A bit of an xover between Flight Rising and my Tír na Cali setting. If the slavery/breeding aspects of either bother you, this is probably not your story.
Technically, it was illegal.
Even more technically, it was legal, although you had to squint at the laws and sort of bend-and-fold them a little bit to make it work.
Nether the technicality or the really, really bendy technicalities bothered Maximilian and Delilah, or any of their little group of friends. They did it, and thus it was legal enough for them, especially if nobody outside of their island ever found out. They did it, because it was entertaining, and because their island was cut off from the rest of the world for four months of the year, but most importantly, they did it because they could.
Today, they were introducing one of Maximilian’s little sisters to the game.
“All right. You start out with a breeding pair. You can pick three characteristics you want – gender, fur color, basic type – for one of them, and we’ll pick you a second one more or less randomly.”
He handed her the breeding book. Inside, there were beautifully drawn pictures of their stock – Modified Creatures, moddies, human-and-Tuathan slaves whose genes had been magically altered to suit this group’s sense of aesthetics.
Claudette – like her brother Maximillian, a titled noble with no land and nothing to do with her time – flipped through the pictures. “I’d like this breed. The dragons.”
“You have good taste, little sister. The dragons are my favorite, too, although of course you’ll want to diversify a little once you’ve had time to get used to the game. What colors, and what gender?”
“Female. I want a matriarch.”
The girls always did, Max noted. None of the actual matriarchs, first-daughters, played the game. There would be no plausible deniability if they did. “And colors?”
“So it’s her scales, here,” her finger traced the picture, “and her crest?” Her brother nodded. “Blue, then, and purple.”
“Azure and royal. I’ll talk to the breeders, and we should have someone for you in a day. In the meantime, let’s get your lair and nests set up.”
They might get caught eventually. But it wouldn’t be in winter, when nobody risked the storms. And it wouldn’t be today, for sure.
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