“My mother weaned me in the year 2073. She wasn’t my species, instead she was a lioness, unthinking but strong; her body was merely an incubator for what I was. For a year or more I trained, to scent out explosives, firearms, combustibles and volatiles. Somewhere along the way, others of my kind began speaking.
I could speak a few words, to my handler to describe what I smelled, but I had no reason to think I could do more. However, my handler told me I was free, and asked if I would like to learn to be more like him: to think like a human, to speak as one, to be part of the pack called “Choicer”. I said to him “Yes.” I have ran proudly with the Choicer pack every day since then.”
-Taharqa, thirty-four year old Ubasti combat drill instructor. January, 2107.
The Covenant’s “Combat Ubasti” genetic engineering program began during the late 2050s, at the University of California Berkley. The programs’ first successes created several varieties of drug and bomb sniffing lynx, before Bastian geneticists were able to crack the true Ubasti genome in 2072. The Ubasti were even more successful an engineered species than their designers intended. The Covenant quickly realized the Ubasti were fully sentient and capable of learning at a rate comparable to a human.
Not wanting to repeat the sins of an earlier Covenant, the Ubasti were quickly freed. But when given their freedom, not one single Ubasti left its unit. The great cats’ courage earned the respect, love and trust of the Covenant’s humans, and in turn the Ubasti chose to become part of the dominant homo sapiens ‘pack’. Today, the Ubasti serve the Covenant as ferocious war-beasts, pampered and beloved.
The Ubasti are probably the most unique of the many species that call Otherverse America home: genetically engineered lions bred to hunt Lifer terrorists. This micro-sourcebook delves a little deeper into the species’ origins and culture and details exotic new Ubasti breeds.
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