Title: The Katbeasts of Necropolis
Ratings/Warnings: PG-13 for violence
Summary: Based in the Necropolis Verse of Rookie Mistakes. Katbeasts have been created as genetic pets.. The only thing people didn't count on was the fact of how the tiny, fluffy cublings decided to grow
Disclaimers: Characters Enzo and Sgt. Flag belong to lilmissmaya, Viktor mentioned belongs to Batneko. Other characters are created and copyright KS Claw
It was a genetic miracle, that some kind of company had spent a solid fortune on. What they had planned, no one knew. But the result had what was supposed to be a new pet miracle.
They called them Katbeasts.
The DNA was combined by a computer from different unknown sources. Rumors said nonsense about DNA from some odd excavation having been found or bacterias from outer space being played around with, but either way, the result had been these feline creatures after having experimented with different fostermothers of other predators. The most successful one had been a tigress with the name "Tiara", who was owned by an eccentric rich woman, had proclaimed she wanted the first creature should the birth be successful. When Tiara gave birth to 7 healthy cublings, more tigers where used for the project, and a babyboom of cublings began.
The cublings came in a variety of colors really. Some where completely black, others completely white or brown or goldenfurred. Sometimes these colors were combined in large splotches or smaller spots, others in stripes, and sometimes an interesting combination. Eyes where different too, ranging from red to green, and though they had the peculiar case of having no pupils, it was quickly found out that they where doing quite well. In fact, they where doing more than well, being proved to have quite superior senses of sight, hearing and smell. Tiaras owner was especially thrilled when she found out just how *soft* a cubling was, and she claimed her own, a little female that she named "Emerald", because the cubling had such green eyes.
Soon, it was indeed all the rage in pet fashion, and there was talk of an entire campaign moving first from Necropolis and outwards. Perhaps Paris next? London? First however, they where for the most part successfully placed with plenty of the rich moguls of Necropolis. Some of them, like Edgar Rock of Ironside Industries gave a polite no thank you. He had recently adopted 2 boys, he said, and he wanted time to adjust to his new family before anyone could consider a pet. The rest spoke of how they adored their little darlings, and posed with them on magazine covers and on television and even in webcasts on the internet. And it was all so well and good for a while.
Then, the cublings began to grow.
The changes weren't noticed at once. At first it was just noted how the cublings demanded more food than their tiger mothers had, so people set up a bottlefeeding program, having found that goats milk contained just the right proteins that the cublings needed, and about 2 months later it was found out that the cublings where able to eat solid food, and thereby giving their tiger mothers and the bottle handlers a solid break. A perfect development, some of the owners thought, as it gave them an excuse to pamper the heck out of their 'darlings'. And the cublings ate. They were given a solid protein diet at first, consisting of different varieties of red meat, fowl, fish and so on. One owner went as far as to try and give their beast ordinary dry dogfood. "Because frankly.." He said to a scientist who had tried to object. "It's really just the same." He woke up one night to find the cubling had dived into the barrel containing the dogfood and sat gnawing at it contently.
The cublings continued to grow.
About 7 months after the cublings had been born, a male was weighed and the scientist doing so was shocked to find it about the same weight as a halfgrown grizzly bear cub, and he strongly adviced the owners that maybe they should cut down in the feed. As scientists knew better, the owners did so, concerned about their pets becoming too overweight. Those worries could soon be grinded to a halt, when tests showed the cublings where incredibly fast. One of the owners had taken his cubling along to the greyhound track, which almost turned disastrous when the start went and the fake rabbit set off. Horrible confusion and chaos reigned when people spotted some dog-sized shape leaping out from the podiums and set after the fake rabbit, and then got followed by a man who yelled at the creature to stop. This got the greyhounds to run around in confusion, some of them just sitting down on their tails and looking dazzled as if to say 'what just happened!?' It all ended when the creature sped up, running right past the finishing mark and set off the speed marker which caused the man reading it to drop his jaw. He quickly wrote it down so he wouldn't forget it. Meanwhile, the halfgrown cubling proudly returned, now showing off the torn apart fake rabbit to its master, who had been forced to stop when half way, wheezing for breath. No one bothered to listen at first, when the eccentric rich woman complained that her baby Emeralds coat wasn't as soft as it had been when younger.
1 year old was when people realized something was not right. Scientists finally calculated that the reason the cublings ate alot was because they where not done growing. Yet.
But then what, the owners demanded to know. What if those things never stop growing? They'll eat us out of our homes! How big will they get!? The scientists told them that they would just have to wait and see, and take their different means of caution in the meantime. Declawing, feeding regularly (as there was nothing worse than a large animal gone hungry) and regular tests. And the newspapers wrote of the developments, of how it was claimed just how damn much things had been screwed up. Some wrote about the startling new discoveries made, of just how *smart* some of the katbeasts where told to be! One had been given the typical "place the right shape through the right hole" test, and after just sitting there and staring from the blocks to the box with the holes. It sniffed at the holes, then took one block and after staring thoughtfully half a minute, it put the block in the right hole, and then began to do the same with the other blocks. Where a chimpanzee maybe did this in a span of perhaps an hour, or a pig perhaps in half, the katbeast only took 15 minutes.
The scientists figured that the reason behind the furcoats getting rougher, was in the DNA of the Katbeasts, a way for them to fend themselves better against the rougher elements. Emeralds owner didn't care. The woman tried everything, from the ordinary animal shampoos and conditioners, to recipes she made her staff cook up. The scientists tried to warn her, that frankly it was like human people getting plastic surgery to fight against a common enemy: Time. The cublings where growing up, and it wasn't something you could stop. But the woman refused to believe, refused to *listen*.
Emerald was a clever creature. She knew her mother, Tiara, was not a favourite of her owner anymore. Tiara had pretty much been forgotten, despite how she had been in the womans care since she had been a cub herself, and this made the older tigress cranky, and resentful towards Emerald. If the two felines had been able to speak in human tongue, there would have been no question that roofs would have been raised from the growls and hisses that equalled verbal argument between such creatures.
The katbeast wouldn't have minded to just be left alone. She didn't like those stupid, sticky liquids that made her stink, and she didn't like the food. It wasn't *real* food, said the primitive beast that was her instincts. Real food *moved*. Real food sprawled and bled when you bit into it. This.. This food smelled weird from all the socalled "vitamins" and "proteins" that was added to it, and more often than not, Emerald would go look for her own food. No one seemed to have noticed that the pigeon flock usually hogging the top garden had dwindled in numbers as of late.
And then disaster struck.
No one should have been surprised. The katbeast Emerald was, in the end, an animal just like any other. Animals had their own way of reacting to things. But the older she and the other cublings got and thereby got declared to be adolescents, the rougher their coats got, and the more she got treated with different shampoos and conditioners. Tiara, tired of being ignored, had attacked Emerald out of nowhere and the two large felines had fought. Neither of course had any fighting experience, but even as the humans struggled to seperate the two of them, with the woman screaming her head off in fear for the safety of both her pets and rage at what was happening, the humans had all forgotten an important thing.
Just because someone has no experience, it does not mean they don't have the instinct.
At one point, Tiara got on her hind legs, raising a front paw to swat the adolescent katbeast. Emeralds instinct called out to her that this was her chance, and she pounced! Tackling the tigress, she nailed the fullgrown tiger to the floor and bit down. Tiara let out a pained roar, ecchoing the horrified screech from the woman who then passed out. At the same time, Tiara passed away, her beautiful fur stained a hideous crimson. Emerald dropped her with a 'thump' that was muffled by the previously white carpet. She looked around, blood dripping from her muzzle and saw how everyone stared at her, terrified from what they had witnessed. It had gone so *fast*!
She lowered her head, her ears drooped as she let out a pitiful whine. She was hurt, she was tired, and she wanted to be left alone. Somehow, they lured her into the room that she had known for the past year as her sleeping den where she lay down in her basket, exhausted from her first fight.
It wouldn't be her last.
The scientists where called in of course. The medias where having an absolute field day, and almost everywhere the moguls who had katbeasts where in a panic. Almost. Because not everyone were like the woman who had started the craze, and so they all did the simple thing and proclaimed her insane for having doubted the instincts of a born predator.
"You can't just breed away instinct." A scientist, doctor Michael Curtis said in an interview. "And you can't breed nature to perfection. This whole madness started, just because Emerald was being treated like a pampered poodle instead of what she truly is. A large feline predator!"
"Do you think she might have thought of attacking her owner next, or any other humans?" The interviewer asked, and the scientist shook his head firmly.
"Absolutely not. When we picked her up, Emerald was upset by all of this, but she did not try and attack any of us. Once we had the mad woman out of the way, Emerald was calm and as harmless as she was when she was a baby. But there are so many things going on for her! She and the other katbeasts are still growing. They are pretty much the equal to human teenagers right now, and that starts up alot of confusing things for them. We don't know exactly when they'll reach full maturity, but for now they are still growing."
"What do you plan on doing with them now? I know plenty of the moguls deemed the creatures dangerous.. Will they be put down or do you have different settlements?" Curtis gave a pissed off snort.
"Put down!? Absolutely not! They can't help that humans always will have idiot tendencies to underestimate nature! No.. We are setting up for them to be moved to a more natural environment. While that is getting set up, we will work on getting the katbeasts ready to face nature. They need to learn how to fear humans so we won't bother them, though we will monitor them regularly." He sighed, leaning back in his chair.
"The least we can do is make sure they get a decent life the way they are meant to be. Wild and in nature.. Not glamorous *pets*! Even now I wonder what motivated me to perform that insane idea.."
"Do you regret creating these creatures, doctor?"
"I only regret that some of the people who signed up to become owners turned out to be such idiots."
It was thankfully not the case for everyone. The man who had first seen his cubling run on the greyhound track was now earning money on the side as a hobby, with having his katbeasts and a few others get rid of their steam by having them run the tracks. It had it's excellent part in the training program, as it helped the katbeasts to learn how to chase a prey rather than having them wing it with their instincts. People had fun with watching the katbeasts sped down the tracks. The katbeasts enjoyed themselves too, among themselves having competitions for fun.
Others found greater use for the talents and sizes of the Katbeasts. At Blue Corp, the leader Giarbaldi had found that Katbeasts still growing or not, made an excellent security force. As it often was, rivalling companies made it a habit to either try and sneak in and steal secrets, and other times they would outright attack. In the time he had Vino, the cubling had not only turned out to have an excellent sense of smell (he could *always* tell when the tall man had a snack for it in the form of a biscuit), and when he had been little he would always start to yap furiously whenever someone he didn't recognize was around. As he got older, he identified certain smells and could tell the difference between friend (Enzo, Viktor, Viktors lover, employees of Blue Corp and so on) and enemies, such as Sergent Flag who once in a while seemed to find it appropriate to pop up at the most undignified hours.
The final result of that had been, that despite the media disaster surrounding the katbeasts, Enzo decided he would keep Vino. In fact, he managed to get a hold of five more, totalling the amount to 6. Each of them where put in a security team and where other katbeasts got trained to handle themself in nature, these received the same training that fitted any kind of security dog. Because the five cublings where from the last born litter of the project, they where also very young and thereby very good at adapting themselves to their new environments and the training program. Vino had at once proven himself to be a worthy alpha of the small pack, being the oldest by one year and 4 months, while the others had only just reached the 6 months mark. Vino was the size of a large mastiff by now, while the rest naturally where smaller. The two males where named Samson and Conan, while the females where Nemain, Fea, and Anann. Each team took great care of their own beast, and in return the creatures turned out to be fiercely loyal to their teammates (or rather, Enzo thought, their 'packmates').
6 months passed, and the katbeasts who where not kept by the few unafraid moguls of Necropolis, where ready to be shipped to their new home. They would all be transported, first out to the airport by truck and from there they would be flown to Canada that had the best wild areas for the creatures to roam in the reservation made for them. Each katbeast, who beforehand had gotten a meal wherein there had been a calming pill that would help them relax on the trip, where led into giant carrier crates (they where by now the size of very large dogs, and *still* growing), and the transportation trucks where closed up before they set off.
Traffic was always completely insane in Necropolis, one driver thought. But today was just *insane*! Luck would of course have that it was also raining, and raining *alot*. He frowned as he could hear the katbeasts in the back of the truck, rumbling and growling in their own kind of language. He could also tell they where shuffling around in their crates, and wondered if they where doing alright.
"Don't you worry, ladies and gentlemen!" He called out to them. "We'll be at the airport soon and from there it won't be so bumpy." He turned his head back to the road, and then *yelled* out when a random guy (probably some random asshole idiot tourist) suddenly just ran out, apparently having decided that he wanted to take the chance of crossing the street alone! The result of that particular stunt was that the truck driver swerved the truck to try and avoid the moron, who simply just.. disappeared? The driver gritted his teeth as he tried to bring the truck back under control, but the wet pavement wouldn't grip the tires. Around him, he heard the cacaphony of the katbeasts in the back who where all howling and bellowing, but wether it was in fear or in rage, he couldn't say.
There was a sickening crunching sound from his spine when the other truck crashed into him, having been unable to avoid the disaster. He didn't hear himself cry out in pain, but that was mostly because he was deafened by the blood roaring in his ears. And then the world turned upside down and the truck slid for a few feet, before coming to a stop. The driver could see the other truck had been just as unlucky and had crashed into a store (which was no surprise, as they where at Some Street) and he squinted through the blood running into his eyes from a wound in his cheek. He thought he saw.. yes. Yes, he could see the katbeasts running now. The cages had probably been sprung open from the crash, and they where now following their most basic instincts: Flee from whatever was causing pain and fear, which they with no doubt felt plenty of right now.
The driver moaned softly, as he felt his eyes close.. He was so sleepy now, and he could tell the katbeasts would probably be safe... So he would just sleep now..
The darkness took him, and he welcomed it.
Not all the cages had sprung open, but that had just proved that katbeasts where also very sturdy. Those still in the cages where shook up but mostly unharmed, and only one had been so badly injured it had to be put down. But there was only so much you could do for a creature who had gotten injured so badly, it could be only be proclaimed braindead. Others had naturally fled as soon as they saw the opportunity, confused and afraid by the events. They had run in all directions and disappeared in the depts of the large city. Plenty of people believed that the city itself wanted to prove that you didn't *just* leave it or take it's inhabitants, be they human or something else, away from it.
The lab set in, helping the authorities however they could, rescuing the few remaining katbeasts and others who where nearby. The katbeasts proved no danger to the human population, as some showed up merely hours after the accident. Shaken up, sometimes a little banged up, but otherwise unharmed. A few had been found dead, mainly from internal injuries again gained from the accident, though one had been found in one of the more darker neighbourhoods with a cut throat. No one had any doubt just what had happened, as a frightened animal was unpredictable. But of course, no one said anything. One of the lab personnel had commented on that he had felt eyes staring at them when they had removed the large body of the poor creature. The rescued katbeasts where treated for their injuries, and when they where deemed healthy, they where sent onward to the reservations, and this time without any troubles.
What was otherwise left of the katbeasts of Necropolis, people let be. Most of the inhabitants of Necropolis where intelligent enough to know when to avoid such beasts, and otherwise they followed an otherwise natural instinct that followed any living creature: Just stay out of a predators path, and you hopefully won't be it's next meal.
And if anyone found a katbeast and they kept it, or rather it kept them, the laboratories set up a website with information about things you could do, and contact information should the katbeast be injured in one way or the other. Through the next months as a result, people called in to tell about katbeasts they had seen in their neighbourhoods and if they should do something about it. They where informed about different solutions, the following being an excerpt from the website:
1: Katbeasts are large predators, and as they are currently still growing without any knowledge of the age for their full maturity, they have the possibility of becoming even bigger than they already are.
2: Though they have yet to be known to hurt a human, katbeasts can be unpredictable. They will attack anything they find to be a threat to them,
3: Katbeasts will eat just about anything edible. Don't set out poisons of any kind! It *will* be considered animal cruelty and the ones responsible for using poison or other harmful methods will be persecuted.
4: Be cautious about letting your own pets run loose. Aggressive dogs might provoke for an attack, and no responsability will be held for any damages caused by this.
5: Should any katbeasts be found injured or dead, please contact us (information can be found under Contact Info). If the katbeast is injured, do not go near it. Wounded katbeasts can become very aggressive. IMPORTANT NOTE: If the katbeast comes to you with an injury, it is showing trust to humans and can be deemed harmless. Please contact us if you come across a katbeast with this kind of behavior.
In all of Necropolis, people had different sightings of Katbeasts. Some found completely young ones, and took them in or contacted the laboratories who then made certain the katbeasts where first given a good treatment and then taken off to the reservation in Canada.
Eventually, it seemed as if things just went quiet. And soon, the city of Necropolis returned to its usual routines. It just had a new set of inhabitants, that was getting used to a strange, new world. But Necropolis, as always, knew how to take care of its own.