Imagine an island where humans are the crop.

  • People are harvested at age 20, they leave the island and never return.

  • They are under the impression that they are part of a socio-economic experiment and are generally pretty happy to be part of it.

  • The island is the size of a small town.

  • External media is controlled and limited.

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    $\begingroup$ Just to clarify, the humans are the ones being farmed on this island? $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2018 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, Curtis! If you have a moment, please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. You may also find Worldbuilding Meta and The Sandbox (both of which require 5 rep to post on) useful. Here is a meta post on the culture and style of Worldbuilding.SE, just to help you understand our scope and methods, and how we do things here. Have fun! $\endgroup$
    – Dubukay
    Jul 30, 2018 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ I believe the traditional method is to discover a can of Milwaukee beer. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jul 30, 2018 at 22:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Curtis In Parts: the Clonus Horror (a "proud" Mystery Science Theater alumnus), a clone in a clone farming operation in the Midwest somewhere becomes suspicious when he finds a beer can in the local river. (Obligatory MST joke: "This is the most interest anyone's ever shown in Milwaukee.) $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jul 30, 2018 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ You might also draw some inspiration from Logan's Run : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan%27s_Run_(film) $\endgroup$
    – JonSG
    Jul 31, 2018 at 21:28

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, a farm requires farmers. If you have a large population of clones or whatever that you're looking over until they become useful, you need staff: people to maintain order, people to teach them (if you decide they need to know anything), people to make sure they eat right and exercise (if you need them in a certain physical condition), people to make sure no one gets out, people to make sure no one gets in... staff. Staff need managers. Managers need meetings, agendas, reports. Outside investors need to be apprised, or at least reassured that things are going smoothly. Whoever you're farming people for needs to take possession of them.

The logistics and general backend of an operation like this would be considerable, and chances are that it leaves a hefty paper trail. If anyone stumbles across that paper trail, they could blow the whole operation wide open. Even if they don't, observing the staff could easily tell them that something isn't right, even if it's not immediately obvious what that is.

For instance, if the farmees generally believe that they get picked at intervals to be reintegrated into normal life, and they discover that there are big meat lockers on the island with no particular purpose, and people are seen wheeling freezers in and out of there around the time of each shipment to the mainland, well, they might get a little suspicious.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This actually works pretty well with what I was going for! And I had not considered the aspect of keeping people out! This helps a lot. As of now overhearing a staff member talking about what the island is really what sort of kicks the thing off and it ends in a farmee being compelled to dig around the director's office. Any idea of some third thing to happen in between these two events? $\endgroup$
    – Curtis
    Jul 30, 2018 at 23:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Curtis Keeping people out is essential! Even if there aren't any dogooders trying to dig up dirt on your operation or get people out, there will certainly be do-badders (do-evilers?) who want to blackmail you, steal your working methods, or even make off with your product. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jul 30, 2018 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Curtis In between, you might have them ask the staff directly what's going on. They'll probably get some evasive non-answer that will further amplify the general vibe of "something isn't right here", while ratcheting up the tension because the reader will recognize that the staff is onto the farmee's suspicions. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jul 30, 2018 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, I think I have an angle for this now. Thank you Cadence!! $\endgroup$
    – Curtis
    Jul 30, 2018 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ That's all good if farming managers are careless enough to have paperwork, meat lockers etc. right there on the farm. What if not? Most of the staff might as well be not aware of the farm's true purpose. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jul 31, 2018 at 0:50

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