The Things We Do For Love Tom Mazanec 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 for them. "Neither of you have ever had a gene scan before, have you?" Dr. Baker asked. "I never had to until now, now that I'm getting married." Sally Harper replied. "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, Mr. Roe." "What are you saying...that I'm not human!?" John replied incredulously. "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 developments since." "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 prematurely. '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' 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.