Preview of the anthro erotic science fiction A New Breed.
Salina just graduated from her biology study with an average score but gets the opportunity to work at a genetic research facility thanks to her professor. Little does she know the role they want her to fulfill there with an experimental human-canine genetic hybrid.
‘Yes.’ said Salina’s college professor in biology while the cheerful girl’s eyes began to twinkle. ‘They liked your profile and could use you in one of their genetics programs.’
Salina took her professor’s wrinkly hand in hers, relieved and ecstatic at getting a job in the field of genetics and not having to spend the rest of her life in some dead end job she had no interest in. ‘Thank you so much! Thank you!’ she said, shaking his hand hard.
He smiled his usual thin smile when he was amused and hoped she wouldn’t break his wrist. ‘No need to thank me, I just happened to get the question for a biology student fresh out of college.’
She let go of his hand and fiddled with her fingers, looking a little guilty at him. ‘But with my grades I wouldn’t have much use in real research.’
He laid his hand on her shoulder. ‘Don’t worry about that. They’re less interested in grades, more in attitude. You’ll have to realise the long hours you’ll be making.’
She stood a little straighter as if ready to take on a tough mission. ‘That’s no problem.’ she said, thinking about how she had no close family left and her own disinterest in getting close to other people. She could be gone for weeks and nobody would notice.
He fished a folded note out of his shirt’s breast pocket and handed it to her. ‘They said the apartment assigned to you is available as of now, so you can move in there as soon as you’ve packed everything in your dorm room. Just let them know when you’re ready.’
She took the note, read the phone number and address written on it in her professor’s quick and slanted handwriting and clutched it at her chest. ‘I will!’ she said and grabbed her canvas bag with her notes to leave the lecture room for the last time. ‘I’ll get right on it!’
She turned around in the doorway and smiled brightly when she looked back at her professor and waved a final goodbye. ‘Thank you for everything!’
He smiled as he waved back before she disappeared into the hallway. ‘No, thank you for being the perfect candidate.’ he said to himself, hoping the subject at the lab would indeed be interested in her.
01 – On the Job
‘Gene Foster.’ said the man who Salina thought would fit better in a business suit than the white lab coat he was wearing. His whole aura with his short, clean cut hair and practised smile was as if he was about to sell a luxury car. Also, the stylish reception hall with plenty of glass and light reflected in shiny metal highlights would look well as a showroom. He held out his hand. ‘Welcome to New Genetics.’
‘Salina Samara.’ she said as she shook his firm hand. ‘And thank you. I never would have expected to get this opportunity.’ She regretted her words as soon as she said them, thinking she sounded too desperate.
Gene’s smile radiated as if they were long time friends. ‘We put more emphasis on people who are curious to try new things than on those who can answer all the established questions. Which is also why we had to ask about your personal situation since we usually work long days.’ He found her enthusiasm funny, in a good way.
She nodded trying to get a grip on herself. ‘I understand.’
‘Well, let’s start with a brief tour of the facilities.’ he said and gestured smoothly at the the glass double doors at the end of the reception hall.
He guided her around the busy administration offices and acquainted her with the company policies as she signed the final employee contract, then brought her to the cafeteria for a coffee to drink while they took a stroll through the park inside the complex. After the tour they ended up in one of the labs where she met the team she would be assigned to.
‘Our main project is biologic enhancement of human beings.’ Gene said, presenting some of the paperwork. ‘We research ways to enhance our abilities with those of animals through combining genes. For instance, enhancing bone strength, vision, hearing.’
‘Creating super humans?’ she asked, looking at a chart with data on muscle growth in the stack of pages.
Gene nodded. ‘You can call it that. It can help people with birth defects and those who were disabled through accidents. Just imagine what it means if you could grow back a finger when you lose one in an accident.’
She looked up at him. ‘That would be so great!’ she said, it being her reason to study biology and genetics from when she met amputees her age when she was barely twelve.
‘Yes. Of course, the military is also very interested in this which is why we can do this research in the first place.’ he said with a hint of regret in his voice.
‘Not surprising.’ she said knowing full well how researchers had to get money from somewhere.
‘But since this has a benefit for the general public we’re less bothered by the military uses.’ the man who came up to them said.
‘Salina Samara, meet John Williams, head of this unit.’ Gene said. ‘You’ll be working in his team for a start.’
The balding man towered a little over her and his rosy cheeks made her think gentle giant. ‘Nice to meet you.’ John said as he shook her tiny hand compared to his. For a second she wondered how he handled precise work with those paws. ‘You’ll start off with simple work at first to get a hang of the inner workings here.’
She nodded in understanding. ‘I’ll do my best.’
Gene turned to Salina. ‘I’ll leave you to it then and see you around later.’ he said and left them to return to his own work.
‘Come,’ John said. ‘I’ll get you a coat and show you what you can do for now.’
Salina met the rest of the team and each member explained to her how she could help and catch up on the research by keeping score of supplies, testing samples, notes on various subjects, creating preliminary reports.
John logged off from the computer terminal where he introduced the administrative software she’d use. ‘These duties should help you find the direction that interests you the most as well.’ he said and stood up from the chair. ‘Everyone here has a little pet project they can work on along the usual work we do for the company, so if there’s something that catches your interest let me know and we can see if we can set something up. And speaking of pets, there’s one more duty I’d like you to do unless you’re having allergies.’
Salina wondered what he meant when he led her to the back of the lab until she stepped into a hallway with large windows looking into rooms with dogs, cats, and various rodents in each. All rooms had a closed off garden attached and some of the animals enjoyed the sun outside.
John chuckled when Salina smiled wide and her eyes lit up. ‘I guess you won’t mind taking care of them too.’
She giggled. ‘Not really. We couldn’t keep a pet at home but I often took care of pets in the neighbourhood when their owners were away or sick.’
‘We try to take the dogs for a walk as often as we can but sometimes none of us can get away from active projects, so we’d like you to handle that too.’ John said and entered the room with cats. A big black and white ball of fur squinted his eyes twice and John stroked its back. ‘Of course we won’t leave it all up to you alone, we enjoy interacting with them and I personally like to pet one or take one of the dogs for a walk to help me think.’
Salina nodded and let a calico who walked up to her sniff her fingers. ‘They do help with that, yes.’ she said and thought she just might have found the job of a lifetime.
Salina was walking the campus park with two half wolf breeds a few weeks later when Gene met up with. ‘Looks like they got attached to you.’ he said, watching the half breeds enticing her to play with them by nudging her legs with their flanks.
She ruffled their necks while they leaned against her. ‘Yeah, I can see why they’re called Laurel and Hardy with their playful attitude. I love the dogs and they all seem to like me.’
He smiled. ‘I heard from John and the others that the animals seem more livelier around you. Even the most grumpy ones.’ he said and chuckled. ‘I don’t know whether they’re jealous or not though.’
She grinned. ‘I guess I’m just a natural when it comes to animals.’
‘Remind me to call on you if we need help with a large predator then.’
She looked at Laurel and Hardy who sat by her side and looked up at her. ‘If it’s anything like these guys I just might be able to tame it, yes.’ she said, pulled out two tennis balls from her coat pockets, and threw them.
Gene chuckled again at the flurry of furry legs chasing after them. ‘Yeah, we’d just need to confirm it.’ he said and she looked puzzled at him. He grinned. ‘Ah, just imagining the budget proposal to send you to a zoo and see how the lions and tigers will react.’
She grinned. ‘I’ll have one on your desk by tomorrow.’
‘Then I’ll begin lobbying the board for your support now.’ Gene said and strolled away. ‘Give the two comedians a hug from me.’
The two nearly ran her over when they returned the balls and goaded her to throw them again.
At Salina’s return to the lab she found John returning one of the cats to its room. ‘Before I forget, I’ve got a confidential meeting about a project next but also a stack of notes to sort out for a meeting tomorrow morning.’ he said and stroked another cat’s head. ‘Do you have time to take care of that for me?’
Salina nudged the seeming infinitely energetic half wolves into their room. ‘Sure. I need to write the weekly status report anyway and wanted to ask if I could borrow your office and computer since the one in the lab crashed today.’
He nodded. ‘Thanks. I’ll be late so just close up after you’re done.’
Salina fetched fresh coffee and a quick snack and settled behind John’s desk to begin sorting his notes and entering them at the relevant projects. She was halfway when she couldn’t make out from what project the notes were on that page, nor which animal they referred to.
“Aggressive behaviour towards others, signs of intelligence but rarely engaging in experimental tests.” she thought as she skimmed over the writing and stopped at a phrase that alarmed her. “Possible recommendation to terminate subject if no one can interact with him!?” She checked for more notes on this but all she could guess was that a wolf mixed breed was hard to handle and they’d have to kill it because they couldn’t keep it around. She checked the list of projects in the project system but none that she had access to mentioned anything like it.
John walking into his office startled her. ‘Are you okay?’ he asked as she looked up at him.
‘I can’t find the project these notes belong to.’ she said and held up the page.
John took the page. ‘Ah, these weren’t supposed to be among the other notes.’ he said and folded the page before putting it in his pocket. ‘It’s from a project by a different team and they just sought another opinion on an issue. Don’t worry about it.’
She fiddled with a pencil. ‘It looked like there’s trouble with an animal. Will they really put it down if it doesn’t get better?’
He put his hands in his pockets. ‘I’m afraid so. He can’t be kept here in decent circumstances, nor anywhere else on his own. There’s no option.’
She hated the thought of animals getting killed because they’re an inconvenience. ‘Can I try? Maybe I can get it to trust me?’
He raised his eyebrows. ‘You?’
She nodded. ‘You’ve seen how the animals here trust me, I’d hate it if I couldn’t at least try to help one more.’
He hummed in thought. ‘I’ll discuss it with Gene tomorrow.’
She smiled. ‘Thank you!’
He held up his hands. ‘No promises though, if he says no there’s nothing I can do.’
She nodded. ‘I’m sure you can persuade him.’
He chuckled. ‘I’ll try my best.’ he said and left the office again, leaving Salina a little excited about possibly saving an unlucky animal.
02 – Animal Attraction
Salina knocked on Gene’s open door at the end of the day after receiving a request to see him earlier. She had been nervous all day but kept telling herself to be confident about the permission to see the troubled animal.
‘Come in.’ he said while he looked through a few papers and gestured at the chair in front of his desk. ‘Sit down, I just need to check this for a moment.’
Salina sat down, taking a quick look at the pictures on the wall of different animals and biological charts while she pulled on the hem of her lab coat.
‘Okay,’ he said laying the pages aside. ‘you’ve probably noticed our restricted area on the sub-floors?’
‘Yes.’ she said sitting up. ‘I heard it’s because it’s a sterile area.’
‘And also because we have a special project there which would cause a big stir if it became public.’ he said and leaned forward on his desk. ‘You’ve already signed our standard NDA, but to go there would mean no discussion at any time and of any kind outside those walls. Not even up here.’
‘I understand.’ she said, rubbing her fingers in nervous anticipation of getting in on a deep secret. ‘But can I ask, is it a really dangerous animal?’
He smiled and leaned back. ‘Because you have a way with our dogs up here I have a hunch it might not be dangerous to you at all in a certain sense, which would greatly benefit our project.’
She looked confused at him and he slid a paper towards her with a pen. ‘I can’t tell more, but I hope you’re curious enough to take this opportunity.’
She looked at the NDA in front of her feeling the doubt push against her curiosity in getting involved into a secret special project, then took the pen and signed her name on the paper.
‘Great.’ he said as he took the paper and put it aside. ‘Let’s have a look.’
He walked her to the elevators where he used a key to activate the buttons to the lowest floors. With every floor they went down her heartbeat quickened.
The doors opened onto a small hall with corridors to the sides and front. It reminded her of cold and empty hospital corridors depicted in movies.
‘Follow me.’ Gene said and entered the double doors to the corridor on the right. Salina couldn’t help notice the reinforcements on these and three sturdy bars leaning in a corner. ‘When I told you at the start we’re researching ways to enhance human abilities I left out an alternative approach.’ He opened another double door halfway through the corridor. ‘Giving animals human abilities.’
Salina stopped inside the room the moment she saw the huge grey dog sitting in a glass cage at the other end.
‘Salina, meet Loup.’