"Sheldonopolis…"

Sheldon Cooperson, the Master of Sheldonopolis… Dr. Sheldon L. Cooper

Calvin Cooperson, his son… Dr. Leonard Hofstadter

Rotwolowitz, the inventor… Howard, the engineer

Amy, nervous Chief Assistant to the Master of Sheldonopolis… Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler

Penny/Futura, her android double… Penny, the waitress

The Thin Man… Name withheld by request

Male Worker clones… Howard, the engineer

Grotta, chief clone supervisor for the Heart machine…Female worker clones… Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski

Summary: In a dystopic future, Humanity's last hope is the visionary metropolis created by the genius of grand Administrator Sheldon Cooperson and Rotwolowitz, the inventor...But is it a paradise or a Sheldonesque version of Hell? And can a savior from the waitressing ranks of its cloned workers change its future?

Disclaimer: It's all Chuck's...

Part I…

Shift change…

In the bowels of the central complex of the global city of Sheldonopolis' underground Workers' City, thousands upon thousands of work- ("And sex. We allow them sex." Sheldon, insistent. "Gotta go with the Master of Sheldonopolis on this one, guys." Howard nodded) benumbed worker clones shuffling off to work in the various complexes powering, feeding, maintaining, and even, amusing, the elites above…Trudging to the giant elevators, where herded like livestock into cattle cars, the clones and offspring are ferried to the various working levels of Sheldonopolis…That glorious and independent city on a global hill, the last hope of Humanity following the crises of the 21st century…Where said Humanity survives in rather splendid comfort while the Earth around slowly heals…Sheldonopolis, its gleaming towers and subterranean caverns of crystalline, biodegradable when treated for demolition, yet immensely strong and durable material reaching to the heavens and deep within the bowels of old Earth…Its carefully monitored flyways for flying vehicles of all descriptions and arching sky roadways for electric automobiles, things of graceful beauty….Powered by tidal, geothermal, and space-based, microwave transmitted solar energy with enough energy to care for Humanity's stabilized millions plus three billion worker clones…Governed under a façade of representative rule…A "democracy" restricted to the elite…Masking the benevolent dictatorship of its chief creator and grand Administrator, Sheldon Lee Cooperson …His once blindly accepted rule somewhat tempered in recent decades following protests among the elite…Unfortunately, he would insist…By a legislature of sorts, elected from and by those citizens deemed sufficient in intellect and wealth to have a (minor, often unheeded, but increasingly troublesome) say…

And certainly not including the worker clones…Those now returning from their ten hour work shift shuffling exhaustedly off the return elevators to their bare, if functional, small homes in the deepest caverns, the grimly sunless Depths, lit by artificial illumination, devoid of all greenspace, offering a drab and bleak survival with hope of advancement limited to a handful allowed to move to supervisory positions with marginally better pay and living conditions and a rare chance of seeing the grand world above. Despite the occasional vague talk of reform by either government or the elite, no cultural or environment stimulus was offered, even education kept to the necessary minimal level.

And yet…Even among the clones, the human spirit could not be denied…Though the brutally repressed worker revolts of the early days of the supercity before the clone lines had been established were a distant memory, the clone workers had not lost all connection to the past struggles of the mass of Humanity. Original non-clone workers living on in the Workers' City as it was established had kept the memories alive and natural human curiosity and spirit had done the rest. The clones accepted the reality of their harsh lot for the present but dreamed of better…And actively sought it. Some patiently through peaceful means…Some not. Yet as the promises made by Cooperson and the reformers among the elite failed to materialize into benefits or were actively ignored, patience was wearing fatally thin…

But far above the grim drab caves of the Workers' City, there seemed no limits to the joys and pleasures available to the elite…The grand Administrator and his creator comrades having envisioned their global hive for Humanity as far more than a mere sanctuary for survival. And Administrator Cooperson well aware of the power of bread and circuses to keep the mass of the ruling elite content with his concealed rule. Not only beautiful in its efficiency, the glorious main City and above all, its central complex in what had once been the United States' state of California, was an aesthetic joy…Though some of the elite might occasionally grumble as to Cooperson's and founder comrades' choices. None, however, could deny that the great City and its complexes boasted all the delights desirable…Stadiums, lecture halls, entertainment centers of every description…For while Sheldon Cooperson and his surviving colleaguemight each distain such frivolities, the grand Administrator was well aware they were a cheap price to pay for acquiescence to his generally unchallenged rule.

Unchallenged that is, until recently…

For even the pleasures of the great City could not completely stifle the occasional desire for greater political freedom and control…And chaffed annoyance at Cooperson's dominant role in every aspect of "his" creation. Even as the 35th anniversary of his rule approached, with celebrations planned, honorary orations prepared, laudatory books, films, and music written and created for the occasion…And the mammoth public electronic billboards, Sheldonet chat rooms and message boards, video networks including the Sheldon News Channel, Sheldonbook social network all bearing both governmental and private testaments to his glory…Many even quite sincere…Discontent among the elite had resurfaced. As if granting them a constitution, written by him…A legislature, limited in authority, subject to his veto, and packed by his supporters…Some lifting of the censorship once deemed necessary to survival…And slight judicial limitations on his arbitrary power…Hadn't been more than enough concession. Increasingly, if vaguely, reforms were being demanded. Reforms the grand Administrator was not willing to countenance.

But for the young and pampered elite, all that seemed unimportant and inconsequential in contrast to the pursuit of pleasure…Pleasure sought both in the refined environs of the central complex's famed "Club of the Sons", a haven for the sons and daughters of the elite, with its paradisical "Eternal Cooperian Gardens", an ecological wonderland of samples of Earth's surviving biological and geologic treasures, its "Great Library of Sheldonopolis" a vast computerized and interactive and holographic library of all human knowledge, and its"Grand Hippodrome" sports arena, where the elite young could do the only sweating they ever did, for pleasure or watch the various sports teams, such as the Fighting Sheldons, engaged in various ritual competitions such as the Sheldonbowl or the Sheldonopolis Series…And in the less edifying if perhaps more sensual nightclubs and gambling establishments, particularly the infamous palace of earthy delights, Yoshiwara, run, like its sister establishments, with the tacit license of the government as a necessary outlet for the more dangerous passions of the elite. A place where one could indulge any and every form of sin and depravity Administrator Cooperson could frown on…Gambling, dancing, consumption of alcoholic beverages…Even those awful things his mother Mary Cooperson's strict upbringing would keep him from naming.

And while such diversions meant nothing to the Master of Sheldonopolis, as befitting a supposed equal among equals, a Princeps and First Citizen of the People, his own and only son, Calvin Cooperson, eagerly joined in, indulging in the pleasures offered and competing, supposedly as an equal…If somewhat more equal and far better documented in the media than others…In the various competitive sporting events. Even this very day, this moment, engaged in the great 35th "All Hail Cooperson Our Noble Father" Anniversary Relay Race…And triumphing… To the fervent…

Well, some fervent…Some more self-servingly servile…Heck, after all, he's the unacknowledged but actual prince of the global metropolis…

…Cheers of the attendees…

("Hey…" Leonard eyed the giggling Penny. "Sorry…" she put up a hand. "You, a sports hero?" "Well, we fix the races…It's necessary to maintain a proper image." Raj noted, slight solemn look befitting Sheldon's top security agent. "Hey!" Leonard fumed. "Maybe I get training here or something…" "Yeah, something…" Howard noted, grinning… "The fix is in…"

"Guys…" frown. "Say…" Leonard eyed himself in the mirror.

"Is it really necessary for us to dress the parts? And I do hafta wear these knickers?" he stared at said knickers in mirror.

"We agreed we'd follow the movie script as much as possible…" Sheldon noted firmly. "And Freder Frederson wears knickers…Right there." He pointed to an image of Freder on computer screen, in knickers and boots.

Geesh…Leonard shook head.

"Hey, I have to wear that stupid black cap and overalls…When I'm not…Rotwolowitz." Howard noted, with slight dramatic flare at end.

"I think you look cute in knickers…" Penny grinned.)