Chapter 9 : Differences Noticed

“Interesting! There is an obvious struggle for supremacy. The larger and more violent one should have drawn the female and won the conflict. And yet, the weaker male did not back down in the face of certain danger and potential loss of wealth. Thus he wins the conflict.”

“This is all very interesting, but we have documented this numerous times and thoroughly tested it under multiple scenarios. What does this teach us that we did not already know?”

“Yes, but the larger one has already begun the transformation. His cranium has started thickening and his brain has begun changing in chemistry as well as structure. His language centers are becoming depressed and the aggressive attributes have been amplified by the stimulation and growth of certain regions of the frontal lobe. His opponent, on the other hand, is showing a slight increase in cranial space and synaptic response. His emotional centers do not seem to be changing much at all. In short he is not becoming an aggressive and he is not becoming a passive. He is unaltered emotionally, and yet, he faced down an aggressive without any sign of retreat.”

“What are you saying? Is this ‘STRAY’ of yours somehow turning into a new category of aggressive? We already know that they are stratified based on the remaining intellect after their transformation. This would just be a more advanced form.”

“You are missing a key detail Sir. I know I am only a lowly acolyte, but it seems to me that the emotional centers should be changing by now. You can see from the cameras that he has been eating for fifteen minutes and has consumed enough of the crystal component to make his tissues begin full transformation even if he were not already saturated with the viral component. The saturation of his tissue with the viral component should have an accelerating effect. I suspect that there is an unforeseen mutation in the viral code that was delivered via whatever caused his initial exposure.”

“I see. Acolyte Cervince, what do you suggest we do then? Should we abort this very expensive experiment and tell the Primary Investigator that he must halt his schedule based on the musings of a mere acolyte? Maybe you would also like to see me put myself willingly into a tissue recycling unit so I can be converted into a large dog for your amusement. You realize that the PI will have worse than that done to me if I ask him to modify the plan based on your less than impressive conjecture?

“No, we will observe. If this subject does not turn out as we expect, we can always wipe his mind and leave him to die at the hands of the aggressives.”

“Yes Researcher. I will do as you say.”

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