Scarlet walked along the downtown streets, passing endless neon signs advertising everything under the sun. For whatever reason, she was feeling rather finicky, and none of the shops interested her. So she wandered. Maybe a little window shopping would cheer her up all the same. Eventually she came upon some construction. Same as ever, construction meant congestion, and people clogged up the walkway trying to get through. Scarlet wasn’t one to let herself get pushed around, and decided to take a detour through some back alleys.
The walls of the buildings were close together. Warm steam rose up from vents under her feet. Bugs chittered and crawled quickly out of sight. Was that a rat over there? All the signs pointed to the rather unsurprising revelation that this was not a place to linger. Despite all that, Scarlet pushed on unfazed. Finally, she came to a dead end. A little shop was situated there, wedged between the walls. It’s windows were broken, blocked up with sheet metal, and it’s tiny neon sign flickered. All it said was “Open” with no further context.
Somehow, that little sign did what none of the other bigger ones could. It caught Scarlet’s eye. The place looked less like a shop and more like a shed, and any sane person would have turned and ran, but Scarlet swung the rusty door wide open with gusto. Brave? Impulsive? You be the judge.
Inside, the shop appeared to be a bar. A small television set mounted in the corner illuminated the tables, an insectoid man stood behind the counter, polishing a glass, and the smell of smoke wafted through the air. He had giant compound eyes, mandibles, and antennae sprouting from his head. “You are not from around here,” his voice was raspy and his tone accusatory. “What is it you want? Drink?” he eyed Scarlet suspiciously.
As Scarlet approached the counter to order a drink, the bartender looked her over again. Just before she said anything, he interrupted. “Hmmm. You do not look like police officer. No, not at all. Too bright and wild. Not even a little bit,” he shook his head. “You want... other services?” he asked hesitantly, gesturing toward the back door. “We give great power, little price.” Scarlet’s ear perked up. She wasn’t sure what he was selling, but she was buying. A moment later, the man lead her through the back door into a lab of sorts. It was full of gene editing equipment. “Well, What splice you want?” On one wall was a poster with images of various animals and their corresponding human abilities. Gene splicing was taboo in Scarlet’s society, so places like these had to operate in secret, and anyone who got a splice has to keep it secret. Maybe just a hint of animal genes could give her the skills without the looks?
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> Scarlet wants to have an extraordinary sense of smell, and decides to splice her genes with those of a wolf.
> Scarlet wants to be more agile and decides to splice her genes with those of a cat.
> Scarlet wants to breathe underwater, and decides to splice her genes with those of a fish.
> Scarlet wants to fly, and splices her genes with those of a bird.
> Scarlet wants to have amazing hearing, and splices her genes with those of a bat.
> Scarlet wants to be stealthy and decides to splice her genes with those of a chameleon.
> Scarlet wants to be able to climb any wall, and decides to splice her genes with those of a spider.
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