Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Slow Way (John & Joann, 2)

The two of them stomped out to the kennels at the rear of the property, which were housed in an industrial-sized warehouse overshadowed by large trees, which were the only things that kept it from standing out like a sore thumb. Inside, the cacophony of a great many dogs in a relatively small space came to life, and hit John and Joann like a wave, seconds after the click-closing of the door behind them.

Most of the space was given over to living quarters for the dogs, who, of all shapes and sizes, were mostly allowed to co-mingle. Occasionally, the Rockefellers would adopt one with dog-aggressive tendencies, and they had separated runs for those, keeping them apart without drastically limiting their space.

This way their life's ambition: to reverse the destructive genetic engineering of the last millennia, and recreate the classic dog. More dog, less health problems.

They could have done it the fast way, giving birth to the ideal genetic structure in a lab out of test tubes and petri dishes; they even had the workspcae, technology, and know-how to do it. What could have been the hard work of a couple of years of cold lab-time, instead was a lifetime of joyous companionship.

Dogs in and of themselves didn't fare well under the drugs manufactured from handheld synth kits, partially due to the intense specialization and brutalization of their genetic lineage already, and partially because it interfered with their natural loyalty and affinity with humankind. The few ill-advised attempts resulted in dogs who burned out within a couple of years from conflicting mental pressures.

It was John's hypothesis that a true mutt, of which hadn't existed since the early eighteenth century, would be able to handle the drugs, but it was so far unproven. They weren't even close, after twenty-odd years.

The lab space doubled as vetrinary facilities, allowing them to take in all sorts of dogs from all sorts of situations, rehabilitate them, and introduce them into their general population. When it wasn't being used by the animals, it was being used for them, running breeding simulations to recombine the genes across the wide range of breeds. Much of the Rockefellers' new generations were the product of the programs, but they still allowed breeding to occur naturally within their population.

For all their readily available aceess to tech, they still liked doing some things the old fashioned way.

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