They fell silent. She pulled him toward her and began quietly stroking his head again. He felt her fingers smooth his hair.
The flowers moved before them in the gentle breeze."
"You are the dominant sex now," he said. "Is that right?"
She nodded again. "If you mean women have a monopoly on decision making, yes."
That didn't surprise him. Even in his own day, the balance of power had been clearly shifting toward women. But what did startle him was their sheer size. How had they become such giants?
"Are all women like you now?" he asked.
"As big as I am?"
"As big. As powerful."
"Yes, we are."
"You are the dominant sex now," he said.
"And men? Are they all like me?"
"They aren't many of you. But, yes."
"How did that happen?"
"Oh, well, women stopped carrying children in their wombs. You remember that?"
He searched his memory with its artificial understandings. Yes, they'd abandoned giving birth a long time ago. At first, they'd had grown their children in vitro, in special laboratories, and babies had been born in incubators. But, about three hundred years ago, even that had changed. There were no more children. Instead, new people were constructed as he had been constructed, as adults, by organo-fabricators that were the direct descendants of the 3D printers he'd known in his first life.
She continued, "Spared the biological demands of motherhood, women could invest their energies as they choose. Increasingly, that meant bigger bodies. Stronger bodies. Better brains."
"And men? How did we get so small?"
"Uh," she looked at away from him, then spoke quickly, "Rather the same thing, but in reverse."
She tried to change the subject, pointing to a couple kissing while trying to hide behind a bush across the way. "Cute couple, aren't they?"
He nodded and smiled, but the cold, methodical part of him…the part that saw inconsistencies wherever they were… took note and remembered.
There had been a flash of emotion on her face. An expression…