Goguryean Green-eyed Polydactylous Otter Syndrome/GOGEPOS

"And here we are, the last of this batch."

"Funny, this one has extra fingers and toes. And such green eyes, Hana."

"Well, Green-footed otter, woo-wee, one let's run the test."

The maze door opened, a rare, semi-aquatic maze, constructed solely for the test. The otter was to navigate the maze, based purely upon scent, the small underwater compartments were pitch-black, and propellers, doubling as white-noise generators, the volume set just low-enough to prevent background noise from helping the otter orient itself, had been deployed.

Five openings had been opened, to allow fresh air into the water, but only one allowed the otter to take part in the second part of the test. A single drop of natural, biological, Marpelo honey had been dropped, one minute before the experiment, on the rim of this exit hatch, a different kind of honey had been dropped on each of the four decoys, Marpelo was the otter's favorite, and had been since they had been brought to the laboratory.

Some otters had been fooled, but defying statistics, all the polydactylous, green-eyed ferrets had succeeded on the first try. Torteladra Goguryan made some notes, then moved to the second page to note results. In the pitch darkness, in a 20metres by 20metres blank space the height of an adult otter, another maze had been constructed, like underwater, fans were employed to force air movement in the maze, but also to generate white noise.

The scent marker used for this test had fooled the bloodhounds used as a control group, but not this otter.

"Talk to me, Hana."

"Sir, we've discovered a somatype marker of otter genetics."


"All octodacylan, jor-ji otters we've tested so far, all three hundred of them, display at least double the olfactory acuity of the control groups, either regular otters, or dogs thought to be particularly sensitive."

"Just how sensitive?"

"Jor-Jie here detected the invader plague with no false positives, and only one negative, giving her 100% sensitivity, and 99.7% specificity, over three hundred tests. The compound rate for all three hundred otters is 1 false positive, and 393 false negatives, over 90131 tests."

  "What? Those are the best numbers for any detector I've seen in the literature."   "Yes, I've extrapolated that just by deploying these 300 ferrets in sensitive areas, we could save a few thousand lives over the first year of the program."   "We're going to see the Minister." Said sub-minister Aera.  
  Sub-minister Aera was woken up, it was just before dawn, ont the day of rest.   "Your audience is on Gongday, at audience opening, be prepared."  
  "Minister Min-Ji, Hana would beg leave to present the results of some of our research."   "Proceed."   "Excuse me minister, but..."   There was a moment of discomfort. Bjork Candless shifted, she knew that as security attaché to the embassy, her presence was only tolerated, but the warming of relations between Kagomei and Goguryeo meant she could be shown some things, things of importance to Kagomei, in the area of public health and safety. Her new LGOR-06 rank bars, still shiny, still, well, unlived-in.   "Is this information of a military nature, Hana?"   "Err, no, Minister, it is a potential advance in medical diagnostic."   "Then our guest may stay, provided that if they make use of this invention in the future, they abide by the terms of the treaty for sharing of patented information. I am granting you a temporary patent on this, until we've ascertained just what you bring to my office..."   "Thank you sir." By doing so, he had just agreed he was funding her patent application, and in Goguryeo, medical patents were outrageously expensive... Hana's head swam, she had expected a small bonus, not something on par with her yearly salary. "Please notice this creature." A small mustelid filled the Jade screen, playful, it was laying on its back, feasting from a bucket of freshwater fish nearby. "Jor-Jie, as we have taken to call her, is a green-footed otter of the type most common to our riverbanks. Jor-Jie, as you can see, has eight digits on each limb, and startling green eyes. She also has a sense of smell that humbles that of the finest bloodhounds."   "Oh, and you mentioned this in regards to diagnostics, I take it this has medical applications?"   "I've handed out the relevant statistics from our tests and control groups, we've performed 120000 blind tests for the presence of the invader's plague. Jor-Jie and her three hundred fellows, all female, as it were, detected every single one, easily within the error margins of the tests."   "Minister, this is something we'd like to verify with our own experiments, but if it turns out to be true... We would very much like to license this patent from you... In the interests of verifications, could we have some of the animals sent to Kagomei?" Bjork Candless, shook, she had lost her mother to the plague.   "Your climate is hotter and dryer than ours, you should take care, but provided you bring her back, I don't..."   "Hana... I think they mean to do destructive tests..."   "Ah, no, at least, I did not... But I cannot guarantee the types of tests our researchers will find necessary either. Could we purchase some of the animals?"   "I'd very much consider it a personal favour if Jor-Jie lived to a ripe old age..."  

"Hey, Jor-Jie, catch!" Shibué loved this game, throwing the little plush otter that Jor-Jie carried almost everywhere, for her to catch.


Jor-Jie missed, that was unusual. Then she stumbled, and fainted dead away. Shibué raced her to the hospital, worried her recent friend, she'd only had her two years, and hadn't known anyone to ask how long an otter lived...

  At the veterinarian hospital.  

"Jor-Jie, Jor-Jie Van Pelt?"


Shibué brought Jor-Jie still form. "My herevallin's name." It was so new, she was still apologizing, she hoped that stopped soon.


"That fine, fine young man with the beautiful manners and calligraphy? You are so lucky..."


"My poor otter isn't..."


"Oh, she will need treatment, she's got elevated mercury levels in her blood. But it is early enough, she should be fine. How old is she?"


"I don't know..." Shibué tried not to sound so rattled.


"Well, she appears to be just about six years old, and in prime condition. Have you had her spayed?"


"No, I was still considering the possibility of getting a permit, and having her bred."


"The penalty is steep if you let her out of your sight too long..."


"I'm Meihomei's own head of lifeguards, if she escapes my notice long enough to do the deed, she'll have done more than Meihomei has, and at half the smarts. How long does an otter of this species live?"


"Err, obviously, you seem to be a specialist in surveillance, so I'll defer to your judgement. You should enjoy her company for perhaps a decade yet."


"Doctor, I think she had been spayed before she joined the family, see here?" The aide pointed to the lightbox, where transparencies hung.


"Err, that's good to know."

Shibué wondered if such a thing was reversible, she very much wanted children of her own, and she felt Jor-Jie deserved her own chance...


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