The Real Growlerville 4: Insurgents & The Ethics Of Encrusted Animal Research
(A first hand account by investigative journalist, Mr. E)
New since last post about The Forbidden Zone:
My previous post was about Glitch where the government initially tried to protect the citizens from the apparent dangers of the Zone by first increasing the penalties for illegal entry and then reversing itself and declaring the area open to anyone foolish enough to enter. It was then that Oldold decided to enter the Forbidden Zone and started gathering bushels of information about every encrusted form he could find.
However this post is actually what happened after I returned with the researchers who had picked up a little Noise Thief near the Silent Falls.
We make it back to the Institute. As we enter the compound, technicians run out to meet the vehicle and wash off the dust. They motion for us to follow them into a laboratory. The door is marked "Noise Thief Studies." Mother Huhu's crew from the Magic Helpline is cleaning up from an earlier live broadcast and tells us the astounding news.
Apparently, every single Noise Thief in the entire lab escaped from its canister. The researcher who had recently captured a Noise Thief said, "not every one!" and picked up her canister. But to her surprise, the canister's door had also been opened from the outside, like all the others in the lab. They quickly sprayed a little water in the area, but the creature were gone.
Well, readers, guess what just got out of the Forbidden Zone?
I learn that more than a dozen Noise Thieves are unaccounted for! All the researchers are summoned to emergency meetings and I am left alone with all the empty Noise Thief canisters in the lab, and suddenly I feel very uneasy about being back in Growlerville.
The Noise Thief problem put the harsh spotlight of public criticism on Forbidden Zone research. Up until now, the scientific community was so highly respected that no one ever questioned its methods or ethics in its seemingly noble pursuit of knowledge.
But this all changed when the press learned that Noise Thieves from the Forbidden Zone had carried out a successful rescue mission to free family members being held against their will by researchers at the Oldold Institute's noise suppression unit.
What followed happened rapidly.
This tourist observed an overnight political ground swell as the media played up the Noise Thief as victim, calling the tiny containment canisters "miniature prisons" and "solitary confinement" for the poor, innocent creatures.
The scientists at first wrote off the claims of animal rights advocates, arguing that the research was clearly intended to better life in Growlerville. But the tiny, seemingly helpless creatures had already won the hearts of the citizenry, and the influential EARS (Encrusted Animal Rights Society) lobby was formed to push for changes in laws governing the ethical use of encrusted animals in research.
The acceptable research now seems to be focusing on communication with the creatures rather than exploiting their powers.
I think it's a big improvement.