by Joe Nelson
A story of Panda's.
Dawn of the Panda.
By Joe Nelson.
Dedicated to the loving memory of Panda. My childhood teddy bear.
The clawing at the door was growing more intense. What had he done?
Dr. Lao Yun Woo, head of Panda fertility at Shanghai zoo was once considered a genius in the world of Panda research. The man tasked with saving the entire species from dying out.
There was a day, not long ago, when everyone loved Panda’s. Especially Dr. Woo. Panda’s, in fact, had been a lifelong passion of his. He loved to watch how parents would bring their children to the zoo and watch as the loveable black and white bears ate bamboo and rolled playfully on the grass. The way the baby Panda’s roared so cutely and snuggled up to their mothers. For all the evil in the world, he was proud that his life was spent preserving something truly good. Truly pure. What had he done?
The truth was, that Panda’s were dying out. Everyone knew they wouldn’t breed. They were fussy about their mates and most would die long before producing a cub. Something had to be done. Woo could feel his heart break at the prospect of a world without Panda’s. So he had acted. He would be the saviour of that particular species and his actions would be vindicated when the whole world thanked him.
The scratching at the door increased in intensity and Woo cowered underneath his office desk. He was alone in the room. Everyone else was dead. They had all been brutally ripped asunder by an onslaught of crazed beasts or had committed suicide at the prospect of death by Panda.
Looking back at the choices that had gotten him here, he realised he’d made a very big mistake. Maybe Panda’s were supposed to die out? Maybe they were like the dinosaurs, their time in this world had been and gone and the reason they were so docile was because they knew their end had come. Like an old man who has given up the fight and decided to enjoy his twilight years in peace and quiet.
The cocktail of experimental reproduction chemicals and illegal growth hormones that woo had administered to stop their imminent demise seemed to have driven them all to into insane rage. Woo knew he was to blame.
Six years ago he had enlisted the help of controversial biologist Dr. Wilhelm Krauss in developing a substance that would make Panda’s desire to mate skyrocket. Sort of like a Panda Viagra. The results were unprecedented.
Within months, over 90% of the female Panda population were pregnant. It was a miracle and Dr. Woo shot to world wide fame as the man who had saved the entire species from extinction.
Following their miraculous growth in numbers, Panda’s were transported to zoo’s across the world and before a year had passed almost every major zoo had a Panda enclosure to show off.
Things were looking up. Woo had received numerous interview offers, had written a book and been head hunted by some of the most lucrative companies in the world.
Then it started. The Panda’s didn’t stop growing. All were growing faster than normal due to the excessive use of growth hormones and what was worse, they were becoming violent with it. It was essentially Panda ‘roid rage.
Soon their famous reputation as cute and cuddly had been replaced with a reputation as frighteningly savage. In some cases Panda’s had grown as large as an army tank and had to be put down with shotguns. Panic about the increasingly feral Panda’s hit fever pitch when one wild Panda had found its way into a small mountain town and savagely massacred fourteen people before a police helicopter was able to take it down with its hull mounted minigun.
Of course, it may have been possible to ride out the Panda rage had they not been multiplying at an astonishing rate. The females were constantly in heat and were giving birth every couple of months to a pack of Pandas that would see maturity within 3-4 months due to the increased growth hormones. Before long the zoo’s could no longer contain them and Panda’s were running amok. The military was called in to combat the Panda threat, but it was no use. They bred so fast that soon they numbered in the millions. And they were everywhere. It was, as one enterprising young politician put it, ‘Pandocalypse.’
Dr. Woo wept as the scratching at the door became louder. He had only ever wanted to save the Panda’s. He supposed in a way he had saved them. But at the expense of humanity. Slowly, he lifted himself to the window and peered out. The street below was wall to wall Panda’s. It was like Romero’s Dawn of the Dead movies, but with Panda’s.
They were fighting and mating, rummaging through trash cans and tearing up cars. To his left a group of Panda’s were chewing up the remains of some poor sod who had gotten caught. Not far from that a female was giving birth to another small group of Panda’s who would no doubt grow up to be psychotic savages. It was a vision of hell. Panda Hell.
Woo shrieked in terror as the door finally splintered and burst. His heart pounding as he stared in horror at the sight before him. The large Panda at the door regarded its meal with hungry eyes and a slathering mouth.
“I only wanted to help you.” Woo screamed.
If the creature understood him then it gave no sign. The beast lunged at Woo, its gigantic jaws swallowing the scientists head and tearing it from his body in one violent movement.
In the end Woo had done a great deal for the creatures and his last act was to provide them with a satisfying meal.