The bird hopped across the ground, cocking its head to examine what it found as it went. Its feathers were iridescent, the black feathers shining blue, green and red where the sunlight hit them.
“I’m not sure it’s supposed to look like that,” ventured Gianni critically.
“The base material resources weren’t as comprehensive as I would have liked,” agreed Marta. “The original corvid stockholdings were extremely thorough, but that section of the storage facility was badly hit during the magnetic storms and atmospheric inversions. None of the samples appear to be intact, although Palmerstone and Ngomo are still evaluating them. My resurrections are, by necessity, chimeras. Some of the material I used,” she sighed, “wasn’t even corvid.”
“At least your choices were forced by necessity,” Gianni patted her on the shoulder consolingly. “You’ve seen what Millan did with those wrens, haven’t you?”
“Actually, I read his paper too,” Marta was suddenly all frosty, “and I went back and checked the references. That is what the males actually looked like. I think he did a remarkable job to not only resurrect them but build in the species differences as well, given what there was to work with.”
“Oh,” Gianni was suitably abashed, “I assumed that because of his own modifications he was biased towards the unnaturally gaudy. Why did he even work on them? There’s so little material.”
“He was very close to Professor Olson, and the Professor longed to see something from his personal childhood live again before he died. The wrens were the only thing that fit the bill that Millan could get permission to work with.”
As they spoke, the patchwork crow found a suitable white stone, picked it up and flew off with it.
“What does it do with those?” Gianni followed the bird’s flight with his eyes.
“I’m not sure,” admitted Marta, “but it’s documented original species behaviour, and I didn’t program any behaviours into them.”
“Aaah,” Gianni’s eyes glinted with interest, “original data implementation…”