The bones of over four hundred neanderthals have been found to date. But, my roommate Garin is the closest thing to a living specimen.
My name is Adam, and I am a graduate student at The UCSC Paleogenomics Lab. Garin is my coworker at the lab. We spend just about every waking hour in the lab cataloging genetic sequences extracted from neanderthal bones. A huge open bone pit was discovered in the Atapuerca Mountains in northern Spain with the remains of at least 28 neanderthal individuals living there about 100,000 years ago – all of them male. It is a puzzle why there were so many males found living in one place together with no females. Garin and I analyze the bone fragments that our group leader sends back from the field.
Part of what’s done with them is to sequence genetic material in the bone fragments. Several research teams, including our team, had sequenced the genome of homo neanderthalensis. As far back as 2010, comparison of the genomes of modern humans and neanderthals was able to show that almost all of us have some percentage of genetic material that we inherited from cross-breeding with the neanderthals. Garin and I, of course, checked out our own levels. I am about 1% neanderthal. Garin, amazingly, is almost 5% neanderthal, which is on the high end of the natural distribution. He does not look like a hulking prehistoric brute at all. It must be recessive in him.
There is another thing that we do in the lab. Our group developed a form of gene therapy that we use on lab animals. We perfuse a part of the neanderthal gene sequence into the cells of rhesus monkeys or chimpanzees to observe the effect on physiology and behavior of the monkeys that are modified with the neanderthal genes. We test them and try to assess if certain genes could make them smarter, or dumber, or more resistant to certain diseases - or anything unexpected. We built in a “count-down clock” inside the cells with the altered genes so that the effects of gene therapy are reversed after some period of time. After the time elapses, our genetically enhanced neanderthal-monkeys reverted back to being normal monkeys. We could probably learn much more by performing the gene therapy on a person, but we couldn’t ever recruit someone to do that experiment. It would be unethical to use a person as a human guinea pig.
Today was a special day, starting when Garin finally showed up at the lab conceding, “OK. I guess I am your monkey for the day, Adam.”
Garin had had the effrontery to apply for and win the same graduate fellowship that I also applied for. We had a bet going (my idea) that if either of us won that fellowship, then the winner should have to be honorary lab monkey for a day as penance. We have a whole room full of lab monkeys, and I really don’t abuse them; however, I totally didn’t mind abusing Garin as my lab monkey for a day, and I took pictures to post on the graduate student union blog. I made him get naked and sit in in a monkey cage and down shots of tequila at the top and bottom of every hour. Then, I took him out once every hour on a chimp collar and leash to take the Matsuzawa chimp working memory test.
Interesting fact – a chimpanzee can actually memorize and remember arabic numerals flashed on a screen as good or better than a human, once trained properly to do it. My goal for Garin was to plot his cognitive decline from “almost as good as a chimp” in the morning to “complete drunken imbecile” by late afternoon. I made a nice graph of Garin’s stupidity quotient versus number of tequila shots to put up on the wall. “Thanks, Garin. I don’t feel like such a loser anymore. Also, congratulations.”
Garin said, “Hey, what are friends for,” and puked in the trash can. Garin said he might need to go home and sleep for a while; so, I gave him his pants back, and we closed things down early in the lab. We share an apartment on campus in graduate student housing, and we walked back together slowly, him stopping often because he feels dizzy. He says, “Adam, I think you are cruel and abusive to monkeys.”
The other fun thing about making Garin be a lab monkey and doing experiments on him is that he is very conscientious about animal rights. He believes on principle that no one should do an experiment on a monkey that he wouldn’t be willing to have done on himself. So, I was actually just making him follow through.
We have had several rounds now of essentially the same argument. Garin challenges me, “Why is it OK to genetically alter the monkeys, but it would be wrong to do the same thing with a person, even if the person were willing? Why?”
This is really not a question you ask five years into graduate school, when you need lab results to graduate. Money is tight. We live off a stipend that barely pays for food and basic needs. We’re two single guys living together in student housing, because nothing else is affordable. Our group leader is out on sabbatical leave, and we haven’t seen him in a year. We’re in the lab seven days a week with no end in sight of it. We’re two wage slaves with no life, but he wants to worry about the monkeys.
“They’re animals; we’re human. That’s how the boundary line is drawn. And, we treat them humanely.”
Unsatisfied with that answer, then Garin would go on, for instance, about Harry Harlow, a famous scientist who helped inspire the animal liberation movement. Harlow was famous for writing a paper called “The Nature of Love.” In his time it was widely believed that children become spoiled and maybe gay by forming too close emotional bonds with their parents. Parents were advised by doctors to avoid all physical contact with their infants, except when feeding them. Using monkeys, Harlow convincingly demonstrated to everyone’s surprise that close contact between an infant and its parent is actually essential for healthy development. Being isolated and deprived of contact caused all sorts serious problems, which he proved by taking infants away from their mothers and raising them in isolation chambers. His isolated monkeys grew up crazy, and no known drugs or other therapy provided to them later in life could make them whole again. Some of his experiments would today be seen as unethical, but many similar types of experiments are still routinely done.
According to Garin, “Saying we treat them humanely is not really saying much. We aren’t even learning much of anything from monkey studies. We put the neanderthal sequences into them. We want to see if they get smarter, or dumber, or start talking, or use tools, or become more resistant to disease. But, the monkeys are too far different from a neanderthal, and we‘re not learning anything.”
I agree with that. Garin and I have been doing these experiments over and over. If we’d found anything good, then we could have both defended and graduated by now. We’re stuck here until we do find something. I’ve met other life-long graduate students. I don’t want to spend the best years of my life trapped here waiting for the break that finally starts my career.
Garin says, “The only way to learn what neanderthals were like is to put the sequences into a species closely related. Preferably, a human. We are closer to them than any other living species. Preferably, a human with ancestry in Northern Europe with red hair, short stature, and pale skin, because that’s where they lived and what they looked like. Most preferably, someone with maximum compatibility who already inherited a high percentage of their genes.” He didn’t have to say, “Someone exactly like me.” We both understood that.
Next day, we got up and walked back through the campus to the lab like every other day, treading the same path we’d taken many times before. We were done blowing off steam. We prepped more monkeys and set up another variation of the same experiment we’d set up many times before. We could do this until kingdom come.
I said, “Garin, OK. Let’s do it. What do we have to lose?”
The gene transfer chamber is big for a monkey. For a homo sapiens it is a tight squeeze to fit in, but it can be done. And, Garin was a little short guy, or he used to be. Garin stripped off his lab coat and all his other clothes and got hooked up with a heart monitor and a rectal thermometer. The chamber is temperature controlled to bring his core body temperature down from normal 37 °C to the setpoint temperature of 32 °C, which is optimal for the process. We started an IV drip going in his arm and fit a gas mask over his mouth and nose. I helped him squeeze into the chamber and close it. The chamber has plexiglass walls so that the subject can be observed inside during the process. Garin immediately started to shiver, but the anesthetic in the gas mask put him unconscious soon. His naked body continued to shiver, but he was asleep. I monitored his temperature as it slowly decreased to the setpoint. On the backside of the chamber I threaded through the needle to tap his cerebrospinal fluid while his bloodstream became saturated with the activator. Once all set up, there is nothing further to do but set the timer and let it cycle. The process is regulated automatically until the end point. I found a blanket and took a nap in the graduate student lounge until the cycle completed.
When I returned, the sides on the box were fogged with condensation. I wiped it away to see him still inside naked and shivering. The gene transfer cycles had completed about an hour ago. I started the warm-up cycle and waited for his temperature to come back up. I stopped the IV and the spinal tap.
When he was out and conscious again he looked just the same as before. We joked that, after all, maybe nothing will happen. We knew it worked with monkeys, but no guarantee it would work on a human. He said he wanted to take the day and sleep at home, but before he did that we agreed to do some initial baseline tests. I stood him up against a wall and took photos of his face and body, labeled “regression day 1.” I did a brief interview with him on video camera. We did a few standard tests of motor skills, cognitive ability, and psychological outlook. I took blood and urine samples. Although, he really does not feel well, we go over to the gym, and I log how far he is able to go on a treadmill. He got sick to his stomach; so, I helped him make it back to the student housing. I started a separate notebook to log everything related to our experiment. He tells me to take good notes because the committee will want to review them before awarding our Nobel prize.
He feels really sick during the next day after that, and he starts to get some buyer’s remorse about what we did. I try to reassure him that, no matter what happens with this experiment, he will revert back to normal when the intracellular countdown clock expires in a month. He said, “I need to present a poster about neanderthals at the anthropology conference in four weeks time for my fellowship. I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it now.” I promised I would help him get the poster together.
I bring him some Chinese food and PeptoBismol when I come back to the apartment next night. I ask him how he feels. He tells me he knew I was coming, because he smelled me coming down the block. I assume he’s kidding. He tries to eat the Kung Pao Chicken, but it doesn’t agree with him. He gets a craving for raw potatoes and chicken liver.
The next thing that happened was that he wouldn’t sleep in his bed anymore. It felt too soft and squishy, like sleeping on a giant marshmellow. He found that he was more comfortable on a harder surface. The floor was OK, but his instincts told him to be high up off the floor, if possible. We got a sturdy packing crate that he could crawl on top of to sleep. Then, he was hot all the time. His body radiated heat and felt warm to the touch. When I took his temperature, it was always several points above normal, but he wasn’t feverish. He started sleeping naked with the window open in his bedroom to keep from overheating.
A week later, he was reluctant to stand up against the wall to have his picture taken for “regression day 8”. The issue was he’d smelled something last night at the gym that got him excited. He got an erection that lasted all night and still wouldn’t go down this morning. He didn’t have a clue what triggered it, and he somehow couldn’t figure out how to deal with it. And, he was shy about getting naked and letting me take his picture that way.
I said, “Garin, this is part of the experiment and possibly an important observation to record in detail. It was your idea to be a human guinea pig. You know that. What would Alfred Russel Wallace do? What would Margaret Mead do? I’ll tell you. They would get naked and stand against the wall to be photographed.”
He really couldn’t argue with that. Reluctantly, he let me do the photos and the other data logging. When he pulled his pants down, I saw what he was so freaked out about. It wasn’t just about the erection. I’m not sure how to describe it, but that’s what meticulous photographic documentation is for. It was grotesque, yet intriguing. When he was erect, his foreskin retracted so that his penis head and part of his shaft was exposed. He was growing a set of hard keratinized penile spines in concentric rings. The spines wound around in a spiral pattern down the length of his shaft.
Very similar structures exist on the penises of chimpanzees, macaques, and gibbons, but it wasn’t thought to be the case for neanderthals. Recently, there had been much heated debate among paleoanthropologists about what a neanderthal penis looks like, but there is no clear evidence in the fossil record to say. Most researchers had placed their bets on the smooth, spineless, modern penis. Nonetheless, Garin’s penis looked like something he could either have sex with or, maybe, grate cheese. What in the world did they use that for? The other fascinating thing about Garin’s erect penis was that it was self-lubricating. A clear viscous liquid leaked out from under the foreskin to coat the shaft. No doubt, that will be a blessing for everyone involved, if he ever tries to insert that spiny thing.
I had him stand facing me with his arms over his head, because I was beginning to notice other anatomical changes that we needed to document. His armpit hair was growing in more densely with bushy darker red hair. When I photographed him from behind, I noted the trail of red hair that was sprouting out along the center line of his dorsal region from deep in his ass crack up to about the middle of his lower back. His neck and the tops of his feet were getting carpeted with orange fuzz. In his face, his nose was broader, and his nostrils were slightly wider.
He continued to score at his baseline level on motor skills and cognitive skills. The psych test was showing the fact that he was troubled emotionally about some of the changes he was experiencing. In addition to the visual changes in him, I was starting to get back the lab analysis of his blood and urine. Levels of key hormones were changing. His testosterone level was already elevated outside the range it should be for a normal human male. He was changing biochemically. He smelled funny. I tried to get him to talk about it on camera for the record. Garin was more upset about his spiny penis and his non-stop erection than anything else.
I asked him the obvious question, “Can’t you just jerk off and take care of it?”
“No. That’s what’s bothering me. Somehow, I just can’t. I keep smelling things in the air that, um, you know….”
“You catch a whiff of something in the air, and it makes you hard?”
“Yeah. All the time.”
“You don’t know where it’s coming from?”
“No, and it’s like I’m locked and loaded, but I can’t find the trigger.”
“Did you try internet porn?”
“Of course. It doesn’t work. Nothing works.”
It was an interesting development. Neanderthals were an archaic species closely related to modern humans. Their sexual behavior is thought to be much like ours, just more extreme. Fossil index fingers of neanderthals are longer compared with the ring finger versus most living humans, suggesting that the neanderthals had very high levels of testosterone that pumped them up into a race of sex-obsessed violent thugs. Aside from that, we think they were just like us.
Or, maybe not. Garin was having trouble adjusting to life as pre-human species. He didn’t seem to know how his body worked anymore. I said, “Garin, try to think more like a neanderthal. Maybe, neanderthals didn’t jerk off to porn. They must have had some different way to get off. We just have to experiment and find out what it was.”
So, I blindfolded Garin and hooked up his penis to a chart recorder so that we could set-up a controlled experiment to measure his response to different stimuli. We would be the first researchers to discover what makes a neanderthal horny. Every one of the great ape species does sex differently. For example, male chimps don’t get turned on until they see a bright red fleshy balloon inflate out of the ass of a female chimp that signals, “I’m ready.” Maybe, Garin needed some special signal.
“Whatever you have in mind to do to me, Adam, just please don’t blow a balloon out of your ass.”
For the sake of science, I stole some girl’s underwear out of a bin in the laundry room. When Garin smelled it, his erection just completely wilted. “Oh thank God. I thought it would never go down,” he said. Then, I hired a strip-o-gram to come in the lab and do a lap dance all over him, but nothing. These initial results flew in the face of common sense. I couldn’t understand it.
I redoubled my efforts to identify the odor that triggers Garin. I had him stick his face in a shoe and breathe deeply. I brought in smelly foods, like tuna, skunky beer, and old hamburger. I had him smell flowers and spices ground up in a jar. I had him smell his own armpit. Sometimes that gets me going, but it didn’t get a response from him. Compost. Vinegar. Sour milk. Baby diapers. Truffles. Stinky cheese. Cigar smoke. Grass clippings. None of these smells affected him.
We took a break so that Garin could go over to the university gym and work out some more. Garin was wanting to work out more frequently. He would start to get extremely restless when made to sit still for long tests. Increasingly, he wanted to be walking or running or doing anything active with his body. In the gym he would roam around from station to station as if hunting something; although, he couldn’t say what he was hunting for. He avoided the men’s locker room and showered at home instead, because he said the smell in there was too overwhelming. He needed the work-outs, but the locker room made him uncomfortable. I thought he was just shy about some of the physical changes going on with this body.
He wanted to try something different that would be a little more raw and intense; so, we got a trial membership for him at the local CrossFit box. Garin immediately fell in and clicked with the CrossFitters, because they were all wannabe cavemen doing the Paleo diet, and Garin was the real thing. He started spending all his time there doing WODs with his workout buddies in his class. The CrossFit lifestyle is supposed to emulate high impact, highly variable physical activities of paleolithic hunter-gathers that might have kept them fit for combat and survival in the ancient world. As Garin regressed further on the gene therapy, his physiology and metabolism became more like an actual paleolithic hunter-gatherer; so, he excelled in CrossFit and could post enviable high numbers on his reps of thrusters, pull ups, box jumps, burpees, and other work-out sets.
There was a certain type of CrossFit guy at these classes who would start out trying to compete with Garin on reps. Next thing you know, the guy gives up trying to compete with Garin and just starts following him around like a puppy dog wanting to work-out with him and spot him all the time.
I asked him, “Garin, why are gay CrossFit guys following you around all the time?”
“They’re not gay. They are committed to the CrossFit lifestyle.”
Thanks to CrossFit, Garin finally discovered how neanderthals get off. He was spotting one of his work-out buddies on a set of barbell thrusters. A thruster starts from the standing position, with a barbell held up above the collar bone against the shoulders. The guy drops into the squat position, sticking his ass out behind him, while keeping the barbell at shoulder level. He holds the barbell with palms facing up and elbows extended out. Then, he returns to standing position while hoisting the barbell up over his head. He brings the barbell back down to his shoulders and drops into another squat to start the next rep.
Garin stood behind his buddy to help in case he lost control of the barbell as he hoisted it high over his head at the end of each cycle. They were both bare chested with their CrossFit shorts on. Garin was getting hairier and more pumped every day and was everyone’s wet dream in CrossFit. His workout partner was also very fit, but slimmer and smoother. When the guy squatted into him, his ass smelled like freshly tilled earth in a garden, and Garin was suddenly hard as a rock.
“No. That can’t be it. Can it?”
Garin realized he might be stuck with another nonstop hard-on if he didn’t figure out now what to do with the guy. It sounded really lame asking, “Hey, wanna come to my house after class and do a few more reps?”
But, the guy, whose name was Tony, agreed.
In Garin’s apartment instinct took over. Tony actually wanted to do more reps. Garin wrestled him to the ground and caught him on his back in a grapevine pin. He held the guy’s arms over his head and captured both legs by wrapping his legs around them, locking them with his ankles spread out wide. Garin put down all his weight chest-to-chest, holding him down flat and immobile. Then, Garin leaned in face-to-face and arched out over, planting an armpit squarely onto the pinned guy’s face. Tony’s mouth and nose were suddenly drowning in a sea of Garin’s thick, sweaty pit hair. After Garin smothered him with his armpit for a few minutes, Tony became disoriented and ceased struggling. A few minutes more, and he passed out incapacitated. As soon as the guy was unconscious and no threat, a green light lit up in Garin’s mind. His instincts told him that this ass was fuckable now. So, Garin kept him there and neanderthal-fucked him off-and-on all night. Every once in a while, Tony would start to wake up, but that was easily handled by smothering him with his armpit again.
I wasn’t aware of any of this until the next morning. A strange, disoriented guy in CrossFit shorts came out of Garin’s room while I was eating breakfast. He didn’t seem to know where he was. I gave him some coffee.
“You must be one of Garin’s CrossFit buddies,” I said.
“Garin? I guess you must work out with him, since you’re wearing his shorts.”
“Garin. Yeah. Garin’s awesome. Where am I?”
I helped him find his own clothes and the door and watched him slowly perambulate along down the sidewalk. 50/50 chance he was going the right direction.
I found Garin sprawled out on top of his packing crate sound asleep. Some hours later he woke up, and I was able to learn the whole story from him.
I said, “So, Garin. You’re gay now. It’s going to take me some time getting used to that, but OK.”
No wonder they all went extinct! Neanderthals were one of nature’s experiments that somehow went off the rail. Modern humans might be about 5% gay; neanderthal males had somehow drifted more and more increasingly gay until they turned into 100% hyper-masculine super-gays that knocked each other out with their armpits and ass-fucked each other with self-lubricating punisher-cocks until their whole lineage died out. How terribly sad and tragic for them.
But, what a great discovery for me! Us, I mean. There are so many speculative theories about why neanderthals died out. Some say they died out because our ancestors killed them all in ancient prehistoric wars. Some say they actually had much stronger familial bonds than we do, and they perished because they all practiced incest. Alternatively, they interbred with modern humans to an extent that their descents became assimilated with us, indistinguishable. No. They were just the crowning apex of gay evolution. Garin, the gay neanderthal, was going to rock the world of anthropology when I exhibited him at the conference!
Garin hadn’t turned dumber or smarter, just horny and super-gay. He brought home other CrossFit guys after the first one, and they mainly all ended up the same way. Garin confided that his cock spikes are super-sensitive.
“They activate every time I start to pull out, and it feels amazing!”
I asked if he ever wanted to be fucked himself. He thought that was nonsensical. “If any of the CrossFit guys wanted to fuck me, they would knock me out first, obviously.”
That guy that he brought home first, Tony, was his favorite fuck toy, but he took it too far. One night I came home from the lab and heard crying and banging from inside Garin’s room. I went in and saw Garin asleep again on top of his packing crate. The crying and banging came from inside the crate. When I looked inside the open end, I found Tony inside wrapped up in athletic tape with more athletic tape wrapped around his head and mouth. He had woken up in the dark that way and was frightened. With Garin still passed out on top of the crate, I pulled Tony out the side by his feet and dragged him over to my room. I got some scissors and did the lengthy delicate job of getting all that sticky tape off of him. I tried to reassure Tony that Garin was most likely only following his instincts and didn’t mean him any harm. Obviously, Garin really liked Tony; so, he just wanted to make sure that Tony couldn’t run away while he was asleep. This was a clash of cultures that must have played out countless times in prehistory when sapiens and neanderthalensis encountered each other. Tony didn’t understand about neanderthal romance; so, he wanted to go to the police.
Garin said, “I think neanderthals would have been totally in love with athletic tape if it had existed in prehistoric times. It’s so stretchy, and it binds so well when you wrap it. It’s like sex and love all wound up together on a spool.”
Garin was found to be in violation of the University’s “yes means yes” sexual assault policy. Tony alleged in a written complaint that Garin failed to elicit verbal consent from him at each and every stage of their sexual encounters prior to making him delirious with his armpit and fucking him.
“I didn’t even have a chance to say yes before he knocked me out,” said Tony.
Tony testified that Garin’s armpits are like a drug, and he didn’t even know where he was most of the time. It was your classic date-rape scenario.
This is where I first became aware of Garin’s profound cognitive deficits. As a neanderthal, he somehow didn’t comprehend that sex is a contract that you painstakingly negotiate line by line every time you bring someone home. Proceedings were underway, and it looked like Garin might get kicked out of school and possibly tried in criminal court as a sex offender. Garin was really upset about it. It was all just a misunderstanding. I took him to the grocery store to let him forage for food, because I knew it would make him feel better.
My interviews with Garin during the first weeks of his regression turned out to be so valuable, because he ceased speaking after the third week. He could still understand me perfectly well when I talked to him, and he continued to score well on some cognitive tests that don’t require a verbal response. His communication from that point onward was reduced to nodding his head, yes and no, or else gesturing or pointing at things to make himself understood. He was losing his ability to defend himself in any legal dispute. He was also less able to function independently or to carry on with his graduate studies. His fellowship would soon be in jeopardy.
We agreed that, for the time being, Garin should not go out roaming around on his own anymore. I would be his custodian to take him where he needed to go. Even apart from the trouble he was in at school, after three weeks regression he was starting to attract attention walking around. I reminded my roommate that this loss of independence would only be temporary, because his countdown clock would elapse soon reverting him back to his normal life. It seemed too problematic to let him wander on his own, and I couldn’t afford any more legal problems distracting from preparation for the anthropology conference next week. We moved his shipping crate out of our apartment and into a storeroom in the back of the lab. Both of us knowing he would try to roam off anyway, he reluctantly agreed to be tethered there again with the chimp collar.
I had him get naked and stand against the wall to take the photos for “regression day 23.” Garin’s transformation was very advanced now. He was hairier than Forrest Griffin and built like an MMA fighter. He pointed and gestured through the door to the poster presentation that I was assembling for the conference. He wanted to help with it.
“You are helping, pal. The presentation is all about you. You’re going to be famous! The best thing you can do to help is cooperate and do what I tell you. And, don’t get in any more trouble.”
He gestured for me to give him his clothes back. I told him he could wear his shorts later when I take him to CrossFit. I shut the door so I could get back to work on the presentation without distractions. There were many data that still needed to be summarized within a couple days to meet the submission deadline.
I had a bad dream.
I don’t remember exactly what it was about, but suddenly I woke up from it in panic, because Garin was on top of me, fucking me! My ass felt like it was on fire! How did he get free from his room? The heat radiating from his body was unnatural. As he pistoned in and out it felt like when you drive your car over the rumble strips at a toll booth. I started trying to tell him “Stop. I’m not gay!” But, when I opened my mouth I swallowed a wad of his pit hair and gagged on it. I tried to draw in a breath but was overcome by his smell, which was a combination of wet socks, ammonia, black pepper, and shoe polish.
Now, I woke up again, this time for real. I realized I had been dreaming again about what it would feel like to be neanderthal-fucked unconscious by Garin, then waking up part way through. Wow, that was scary! I scrub my ass twice a day now with deodorant soap to make sure I never smell anything like freshly tilled earth in a garden. Although, Garin told me I don’t need to worry, because I never do.
“You just keep your distance, Garin. I’m not taking any chances with you.”
The Paleoanthropology Society Conference was being held in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 14-15. It takes about one and a half hours to drive to San Francisco by car from Santa Cruz. I rented a car to take us there, and I put Garin in the passenger seat. I wanted to make sure everything would go well for our presentation. I didn’t know how he would handle the car ride, and I needed him to cooperate with being exhibited for the society members. So, I started shooting him up with monkey tranquilizers enough to keep him mellow throughout the trip. Sure, he was my colleague, but right now I couldn’t risk letting a super-strong pre-human go rampaging around out of my control at a conference. This presentation could make my career, but the trip was high risk. I was taking a gay neanderthal to San Francisco - the one place in the world more gay than CrossFit.
At the conference, we were assigned a presentation booth with a table and wall space behind it to mount our poster. It is like a science fair. The members of the society wander around from booth to booth all day, frequently stopping individually or in small groups to ask the presenters to explain their research findings on the mounted posters. It’s exhausting really. I basically have to stand there in front of it all day and give a two minute elevator pitch about it over and over again to everyone passing by. Then, I have to be prepared to answer intelligently any more in-depth follow-up questions. The follow-up questions tend to also be the same questions over and over. I wore a suit and a tie, got a haircut, and tried my best to look employable.
Garin tried to help me mount the poster in the morning, which was very cute. But, where I needed him was up on the table where everyone could get a look at him. He was a very unsteady with the tranquilizers. I had modified a Lazy Susan by mounting a four foot vertical post slightly off-center. I’d fixed a set of wrist restraints near the top of the post and a set of ankle restraints at the bottom. I propped him up on the table and started stripping him. He was resistant to that; so, I had to hit him with another shot of tranquilizer, and he then had trouble even sitting up against the post. I locked his two wrists into the cuffs on the post above his head and fastened his torso to the post by tightening a belt around his waist. That gave him stability to stay upright. I pulled his shorts and shoes off. I pulled his two feet up onto the table to where I could attach the ankle cuffs extending out from the base of the post. His knees splayed out to either side of his body with his feet held closer to his hips at the base of the post. He kicked at the ankle cuffs, because he didn’t like having his legs pulled up that way. He was definitely strong enough to make problems, but I still had lots and lots of monkey tranquiizer to take us through the day. I stuck a pair of CrossFit Tony’s shorts in front of Garin’s nose; so, his cock spines would come out on display. “There you go, pal. That’s what I need you for. Just sit up straight so everybody can see what you’re packing. I need you locked and loaded until the end of the conference.”
My presentation was entitled “The Gay Neanderthal: Changes in a Formerly Human, Formerly Heterosexual Male induced by Gene Therapy.”
I described how poor Garin suffered from an incurable disease that would have certainly killed him. As a final long-shot effort to save him, he was perfused with neanderhal genes extracted from 100,000 year old fossilized bone fragments. He was cured of his disease, but his body and brain acquired neanderthal traits as a side effect. The changes in him are a window into the past from which we’ve learned new, surprising details about this extinct closely related species. I went on describing the physical changes in Garin, occasionally drawing attention to specific changes by rotating Garin around on the Lazy Susan and highlighting him with my laser pointer. I talked about what we can deduce about neanderthals from Garin’s loss of speech, his cognitive abilities, and his sexual behaviors that so far only involve males, even though he wasn’t gay before. It was only coincidental that neanderthals went extinct at the same time when modern humans came along. Clearly, we didn’t do anything to them. They were just too gay to go on living.
I was so nervous. Garin used to be way better than me at public speaking in meetings like this one. It felt so good to have him here with me now. I often get stage fright, and I start to zone out and lose track of what I am saying. It is a real problem for me, which I’m working on. But, with Garin here beside me and everyone staring at his giant monkey dick, I didn’t feel so much in the spotlight. It really boosted my confidence. The display lights were hot on him, and he was panting with his mouth open. I wiped some sweat off his face and chest, and I gave him a friendly kiss on the cheek.
“Thanks for going along with this, buddy. This is awesome! So many people here.”
Garin’s eyes momentarily aligned into focus on me. Garin’s eyes were saying, “You go, Adam. You’re the man!”
Another cluster of conference goers was converging on us. I introduced myself and launched into my pitch again.
The presentation was very well received. The society members had great questions, and lots of people came by just to take selfies of themselves with Garin to tweet about the exhibit. Reporters for Science and Nature and even some main-stream media came around for interviews.
I kept a close eye on Garin and dosed him up again with another shot whenever he started pulling on his restraints with any determination. I don’t think he was able to comprehend much about the discussions and news interviews around him in his half-awake drug-induced stupor. An interviewer from the San Francisco Bay Area Reporter stuck a microphone in Garin’s face to ask how he was enjoying life in the modern world and if he had any plans to march in the Pride Parade. I had to explain to her that Garin is completely dumb; so, he can’t answer. He was contributing in his own way.
Garin pissed himself in the middle of one my talks during the afternoon session. My fault. I probably should have planned some way to give him have a piss break. Someone ran to get some napkins from the minibar. A guy standing by listening had experience with primate control, and he helpfully suggested I could prevent Garin pissing himself in the conference hall by installing a catheter. I’d never learned how to do that; so, during the next break the guy showed me how he does it by inserting through the urethra and inflating a balloon inside to secure it. Then, he pulled it back out and let me try doing it myself. That was great! Now I could get through the rest of the evening and not be distracted anymore with Garin’s pissing.
The poster session didn’t officially end until late in the evening, but around dinner time the crowd thins out a lot, and all the important people have been talked-up already. Traditionally, this is the time when it is safest for me and other presenters to step away, get a stiff drink at the bar, and wander around a little to see what the other researchers are presenting. I hung a “back in 10 minutes” sign around Garin’s neck in case anyone else came by to look at my poster.
It was probably more like three drinks and 40 minutes before I finally wandered back to my poster. And, of course, Garin was still where I left him attached to his display post with his legs open and his cock in the air. I like this Garin better. The Garin that can’t argue or compete with me. The Garin who can’t go anywhere without me and just sits waiting where I left him, depending on me for everything. I’m going to miss him when his cellular countdown clock ticks down and reverts him back to the original version.
Sometimes, the best thing about these conferences is when you randomly bump into someone and have a conversation which inspires you and changes your whole way of thinking. I was about to have one such moment now. The graduate student that had been presenting the poster two booths over from me was also here with a drink in his hand admiring Garin.
He said, “I’m Derrick. Great poster, man! I really like your neanderthal exhibit!”
“Thanks. He’s really lucky. He had a terminal illness and would certainly be dead now if he hadn’t volunteered for this experimental gene therapy. We thought the neanderthal genes might cure him. Of course, it had some side effects, as you can see.”
Derrick said, “Yeah, I admire that effort. You’re probably a genius and a hero, saving him this way. I’m sure he prefers this to the alternative. But, are you worried he will get sick all over again when he starts reverting back?”
I hadn’t actually thought about that part of my story. “Um, yeah, I’m terribly worried that all the good I’ve tried to do for him will be undone when he reverts back to human, but there is no way to stop the countdown clock and prevent that.”
Derrick said, “You know, I work a lot with genetically altered mice. We have a group of mice in my lab that all age very rapidly because their telomers are too short. We found that we can make them live much longer by injecting them with an RNA that makes their telomers grow longer.”
Who cares? I didn’t see why he was telling me that.
Then, he said, “Your genetic countdown clock - I understand it works like a short telomer in all of the modified neanderthal cells? The telomer gets whittled away until it is gone in a month? Then, those altered cells all die. He goes back to what he used to be.”
It does? Oh, I get it now. “Yes, I believe it does.”
“Derrick, are you saying that you have some RNA that can make his altered neanderthal cells continue living? And then, he won’t ever revert back to the way he was?”
“It works with mice,” he said.
Derrick’s lab was part of UCSF Medical Center, which is right here in San Francisco. And, he said he could possibly get us some RNA as soon as tomorrow, if Garin and I were interested in using it to stop his countdown. I said that Garin and I were definitely interested. The timing couldn’t be better, because Garin could elapse and start to revert back any day. It had now been 29 days since.
I had planned for Garin and I to stay at a cheap motel and then drive home tomorrow, but Derrick invited us to stay at his place near the medical center. He said he’d want to observe Garin for a day or so after injecting him to make sure he did not have a bad reaction to it. Derrick was so nice! When the session finally ended late that evening, he helped me take down my poster and get my materials and Garin back to the rental car.
We disconnected Garin’s wrist cuffs from his display post to let him get his arms down from over his head. He was a little stiff and lowered them slowly.
I said, “Hey there, Garin. Be a good boy and put your wrists behind you now so I can relock them together behind your back.”
Garin was more awake now than he had been earlier today. I detected he was aware enough now to start getting resentful about being unexpectedly drugged, stripped, and displayed as an anthropology exhibit. Garin shook his head no and didn’t want to have his wrists relocked. So, I bargained with him.
“You know, Garin, I was planning to take that uncomfortable catheter out of your dick before we go, but if you are so determined to be difficult, then I guess I’ll just have to leave it in.”
Garin gave me a nasty look but then backed down and put his wrists behind his back. I didn’t really want to have any battles with him, but I also didn’t want to continue sticking him over and over with tranquilizers, now that the hard part was over. He could get addicted. I’ve seen enough monkeys get strung out from overuse of tranquilizers, and it’s not pretty. With his wrists locked behind him, I felt like he was controlled well enough so I did not have to shoot him up again. I was restraining him for his own good. Same with his feet. We detached the ankle cuffs from the base of the post and then relocked the ankles together to hobble him with a short length of tether between.
Garin hadn’t given me any further trouble, and now he was nodding at his cock wanting me to fulfill my end of the bargain. So, I took the catheter out, as promised.
“Does that thing ever go down?” asked Derrick.
“Not really. The only way to take care of it is to let him smoother you with his armpit and fuck you unconscious. Last time that happened, the police had to get involved. He’s just going to have to learn to live with it, because I don’t see anyone lining up to volunteer, except for CrossFit guys.”
Derrick said, “Maybe. But, remember this is San Francisco. I imagine there might be one or two guys in town that would be up for it.”
Derrick and I got on either side of him and stood him up off the display table. Then, I realized I’d forgotten to pull his shorts back on before I’d hastened to relock his ankles. Restraining someone properly is surprisingly complicated. I wasn’t about to unlock and relock them again.
Derrick said, “Here, I can help.”
He very gallantly took off his sport jacket and wrapped it around Garin’s waist, tying it around the back of him with the sleeves. Garin was going to shed all over that. Now that Garin was semi-decent, we frog-marched him out on hobbled feet to the parking lot.
Asleep in Derrick’s house that night, I had a beautiful dream.
I am walking through The Hall of Human Origins at The American Museum on Natural History in New York. It is after hours, and the visitors are all gone. I am the curator. I have a fellowship and lifetime tenure. As I walk through the hall, I pass by the likenesses of Lucy and The Hobbit and Australopithecus and The Peking Man. I come then at last to The Neanderthal – the species I brought to life and revealed to the world again in living flesh. And here, I find Garin locked up safe in in his little display case. Maybe, a thousand people pass through this hall in a day. Frequently, especially in the afternoons when students come through, Garin catches the unmistakable scent through the display glass of a CrossFit boy’s tight ass. He is perpetually horny. Too bad he’s the only neanderthal in the world, and there’s nothing to be done about it. I tap on the glass with my knuckles and wave hello at him in there. But I have to go. I’m in high level talks with the Disney Company to consult on their new Paleo Park.
I woke up hearing a noise through the wall. Garin had been bedded down cuffed and tethered to a support beam in the other room; so, I wasn’t worried. But when I opened the door to check, Garin was somehow uncuffed and intently fucking Derrick on the floor! How?
“Hey! Bad Garin! Get off him!”
I yanked on him by the chain on his collar. He shrugged his shoulders and got off as if it was no big deal. I grabbed Derrick by his feet, pulled him out the door, and closed it on Garin, leaving him in there. He was inexplicably uncuffed, but at least he was still tethered to the post, which was good.
I hoped Derrick was OK, because if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be able to give Garin the RNA shot. I turned him over on his back and tried to get him awake. It took a while. Oh no! He’s not going to want to help us after this. His eyes fluttered open.
“Are you OK, Derrick? How’s your ass?”
“Wow. Where am I?”
“Garin attacked you. I’m so sorry. I can’t understand how he even got out of the cuffs.”
“No. I’m sorry. It was me. I unlocked the cuffs myself. I was curious what it would be like….”
I thought that was a stupid thing to do.
I said, “Well, now we have to get him back in the cuffs again. What was your plan for that?”
“I didn’t consider that.”
I said, “OK. I have plan. Do you have any athletic tape?”
Unfortunately, the plan would require Derrick to go right back in the room from where I just rescued him. I was surprised how brave he was about it, considering…. Back in the room, Garin was sitting in the lounge chair with his feet up channel surfing the TV. Derrick walked in over to him. Garin patted the space between his legs and stretched his arm out up over his head as an invitation. Derrick sat down between Garin’s legs, looked at me uncertainly, and then he gave Garin his roll of athletic tape.
“This is like a gift for him, or something?”
Garin started wrapping the tape all around Derrick’s arms and upper body. “Um, why’s he doing that?”
“It means he likes you now,” I said.
“Oh…, that’s kind of romantic…,” Derrick started to say, until Garin started winding tape around his face and mouth. Garin leaned Derrick in and stuck his nose where it needed to go. Night, night, Derrick.
I shuddered at the horror of it, but I knew from experience that Garin would now tire himself out fucking Derrick and then fall sound asleep, feeling instinctively happy and safe with Derrick bound up and helpless beside him. After he’s asleep would be the time when I could safely get the cuffs back on him. I was prepared to just watch and wait. I confess to a mixture of disgust and fascination with the whole gay thing, difficult to separate. However, Garin waved at me and pointed at the door, asking if I would please kindly get the fuck out now.
Some hours later I heard snoring and tip-toed back in. It was as I expected. Derrick was wrapped up in a little athletic tape cocoon, his bare ass sticking out with neanderthal cum splattered over it. Garin was sleeping. I was able to carefully relock his wrists and ankles together without a problem.
“That was … different,” was Derrick’s comment about it after I got him all unwrapped.
“Maybe, we could get that RNA shot now,” I asked?
Derrick went to the medical center to get it. Meanwhile, Garin woke up annoyed with his wrist and ankle cuffs relocked and his fuck toy gone yet again. He started kicking a hole in the wall; so, I wacked him hard in the balls with Derrick’s lacrosse stick to get him to stop. Bullseye! It turns out that both of our species share the same weakness when we get our bell rung. I took out all the slack in the tether attached to the support beam to force him up against the column away from the walls. We’d used up all the athletic tape, but I used some bungee cords to to get him more secured to the column.
Garin didn’t want to cooperate and take the shot either when Derrick returned with it. He shook his head no and inched himself around the support beam away from it. Maybe, he was suspicious what it was. Derrick promised him it was something to cure him of his disease. Garin took a long look at me and a long look at him. Garin either tragically misunderstood or else just decided to trust Derrick. He held still and took the shot from him.
We spent another day there so that Derrick could keep Garin under observation in case of any bad reaction to the shot. I went to the drug store to buy more athletic tape. Next day I said, “Maybe, it’s time for us to go back now. What do you think?”
Derrick said, “It’s been great, but my ass feels like I sat on a self-lubricating pineapple. So, go back, and I’ll come visit you sometime.”
“Fun time’s over, Garin,” I said as I put in another catheter in preparation for the car ride.
We frog-marched Garin out to the rental car to go back to Santa Cruz. He sat in the passenger seat while I drove. He ignored me and sniffed at the window as we cruised down the highway.
I said, “Hey, Garin, this was a pretty exciting trip, wasn’t it?”
He just kept sniffing the window.
I said, “You know, if something were to go wrong – and I’m not saying it will – and if you don’t revert back to the way you were, that wouldn’t be so bad, would it?”
He turned toward me, took a big breath, wrinkling his nose, and launched a big drippy spit ball right square in my face. He returned to sniffing the window, having no further comment on the matter.
Wow. That kinda hurt my feelings.
The silence in the car was oppressive. I told him, “I think we’re going to have to pay extra to have this car cleaned and deodorized when I return it – just so you know.”