breezeshadow: AWESOME TIMES ICON (DuckyWEEEEE)
[personal profile] breezeshadow
I was playing on the Exhibited pet sim when this story came to me. This is actually the second draft, as I had an idiot moment and pressed the wrong button when it asked if I wanted to save.

The fuzzball with fangs chomped down where Jose's fingers had once been, missing him by mere centimeters. The creature was barely two feet long from nose to tail feather, perhaps one foot high; it rolled back from the snap, spreading its tiny wings for balance, stiff tail held out. Jose regarded it with far more calm than I could manage; I had always been terrified of birds. Their beady eyes could see straight into my soul, and wanted to pluck it out and eat it. Adding fangs and sharp claws to the mix was a worst nightmare.

"Fucking backyarders." Jose clucked his teeth, then hissed at the Gracil; the raptor tensed, glaring and fluffing up its feathers. The comment confused me; I worked in prehistoric rescue, but I preferred to work with mammals, with smilodon and thylacine taking up most of my time. The tissue engineering for them was far advanced, with fully preserved mammoth carcasses and La Brea providing near-perfect Smilodon. The thylacine didn't go extinct until the 1930s, giving good old taxidermists plenty of material to work with. Once technology advanced far enough, it was only a matter of time until the first cells were grown and formed.

"Backyarders? Really?" It was far easier for random idiots to get and breed their own mammals. Dinosaurs proved far more difficult, from what I knew. Though La Brea provided excellent specimens, most cells died in the petri dish, and those that did not usually failed upon transfer to an egg. Only the later Troodons, Dromae, and protobirds like Archaeopteryx survived to birth, and as far as I knew, only laboratories were still able to produce them.

"You know commercial labs. One sketchy one doesn't check their sterilization and suddenly someone realizes their male and female had viable eggs. It all goes downhill from there." The Gracil bunched up its legs as Jose moved his hand; yet as it pounced forward, flapping its wings, it missed once more. Only the cage likely kept Jose safe at all; the beast grasped the bars with its back feet, hissing angrily. "This woman got it for cheap for her son -- because a dinosaur is a safe gift for a ten-year-old. Long story short, the kid went to the ER for liquid skin and has an eye being regrown for him, and the woman drops this off recommending I behead it."

"Not a bad suggestion. It's what we do." The worst case I heard of was a college boy who thought it was a great idea to prove he could fit his head within a thylacine's giant jaws. The proof he received was a partially crushed head; he was still in the hospital on life assistance with an experimental engineered brain, since his will donated his body to research. The hope was that he would maintain his memories and self; last I knew he knew who he was, but thought he was 16 and imprisoned. His parents had called for the thylacine's death; if they could not get their son back, they at least wanted revenge.

"It's not the Gracil's fault it was bought by a fucking moron." Once again he tried to reach in his hand; once again he pulled it out last-moment as the raptor snapped at it. "I have a few contacts that accept Gracils, and two of them got back to me. I just need to see if it can be conditioned to humans."

That was another reason I refused to work with the dinosaurs. Birds were incredibly sensitive as it was, yet they had not found a tranquilizer that did not kill the beasts. At least with the Smilodon I knew I could just shoot them with Ketamine.

"Hey, they could get tigers to cooperate back in the 2000s." I grinned cheekily, crossing my arms.

Jose rolled his eyes. "They did that back in the 1900s. Dinosaurs have only been back fifty years."

"That's a million years in biotime." I lifted my eyebrows at the Gracil, who chose that moment to hiss directly at me. "I'll strangle it myself if you want."

"Shush, you and your avian phobia." Finally he rose, sighing; the Gracil climbed the cage bars as far as it could, hissing all the while. "If only we had a natural habitat to send it to, but even eagles barely have that. It either has to learn to cooperate or accept dying."

"No animal ever accepts that." I sighed heavily as we walked back into his kitchen; there, a large feline the size of a dog rested in a bed, looking up as we entered. She had the strange look of a minature snow leopard, with a beautiful coat of brown and grey rosettes against silver. "You still have Syria, hm?"

"I'm not letting a poorly-spayed leopard-genomed cat anywhere near the public. She shouldn't exist to begin with." He patted the cat, getting a hearty purr in return. For all her looks, she was just a domestic feline, made to order by a company with more greed than sense. I hoped they did not need the law to keep from producing actual snow leopards; their recent extinction in 2041 made them applicable for extra rights, such as not engineering them for profit. That was never a guarantee, though.

I did not mind the "designer species"; a lot of the companies opened their databases for scientists to use, giving them a wealth of information that would take them years to discover. Even those that kept completely private were not doing anything more egregious than the universities reviving dinosaurs. Surely anything that was not killed off by man died for a reason.

Jose did not share my views, but it made for interesting conversations. He agreed that only man-caused extinctions should be resurrected, but as a result he considered all public breedings unethical. Only proper institutions seeking to reinstate long wild populations should be running. He had originally worked to prepare resurrected snow leopards and Amoy tigers for life in wild reserves -- it was how he found Syria. When dinosaurs became so popular so quickly, he told me that he felt that these "innocent beasts" would need more help than the cats. I replied he was insane.

The screeching from the living area confirmed my suspicions. Syria's ears pulled back as she narrowed her eyes.

[personal profile] raze and other rescuers can tell me how inaccurate any of this sounds. ;)

Comments welcome as always, especially since I rarely write futuristic stuff. This is what happens when I play a dinosaur sim and read Cloud Atlas. Note that the tissue engineering is probably pseudo; hard to say since it's so young, but it involves crazy shit like scaffolding and matrices and a hellll of a lot more than just a petri dish (I wanted to work with it before I realized it was research-only and I'd need a Ph.D).


Date: 2015-01-04 03:05 pm (UTC)
raze: A man and a rooster. (Default)
From: [personal profile] raze
Ooh, what a fun little piece of fic! Reminiscent of writings and shows that take the concepts of technologies that are just in their infancies, and extrapolates them out to (often dystopic) futures. Or maybe I shouldn't say dystopic since I 100% believe that if people had access to dinosaurs and the like, they'd be just as irresponsible as they are with the current stock of creatures, which would mean labeling... *gasp* REALITY as a dystopia :o!

Hah: at any rate, it all sounds pretty spot-on to me. I wish I could say it is unrealistic for the narrator to work in rescue but hate bird-like animals and make jokes about killing them, but experience tells me this is 100% a phenomenon in the rescue community, albeit generally directed towards reptiles. Only one little line of text caused me to fumble a little, and it is a nitpick: "Only the cage likely kept Jose safe at all;" I'm not sure it needs to be there, and if it does, the likely seems either ill-placed or unneeded. Critter is being aggressive, it's fairly definite that it would be tearing shit up without the cage.

Nice to see you dabbling outside of your normal comfort zone/world!


breezeshadow: It's a wolverine, hey! (Default)

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