A proposal by Professor Euphemia Talbert, as provided by Andy Brown
Art by Justine McGreevy
For centuries, the tales of supernatural beings and their magical powers have enriched our lives. Now that we have access to these beings after the Pan Species Accord of 1947 (PSA), DNA research has shown that some of the traits of these creatures may be transferable to humans. This project focuses on DNA applications with regard to physical enhancement in sportsmen and women.
Elf DNA has been somewhat of a holy grail for the supernatural geneticist. Even after the PSA, the elven races were disinclined to provide any specimens for research. I would like to convey my gratitude to Sir Thomas Rhymer, the minister for supernatural and paranormal affairs, for his help in this matter.
Splicing elf DNA into the genomes of track athletes resulted in a huge increase in both speed and stamina. The elven propensity for running without fatigue was apparent in our test subjects. Double, triple, and quadruple marathons were easily completed. Advantages in sprint events were less marked. (I have always suspected that Jamaican DNA may already have a natural elven DNA component.)
Increased coordination and a certain lightness of body were very clear in jumping events, resulting in the smashing of record after record.
Javelin and archery skills were also enhanced. Speed and accuracy especially showed a marked improvement. (The elven propensity for hand/eye coordination could also be applied to shooting events.)
Associated with the obvious physical enhancements of elf DNA are the character traits of the species which have now been proven to be genetic. (“Elven Character, Nature or Nurture?” Prof. Euphemia Talbert. Cambridge. 2014)
In every case, the test subjects began exhibiting arrogance, superciliousness, and aloofness, to the extent that by the end of the trial period, many subjects simply stopped exerting any effort unless they happened to be in the mood at the time. Gifts and praise often succeeded in encouraging the subjects to perform, but it became increasingly difficult to motivate them.
The physical enhancements were largely cancelled out by the elven character traits. As noted, positive re-enforcement and the promise of gifts had a short term effect on the subjects. Using reverse psychology did not work, since it invariably resulted in the test subjects striding off in high dudgeon.
Further research may reveal that the elven characteristics may be separated from the positive traits of the DNA. My personal feeling is that elven character traits are inextricably linked with the other elven traits.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2014 collection.
Professor Euphemia Talbert was a child prodigy who left high school at the age of eleven to attend the Royal College of Genetic Interference, where her work increasing the aggression levels of sparrows by adding ogre DNA came to the notice of the military, which was already experimenting with troll and vampire DNA to create a super soldier.
She has been married nine times and still keeps in touch with her ex-husbands. She is currently married to a merman and lives on a houseboat in the Thames.
Andy Brown is a musician and entertainer living near Edinburgh in Scotland.
(He doesn’t currently own a kilt but does play bagpipes a little.)
He is a pleasant enough fellow with a healthy interest in many things and an obsessive interest in many others. (Music, computers, astronomy, reading, writing…)
He plays a wide variety of instruments to a wide variety of standards.
His greatest happiness is his family and the fact that he wakes every morning still breathing.
His greatest sadness is that he might die before warp travel, teleportation, and Klingons are discovered.
Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at http://www.behance.net/Fickle_Muse and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.