Jefratus Genius GM engineer

If you don't have a PhD in Genetic Engineering don't even bother.

Escape and protection from Liberators

Taken possession of the adapted Konficar and heading for the most dangerous environment - can't be any more dangerous than being pursued by unstoppable assassins, so I am going to convert marauders into my body guards by adjusting their bio-chemistry.

Slaughter!

All my colleagues have been murdered. I saw them - the shadows they appeared from nowhere. Its true they kill with crossbows of some kind. I didn't stay to check. It was obvious that they were tracking us by our security tags. I tore mine out and left the building. The other researchers never were very smart. A lobotomised worm would have seen the escape route.
I have been seeing visions of this and I know now what I must do. Those 'Liberators' are determined to kill everyone developing Companions. I don't know if they are Companion Rights Activists or killers hired by some deranged competitor, but my work has advanced so far that now I can break out on my own and introduce the greatest advance in genetically modified beings.

My perfect product - The Companion to be

The image inside the mind of Jefratus was of a 2 legged being about 1.2 metres tall, weighing approximately 50 kg, with an almost perfectly erect gait, a large elliptical head and wide brown eyes. The chest cavity and belly were larger to the front than on a similar size human, the legs somewhat shorter, and the skin was covered in a soft pale fur. When walking the being would roll slightly from side to side, and would sometimes sway, as if to fall. It had some difficulty rising from a sitting position and would half fall when moving from standing to sitting. The feet were large and paw-like. The hands had three fingers which could grasp and were used in eating, but which were not capable of detailed manipulation. Although not fertile the creature had sex organs but these were neatly recessed and not normally visible. The face consisted of silky fur over the forehead, a longer mane of fur on the top and back of the head reaching down to between the shoulders and the wide almond shaped eyes with dark lines on the edges of the lids. A short snout projected from between and below the eyes, covered in fine fur and ending in a black shiny nose. The ears were triangular and erect with just the ends folded over causing the fine hairs on the tips of the ears to hang down like tassles, but when distressed the entire ear would droop and sometimes catch in the mouth. The mouth, itself, had prehensile lips which would move and flex constantly as the head swayed slightly from side to side. The long red tongue would sometimes protrude and be held in the front of the mouth. The lips often seemed to smile. The general appearance was juvenile and adorable.
This image was fully developed in the mind of Jefratus, and had been so for the last 2 years even though the first pre-production examples of this new breed of Companion were only now reaching maturity. Their physical appearance was so close to his image that he was justifiably proud of the genetic and biological techniques that he had pioneered. What pleased him less was the low level of intelligence and the somewhat highly strung emotional behaviour which sometimes culminated in tantrums and dependency.
In the past Companions had been much more dog-like. No primarily erect walking Companions had seen commercial release and there was nothing on the market which had this breed's anthropomorphic appeal. Like most social breeds this one wanted physical contact, but it was sufficiently sensitive to not force itself on humans who needed solitude, however sometimes the prototypes would experience a burst of loneliness and fear that would drive them to cling to the nearest human with a grip that was fiercely strong. Another undesirable attribute was that male and female pairs seemed to demonstrate permanent bonding. They would, for example, curl-up together and sometimes snap at an approaching human. It was hoped that proper selection and training would screen out those most susceptible to this hysteria. ©

Colleagues, pah!

If an elite technician were to fail in his quest, and thereby lose his privileged, pampered position, he would be unlikely to know how to operate a food dispenser or buy a pair of shoes. These tasks did not clutter an elite brain which was too busy trying to imagine the corruption of data between the gene interlacing of the 3rd chromosome when tied to the manipulator. One of the elite had written a 30,000 page dissertation on the details of that subject plus supporting diagrams, 3D movies and data. The total work had been placed on a crystal and inserted into the brains of all of the elite technicians so that it was instantly available as natural extension memory which is so much faster than using an external database. The author of the work, suffering from the sense of pointlessness that often follows the successful completion of a major work, took, during a fire drill, an emergency axe and tried to remove the implant from his own brain by swinging the axe against his skull. His judgement of angle and force required was remarkably accurate and he did indeed manage to sever the connection while only removing a small section of his natural brain, plus some skull sections and his right ear. He had remained conscious long enough to place the implant into the shredder. He was sent on an expenses paid holiday under corporate supervision. His ear was never found. ©

The ideal Companion

The ideal Companion would be warm, loving, forgiving, intelligent, gentle, and strong. It would not worry or become distressed and it would constantly support and adore. It would never leave and never die and it would sense the needs of its ward and adjust to them. I desperately wanted to bring such a creature into the universe, and I was theoretically on the edge of understanding how to do this. There were some fourteen things that I did not understand, but I felt that they were interconnected and just a moment out of reach. My fingers stretched towards the shadow and the tingle of the sense of powerful knowledge hidden behind a veil. Just there! So near. Please, a step forward. I have you! No, another cloud, not real. You are behind me, stalking the cat. Ready to pounce, and then I would waken and the stranger would scurry under the door and be lost again. ©