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This experimental sequence grew out of the random thoughts and sci-fi story concept below, which I found compelling enough to illustrate.
Like a lot of my recent works in progress, I still need to add props as well as further refine the animation. But I’m happy so far with the general look and feel of it. I also have a longer version, with more transitional texture layers, but which isn’t rendered with high quality lights and shadows as this one. I may post the longer version as well until I finish the sequence.
This is a bit of a deviation for me since I’ve only done anthropomorphic furry art to this point. I will probably use the merging technique from this sequence if I ever get around to doing a centaur TF.
Edit: added a few second of the sequence that were missing.
Unbeknown to our protagonist, his new girlfriend was not--strictly speaking—even a human being. At least not anymore. She's the unwanted byproduct of a failed science experiment. A meat sponge. The biological host to a symbiotic colony of nanites who’ve amalgamated the useful genetic traits from several people whom he would soon join in cellular anonymity.
If you went back far enough, you’d find that this particular cybernetic symbiote actually originated with an individual woman. She’d volunteered for an nanite-assisted healing project after suffering a car accident that paralyzed her from the neck down. In theory, self-replicating nanites were supposed to analyze her DNA and rebuild damaged nerve and tissue using materials and energy supplied by her body and the environment. Cutting-edge stuff.
To prevent “infections” of unintended hosts and the runaway “grey goo” nightmare scenario, the nanites’ self-replication function was automatically limited by their internal programming. The nanites would only self-replicate when additional nanites were needed to perform specific healing functions and there was a critical number of other nanites—not too few and not too many—within a certain vicinity and occupying the same human host. The nanites would identify their specific host by using its DNA. Excess nanites, and those separated from the main colony, were programmed to self-destruct or be recycled for energy and building material by other nanites. This aspect of the project was a great success. The volunteers not only recovered fully from their injuries at an incredible pace, but through their hosting of these self-sustaining nanite colonies, they also gained the ability to heal and re-generate bodily damage extremely quickly on an ongoing basis. There were no known cases of nanites escaping into the wild by infecting new hosts and increasing the total number of nanite colonies. Everything was looking promising. About a dozen other similarly-situated people had participated in the human trials before they were abruptly cancelled without warning. Although most of the details have never fully come to light, it seems clear that the failure stemmed from the project’s ambitious secondary goal of prolonging biological life. It also seems fairly obvious from what we’ve learned that this goal was, in fact, achieved.
So how, you ask, can the project have possibly been deemed such a catastrophic failure to warrant an unplanned cancellation and apparent coverup? Maybe by working a little too well—just in an unintended and unforeseen way.
Besides treating immediate traumatic injuries, the nanites were also designed to counteract the effects of aging by repairing cumulative genetic damage. However, a programming bug appears to have caused the nanites’ seemingly straightforward secondary directive to be applied incorrectly and far too broadly. The bug prevented the nanites from properly differentiating between the host’s original undamaged reference DNA, and the DNA of other humans with which the host came into close physical contact. Because of this, under certain circumstances, it appears that the nanites deliberately altered portions of the host’s reference DNA which they were supposed to repair and preserve. The nanites appear to mistakenly interpret differences between the host or apparent host’s reference DNA sequence and the DNA being analyzed as genetic damage. They will then “repair” this damage by splicing available reference DNA sub-sequences—whether they come from the host or apparent host—into the misidentified “damaged” target DNA. They will then discard the supposedly damaged portion of the original DNA sequence.
In practice, this means that the nanites collect and merge characteristics of the host and apparent host until all such DNA had been standardized into a single “repaired” blueprint. Since at that point the host and apparent host’s DNA are identical or nearly so, the nanites can self-replicate and spread between their bodies, which they seem to interpret as constituting a single organism. This has drastic and virtually immediate consequences for any host and apparent host. The nanite colony’s primary directive continues to be healing and rebuilding the host organism based on the reference DNA blueprint using all available materials—including any excess material and energy present in the bodies of the host or apparent host. By the time the body of an apparent host achieves the critical number of nanites hypothetically required for a new self-sustaining nanite colony, the process absorbing and consolidating the apparent host’s body into the host’s has typically progressed so far that it cannot sustain independent life.
Through several iterations of this merger process, the biological portion of the symbiote—the “meat sponge,” for lack of a better term—typically acquires favorable traits from the various individuals absorbed and becomes ever more adapted to its hosted nanite colony. The underlying building blocks for the meat sponge are human, so the sponge can have the full range of human motivations and traits—as well as deliberate goals based on the specific history, memory, and individual consciousness of the symbiote. Yet, the nanites appear to remain essentially unchanged and true to their (somewhat faulty) original programming. Although they exhibit sophisticated forms of signaling and coordination as well as a collective intelligence resembling a hive of super-advanced social insects, they are not individually conscious. And, fortunately for the rest of us, they still cannot self-replicate or operate outside of the narrow built-in limits specified in their programming. Thus, for now, it appears that these symbiotes cannot multiply and reproduce. But for those unlucky enough to run into one, the results can be hazardous as this video footage shows.
This is already fantastic... I can't wait to see it when it's not a work in progress!
One question though: what are the changes that happen mentally to the main host and what becomes of the absorbed minds?
I look forward to see more
Is this the next time, the guy will have the hair of the girl?
The guy became his girlfriend physically, so it's normal that the guy is the hair of the girl
cant wait to see more like this
I love it
is so like an symbiote