TWoM




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By: Sandy Parsons

Re: Peon Extraction Task

To XLTD319: After completion of the preliminary studies regarding extraction of the dominant species of Object-Er99 it has been suggested that a modification be made to the usual process of acquisition via tachyon-to-DNA transfer, as an interesting observation has been made regarding the interspecies relations among the denizens of Object-Er99. The highest ranked species of that planet, and therefore the most desirable for addition to our slave market, has shown a fascinating reciprocal interaction with a lower ranked species.

I submit you to examine doc 113A for a ranking of the viable species on Object-Er99, and to note that this remarkable subgroup is not the second most viable choice (not even in the top ten). The committee suggests that we target this subpopulation instead of the usual tachyon-to-DNA transfer of subjects to the slave cycle, and attempt to distribute these objects according to the uses as they have been selected for in their current habitat. The following illustrations may be of help. Fig. A: Joy feedback loop, as demonstrated by visual and tactile cues. Fig. B: Highly refined nasal passageways allowing subject to find and present to the superior species, including, but not limited to, other species, such as lost offspring or lawbreakers, balls, discs, and femurs, and fungi often referred to as �tasty treats�. Fig. C: Acting as beast of burden and able to carry or pull items such as sleds, pickle jars, or casks of �tasty treats� (committee is unsure if this is the same item in liquid form as described in Fig. B)

The committee has found that the dominant species is quite dependent on subgroup17, and all Object-Er99�s societies contain examples of them. It is believed that they may not be able to function if the extraction takes place. We consider this not as a detriment to the project but as a necessary side effect to a most exciting possibility. XMNR1118

To XMNR1118: I have discussed the details with our leaders. They are concerned that the extraction of a lesser species upon which the highest species depends may suffer too greatly and therefore no longer be a viable as potential slaves. The leaders would like to know what guarantees can be given that the option to revert to the original plan could still take place if the subgroup17 experiment turns out to be a flop. I am sorry to put it in such terms, but the leaders were most adamant, and they reminded me frequently of the hive-mind fiasco from object 9W_x. However, if it is possible to extract only a portion of subgroup17, then I am sure that the project will get the go-ahead. I say this because I know that XLTD83 has already selected a member of subgroup17 with the very long ears and stubbed appendages. XLTD319

To XLTD319: It is with sadness that the committee cannot make that guarantee. The tachyon-DNA process targets a species in completeness. It is not possible to isolate a portion of DNA signatures. I�m afraid it�s the whole kitten caboodle or nothing, to coin a phrase from Object-Er99. XMNR1118

To XMNR1118: The leaders have decided that the risk is acceptable. Please proceed. XLTD319

To XMNR1118: Sorry it�s been so long since I�ve given you the honor of my words. The subgroup17 project has been a remarkable success. I cannot describe to you the great emotion that my very own line of subgroup17 allows me. In only twenty-three subgroup17 generations, we have been able to modify them so that they tolerate our whistles. My little buddy even performs better at removing tentacle leather than my mate ever was. My moltings are now the envy of the clutch and take a fraction of the time.

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About the Author

Sandy's fiction has been published in Escape Pod, Luna Station Quarterly, Nth Degree, the anthology Unparalleled Journeys, Tabard Inn, The World of Myth, and Everyday Fiction. She has degrees in molecular biophysics and medical science. Sandy works as an anesthetist in Georgia and spends the rest of her time writing, reading, playing video games and working as an associate editor at Escape Pod. Sandy is a member of SFWA . Find more information and links to stories at www.sandyparsons.com.
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