by Rich Hanes
This novel is about how the US started creating talking animal people.
*** Prologue ***
"...and thanks for your call, let's go to wild card line one. Scott in Arizona, you're on the air with The Night Watchman, good morning."
"Good morning, Bruce, it's an honor to be on your show, first time caller, long time listener, how are you tonight?"
"I'm quite well, thank you, what's on your mind?"
"Uh, Bruce, I've got some highly-incriminating evidence that the United States military is in the process of conducting classified experiments at a massive secret installation."
"Well Scott, we've long suspected such. What sort of experiments are we talking here?"
"Things involving... uh, transgenics, teleportation, directed-energy weapons, faster-than-light transportation, psionics--"
"More like mind reading. Remote viewing, clairvoyance, things like that. They're also working on holographics, advanced materials..."
"Yeah, they've got this... it's like an alloy, only it's resistant to heat up to ten thousand degrees, and it's a hundred times stronger than titanium."
"Very impressive stuff, you'd... mentioned transgenics?"
"Transgenics, yes, Bruce."
"What sort of...?"
"They're, uh, turning animals into people."
"Oh, they are? What sort of animals?"
"Canines, mostly. Some domestic, some wild. There's wolves, too, and foxes--"
"So American scientists, under government orders, are creating little... fluffy people?"
"They're not all little, Bruce. The foxes are only about five feet tall, but some of the wolves are over seven, they walk on two legs, and some of them have even been taught English."
"For what purpose?"
"Super-soldiers. To fight the Soviets."
"Hmm. Perhaps, but I wonder if they'd hesitate before using them on American citizens. There's only so many communists."
"I hadn't thought of that. It's even scarier when you find out they've also got, uh, secret ex-Nazi scientists--"
"There are no ex-Nazis, Scott, once you become one, you never--"
"Yeah, sorry, my mistake. Nazi scientists from South Africa, working on--"
"Yeah, they're smarter than they look."
"Why the South Africans?"
"In exchange for their... unique genetics expertise, we've been giving the Apartheid regime military and financial aid to oppose the Angolan communists. South Africa would've collapsed if we weren't propping them up. They brought some of their tougher African species over, they're assisting our scientists at this installation, doing crimes against... nature. They call it Project Genesis."
"Charming name. Where is this installation, Scott? New Mexico? Nevada?"
"It's, uh, it's in another galaxy."
"The teleportation equipment isn't very precise yet, they're working on it, the best they could find was a habitable planet in another galaxy. They teleported an advance team in and some Army Corps of Engineers and built a massive facility, I'd guess it to be over a billion dollars of our taxpayer money."
"I see. So the U.S. military is turning animals into talking super-soldiers at a secret government installation in another galaxy?"
"That's correct, Bruce."
"Uh huh. You said you had incriminating evidence?"
"I've got photographs of the people involved, the project buildings, the experiments--"
"Yeah. I've also got some un-censored documentation signed by high-ranking government officials authorizing the program."
"Really? How high-ranking are we talking here?"
"I see... well, um, that's quite a charge, Scott, thanks for your call. Good luck with your investigation, and I hope you turn over something we can use to prove what the military is really up to. Let's go to our... east of the Mississippi line, Dennis from West Virginia, you're on with Bruce Madigan."
"Hello, Bruce! Fantastic show, I listen every night. I'm calling to tell you about a Bigfoot sighting I had about two weeks ago down near the Guyandotte River."
"By all means, go ahead..."