A press release from Genetisus, as provided by Lyn Godfrey
Art by Ariel Alian Wilson
Tired of age-old boring normal pets? Are you frustrated with all the “fake” cyborg animals on the market these days? Have you been burned by crossed wires and so-called “intelligent” AI?
Well, we at the NoRobo Pets division of Genetisus understand. You won’t find any electronic parts in our pets. And you’ll certainly never find them boring.
Our scientists at the NoRobo Pets laboratory have been working tirelessly to produce new live Mini-Pets for our customers to enjoy alongside current customer favorites and top sellers like those from our Fossil collection: Mini-Mammoth, Mini-Tyrannosaurus, and Mini-Sabertooth.
With our Mini-Pets, you can get all the fun of mega-sized animals miniaturized down to the size of a small dog.
Our lead scientist on these projects, Dr Thea Washington, is herself a devoted and loving owner of a Mini-Tyrannosaurus. When she was originally given the task of creating smaller versions of these large creatures, the job seemed insurmountable. However, she accomplished her goal and decided once again to take on the impossible.
Up until now, we have specialized in miniaturizing only the animals which have a fully-mapped DNA entry in our Genetisus database. Dr Thea Washington recently led our team in an all new mission: create a miniature version of an as-of-yet purely fictional animal. This means that, in order to be able to minimize it, we had to start by genetically engineering a full-sized version of the animal. Once again, she succeeded.
Consequently, we are proud to announce the newest pet on our roster: the Unicorn. It has long been speculated that we may eventually make the leap into full-sized pets, and with this newest animal, we decided to do just that.
Both the Mini-Unicorn and our first venture into the full-sized pet market, the Unicorn, are now available for pre-order.
Current Gold or Elite members can order the Mini-Unicorn. Only Elite customers will have access to the full-sized edition. To those patrons who are not Elite status: don’t despair! You can become an Elite member and own your own full-sized Unicorn for less than the cost of your own personal teleportation station.
Don’t have the digital cash? We also now accept Bitcoin.
Both the full-sized Unicorn and the Mini-Unicorn will be available in multiple colors, including: Black, White, Chestnut, Tri-Color, Blue Roan, Dapple Gray, and Golden Palomino.
We have additionally designed both versions of the Unicorns in several varieties of pink: Bubblegum Pink, Baby Pink, Hot Pink, and our very special bioluminescent Neon Pink.
Last, but certainly not least, we have an extremely limited edition: Rainbow Sparkle.
Can you pass up this amazing opportunity to own your very own Unicorn? Don’t delay. Upgrade your account today!
We strongly recommend that you have your Unicorns trained. We’ve enlisted the help of a highly qualified equine specialist to design a training program specifically tailored to our Unicorns. The training videos are available for free on our feed. You can also sign up to attend live sessions with the trainer at our NoRobo Unicorn Labs.
Never teleport with your pet, whether full-sized or miniature. Due to the complex process of rematerialization, it is always best to teleport one living individual at a time. All public Port stations operate this way, so we recommend using the same good judgement in your own personal and private teleportation lives. We are not responsible for anything that might happen if you ignore this warning.
In case of a storm, natural disaster, or other emergency, please attach the specially designed safety horn-topper to your Unicorn’s horn in order to protect yourself and others and to reduce the risk of injury or death by impalement. Though our pets are created to be docile and non-violent, accidental impalement can happen, so we advise you to operate with the utmost caution. It has been observed that unintentional Unicorn stabbings have a high statistical likelihood of striking directly through the heart. We are not sure why.
Do not try to nuzzle foreheads with either a Mini-Unicorn or a full-sized Unicorn. This presents a major eye-poking hazard. The Mini’s horn may be much smaller than the full-sized, but it can still absolutely pierce and penetrate through the eye socket.
It is best not to have too many of our Unicorns in one place at one time. Preferably no more than ten. Because of the natural nervousness and excitability of the equine genus, this trait has shown to be exaggerated in Unicorns. They are rather excitable and may herd or swarm together if over-excited. Even Minis can become hazardous in a large group. If you absolutely have to group them together, be sure to use safety horn-toppers and keep each Uni securely reined and bridled.
Remain aware of your surroundings when out and about with a Unicorn pet. Our Unis have a tendency to recklessly chase rainbows and/or butterflies. We haven’t been able to determine why they have this inclination, but they cannot seem to resist galloping after brightly colored or shiny objects. They may also become infatuated with their own reflection in lakes and other bodies of water. You can help curb these behaviors by bringing them to training sessions at Unicorn Labs where we will help your Uni learn to focus and not be so easily distracted.
Please maintain your Unicorn’s coat, mane, and hooves. Our Rainbow Sparkle variety has been shown to shed copious amounts of glitter, so frequent grooming is recommended. Matching combs and hoofpicks are available to complement each color of Unicorn.
Unfortunately, any attempt to breed our pets with other pets will be unsuccessful. All our pets are designed to be sterile, therefore you will need to purchase any extras directly through our website or from one of our licensed vendors.
Lastly, we will not be offering a Pegasus Unicorn as we were unable to design functional wings for the animal. Additionally, the FAA insisted that flying rainbow-chasing Unicorns would pose a threat to spacecraft, hovercraft, and dronecraft.
We thank you for your support,
Your Friends at Genetisus
Dr Thea Washington, lead scientist of the NoRobo division of Genetisus Labs, is the proud parent of two non-cybernetic pets, Crocodile the Mini-Tyranno and Jackal the Alaskan husky. They were named after two of her favorite endangered species to draw attention to the plights of animals in the wild and are the official mascots of the non-profit organization DN-R, Don’t Neglect – Restore. Although she supports the efforts of Genetisus to catalogue genetic material in order to avoid total loss of a species, she believes that we should do our best to protect all the existing creatures of this planet. She spends much of her free time away from the lab editing and sharing her signature unlikely animal friendship videos starring the odd pet couple in a web series called, “The Crox and the Hound.”
Lyn Godfrey is a small-town, American southwestern, book-hoarding, animal-loving kind of girl. She writes in most “genre” genres and is a self-described Geek of All Trades. If it’s nerdy, she loves it. Lyn began writing her first book (a Star Wars sequel) at age eleven. She has been making plans to write ever since but is often distracted by reading or looking for shiny things, like spaceships and robots. Her recent short stories can be found in the following anthologies: Ain’t Superstitious, In Memory: A Tribute to Terry Pratchett, Misunderstood, Sproutlings, UNICORNADO!, and Third Flatiron: Best of 2015.
Ariel Alian Wilson is a few things: artist, writer, gamer, and role-player. Having dabbled in a few different art mediums, Ariel has been drawing since she was small, having always held a passion for it. She’s always juggling numerous projects. She currently lives in Seattle with her cat, Persephone. You can find doodles, sketches, and more at her blog www.winndycakesart.tumblr.com.
“The Hazards of Owning a Unicorn” is © 2016 Lyn Godfrey
Art accompanying story is © 2017 Ariel Alian Wilson.
This story originally appeared in Fossil Lake III: UNICORNADO!