The smell was almost unbearable. Jeremy Rightwell and Seth Francis were trekking through the sewers under Cleveland trying to find a complex that Hasbio had hidden here years ago. They were led by Martha Blanch, the utility worker that had found it. Normally, a facility like this would be seized by the government, but Flufftech owned the contracts to reclaim and catalog anything Hasbio related in rebuilding the city. While it was true the streets were pretty much flooded with fluffies at one point, where they came from was a mystery. Some said they were herds looking for the fabled sketti land, but the fact that fluffies were too stupid and under equipped to form mega herds like that destroyed the theory.
In the end it didn’t matter. The city was made slightly less inhabitable than Detroit from all the fluffy shit, and the corpses clogged the storm drains so bad that the city flooded. Then there were the religious extremists that thought it was the end of days and went ape shit. Between them, the fires no one could get to due to the floods, and years of cutting corners in construction, the city was decimated to the point where it had to be evacuated. There was a death toll of about three thousand, and politicians were out for blood. With a death toll that high, they would get it.
Instead of just banning fluffies all together, because lobbyists wouldn’t allow it, politicians introduced several bills that made life a living hell for ferals. Public decency laws no longer applied to killing or torturing them, feeding them was now a crime, and no kill shelters for fluffies were also illegal. In addition, a lot of restrictions were placed on the genetic engineering of lifeforms, making it virtually impossible to develop new biotoys.
Now the trio were standing in front of a large metal door that had been sealed for years. Hasbio had been dead years before the Cleveland incident, so there was likely no one here. A large elevator was to the right and was big enough to carry a vehicle up and down. Looking at gps, they determined it was beneath an old defunct parking garage. Out of curiosity, Jeremy pressed the up button. A loud bang was heard, followed by a scree. Once it descended, there was a severed unicorn head and being cradled my a mare with three chirpies. “Well, I guess it goes up to the top.”
Seth rolls his eyes, “yeah, but obviously it has nothing to stop accidents. Last thing we need is a dead person.”
“We’ll have to have a guy come in to fix it before we start taking equipment out.” She then walked over and stomped the mare and chirpies to death. Ferals were not welcome in Cleveland.
Without missing a beat, Martha radioed into the city about sending someone to the defunct parking garage to fix up and inspect the elevator in question. The trio get a response that they will send someone immediately and to not use the elevator until it is inspected properly. With that taken care of, they moved over to the smaller access door. Jeremy proceeded to insert an old skeleton keycard that was originally made for Hasbio executives. As soon as the door unlocked, old floodlights slowly turned on one by one.
When they entered, they had expected to see an almost barren lab. Maybe with a few fluffy skeletons. However, there were cages holding individual living fluffies. Everything from earthie stallions to alicorn dams was on display. Fluffy hides were stretched out to tan on makeshift racks and a recently butchered unicorn was laying on a nearby table. “This place was supposed to be abandoned, did some homeless people find a way in or…”
A raspy old voice interrupted Seth, “you’re humans! Oh thank god, I’ve been locked down here for decades.” An old man in his late fifties to early sixties walked into what used to be the shipping and receiving part of the building.
“Who are you?” Jeremy was shocked at the man’s arrival. He was wearing a well worn lab coat that was patched with fluffy hide. The same could be said of his clothes. “And how long have you been down here.”
“MUNSTAH! GIB BACK SPESHAW FWEN!” A bloated alicorn damn with a soft magenta coat trimmed with dark purple near her hooves and white mane.
“Shut up Porkchop. He was tonight’s dinner. Remember if I starve, you all starve too.” The man turned his attention back to Seth. “My name was Drake Riley, an intern before Hasbio ‘purged’ all the researches and scientists. I only survived by hiding in the fluffy pens when they… killed all my superiors. I wasn’t even scheduled to work that day, so they didn’t think to look for me.” He paused for a moment to wipe some tears from his eyes. “It has been a lonely thirty-seven years.”
“Hasbio killed people?” Martha was in shock.
Seth responded, “I’ve had my suspicions. A lot of researchers, scientists, and their assistants went missing when the company was told to hand over all of the research to the public. They also destroyed all of the info on the fluffy genome as a farewell present before disappearing.”
“Oh, that’s still all intact here. I managed to stop and reverse the data purge, at the cost of activating the emergency locks that only an external source could open. My final fuck you to the bastards that killed my friends, girlfriend, and unborn child. There are also a few models that never made it into circulation here.”
“Well that’s gre-,” Seth stopped for a second, “what do you mean by models that never made it into circulation?”
“It would be easier to show you.” The trio followed him after Martha gave an update to her boss, just in case. After going down an elevator they arrived at a room with three doors in additiont to the elevator and an emergency stairwell. The first room they entered contained a large pool full of natural plants and what looked to be fluffies with flippers and greasy fur. They were about fifty percent the size of regular fluffies. There were all the standard four types available and they were all bright and vibrant in color. “These are seafluffies. They are pretty chill for the most part, but never put them in salt water.”
“Kills them. Needed a way to keep them from destroying the oceans if they ever escaped, so salt water dehydrates them super fast. They also really love squid and call them sea-skettis. Unfortunately, we haven’t had access to that in years.”
Completely in awe, Martha reached down and stroked a bright yellow one. They were like little seals, which happened to be her favorite animal. The seafluff cooed at the touch. “Damn, what I wouldn’t have given for one of these when I was younger.”
“How do you keep them from breeding too fast?” Jeremy was curious about the lack of foals.
“Simple, they’re all female and any fluffy sperm can be used to impregnate them. The female determines the foal’s subspecies. Male foals are culled at birth by me to keep the numbers under control.”
“Huh, that explains why dwarf fluffy mares only have dwarves.”
“Dwarf fluffies?” asked Riley.
“Yeah, they have stubbier legs, a higher bone and muscle density, poofier fluff, and only grow to about the size of a fully grown runt. Oh, and males are unable to mate without human assistance.”
“Well, that’s new. Not something we made, but probably a new subspecies from a genetic mutation. Not that we didn’t make smaller fluffies here. In fact, the micro room is next.” This got everyone’s attention. Micro fluffies were an announced but never released product from Hasbio, in addition to a handful of patented biotoys that were thought to have died with them. Those patents included seafluffs.
“Did you say micro fluffies?” Jeremy was ecstatic. He would finally get to rub something in Luke’s face for once. Also, earning a paid two week’s vacation for doing so was a cherry on top of it.
“Yes, there are quite a few of them in fact. Umm, right this way.” They left the room and entered the next one. Unlike the chill sea fluffies, micros were just a higher pitched, tiny version of a normal fluffy. The smell and babbling was unmistakable. “I don’t like being in here too long as they are loud as fuck, but at least they are easy enough to keep the males and females separate.” The trio were enamored with what they saw. The micro fluffies were all about the size of a guinea pig when fully grown and were separated into eight tanks. One for each sex and type, with a ninth for mothers and foals. Seth took out his wallet and handed Jeremy a fifty dollar bill for the bet he just lost.
“Out of curiosity, do you have anyway to transport these guys. Because I know a guy who I need to send some too.”
Riley’s face lit up, “yes and take as many as you want. I only kept them alive out of spite for my old bosses. I can even print out a care pamphlet for them.” He pulled out a crate of canisters designed to transport micro fluffies. Essentially, they were larger foal in a can canisters with extra padding.
“That would be amazing, but I’ll pick some out after we check out the last room.”
“Oh the next one is just the room with the artificial wombs. Anything in there is currently in suspended animation.”
“Still, we would like to see it.” Riley just shrugged and led them to the room. In it were lots of glass tubes along the walls that held young fluffies of various kinds in what could be called the weanling stage. The last two were of particular interest to Seth. These were not fluffy like in the slightest. They appeared to be a mix between domestic cats and a bird of prey. Their back legs were cat like with talons in the front. Their feline heads lacked ears but were covered in feathers with a beak in place of the mouth. They even had wings that looked to be more than just vestigial like a fluffies, but it looked to be young like the others. Brushing dust off of the name plate, Seth saw the words “Puffygriffin: female. Status: viable.”
Then a notification bell rang and the tube began to drain. It seemed that Seth had bumped the “birthing” button. After the fluid was gone, the small hatchling sputtered and coughed as the top of the tub lifted away. “Where… mother.” It looked up at Seth, “are you my father?”