The Things We Do For Love
Dr. Baker walked into the waiting room and called for the couple
there to enter into his office. The young man and woman followed him
into the office and sat down in the chairs Dr. Baker pointed out
"Neither of you have ever had a gene scan before, have you?" Dr.
"I never had to until now, now that I'm getting married." Sally
"And the orphanage did not believe in them. Any other orphanage
in Canada would have gene scanned a foundling, but the evangelical
fundamentalists had quite a bit of influence there up until the
Second War. That was always trouble for me...I was rather liberal,
and that was not appreciated there." John Roe added.
"Is there a problem?" asked Sally.
"OK, look...the best thing I can do is just show you what the
situation is here." Dr. Baker said. "One." and a string of 23 pairs
of blobs appeared, suspended in the air. "Two." produced a string
of 20 pairs of blobs, then "Three." created a string of 21 pairs.
Finally, "Four." added another line of blobs in 21 pairs, the first
pair being much longer than the others.
"The first genotype is yours, Miss Harper. The second is the
genotype of a certain animal, the third that of a mammaloid with
that animal as its ur-species. The fourth is *your* genotype,
"What are you saying...that I'm not human!?" John replied
"I'm sorry. The first pair of chromosomes are what are called
the 0, Z, or Zed chromosomes. They are artificial chromosomes
that contain the bulk of the modifications that transform a
mammal into a mammaloid. The "normal" mammaloid looks like a
bipedal version of its animal ancestor. But someone has created
a version of the 0 chromosome that is much more extensive than
any I have seen before. Its expression almost swamps that of the
original species, leaving the phenotype virtually indistinguishable
from a human being. But genetically, Mr. Roe, you are a mammaloid.
In this case, a ferret."
"But that doesn't make sense! How could you do something like
that in secret? It took a major military project of the old U.S.
to create the mammaloids in the first place, and entire factories
to make new ones."
"As the technology progressed, that was no longer true.
Two hundred years ago, Moore's Law put computers into private hands,
and molecular nanotechnology has repeated that for many other
"Will we be able to have children?" asked Sally.
"You are not the same species. Sorry."
Zeta Oren-45 Lutra paced nervously back and forth. The young
couple fidgeted nervously themselves.
"Why do you want to see us, Zeta, sir?"
"I have heard of your...uh...problem. I have, uh, a proposal
for you to consider. You have doubtlessly heard rumors that we
are able to change people from one species to another. I can
confirm that these rumors are true. I would advise you not to
advertise this, if you refuse my proposal...although it will
soon become common knowledge anyway. Your performance in the
Second Human War has convinced even some of us that humanity
no longer poses a threat to our future plans; but I cannot
vouch for what would happen to you if you reveal our activities
'There are basically two populations of mammaloids on the Moon.
The mammaloids who descended from the crew of the old Moonbase,
and the descendants of the survivors of the Koŝmarego on Earth.
There is a disagreement between them as to what to do with the
Human Race. One extreme wants you annihilated, and the other
wants to create a Civilization of all our species as equals."
"I see. I suppose someone who had survived that genocide
would hate humanity and want us dead. But the lunar mammaloids
are want to cooperate with us?"
"No. Both my parents survived the Koŝmarego only because
a few humans, at the peril to their own lives, protected them.
Almost every mammaloid left on Earth at the end of the First
Human War owed their lives to such humans. The mammaloids
on the Moon smashed the greatest military superpower human
history had ever seen by their own actions. They are the ones
who paint all mankind with the same brush
'However, the extremists views were weakened after the Second
Human War. There was a huge scandal when it leaked out that
the asteroid that took out part of Australia was diverted
by our leadership to strike the Earth (another bit of data it
might be wise to keep to yourselves, if you reject the offer
I plan to make) and that the riots that broke out after
that impact were fomented by mammaloid agents here on Earth.
The Alpha, and the Betas, Gammas and Deltas had grown tired
of just containing Homo Sapiens to the Earth and wanted a
final solution to the human problem...species cleansing.
But we tell ourselves that, unlike you, we fight fair. That is
the reason we accepted your surrender, which we did not expect
or even want you to give, when we could have burned your
species into oblivion in a few hours...or even vaporized
the planet, with the power of the sun's 4 million tons
of energy a second."
"But this 'proposal'...you could make me fully human, so
Sally and I could wed and -"
"No...that is not something we are going to do. But we have
been changing some of your species into mammaloids, and
studying their reactions. Since we have been using the most
viciously speciesist humans for these experiments, the reactions
have tended to be rather...unfavorable. Some of us would like to
see what would happen if a few humans were transformed who were
*not* fiery bigots. If, for example, we turned both of you
into mammaloid ferrets. You would be anatomically and genetically
ferret mammaloids - only some brain pathways would remain as
they are now, so that your memory is not disrupted."
John and Sally looked at each other a moment and nodded.
Then they followed Oren-45 toward their new life.
DRIZZLE DRAZZLE DRUZZLE DROME
TIME FOR THIS ONE TO COME HOME