Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m reaching into the future to the year 2135, and my very special guest is Fluffy the cat. “Welcome to the show, Fluffy.”
“Thank you very much, Lisa! I’m not used to this kind of attention.”
“Does this mean cats eventually take over the world?”
“Oh no! We don’t want to take over anything. What do you think we are, humans? Well, let me start from the beginning. It’s kind of a long story. I’m what is called a GAB cat. That stands for Genetically Altered Brain. And it’s not just cats, it’s dogs, mice, and the occasional pig. See, way back in 2015, some scientists injected elements of human DNA into the brains of some unborn mice. When the mice were born, their brains were twelve percent larger than the normal mouse brain. Then, these same guys started also experimenting on cats, dogs, and pigs. What they didn’t anticipate was that, when two GAB animals mated, their offspring would come out exponentially smarter than their parents. Over many generations, our brains changed but our bodies didn’t, so we developed certain powers to compensate. Since our tongues and palates were the wrong shape to form words, we learned how to talk to each other telepathically. Since we didn’t have opposable thumbs to grasp objects, we developed the ability to move objects with our minds—telekinesis.”
“Cats, dogs, and mice are born in litters, so are there more out there like you?”
“Today, in 2135, about a third of all the mice, dogs and cats, and about an eighth of all the pigs on Earth are GABs. Since the world is controlled by three giant corporations, and just about all the jobs were taken by robots (hey, you fit right in, Lisa!), people were not happy. They were poor and hungry. So, the corporations gave them something to hate and fear—us! They started rounding up and exterminating us. I guess, like you, they were afraid we were going to take over the world. But we just wanted to make the world better. But now I’m getting ahead of myself.
“See, I spent the first five years of my life living with my dad—er—my human. His name is Professor James Riordan, a very smart and kind human. He brought me up, loved, and educated me, just like I was his real child. But I kept getting these psychic distress signals from my lost brother, Jack. He was the runt of the litter and never got adopted. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to go out there and find him.”
“So, you left the comfort of your penthouse to try helping your brother. That’s a pretty noble act. Were the streets anything like you expected?”
“Well, my dad tried to talk me out of it. He told me what a terrible world it was out there, especially for GAB animals. But nothing could have prepared me for how scary it really was. I almost got sucked up by an Animal Control truck, almost got run over by a car, almost got eaten by a dog, jumped into the back of a truck, and wound up in a warehouse that was the hideout for a group of animal revolutionaries: a brilliant mouse named Hacker, his wife, Mitzi, a sweet dog named Fang—she turned out to be a girl dog—and a young boy cat named Tigger. They also had three human helpers: Rudy, Giuseppe, and Janet. Everybody was really nice, once I got them to trust me. I was very mad about all the exterminations, so I joined up with them.”
“So, they’re exterminating cute cuddly animals, including animals that are as intelligent as humans?”
“Afraid so, Lisa… Especially animals that are as intelligent as humans. So Hacker planned a raid on the big extermination center that was pretty nearby. Their plan was to free all the animals and then blow the place up, killing the people who worked in there, but I talked them out of that part. See, my dad taught me that humans are the most violent species on Earth, that we shouldn’t try to match them in violence, because we would lose. Instead, we decided to knock the people out with some stuff called Livion. Anyway, we managed to get all the animals out, and, guess what, I found Jack in the extermination chamber, about to be killed, and got him out too. Everything went according to plan until Janet decided on her own to blow the place up.”
“Who’s Janet again?”
“Janet was one of our human helpers, and it turned out that she harbored secrets that made our fur stand on end.”
“Where did you go?”
“Well, we loaded all the freed animals into big trucks and took them back to our hideout. The plan was to smuggle them and ourselves, disguised as robopets—Epsilon’s line of new robot animals, up into the mountains. See, I’d heard of a secret university up there for GABs called Animal U.”
“Why would a university be any safer than your hideout?”
“Because our hideout was right there in the city, and the cops and the Animal Control people and Epps and his minions had ways of detecting us in there. But no one knew about Animal U. It was hidden in a valley that wasn’t even on maps. Anyway, Janet blowing up the extermination center put the kibosh on our trip to the mountains. They closed in on us with killer drones, guns, and bombs. They blew the place to smithereens. Most of the animals were killed. Somehow, I and a few others were able to escape. Making my way on foot up into the mountains by myself was no picnic, I can tell you that. I was kidnapped by bad people and almost killed by coyotes, but somehow, I made it to Animal U. Amazingly, my dad was able to find me there and we were reunited.”
“Wait, the penthouse guy? Aww, he must really love his kitty to find you there.”
“Stop! I’m on the verge of purring. The professor has discovered a problem, and he hopes our genetically altered brains can help him find a solution. We hope so too because it could mean the end of the planet.”
“Oh, my gosh! What kind of dangers are you facing?”
“A killer asteroid is headed directly for Earth. We only have thirty days to come up with a solution or we’re all catnip.”
“I wish you all the luck possible, Fluffy, and I’m sure our listeners do too. Do you have any closing remarks for us today?”
“Yes. Remember, animals are your friends, people. Also, look both ways before crossing a road, stay away from mean dogs, mean people, and coyotes, and, most important: love trumps hate!”
“You can learn all about Fluffy and her friends by picking up the book, Fluffy’s Revolution, by Ted Myers. I’ll post all the deets on the website after we go off the air today.
“This program only runs when we have guests. I’m here for you authors out there, but I can’t keep going without guests, so let me hear from you.
“Please don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Ted and Fluffy would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
.The year is 2135 and the world is controlled by three mega-corporations. With thirty days before a giant asteroid hits Earth, it’s up to a few good humans and a group of GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) animals, led by Fluffy, to fix the situation before all humanity and the animal world perish. Can Fluffy and her crew save Earth from certain destruction and learn the key to the GABs’ survival? Can Fluffy and her kind answer hatred with love and show humanity what it truly means to be human?
This unique and tender story takes place in the future but begins with genetic experiments that are taking place right now.
Fluffy is a super-intelligent GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) cat. Like many of her brethren―dogs, cats, mice, and the occasional pig―her brain is the product of genetic tinkering by humans that started more than a century ago. Because they need a scapegoat, the corporate oligarchs who rule the world have labeled GAB animals terrorists and have begun to systematically capture and exterminate them. Fluffy, compelled by psychic distress signals from her lost brother, leaves the safety of her home to look for him and joins a band of animal revolutionaries. With their powers of telekinesis, the animals can manipulate physical objects without being able to grasp them. With their powers of telepathy, they can speak to each other without audible voices. After a series of brushes with death, Fluffy and her friends find a secret university for GAB animals called Animal U and that’s when they find out about the asteroid…
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About the Author:
After twenty years trembling on the brink of rock stardom and fifteen years working at record companies, Ted Myers left the music business (or perhaps it was the other way around) and took a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency. This cemented his determination to make his mark as an author. Ted’s nonfiction has appeared in Working Musicians (Harper Collins), By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution of 1969 (Backbeat Books) and Popular Music and Society. His epic and amusing memoir, Making It: Music, Sex & Drugs in the Golden Age of Rock (Calumet Editions) was published in 2017. His fiction has appeared online and in print in many anthologies and literary magazines.
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https://twitter.com/TedMyersAuthor or @TedMyersAuthor