Before you get into this post you must realize that not everything a novelist (writer of long fiction) says is fact, nor is everything he says fiction. Read on and decide for yourself.
Wow! Could the sabre-toothed cat be real? Could these animals, believed to have gone extinct 11,000 years ago, actually have managed to survive undetected in and around Montana’s Bob Marshal Wilderness? Or could someone have developed the technology to overcome the cloning roadblocks and then by accident, or by intention, released them into the wild?
“Wait a minute,” you say. “To clone you have to have a viable specimen to begin with. There is nothing left but bones and teeth.”
But what if there were more than bones and teeth? What if there was something that was so perfect that it retained the entire DNA necessary to recreate the great and powerful sabre-toothed cat… the Smilodon?
“That would be crazy,” you say?
Cloning has been around for over a century
Look at the world around you. Since the late 1800s there have been attempts and moderate successes in the cloning arena, from Hans Dreisch’s sea urchins to Hans Spemman’s salamander to Robert Briggs’ frog to Steen Willadsen’s sheep to Neal First’s cow, and then Ian Wilmut’s well known Dolly the sheep in 1996, quickly followed by nearly five dozen mice cloned at the Honolulu Technique in the following couple of years. Then came the big one, the cloning of a bull gaur, an endangered wild ox, in 2001. There are now several businesses around the world that will clone your deceased pet. That’s a fact. As far as humans, there have been several highly controversial and unsubstantiated successes. But we shall not go down that road…maybe.
The most important cloning effort, as far as this author is concerned, is the fully viable sabre-toothed cat DNA–extracted from an almost perfectly preserved Smilodon specimen–discovered by Aileen Bravelli in the La Brea Tar Pits in southern California in the early nineties. It was following that quiet discovery that her merger with Victor Vandermill took place. It was he who had the money and the wherewithal to build Sans Sanssabre in the mountains of Montana where he could privately pursue the recreation of the big cat without a lot of government big-nose interference.
If Mr. Vandermill had kept it all quiet then all would likely have been fine, however, his greed for recognition drove him to hire a writer to document the successes of his company. If only he’d known a little more about Zechariah Price before he’d brought him on board, or maybe even a little more about his own employees, he’d likely be alive today.
Smilodon is about more than a sabre-toothed cat
I’m getting far ahead of myself. That’s a sequel or two down the road. What you want to know right now is how did these sabre-toothed cats get to the point that Montana cattlemen are becoming concerned about their livestock? Oh, and what did I mean by the word ‘maybe’ three paragraphs back?
Somewhere in this post fact leads into fiction and the novel “Smilodon” begins.
A seven hundred pound, nine-foot animal which can appear out of the snow, grass, low-lying bush, or even thin air, kills a man with one bite and carries him off, into the forest, like nothing more than a rabbit.
What does the company name, Sans Sanssabre stand for anyway?
sans – \ˈsanz\ /sænz/ Without.
sa•bre – \ˈsā-bər\ /ˈseɪbə(r)/ A heavy sword with a one-edged, slightly curved blade.
Sans Sans•Sa•bre (ˈsanz ˈsanz sā-bər) Without, without sabre.
Having second thoughts about that next camping trip to Montana? Trust me, it’ll be fine, but make sure you’re watching your back.