“Did you hear about Martha? Apparently, her miniature bengal gave her a nasty bite during bathtime,” Janine said while sipping her tea and stroking the mane of her giraffe. She set her cup down on the end table, and the giraffe strained its neck to try and lick out of the cup, but it only managed to clink it against its saucer before Janine could shoo it away.
“Dreadful, absolutely dreadful. I told her that they hadn’t engineered the wildness out of the predators yet. If the time it took them to make Smoochiekin here is any indicator, it will be at least another decade before they fix that,” Lydia said. She rubbed her nose against Smoochiekin’s trunk like an aunt coddling a young nephew or niece.
Chimes echoed through the manor, and Janine’s giraffe scrambled and hid in a pile of blankets on its bed.
“Ah that must be Rita. Apparently, she has a surprise for us,” Janine said. Lydia clapped with laughter, she had not seen a new variant in over a year.
Janine swung open a massive door and revealed Rita standing on her doorstep clutching a black pet carrier bag. “Rita, so lovely to see you again. Do come in, we can join Lydia in the living room,” Janine’s eyes scanned the bag, trying to peer through the shadowed mesh to get a peek as to what it contained.
Rita noticed Janine’s gaze. “Would you like a peek? Before Lydia?” Rita said with a devious smile.
It took all of her will, but Janine was able to keep composure, “Why, that would be lovely!” unfortunately, a squeak of excitement punctuated her sentence. This only made Rita’s grin grow even wider.
“Careful now, it’s quite skittish,” lacquered nails found the zipper and went about slowly opening the panel of fabric. Rita could have gone faster, but she was enjoying being in the spotlight for once.
Composure left Janine’s world like a rocket ship breaking through the atmosphere. “Is… Is… Is that a Dodo?” the tiny bird squawked as if saying ‘why, yes, of course,’ Rita remained silent. She knew Janine too well.
“But they were extinct before the preservation started!” Janine immediately fired off, “There’s no way you could have found living DNA, this is a fake!” she tried to tug at its beak, hoping to reveal a pigeon but it clicked at her hand instead. “And how did you get it?” she nearly screamed.
Rita began to explain the new process her lab had been experimenting with, and something about compression algorithms, and a few other things, but Janine was ignoring every word. She would not allow being shown up like this, especially by Rita.
“… But they’re still debating the ethics of it all, so we can’t make another for…” Rita was interrupted by Janine bumping into her bag, as if she had suddenly lost her balance on the absolutely stable floor.
“Whoops,” Janine said with devious affect. The bottom of the pet carrier fell open, unzipped by some deft handiwork, and the dodo fell out and landed with a squawk. Rita scrambled to pick it up, but it was too late, and the bird was already halfway across the lawn, heading for some knee-high bushes.
“Apparently there’s still some kinks to work out?” Janine called to Rita as she watched her sprint off after the tiny bird.
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