Genetically Modified

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To build a perfect predator, its body has to be subjected to a variety of conditions. This was the premise of the science experiment on the interstellar vessel, Conja. It was a scientific star ship used to perform everything from planetary surveys to the effects of a body in deep space without a protective suit. Although the Ministry of Science often questioned the validity of the Conja's experiments, the data collected had always been used to enhance the species. The Alandra, mother-ship to the Conja, was conducting it's own survey of a nearby moon. While the crew of the Conja were experimenting with a predatory life form, the Alandra's crew were hard at work determining if Helium-3, the primary component of the engine core, could be extracted from the small body of rock.

The Conja took a position near a violent tempest of a planet. It was the second one closest to a star, which meant the surface temperatures would be extremely high. The thick cloud above the surface ensured that the heat from the star would be continuously amplified. Captain Jol'Redan had been searching for a planetary condition that was not too hot, but not cool either. The celestial body had to have a mixture of corrosive elements to ensure the experiment would be valid. In this case, it was the use of a predatory creature programmed to eradicate a specific species of life. This creature would have to be able to sustain itself in the most harsh of environments.

"This planet looks to be just about perfect." the Captain said to his helmsman. "Keep a geosynchronous orbit as we prepare the pod."

"As you wish, Captain." replied the helmsman who was busy tapping keys on his control panel.

"Doctor, is the subject about ready?" the Captain asked pressing a button on his chair to open communications within the ship.

"Yes, sir." came a reply from the intercom.

"Then proceed at your discretion."

Doctor Horga was responsible for this particular experiment. It was the study of specific temperate conditions on the biological systems of their creature. The ultimate goal was to modify future versions of the predator to safely adapt to hostile environments ranging from excessive amounts of heat to the corrosive nature of various chemical compositions. It was supposed to be their version of the perfect biological weapon, and virtually unstoppable.

The Doctor walked over to the cages holding several variations of their ideal predator. The bio scans were displayed on a nearby monitor for each individual unit. The creature stood approximately three feet tall. It's hind legs could give it support for standing upright, but it's body supported the ability to run with all four limbs. This gave it incredible speed, as observed when the first versions were used to run down some insignificant lifeforms on a nearby planet. At the end of each of its limbs were five, razor-sharp claws that could retract into the toes and fingers. It's mouth was much like that of a canine but lined with serrated teeth that could eviscerate anything it bit into. The eyes were genetically modified to pick out the weakest of prey from the greatest of distances. It's olfactory abilities surpassed that of most species of animal as it could smell its target from several miles away. In essence, it was the perfect killing machine.

Of all of the creature's abilities that have been genetically modified, it was the brain that was the most impressive. By stimulating certain areas within the lobes, Horga was able to enhance the ability to reason and problem solve when it came to its own survival. This was done to ensure the creature could out-think it's own predators. Because of the nature of these creatures, it was a unanimous decision to keep them sedated and immobilized by a stasis field until they were released.

Doctor Horga injected subject number six with a tranquilizer. Although the stasis field had still been erected, he didn't want to take any chances that the creature would awake during transit. If the creature regained consciousness while being sent to the planet, it could cause damage to itself within the drop pod. This would mean the experiment would have an immediate flaw.

Horga walked to one side of the room and grabbed a grav-sled. It was a table-like device that used anti-gravity technology to make it hover above surfaces. He was going to use this device to transport the creature to the pod room. As he disabled the stasis field, he suddenly got a cold chill down his spine. There was something different about this subject. As Doctor Horga walked closer to it, the creature's breathing began to slow. The breaths became more and more shallow. Then suddenly, the breathing stopped altogether.

"Perfect. The experiment is over before it even began." Doctor Horga said to himself. Assuming the creature was dead, he began to prepare subject number seven for the grav-sled. With his back turned to number six, he injected number seven with the same sedative.

A loud crash of equipment caused Horga to turn around. Number six was not in its cage. Fear gripped the scientist as he began to back himself towards the door of the lab. It was loose. The room echoed with a blood-curdling growl. Horga dropped the sedative injection device and ran for the door. Before he could push the communication button on the panel to call for help, his leg was pulled out from under him. Horga was quickly dragged into the darkness of the room like some kind of rag doll being pulled by a toddler. Before Horga realized what was going on, he felt the sting of metallic-like teeth insert themselves into his throat. As he tried to fight off the creature, he felt his life-force slipping away as the creature began to drain blood out of the defenseless scientist. Unable to call for help and frantically slugging the head of the creature, Horga's vision blurred and then went black.

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