Empress of Sol
Dr. Bower Stern presented an idea to OmniPet in 2189. The idea was that is might be possible to further the intelligence of the Intellipet line to a higher level. By using even more transgenic implants, human DNA information could be used to give pets near human level intelligence and problem solving capability. It may even allow them to have opposable thumbs and fine manipulators. The idea was to have pets that were more than just companions, they could now be friends!
In late 2189, Project BLUE DIAMOND began at OmniPet under the leadership of Dr. Stern. Stern’s product, The Sapipet, was due to hit the market in 2193. In reality, he had a little over 24 months to have a product ready for market.
Most projects begin slowly and ramp up exponentially – but not this one. By mid 2193, Stern had only mixed results and certainly didn’t have a product ready for market. Under pressure from OmniPet, Stern and his team changed their parameters and pushed through a new batch of prototypes.
The new prototypes were very different from before. Members of Stern’s team displayed their discomfort with the changes and the new protocols. However, Stern rejected their suggestions and ignored their objections, which was out of character for him. The gene samples for the prototypes were prepared by hand, by Stern, in private. These factors all worried his team, but they pushed on.
The prototypes were given growth acceleration treatment and kept in constant Dream Learning. By 2194, the truth was quite obvious. The new prototypes were not cuddly pets, in fact they resembled preteen humans with several animal features. In modern 22nd Century society, there are many body modification procedures that allow for animal features to be added to humans. These appeared to simply be extremely modified humans. Many doubted that people would buy pets that resembled humans when they could buy slaves and have them modified to their tastes.
The OmniPet board declared that Project BLUE DIAMOND had not produced a viable product and should thus be terminated. Dr. Stern formally objected, stating in a letter to the board that his findings could lead to several new techniques and products and that his funding should be continued. The OmniPet board responded by requesting that Stern undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Dr, Stern complied with the request. Sometime later he was dismissed from OmniPet. An on-going investigation into the BLUE DIAMOND protocols has found results that the auditors coined as “interesting” and “disconcerting”.
As for the Prototypes, many died in the growth acceleration process, adding fuel to the fire of the BLUE DIAMOND controversy. The remaining subjects were kept in constant Dream Learning, allowed to finish their growth acceleration and were sold as slave stock to recover some of OmniPet’s expenses.