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“I’ve never been picked in the lottery before. Figures, knowing my luck, that the first time would also be the last. I guess as far as conscription goes, I prefer this to serving some colonial political agenda. 

I worked at Nantech, so I guess I’m giving my life for a cause I believe in. Or believed in for money, maybe. I am actually supposed to be promoting this so maybe I should ease the cynicism. I get to choose my animal that way.

Anyway, when you’re randomly selected for the repopulation program, you’re not dying. You’re giving your life to a species that needs it. We wouldn’t be asking people to make such a sacrifice, but plants are even rarer than these animals at this stage. And we ran out of rabbits and stuff. 

Our current-day Dr Moreau thought that her great grandfather had things the wrong way around. The world does not necessarily need more people at the expense of animals. More Siberian tigers, Tasmanian devils and rhinos sounded more sensible. So one of the first applications we explored for nanobots was rearranging matter into the shape and functionality of an endangered animal. Of course there are philosophical questions about whether the resulting creatures were, technically, what they looked like, but Dr Moreau believes that as long as they can increase the population we will be achieving our goals. 

Now, these machines can only rearrange atoms, not tear them apart (thankfully). So the matter we used had to have the same atomic composition as the bodies of the animals we were hoping to yield. This made sense. What didn’t make sense was that inorganic matter resulted in a dead animal. As did deceased organic matter (apologies to anyone who’s relatives have died in the last year, you can collect the slightly furrier/scalier bodies if you really want to). The only input that resulted in mobile and potentially reproductive animals was... other living animals. Hence the diminishing population of pests I mentioned. They’re endangered themselves at this stage. 

Which is where I, and everyone after me, come in. My flesh is going into a snow leopard, thanks to my little promotion job here. What can I say? I love their fluffy tails. We don’t know what will happen consciousness-wise, the need to conserve life-force we’ve discovered may even mean I maintain some of it. Although I don’t know if that will be better or worse than oblivion, giving the breeding program I already mentioned. I’ll try and report back if there’s anything left of me. At least I get some nice analgesics before I start. So either way, I won’t feel a thing.”