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The Lion, the Walsh, and the Laboratory

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Summary: Tribute to DianeCastle's 'The Secret Return of Alex Mack'. Maggie Walsh's experiments in splicing Big Cat genetic material into humans don't quite produce the results she intended...

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Author’s note: an AU interlude to DianeCastle’s story ‘The Secret Return of Alex Mack’, inspired by a reply she made to a comment on that story, and posted with her permission. Disclaimers at the end. And, despite what the word count says, it really is an exact 500 words.

The Lion, the Walsh, and the Laboratory

Maggie Walsh glared at her subordinate. “Are you saying that the insertion of Puma concolor DNA has failed? Impossible! I designed the retro-virus carrier myself. Nothing can have gone wrong.”

The subordinate swallowed hard. “Not failed, as such, Doctor Walsh. It’s just that the results have been… not quite as you had anticipated.”

“Show me!” Maggie commanded. The cowed subordinate led her to the cage in which the test subject was confined. Maggie looked in and her eyes widened. The young man was no longer entirely human, as expected, but the covering of pink fur was a surprise. As was his unconventional attire; he had stripped off his clothes but retained collar and tie and, oddly, his shirt cuffs.

“Would that I were free,” the test subject complained. “I am fettered and I’m caged. Imprisoned, even.”

“Mr. Snaggs!” Maggie snapped. “Report! Do you have the muscular enhancements of a Mountain Lion?”

“Heavens to Murgatroyd, it’s Doctor Walsh! Maggie Walsh, even,” Snaggs drawled. “Are you going to let me out of here?”

“Not at present,” Maggie said. “Answer my question.”

The pink man shrugged in a languid fashion. “It’s impossible for me to tell, incarcerated as I am, without room to run free. And I’m starving. Hungry, even. And my faithful nostrils tell me that there’s food about.”

“It’s suspended sixteen feet above your head,” Maggie pointed out. “If you have acquired the leaping abilities of a Mountain Lion you will be able to reach it for yourself.”

“Impossible!” groaned Snaggs. “Difficult, even.”

“Suit yourself,” Maggie said, turning her back on him and addressing her assistant. “What about the other experiment, the one with the Panthera tigris DNA?”

“Tony?” The subordinate swallowed again. “Uh, that hasn’t quite gone as we expected either.”

“Oh? In what way?” Maggie’s nostrils flared and the glare she directed at him seemed almost intense enough to melt tungsten.

“Uh, I think there might have been some sort of contamination from the chemical flavorings in that breakfast cereal he’s always eating,” the assistant answered. “It’s… not dissimilar to what happened to Snaggs. Perhaps you’d better see for yourself, Doctor Walsh.” He led her around the corner and further along the corridor.

As soon as they were out of sight Snaggs leapt into the air and seized the roast duck which was suspended there. He stripped the carcass, gobbled down the flesh, and then examined the bones until he found one that was the right size and shape to fit the lock of the cell. It took him only seconds to pick the lock and the door swung open.

“Exit, stage left,” Snaggs said, and was gone in a blur of speed.

Oblivious to the escape Maggie Walsh reached the other cage and looked in. The occupant resembled Snaggs in combining the features of a human and a feline but was orange and white with black stripes and a blue nose. The creature stood up as the scientists approached.

“Bring me some Frosted Flakes!” Tony roared. “They’re Grrrreat!”


Maggie Walsh is the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Snagglepuss is the property of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Tony the Tiger was created by Eugene Kolkey for the Kellogg Company.

The End

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