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              He looked down at the human female.  She was restrained to the bed upon which she lay.  He had to concede that, for a human, she did indeed possess beauty.  Her body was firm and ripe.  Her face was pretty and unlined.  But he viewed it with the same objectivity he would as if he were standing in front of one of their paintings.  Whilst he knew the importance of their work, the next step gave him cause to pause.
            “What is the matter?”  His colleague asked from behind him.
            “I really do not want to do it.”  He replied without inflection.
            His colleague walked forward to stand side by side with him.  He looked down at the woman.  “She is a model.”
            The one turned to look at his colleague.  “She sits for artists then?”
            The colleague shook his head gently.  “No.  This one puts on clothes that are given to her and then walks up and back down a raised platform in them.”
            “And?”  The one prompted expecting more.
            The colleague shrugged casually.  “And that is it.  She models their clothes.  She then returns back stage and puts on another set, and repeats.”
            The one’s brow crinkled in confusion.  “And they consider that a way of living?”
            The colleague shrugged again.  It was as baffling to him as anyone else.  “Apparently.  It seems a wasted past time to me.”
            The one nodded slowly in agreement.  “And yet we wish to breed with them?” 
            The colleague nodded.  “Only by breeding with them can we improve them.  They have reached an evolutionary plateau as we ourselves are in danger of doing. At least, in this instance, they will assist us in moving forward.”
            The one looked down at his nude body, and his still limp appendage.  “She does not excite me.”
            The colleague gestured to her.  “She is considered very beautiful by their standards.  And yet I understand your reluctance.  She is not up to our standard.”  He turned to the One.  “Think of me as you do it.  That should assist.”
            The appendage grew.


             She laid out the six photos on her desk.  They were an intriguing if not slightly scary bunch.  Inwardly she reprimanded herself.  They were different, not scary.  She sighed.  This was exactly the reason why people such as this were encouraged to keep quiet about what they could do.  Society barely tolerated racial and religious diversity.  To ask the ignorant masses to further accept genetic diversity on this level was simply too much for the tiny little souls to cope with.
            As the person in a high position in an Intelligence agency, she knew it was far kinder to keep the general population ignorant to the realities of the world.  Indeed, the realities of their own neighbourhoods were usually too much for them.  She sighed as she settled back into her luxurious chair, a small perk of her position. 
            She remembered with a shudder her years at MI-6 where she was sustained by her patriotic desire to serve her country and her Queen.  She certainly had not done it for the money.  Thankfully, her new employer demonstrated their belief in their employees by rewarding them with salaries that mirrored their value.  She had been on holiday in Fiji when she was approached with an offer to head an agency that was six hundred years old.  She had eagerly accepted and swiftly took the helm of a group of some four thousand agents, sequestered in various regions of the world.  What’s more, it appeared to be a very well-funded agency.  Certainly her first pay check attested to that.  She was actually surprised to find that money could be used for other things rather than simply paying the rent and the light bill.  Her beachside cottage was testament to that. 
            She still possessed a sense of duty.  However, it was far more generic these days.  As a Regional-Director in a global intelligence community, the world was her backyard, and there was a tremendous amount of weeding to be done.  Thankfully, this organisation had resources unavailable to others.  And this included her little group of genetic treasures.
            The scientist in her found them fascinating.  Five of the group were what they were due to a small, almost inconsequential variation in their genetic make-up.  When analysed, the genetic mutations were so minor, that only the most skilled geneticist would have noticed anything out of the usual.  And yet, these infinitesimal changes resulted in the most amazing abilities.  There was the wolf-woman; the strong-man; the vampire; the acrobat; and the witch.  She chuckled as she remembered the comic books her youngest nephew was always reading.  One of them was about a group of individuals with genetic abnormalities that battled to survive in an unforgiving world.  She wished she could tell him that the myth was actually a reality.
            The sixth member of the rather select group had earned his abilities only through a technological gift that she herself had played a part in devising.  The young man had been the son of a colleague of hers.  When she had heard that his son had fallen prey to addiction, she had advocated on his behalf that his boy be given the opportunity to be their test subject.  Not only had the procedure proved an enormous success, but the resulting side effects had proven to be something of worth to the agency.  Thankfully, the young man was so grateful that he eagerly accepted his new role.  Sadly, his father had not lived to see it, having been terminated during a mission in the Chinese hinterlands.  The individuals responsible had been quickly apprehended and dealt with.  She had taken it very personally, and had reacted in an appropriate manner.
            Now, she had to find a coordinator for her little group of ‘special’ people.  She looked to the stack of files on her other desk.  She had been sent a shortlist of applicants from six different intelligence agencies throughout the world.  She had people in every agency in any country that had one, of course, but the big six were what she used to recruit.  CIA, Mossad, ASIS, MI5, MI6, and Russian Intelligence were all her breadbaskets. 
            One file kept catching her eye.  He was the quintessential quiet achiever.  He was never late for work, and he never left early.  His attention to detail was total.  His analyses were insightful and comprehensive, and, he was a published author in the fantasy genre. 
He had two novels currently in circulation, both concerning werewolves and witches.  It was a personality quirk that would prove valuable.  She summoned her assistant and handed him the file.
            “Get him here.”  Was all she had to say.

The above excerpt is from a work written by Damien Timms and is protected by International Copyright lodged in Australia and the USA and may not be reproduced in part or whole without the written permission of the author.
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