The days were growing shorter and the project’s failure was becoming apparent. My
crew and I had been researching on a little island just south of Australia for over three
months, and we were making little progress. I was hired as the team leader for this excursion
by a private investor from some breakthrough zoo. The investor, a man by the name of
Henry Shrinton, asked me along with my crew to go down under to find new, unknown
animals. I found this request very unusual simply because my formal education had been in
DNA research, not biological hunts. Nevertheless, my grant from the University had run out
so I desperately needed funding. We had only found a new species of butterfly, and I feared
my return to the states with nothing to show of our three month stay. Our time was up,
however, and the crew and I left Australia disappointed and empty-handed.
At the airport in New York, I was greeted by Mr. Shrinton and a few of the other zoo
investors. They quickly hurried me into a stretched limousine, and then my life changed
forever. The investors asked me quite plainly if I would be willing to create their zoo for
them. At first I was unclear of the meaning, but quick clarification had me realizing the
enormous biological disasters such a project would generate. They wanted me to chemically
produce hybrid’s of different animal species.
My first thought was that such a thing was impossible, but they showed me research
and experiments done by the government that proved it was possible. The investors sensed
my unwillingness and placed a briefcase in my lap. I opened it and found stacks of neatly
wrapped bills. It had to have been at least ten million dollars. I was informed that the
briefcase was merely an incentive and if I was able to successfully create one of their
creatures, then the payoff would be even larger.
I reluctantly agreed, still doubting my ability to do any such project. The investors
all smiled, shook my hand, and then dropped me off at what would become my home and
office. It was a little cabin in the middle of nowhere. As I entered the cabin I was astonished
to find at least a 4000 square foot basement that had been totally converted into the most
advanced chemical lab I had ever laid eyes on.
I worked day and night on the project, trying combinations of “simple” structured
animals. After three weeks of work I had finally made a breakthrough. By chemically
restructuring the DNA of a frog and rat I had produced a tadpole with hair. I was very
pleased with the results, as were the investors. They informed me, however, that such a
animal wouldn’t attract enough visitors. They told me that the creatures had to be larger and
more unusual. Before they left, a white van pulled up to the cabin, and the driver began
unloading cooler after cooler. The investors said that they had brought the DNA of certain
animals and wanted them to be combined into one animal.
As I unpacked the coolers I found the labeled DNA very disturbing. There were five
coolers in all, labeled with each different animal. There was a Bengal Tiger, an African
Tree Frog, an American Fruit Bat, a centipede and a biohazard cooler labeled radon.
As I sat at my computer, trying to find possible matches to string all these animals
together, I began to imagine what the creature would look like, but I wasn’t able to find a
suitable picture in my head. After two weeks I finally had found the necessary chains in the
DNA to combine the four creatures into one. I assumed that the Radon was the substance
that would best incubate the specimen during growth because the previous experiments by
the government also used a toxic chemical to speed up the mutation process.
Once I combined the restructured DNA with the Radon, I placed the embryo with the
new DNA into a reinforced steel cage, and sealed it with a clear plastic, developed by NASA
for use in the space shuttles. The cage was built at the request of the investors by a former
NASA engineer. I expected an incubation period of at least a month, which was the average
gestation period of the four animals. Quite horrifically though, the creature became full
grown in just six hours. It was the most revolting