"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" The target was being inspected. "Chiseled chin, broad muscular shoulders, rippling biceps, and whoa mama! You did not skip leg day! That's good, most members of your sex tend to do that, but you chose not to neglect."
Sweating nervously, the subject looked around, fear had gripped him so tightly that is was if he forgot how to breathe. Where was he? How'd he get here? What was that bizarrely weird entity speaking? Everything going on was foreign to his senses. What was happening?
"After running a few diagnostics on you with some x-ray examinations, echo-mapping your circulatory system and checking your bone density, it appears that you're in tip-top shape. We were even able to get a non-invasive count of your sex cells. You may not be a stallion but you sure are hung like one. With your aesthetics, even if you're not a steed, I have no doubt that you'll be able to spread your seed. Now," Aalekh turned to the control pad, "get out there and breed."
A beam of light flickered, and in an instant the subject before him vanished out of sight.
Walking back to the quality control room where his work had to be audited, Aalekh was greeted by his coworker, "So, how was the subject?"
"Quite the specimen, Vyas. I would say that when it comes to the standards of its female species that it seems to check all the boxes."
"You think so?"
"Well, did you make sure that the females are on its checklist?"
"What do you mean?"
"Take a look at this." Vyas swiped over a screen of the specimen's neural scans towards Aalekh. "See here? The way these neural pathways are formed, they stimulate his hormones to respond in this way as well."
"So, looks pretty typical for the average male."
"Well, that's the point. He's not the average male."
He shot her a side-eye, "Yeah, he's above physical fitness, intelligence, and even social skills. I studied that one for several years. That's why I selected him as study specimen."
"Well..." she began, "you didn't study him well enough. Based upon these vitals he's even less of your typical, average, male than usual."
"Alright, spit it out, what do you mean by that?"
"What?!" Aalekh stood up, shouting. "You mean that he's not going to contribute to the gene pool at all?!"
"No," Yvas shook her head, "there's still a decent probability that he will. Thousands, millions, of males like him have contributed to the genetic diversity of their species. Trust me. However, that probability is still lower than the average, heterosexual, male."
"You're serious? So, right now I'd have better chances with a coin toss? Goodness, only reason why I chose that one was because he was always surrounded by a plethora of females of his species. The universe is punishing me for my ignorance, how could I have been so naïve?"
"Not entirely, here take a look at this." She swiped their monitor pulling up several case studies, "Check these out."
"'Homosexual males effects on heterosexual reproducing females'? What does this have to do with anything? Since they're not mutually attracted to each other then wouldn't any effects upon one another be minimal, if not non-existent."
"That's what we'd like to think, but that's not necessarily the case. Keep reading."
Upon skimming a few paragraphs, he bolted from his seat, "WAIT A MINUTE! YOU MEAN?!"
"Yup," she nodded.
"So he might just?!"
"Well, think about it? Homosexual males and heterosexual females are both attracted to males of their species. Hence, it's like a positive feedback loop, especially if they're in healthy social groups together. Whether the homosexual males are related to heterosexual females via familial heritage or not, they tend to passively increase the libido of the heterosexual females."
"Which leads to the heterosexual females reproducing more than average in comparison to other females that lack a homosexual male in their social group." He hemmed and hawed a bit about the information that was just given to him. "So, even if he doesn't reproduce himself, he may just cause the gene pool to increase and become more diverse. The more female friends he has the potential for the population to increase at a faster rate as well."
"See, now you're getting it. So, your selection might actually be top and not a flop."
"So, now I just have to study his ecology?"
"Essentially, even though you didn't chose your ideal, direct population impacting, male specimen, it might just cause more substantially diverse population increase than you'd expect. A sexually confident homosexual male increases the same sexual confidence in a heterosexual female, and vice versa. As the old adage goes, 'friends are better than alcohol.'"
"Goodness," his rubbed his phalanges upon his cranium, "well better to be healthily influenced by friends than poorly influenced by drugs and alcohol. So, how much longer must we ensure the continuation of this species? They almost went extinct on their previous planet and they've nearly wiped themselves out on this new one, and they've barely been there for several millennia."
"We'll stop the breeding program once they're capable of intergalatic communications and travel. Until their genetic diversity is capable of consensually being stored and manipulated by their own mechanical engineering on the federation of extraterrestrial species, we'll still continue this line of work. If you ever get bored, feel free to study a few other species on their planet. The Indian muntjacs are always of interest to me. For a mammalian species I'm surprised by the small amount of chromosomes that they have."
"Nahhh... I'll just play with my tank of monitor lizards. I'm on the 8.5 millionth generation of them in my paludarium."
"Still trying to get plesiosauria, leptocleididae, and mosasaurus to evolve naturally?"
"Yeah, how'd you know?"
"Your lizard brain shows more often than you like," she smirked as she organized her scientific classification.
"Well, what have you experimented with since we got out of our cryopods?"
"I've been culturing human organoids, and their immune systems since I woke up."
"Really now? You know you have to-."
"Yeah, yeah. I know. I know. You have to make sure that they're 3D structures and not 2D sheets, or else the results will be skewed, and even potentially ineffective. I learned that with the cancer medications."
"So, why have you been so focused on replicating human organs and immune cells?"
"Well, do you remember the reason why we started the breeding program in the first place?"
"Yeah, the story's as old as time. Eons ago, on our planet, we watched as one of our moons was destroyed by our neighbors' space debris. What we thought was an accident turned out to be an act of war, since our planet's tides were forced to recede, which in turn made our power grids suffer. It wasn't an accident, but an act of aggression, and that moon's ecosystem was part of the collateral. We got lucky that a few humans barely managed to survive at all."
"Well, turns out that the archives held something different."
"Alright, I'll bite. Hit me with your conspiracy."
"The space debris hit the moon, but it was a barren moon that was struck. Meanwhile, the moon that the humans resided on, it was our fault that most of their population was initially wiped out."
"Where'd you find a crazy story like that at?"
"The archives. I recently got level seven access, and while perusing around I found something buried from a retiree. The real purpose of the breeding program is to undo the damage we've done."
"Well, when we first visited the humans' moon, a common virus ineffective to us swept across their moon's surface. In less than three turns of Plitus their population was wiped out by eighty percent."
"Yep, that's why we're irradiated and have to make sure to use proper protective equipment, not for our sake but for theirs. We got lucky that we reached their moon in enough time, but without proper habitats established, several perished due to stress and others were still carriers of the virus. Nasty little bugger laid dormant in a few of them, and in a couple of our scientists."
"That explains our vaccination for the eradication of certain viruses. Made no sense to me especially if they weren't malignant towards us."
"Yup, meanwhile, the few scientist that made a temporary habitat for the last two remaining humans had to place them within their specialized terrarium."
"You mean The Garden?"
"Precisely, however, since the flora was genetically modified, it affected a few of the fauna as well."
"A mus musculus that had consumed several blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries that were designed to increase gray matter formation and brain striations was consumed by a primordial species of serpentes. Slithery little things still had legs, much like your monitor lizards that you're so fond of."
"So, where is this going, Yvas?"
"Well, the extra proteins from that mus musculus was sort of like the opposite of prions for the primordial serpentes."
"So, instead of a wasting disease it was more of like an improvement?"
"Precisely, and it gained intelligence almost on par with the humans. Hence, why it never attacked them, but it led them out of their designated area."
"Spit it out already."
"The female, Eve, she was captured around nightfall by the tranquilizing squad, being more influenced by the snake's social skills, was persuaded to pick apples of core understanding."
"You mean- That's how- That's why they were moved from The Garden to the planet prematurely, even though we hadn't terraformed it?"
"Yeah. The two of them literally became the smartest beings on earth overnight. We did sort of get lucky that there were other hominids already on the planet, but because they were also in a few other solar systems, our prioritization was on the humans."
"That explains why there's no other hominids on their planet. We allowed the rest of them to go extinct on that planet."
"Well, they're not all extinct. Though Adam and Eve did breed, even having their kin crossbreed with some of the Cro-Magnons, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and whatever else they could unite chromosomes with, there was quite a lot of inbreeding. After a few generations, their populations were large enough to undo their inbreeding over a series of several generations."
"Goodness, so that's why we're here," Aalekh placed his maxillas within his metacarpals.
"That's the price we get for trying to play the role of the universe. We made the humans smart, but too smart till the point that their focus is primarily on technological development. Sadly, we didn't make them smart enough to be aware that they need each other instead of trying to create divisions and war."
"That's why they keep trying to destroy themselves."
"Essentially. Unlike whales, they haven't evolved enough to develop certain parts of their brains for social communications."
"Why don't we just drop a couple apples then?"
"Cause it's not our place to evolve them without their permission, let alone their proper understanding. Once they evolve, they'll never be human again, and any and all humans will go extinct."
"Like our species once did?"
"Like our species once did."
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Niche topic & fresh perspectives