EXCERPT: Catassassins! by Veronica Belmont

Veronica Belmont is the host of the Sword & Laser YouTube show and podcast, now in its seventh year. The Sword & Laser anthology, edited by Veronica and Tom Merritt, was published in 2014. As an Internet and TV presenter, you may have seen her as the host of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary live show and Gizmodo: The Gadget Testers on BBC America; or on Tekzilla, Fact or Fictional, Game On, and countless other web shows and podcasts. This is her first work of published fiction. She hopes there will be more.

CatAssassins!


Funded! This project was successfully funded on Jun 30.


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$2,514,000
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In an uncertain world, you want #CatAssassins on your side! Backers receive an early look at how our kittens are primed for global takeover.

Update #1 • Jun 5, 2028

Healthy kittens and a healthy start!

Hello, CatAssassin fans and donors!

Last week was crazy, thanks for all the support during the launch. So far, we’ve raised $50,000, and it’s steadily climbing!

Our first privately-funded test litter has been whelped, and the Kitten Automation™ hardware and software seems to be running relatively smoothly. The initial three trial cats (Rambo, Statham, Fluffy) are all performing exceptionally well (yay!) and we’re still working out some bugs on little lady Ripley. She’s feisty! By the way, these are just placeholder names that we’re having some fun with, since our backers at the $2k level will receive naming privileges as part of their reward.

Sadly, two other kittens didn’t take to the wetware properly and are being sent to appropriate homes. If you’re interested in adopting one of our rejects, please email adoptions@catassassins.com. We do require a thorough background check, as well as a Level 2 military clearance. (No homes with small children or pets, please!)

Rambo has been exhibiting excellent intuition and skill level in Ninja Class. In case you missed our intro video (check it out), Ninja Class is one of our most prized skill sets, and it’s something we look for very early in a kitten’s development. Naturally, almost all kittens display an affinity toward stealth that carries well into adulthood. However, Ninja Class takes it to the next level.

Using our (patent pending) Kitten Automation™ platform, we’ve introduced a series of instinctual behaviors into the kitten’s personality. Rambo, for example, seems to exist at the very edge of human perception. Is he invisible? No, that’s not technically possible—yet! However, his soft, shiny coat uses a special cloaking pattern that recognizes and mimics the environment around him, FOOLING the human eye into believing that there’s nothing there. It’s less like a chameleon, and more like a Klingon Bird of Prey. I guess we should have named him Predator, huh? Hah, I’m mixing my sci-fi now, sorry! 😛

Remember, backers of $10k or more automatically receive the DNA sequence for cloaking, so you can introduce it into your own future litters! Note: We cannot be held responsible for any kittens misplaced after birth.

Stay tuned for more updates!

—Dave, CatAssassins Project Lead at Purrfect Patriots

Update #2 • Jun 14, 2028

All press is good press

Happy Flag Day, Patriots! It’s been a huge week at the CatAssassins Labs. We received a really great write-up in WILD WARFARE by Ed Read (big fans, Ed!), which was super-exciting for all of us here. However, a few less imaginative blogs, who shall remain nameless, seemed to think that CatAssassins is a hopeless and/or dangerous project, and have actually tried to lobby Kickstarter to pull our funding page. Well, thanks to many of you out there, we “convinced” Kickstarter to continue our fundraiser, and we’re still going strong! As of 10:30PM PST last night, #CatAssassins was trending on Twitter due to your help, and the buzz generated a ton of new backers. We are now soaring close to $300,000!!!

As for our kittens, they’re going strong as well. Statham is in his second week of Arms Class training, and has reached Sniper Level—Lynx. He’s taken very well to his Lazur Sight™; however, there has been some property damage that we’re going to have to account for. We originally planned to crossbreed our cloaking tech with the Lazur Sight™, but our computer simulations didn’t go exactly as planned (ouch). However, now we can add two distinct Class models to our growing list. We’ll be unlocking a new Class model every time we hit a stretch goal, so keep sharing our page!

Ripley is showing remarkable emotional empathy with humans. Unlike Rambo, she seems to go out of her way to be noticed. Not typically the kind of behavior we’d expect from a CatAssassin, but we’re still waiting to see if her abilities manifest in some unexpected way. Kitten Automation™ is still definitely in beta, but we’re really happy with the progress so far. We think you will be too!

—Dave

 


~ END EXCERPT ~

Read the rest in HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects!