The days were growing shorter and the projects failure was becoming apparent. My
crew and I had been researching on a little island just south of Australia for over three
months, and we were making little progress. I was hired as the team leader for this excursion
by a private investor from some breakthrough zoo. The investor, a man by the name of
Henry Shrinton, asked me along with my crew to go down under to find new, unknown
animals. I found this request very unusual simply because my formal education had been in
DNA research, not biological hunts. Nevertheless, my grant from the University had run out
so I desperately needed funding. We had only found a new species of butterfly, and I feared
my return to the states with nothing to show of our three month stay. Our time was up,
however, and the crew and I left Australia disappointed and empty-handed.
At the airport in New York, I was greeted by Mr. Shrinton and a few of the other zoo
investors. They quickly hurried me into a stretched limousine, and then my life changed
forever. The investors asked me quite plainly if I would be willing to create their zoo for
them. At first I was unclear of the meaning, but quick clarification had me realizing the
enormous biological disasters such a project would generate. They wanted me to chemically
produce hybrids of different animal species.
My first thought was that such a thing was impossible, but they showed me research
and experiments done by the government that proved it was possible. The investors sensed
my unwillingness and placed a briefcase in my lap. I opened it and found stacks of neatly
wrapped bills. It had to have been at least ten million dollars. I was informed that the
briefcase was merely an incentive and if I was able to successfully create one of their
creatures, then the payoff would be even larger.
I reluctantly agreed, still doubting my ability to do any such project. The investors
all smiled, shook my hand, and then dropped me off at what would become my home and
office. It was a little cabin in the middle of nowhere. As I entered the cabin I was astonished
to find at least a 4000 square foot basement that had been totally converted into the most
advanced chemical lab I had ever laid eyes on.
I worked day and night on the project, trying combinations of simple structured
animals. After three weeks of work I had finally made a breakthrough. By chemically
restructuring the DNA of a frog and rat I had produced a tadpole with hair. I was very
pleased with the results, as were the investors. They informed me, however, that such a
animal wouldnt attract enough visitors. They told me that the creatures had to be larger and
more unusual. Before they left, a white van pulled up to the cabin, and the driver began
unloading cooler after cooler. The investors said that they had brought the DNA of certain
animals and wanted them to be combined into one animal.
As I unpacked the coolers I found the labeled DNA very disturbing. There were five
coolers in all, labeled with each different animal. There was a Bengal Tiger, an African
Tree Frog, an American Fruit Bat, a centipede and a biohazard cooler labeled radon.
As I sat at my computer, trying to find possible matches to string all these animals
together, I began to imagine what the creature would look like, but I wasnt able to find a
suitable picture in my head. After two weeks I finally had found the necessary chains in the
DNA to combine the four creatures into one. I assumed that the Radon was the substance
that would best incubate the specimen during growth because the previous experiments by
the government also used a toxic chemical to speed up the mutation process.
Once I combined the restructured DNA with the Radon, I placed the embryo with the
new DNA into a reinforced steel cage, and sealed it with a clear plastic, developed by NASA
for use in the space shuttles. The cage was built at the request of the investors by a former
NASA engineer. I expected an incubation period of at least a month, which was the average
gestation period of the four animals. Quite horrifically though, the creature became full
grown in just six hours. It was the most revolting creature I had ever seen, and its odor was
almost as bad as its appearance. I was quite intrigued, however, with the manner in which
all the animals had combined into one. The head of the animal was a triangular shape with
the chin coming to a point. It had two eyes on the top of its head which I attributed to the
frog DNA. Its ears were pointed and were placed on either side of the two frog eyes. Since
the ears were quite hairy and pointed, I imagined that they were the result of the bat DNA.
The mouth sat just above the chin and was filled with huge carnivorous teeth, much like a
tigers. The nose was one of the only features that couldnt be explained. It was positioned
correctly on the head, but it was very similar to the snout of a pig. My only theory was that
some of the DNA strands were contaminated with other animals. Strangely there was also a
single eye, about the size of the mouth, centered on the forehead just above the nose. I
imagined that this was the result of the toxic material. The head sat on top of a huge tiger
body that was supported by three pairs of legs. The multiple number of legs was the only
evidence that the centipede DNA successfully combined with the others. The usual black
tiger stripes were replaced with deep red stripes that seemed to encase the body. Even its
tail took on these unusual markings. This, I believed, was a combination of the normal tiger
markings and the markings of the African Tree Frog. On its back was a huge pair of
deformed bat wings. This was far beyond anything I could have imagined.
After observing it for a while, I determined that it predominately took on the tigers
characteristics. Its walk was that of a predator, and the additional legs seemed to add to its
agility inside the cage. Its frog eyes searched desperately for insects, but continually failed
at convincing its tiger tongue to catch them. I was curious as to whether the batwings were
functional or not, but I found their deformity far too severe to be able to function as wings of
Once the investors arrived at my lab they were as disgusted by the creature as I was.
They decided that such a creature would be far too repulsive to display, and asked that I
terminate the creature, along with my other experiments, immediately. I understood their
concerns, and frankly, was relieved with the prospects of once again enjoying a normal life.
I couldnt, however, discern how I should go about killing this creature that just 8 hours ago
had been nothing more than data on my computer. I determined that filling its cage with
lethal gas would be the easiest way to kill the animal while avoiding actual contact. The
investors stood by as I allowed the toxic fumes to engulf the creature in the cage. It quickly
fell to the floor. After fifteen minutes I began to clear the cage of its fumes. As soon as the
gas was cleared the creature darted to top of the cage and with one big swipe with its arm,
tore open the cage and flew out. My assumptions about the deformed wings had been
wrong. The wings had just not had time to dry out, much like a butterflies wings when it
first emerges from its cocoon.
The investors and I ran to a small lab in the back of the larger laboratory. We sealed
the door shut and looked at each other with astonishment. I stared passed the investors, into
the laboratory, in time to see the creature breakthrough the basement window and fly
towards the forest.
Mr. Shrinton was the first to break the silence. He declared that the best way to
handle the situation was to simply destroy any evidence that it ever happened. The other
investors nodded in agreement and breathed sighs of relief. I, on the other hand, began to
realize what I had done. The surrounding eco-system would be destroyed in a matter of days
if the creature were to be allowed to just kill freely. Its genetic make-up allowed for a diet
of nearly anything; rodents, bugs, cows; anything that a tiger, centipede, frog or bat would
eat, this creature would eat as well. Still, I was sworn to secrecy about any of the
experiments and their results.
I regret to say that my cowardliness, coupled with the extra 50 million dollars given
to me by the investors, has kept the truth from the world for over ten years now. Recently,
though, I have read reports of similar creatures being seen in the surrounding forests. I fear
that this creature may have somehow reproduced. If this is the case, then all people must be
warned of its capability. Unfortunately, I only have a few months to live due to the high
doses of radiation I exposed myself to during the experiments. Please inform the public of
this creature. They deserve to know. I cant keep this a secret anymore.