“It was a gecko,” the most senior of the scientists announced after the formalities were over.
“Was?” That was from a soldier. “It’s not dead.”
“It is also no longer a gecko,” returned the scientist. “We recommend immediate eradication.”
“We’ve been trying that,” the soldier snorted then added curiously, “Why do you think it needs eradication?”
“Many species of geckos hunt aggressively,” replied the scientist, “Insects, in the main. Now consider its new size. Satellite observations indicate that the number of cows in the exclusion zone has dropped markedly. The subject will be on the move again soon.”
One of the scientists to his left, a much younger woman, coughed.
“Ah, yes, that reminds me,” went on the scientist, “our test samples from the stools were not genetically identical.”
“What does that mean?” This time it was the politician asking the questions. “Is there more than one monster?”
“It might indeed mean that there is more than one monster,” agreed the senior scientist. “All of our samples were definitely female and closely related. The results may indicate a chimera or they may indicate multiple females for the same clutch.”
“The same clutch?” The politician seized on that. “Could that mean we have a breeding group?”
“It is possible,” conceded the scientist. “Male geckos are territorial, if there were more than one, they would fight. We would have noticed by now.”
“indeed.” Around the table heads nodded.
“Females, on the other hand,” went on the scientist, “will share territory.”
“So,” the soldier looked around the assembled meeting, “we should target eggs if we come across them. Anything else?”
“Geckos often have no eyelids,” added the scientist, “that may make their eyes more vulnerable. I am afraid that we have nothing else to offer.”
“Kill the eyeball and target the optic nerve as a short cut to the brain,” said the soldier appreciatively. “That could work.”
“I cannot speak to the anatomical details,” warned the scientist. “There may have been changes.”
“It is still a plan,” replied the soldier and the politician nodded agreement.
The building shook.