Most of the people living in Glasgow thought it was just another myth.
Nothing more than a true-to-reality joke told by comedians at clubs, a small-talk topic for heroin dealers in dank alleyways, or just drunken hearsay debated in the background noise of the city’s many pubs.
Glasgow City Council had already dismissed concerns. All under control, nothing to worry about was the official stance of the Scottish Government. Keep calm and carry on.
However, far above the average person, sequestered meetings were taking place in dark rooms between Hasbio’s scientists and Scotland’s political elite.
Glasgow’s Fluffy population was among the highest on Earth. As a matter of fact, the city was a perpetual member in the top 5 most Fluff-dense places in the world, and had been since the biotoy was first made available.
Yet, despite the biotoy’s reputation for getting into trouble, the explosion of Fluffy numbers had never been that much of an issue for the city.
Of course, there had been some incidents early on- a few stampedes, a few buildings overrun with feral nests, and even that one time a particularly fat Fluffy fell 6 stories on that guy’s head and killed both itself and the guy! But otherwise? Never anything too serious, too grand.
Not like the Cleveland Disaster.
No- after Cleveland, high-density Fluffy areas were very carefully administrated by Hasbio themselves as an all-but-in-name arm of most governments, and Glasgow happened to be the first place where this system was implemented- a sort of dry run before it was sanctioned elsewhere.
It was named the “Flufftropolis Scheme”- a complete overhaul of the structure and governance of the city; a continual and all-encompassing process, with Hasbio’s Fluffy being central to it all.
Roads and buildings were made ‘Fluff Compliant’, special ‘Fluffy Roam Zone’ parks were built for ferals with pre-built nests and feeding sites, and a slew of local laws were passed that granted protections for the biotoy (all carefully presented as anything but rights, of course).
Nest-boxes and feed-stations were found on every street, with shelters on every other. New Fluffy specific industries cropped up: urban herding, non-harmful nest removal, Fluffy mediators, and even bizarre nonsense like a court for Fluffy-related legal troubles. Industries within the industry of Fluffies, nothing left untouched by Hasbio’s dripping black tentacles. A corporate wet dream.
In the background, out of sight, the more lurid details of a Fluffy-based city took place. Cullings and worse for the Fluffies, done with such surgical scale that many historical atrocities started to seem a little small. Not to mention the waste and corpse disposal black-sites that contaminated everything around them.
Oh, and the abuse business, yes… A dirty, open secret that nobody talked about or tried to stop because it made as much money as any other Fluffy business.
All this and more. Day after day, night after night. A continuous and all-encompassing process, until the city was transformed utterly. It was a gargantuan task, but nothing is really outside of the domain and exchequer of the largest corporation in history.
Glasgow’s Fluffy population eventually stabilized, plateauing at approximately 32 million for 5 years straight- and probably for the first time in its history, the city was being administrated with utmost orderliness, regulation, and efficacy, at least insofar as Hasbio and its money was involved.
Alas, the Fluffy is nothing if not tenacious, and is capable of ruining anything no matter the scale.
During the summer of 20XX, a sudden upward trend in Fluffy numbers was noted across the city. Within only 1 week, an estimated 20,000 new Fluffies were recorded.
Now, this was not concerning on its own- the numbers always increased somewhat during summer with the abundant warmth and food, though this particular spike was a little larger than usual.
It was thought that perhaps there were some unseen nests somewhere, or a mass-migration of ferals moved south from Strathblane- maybe even some escaped from that industrial-scale adoption shelter in Coatbridge that was technically illegal but made someone high-up money and got ignored.
Come Autumn and Winter, it was surmised that the cold would kill off the extra numbers, just like every winter previous. If not, then a large cull would definitely do the trick. Nothing to worry about, Hasbio reassured Glasgow City Council.
Well, Winter came, and not only did the numbers not decrease, they didn’t even slow. In fact, they did nothing but increase the entire time to over 1 million new Fluffies. Before any effort was made to determine what was happening, the Cull Protocols were triggered by the City Council, and the following January an army of Hasbio exterminators descended on the city under the cover of night.
Mewling, moaning families were dragged from their roadside nests and hideaways. Herds in the “Roam-Zone” parks were quickly shephereded into mobile kill units. Abandoned chirpies and begging poopie-babies were stomped on-the-spot. Traps of all kinds were placed at every nook and cranny- after they were fumigated. A light snow in the middle of night provided a white blanket that left the trails of scampering feral escapees, as though even nature itself wanted every single Fluffy found and dead.
By sunrise, the exterminators were gone, leaving but little smears of gore and the smell of death in their wake. In only 8 hours, they had slaughtered 2.2 million feral Fluffies, generating enough corpses that all the local disposal sites were at full capacity for an entire week.
Ironically, this Cull was what finally revealed how out of control the situation truly was. Expecting a drastic reduction in density, Hasbio checked the Fluffy population at the end of that same week only to discover that the streets and nests and parks were once again full, and seemingly even moreso than before.
For all their wealth and influence, Hasbio was ultimately still at the mercy of governments, and failure of this magnitude invited scrutiny at the highest levels.
As Hasbio’s executives and Scotland’s elite anxiously debated cause and solution, the public also started to take notice. Of the new little beggars at the door and brave raiders in the bins. Of how the streets became covered with more and more Fluffy waste and corpses. Of all the tiny technicolor bastards that scurried to-and-fro, causing mischief where they went. Of the constant distinct wailing chirps of hungry foals and that most tiresome chorus always performed with no melody: the mummah song.
After a Fluffy horde trampled some toddlers at a nursery (thankfully without fatalities), the sheer number of new Fluffies everywhere was suddenly in sharp focus. An accusation of the horde being deliberately set upon the children sparked public speculation: where were all of these new Fluffies coming from?
Naturally, the first assumption was that it was another Hasbio marketing ploy related to the Flufftropolis Scheme or some-such.
Other rumours included:
-An abandoned building somewhere, filled from top to bottom with a never-ending Fluff-orgy that constantly popped out babies. Variations also had a Fluffy porn company throwing away “used” Fluffies after video shoots, or a lost supply of aphrodisiacs keeping the orgy going forever
-Fluffy Shelters across the city releasing tons of unwanted foals to up rates of accessory sales through feral-adoptions (which was actually true to a degree, though the foals usually died in the street after a few hours, having never seen the outside of their sales enclosure)
-Another brand-spanking-new subspecies of Fluffy that could reproduce asexually or even clone itself, with everything from genetic mutations to aliens explaining its sudden appearance.
And there were a plethora of others as well, each equally as silly, but none quite describing reality. Of all the jokes and myths, the one that unwittingly got closest to fact was also ironically one of the least believed precisely because of its lack of humor.
The story went that somewhere, hidden within Glasgow’s city limits, was a Fluffy nest- a giant Fluffy nest, which was usually called The Godnest. This nest had its own government and society, a twisted parallel to Humanity around it, with its own jobs, police, and corrupt, squeaking politicians. Kept hidden, for fear of Humans, it hoarded stolen food and had large breeding areas (often referred to as just “fuck pits” for laughs) that kept a supply of new Fluffies coming to create an army to overthrow Humanity.
Of course, this was mainly just humorous drivel- Fluffies could barely maintain their own family-herds, so a city of Fluffies was ludicrous even for a joke… but it was almost true. No, there wasn’t a secret retarded Fluffy government and army ready to conquer, but there was a giant Fluffy nest, and it did have its own- in a manner of speaking- “society”.
You see: Glasgow itself had become a Fluffy nest.
The biggest Fluffy nest ever seen.