She normally didn't tolerate such a demeaning term from anyone, but she had to retain her professionalism and her maturity. Instead, she closed her eyes and nodded at the man. "Fifty is the average time length. We ran several numbers through many scenarios, altering certain factors through each test."
"Your other numbers?" a smooth male voice asked from the darkness.
"Eight years as the maximum and the minimum is thirty years."
"Thirty years? That's….that's half a single generation. An infant growing up until they are well-established in the work force and many of us will be entering retirement without the benefit of security."
"You asked," Kagura smugly retorted. She hated some of these government types. Especially those that were so worried about preserving their own affairs. Of course, they felt that they deserved a grand retirement because they got the country through recessions and political scandals, or made something good happen at some point in their long stale career.
However, there were a few that didn't annoy her. The man in the back was one of those – a man with intelligence and one who had real power. He, however, was very much untouchable by anyone.
"What are we going to do? Raise taxes?"
"That would be unwise," Kagura stated before a discussion could be started. Government and taxes. They couldn't exist without each other. It was like the whole chicken and egg thing, which one came first. Some would say a government would have to be established before taxes could be collected. However, people had given money to a collection to pay for religious temples and protection to having an established government. The point was that taxes weren't always the right answer.
"And why not?"
"Cost of living, inflation….other expenditures would make it difficult for people to live. Living is expensive. However, a small increase of say one or two percent for ten years, never to be touched so it could gain interest, would be a better solution than forcing a fifteen or twenty percent tax increase on the population."
"Not necessarily," that cool voice spoke again.
Kagura gulped. She didn't expect to have all of the answers, but out of everyone in the room, she was the most educated on the subject. They had paid her good money to research this for the past two years when they needed a reason as to why money was disappearing. No one noticed the people, just the money they sent in.
Casting her eyes down to the floor for a brief moment, she lifted her head up to gaze into the darkness. "Do you have something to add Prime Minister Sesshoumaru-sama?"
"Anyone else have any suggestions? Taxes are one possible solution, however, others are needed if there is to be any real help," another civil employee spoke as there were little said in regard to taxes.
"Wait," Kagura calmly cried out. "I want to hear why the small tax increase won't work." Kagura could feel the stares of every man in the room. She was the only woman, wasn't she? She was sure of it. She could feel it.
"Children?" she repeated, unsure if she had heard correctly.
"Children are the problem, and children are the solution."
"Prime Minister Sesshoumaru-sama….I-I'm not quite following you."
"Do you have children?"
"Then what do you know about raising them?"
"I wasn't asked to give a report on parenting skills. I was asked to give the government an answer to the reason why our revenues have started to fall short over the last fifteen years."
"Of course. Children are…expensive. A raise in taxes will only keep people from having more children because they would be unable to afford even one. Keeping our citizens from having children is the essence of our problem."
"I did mention that."
"However, without more children being born, the very things which we are all concerned about will happen."
"Are you - no, you couldn't be," Kagura said softly as she thought out loud. She shook her head at the absurdity of it.
"And if I was?"
Kagura's mouth fell open. Quickly closing it, she took a deep breath. "You can't force something like that onto people."
"As government officials, we must act in the best interest of the people; now and for the future. Incentives regarding families are passed all the time. This would be no different."
"I am almost forced to agree with Kagura on this one Prime Minister Sesshoumaru-sama. I doubt people will agree to this."
"Besides," Kagura continued as she felt her anger growing steadily, "that kind of population growth would strain our current work force."
"It's merely a suggestion on my part."
Kagura smirked. Something popped in her head that would shoot his little suggestion down. "Would you force matings amongst our kind? There are laws and bonds that are to be honored."
There was no reply. She had him. She had won. No one could ever win against the great orator Sesshoumaru-sama. Smugly, she crossed her arms against her chest. Now that his ridiculous scenario was made into something from a fantasy book, it was time to move onto an idea that could be a more productive solution to the problem.
"Our kind arrange marriages and matings for political reasons all of the time. Either the people do what is asked of them, or they can watch us die out. Fifty years….one hundred years and soon there won't be anyone around to care anymore."
Kagura's shoulders slumped. She had claimed her victory too soon. Well, a proposal like that would have be drafted and introduced to the government body, then it would have to be debated and voted on. "It would take too much time."
"Do not fret so much. Start with more family incentives and a two percent increase in taxes. In half a year, the paperwork could easily be drafted and up in the Diet for a vote."
"Six months? But…I'm…no…" Kagura sputtered as too much came at her at once. She wasn't ready. It was too much all at one time and she wasn't even in a serious relationship. In fact, she hadn't gone on a date for the last few months as she had spent every waking moment working on this. She wasn't ready to be a mother.
"Let's adjourn for the day," another official stated as most were too shocked to even argue. Quickly, everyone at the meeting, including Kagura, filed out of the conference room and headed to wherever they had to go to next.
"What about the youkai community? They will take to this lightly."
"To the contrary, the majority of the youkai community prefers arranged marriages," Sesshoumaru explained as he pulled out his Blackberry.
"Eugenics is so…"
"We have survived as we are now because of selective breeding."
The human prime minister sighed. "For humans though, with their stubbornness and free will, they will resist."
Sesshoumaru snorted at that thought. "It's resist or die." He paused for a moment. That could be a potentially strong campaign slogan for this. He jotted it down into his Blackberry so he wouldn't forget it. He would let his advisors know about it when they started the draft of the proposal.
"That's a bit dramatic, isn't it Sesshoumaru-sama?"
"Humans have never handled the truth well."
The human prime minister nodded. Humans only liked one kind of truth: the truth they wanted to be true. What was true and what they wanted to be true was hardly ever the same thing. The people would resist. How many philosophers pondered about free will and the path that humans stumble along as they learn how to live? Forcing people to get together for the sole purpose of breeding sounded a bit too much like some of the science fiction books he had read as a child.
"What about your brother?"
"What about him?"
"Will he…I mean…he's a hanyou, born with human and youkai traits. Will he…uh…human or youkai?"
"That is none of my concern. If he is like my father, then any law we pass he will disregard."
"Are you doing this because this is his only chance of mating?"
"Are you suggesting that I care for that half-breed?"
The prime minister coughed as he choked on fear. "No, sir. I would never…It's just…who would want to be with a hanyou? A woman may end up committing suicide if forced into such a relationship. I wouldn't want to see something like that happen."
"That is her choice."
"And what about you, sir? I am already married with two children. I suppose after this, I will have to try to have another."
"I have always known that I would mate for political reasons. It was always been about survival of my clan, as well as power. If we as a country have a great desire to continue on, then we will all come around to this new policy."
"Let's hope it's enough to motivate the people of this country to save it. Saving our country also preserves our past and protects our future."
Sesshoumaru raised a brow at that. It was catchy. He quickly added it to the slogan he said earlier. One way or another, the citizens of Japan would follow suit and obey the new laws.
Six months later…
"A stunning announcement from the Diet today. In response to the dropping birth rate that had alarmed sociologists and government officials alike, a new law has passed that requires anyone from the ages of 21 to 40 to find a partner, marry, and then produce offspring. This is just the beginning of a new phase of laws set forth by the government to somehow offset the problem of our future.
"The plan is outlined in a thousand-page report. Centers across the country are set up to educate everyone on this profound matter, as well as to guide citizens in the selection process.
"All citizens will receive an official letter providing a date, time, and location to prepare for the selection process. The report also outlines an appeal process if there is a reason why one could not participate in the program.
"There have been no comments from the government as of yet concerning reaction to this new law, though they do plan to give a formal statement by the end of the week. That would be both Prime Ministers, as youkai, human, and all races in between are included under this law. We will also be weighing in on the effects of this most drastic act by our government. Yukino, back to you."
He had sat through all of the meetings and managed to pass. Whatever that meant. The official letter they had sent him (he knew it was official because there was a stamp that said it was) said that he was fully qualified to participate in the program. So, he was a good candidate for making babies that would grow up to take care of him when he got old. Why didn't they just say it that way? It was the truth.
It sounded like a sweet deal for him. After being shunned by females for so long, he might actually get one now. Not that he was actively seeking a member of the opposite sex at this moment. It was just that when he was out trying to have fun, the guys around him were able to easily hook up with girls, while he was left to watch from the sidelines.
This desperate act by the government leveled the playing field for guys and girls who weren't at all talented with being social. Then again…a few years ago, he gave up being social. Work became everything he needed and wanted in life. Girls, a wife, children…that became the dream.
Sitting at a table in one of the designated centers, he flipped through pages and pages of eligible females who either wanted to participate or had to. Included in this book was a picture of the female, a head shot taken against a neutral backdrop, and then to the side of the picture was their information provided in order: name, birthday, blood type, height, weight, eye and hair color, birthplace, education, employment, likes, and dislikes, as well as a paragraph they had written in hopes of providing something about their personality.
Anything to reel in a good guy. Rich, too.
So far, his luck with this wasn't any better than those socials the guys from work always dragged him to. He passed on girl after girl. None of them were appealing to him. No instant love connection to be made. Not that he believed in love at first sight, but there had to be something, an attraction, similar interests.
He stopped as his gaze lingered on a photo a bit longer than he had on the previous ones. Now here was a girl, no, a woman of beauty. Her eyes pierced right through him. A clawed finger ran down the length of the glossy surface of the photograph. Maybe…
Her vitals were impressive. They were the same age. She had good height, nice weight. And she liked the outdoors. Private schools. Berkeley?! He knew that Berkeley was an expensive American university. And what was she studying? Pediatrics. That was medicine. She was a doctor.
Looks and brains.
So far she was turning out to be a complete package.
'I've felt like I've lived differently than others, almost an outsider at times. There are things that I'm expected to do and like a good person, I have done what they asked of me. I feel that now I may have a chance to live life as I would like to live it. To find someone who I can talk to, to settle down with and one day raise a nice family.'
He ripped the page out. Her. She was the one. There were to be no second or third choices. It had to be her. Those words she had written reached out to him as if he could've written the same thing. Perhaps she was the one, his soul mate. And the reason why he couldn't find her was because she was in a foreign country. This was Fate giving him a helping hand. A love connection was going to be made.
roshully's note: Hi. I'm back with a new story. As always, the first chapter doesn't make one bit of sense and you can't really tell who is who. That and it's a bit short. Oh well.
This was inspired by some articles that I have read. If you do a search on the decline of the Japanese birth rate, you'll see. Strange how the truth can inspire fiction and vice versa.
This one is going to cause me a lot of problems just because I'm too picky, but, I can't get the story out of my head (along with a bunch of others). I've already been doing a lot of research for this already and that has kept me from getting anything actually typed out since I like to hand write everything first. Silly me.
Youkai, hanyou, and humans all live together, like in TGO. Since the two species are so different, I thought that they should have different leaders. That way, Sesshoumaru is still kind of like the Lord of the Western Lands, but instead he is a Prime Minister. Lords only exist in fairy tales and England. And maybe Australia.
Thanks for reading and if you want, leave a review.