Fink flipped his thick, hairless tail, letting it land with a solid thwack on the deck not two feet from the tips of the woman’s shoes.
The Lamb stopped, her gaze locked on Fink.
It was hard to tell which characteristic people found most intimidating about him. It could have been the teeth, the claws, his sheer six-legged bulk or it could have been the reputation, the stigma of a species mixed in a lab by not just a crackpot but The Crackpot, by Woolsey.
…No one else would have thought to mix a little bit of rat with a little bit of leopard and a whole lot of rucnart to create something big and strong and scary enough to walk the surface with impunity.
Classification: Heavy strider.
Breeding Status: Retired from the program. Breeding successfully in the wild.
Height (at shoulder): 1.4-1.9m
Length (nose to tip): 2.8-3.9m
Genetic combination: Rat (Terran), leopard (Terran), rucnart (Jørn)
Arguably the most famous of Dr Augusta Woolsey’s creations, ruc-pards (‘pards) are among the more distinctive Earth–Jørn hybrids, with six legs, a leopard-like body and rat-like forequarters, head and tail. Although huge in comparison to other companions (with the exceptions of the roomal and slale-bear) fully-grown ‘pards still cannot match the size of their native Jøran cousins, the rucnarts.
Known for the ferocity and hardiness, ‘pards are capable of taking on all but the largest of Jørn’s indigenous species.
Today, the ferocity and intelligence that made them so valuable to early explorers has become a liability in the closer environments of the cities. Coupled with a fearsome reputation and the stigma attached to all of Dr Woolsey’s creations, their popularity as companions has declined and they are rarely seen outside of the Farm.
Ruc-pards are one of the few Earth–Jørn hybrids that thrive in the wild, and the Farm keeps track of over thirty-eight packs scattered across the globe.