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Genetically Engineered Nekomimi for Domestic Ownership
For the last few decades, many people have fantasized and joked about this idea, even in the narrow reality. What most people don't know is that genetically engineered catgirls and catboys actually exist. If you know the right people with the right connections in the black market, and you have enough money, you can purchase your own cat-person to own as a pet.
"NEK0" brand cat-people first started appearing on the black market in late 2012. They are being created by a secretive organization known as “the NEK0 group.” The NEK0 group has a strong presence on the dark web, with forums for current and prospective NEK0 owners. It is unclear where or how the NEK0 group obtained the technology to make NEK0s, or why they would use it for such a purpose.
Custom NEK0 and KEM0
When NEK0 were first put on the market, their stock primarily featured attractive teenage catgirls, which were the most desirable and sold most easily. This is still the case. However, as the labs that create the NEK0 became more familiar with the technology and began to experiment more, they developed more and more ways to create NEK0 that match the desires of their future owners. NEK0 can be any apparent age, gender, shape, color, or size within reason. Some even come with special features. However, unusual orders are typically even more expensive.
The NEK0 group can also create KEM0 - genetically engineered humanoids with animal characteristics aside from catlike ones. KEM0 can resemble Kemomimi with dog, fox, mouse, or even horselike features. This generally extends only to animal ears and tails. More complicated animal features have only rarely been attempted, and due to a number of issues have been halted permanently.
Most NEK0 are designed to always obey their masters. In order to become a NEK0's master for this purpose, one needs to use a device created by the NEK0 organization - a special "imprinting" auto-injector that must be "primed" by taking a pinprick blood sample from their new master. Within hours of the imprinting injection being administered, a susceptible NEK0 will begin obeying every command from their new master. Of course, this will not have any effect on a NEK0 who is not susceptible to it.
There also exist auto-injectors which can undo the effects of all previously administered imprinting injections. Such "De-imprinting" injections will cause flu-like symptoms for up to a day after being administered.
NEK0 who do not have masters, but are susceptible to imprinting, have occasionally been known to spontaneously imprint on other people they spend a lot of time around, especially if that person is in a position of authority. This is a little-known fact as it rarely comes up.
Subdermal Control Chips
As a paid add-on, NEK0 owners can have their NEK0 fitted with special microchips. At their most basic, these chips allow NEK0 owners to track the location of their property. The chips can come with advanced functions - such as:
- Delivering painful shocks when the NEK0 leaves a pre-defined area
- Inducing pain or pleasure at the push of a button
- Making the NEK0 extremely sleepy at the push of a button
NEK0s which are rented, or which are paid for in installments, may have these chips installed with or without the owner's awareness.
Life As a NEK0
NEK0 are made in special vats, from which they emerge fully formed. They are pulled out unconscious, cleaned, and sometimes dressed up before they awaken. When they awaken, they know how to speak, and they already understand very basic concepts; otherwise, they are blank slates, and they are boundlessly curious, with childlike innocence. Some are awakened and given some behavioral training before being shipped out to their owners, while others only awaken for the first time in the home of their new owner.
Most NEK0 are sold off to be owned by wealthy and unscrupulous people, who can often do anything they want to them with impunity. Even when faced with serious abuse, it's not uncommon for NEK0 to love their abusive masters, who are the closest things they have to parents. All NEK0 owners are either supernatural beings or awakened humans; the veil causes anyone else to wave off the existence of NEK0 as a strange hoax or a weird fetish roleplay.
Some NEK0 are created alongside documents such as forged birth certificates or passports, making traveling with them or taking care of them a simpler affair. As time passes, NEK0 typically do not age - this can be worked around with newly forged documents. The NEK0 group also sells medications that rapidly (and painfully) increase a NEK0’s apparent age overnight.
Not all NEK0 can be sold off to owners, however, but that won't stop the NEK0 group from turning a profit on them. NEK0 that are never sold are usually rented out for various purposes. The same often applies to reclaimed, pre-owned NEK0 that their previous owners somehow lost access to or fell behind on payments for, though pre-owned NEK0 can often be resold successfully. Such NEK0 are occasionally introduced to prospective buyers and sold at a significant discount, compared to their initial sale price.
Most strains of NEK0 have blood and organs that are compatible with humans, which can sometimes be sold on the black market. This has allowed some labs to recoup some of their losses. This is just one of the terrible fates that have been rumored or confirmed to be in store for unprofitable NEK0. The NEK0 group have been known to use stories about such grim fates to terrorize or motivate the NEK0 in their 'care.'
The Polaris Pass NEK0 Owners’ Association
It is generally understood by both NEK0 and owners that the existence of the NEK0 trade should be kept a secret. They wouldn't want anyone able and willing to do anything about it to catch wind of it. This is especially true in supernatural enclaves such as Polaris Pass. To keep themselves safe, local NEK0 owners have created a secret social club - the NEK0 Owners' Association (or NOA). The NOA hosts events at some of its most active members' homes, where the members share tips for living with NEK0 as their property and keeping the entire enterprise a secret. Occasionally, they may even organize play-dates between NEK0 with similar upbringings, or seminars on the finer points of NEK0 ownership.
The NOA has an excellent security culture. They do not keep written records that can incriminate their members, and they counsel all of their members to be very careful about what they post online or include in private emails / text messages. When a member's bad behavior threatens to expose other NOA members, the NOA may take direct action to solve that problem.
When a NEK0 escapes the home of a NOA member, the NOA will act quickly to try to re-capture and, in some cases, possibly even re-imprint and re-house the NEK0. This usually only applies to NOA members and their property - the NOA does not make a habit of involving itself with NEK0 or owners who do not pose a threat to them.
The current leader of the NOA is Rose Wiley