Tuesday, January 20, 2015

20. Smarts

Not to be confused with smart dogs, smarts are the result of a century-long selective breeding program. The project was begun in the 21st century as a means of investigating intelligence. Researchers bred mixes of the most smartest dog breeds, then began a breeding program aimed solely at increasing their performance at special, dog-oriented IQ tests. Dogs scoring above average when tested at 8 and 12 weeks bred the next generation, resulting in a steady increase of measured intelligence.

The program itself never deviated from selective breeding, but they provided the basis for a great deal of genetic engineering. Smarts provided much of the fundamental research allowing for smart animals, uplifts and mentons. Samples of every dogs genome were kept and maintained, allowing researchers to track the genetic basis for the changes they were seeing. Smarts themselves were ultimately supplanted by the smart animals and uplifts they spun off, but the project is nonetheless maintained by the Titan Autonomous University.

Plot Hook: Not all of the genome records of the smarts program made it off Earth. A reclaimer data miner has uncovered the location of a hardened server that may hold the complete records. The data would be worth a small fortune in rep or credits to several hypercorps, the argonauts or the Titanian Autonomous University, but the players must retrieve it first.

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