Purity's Cost

The Avan were bred to work swiftly. They are lean, agile, and strong. At one time it was quite a status symbol to own one. One soon became a family, and a family became strict breeding lines with papers and gold foil seals and ribbons kept in safety deposit boxes.

The Harlan’s were just such a family. They would not accept any new slaves because they were afraid their Avan would take a liking to the newcomers and try to breed with them. But something in recent lines did trouble the Harlan’s. Every other one born to their line was deaf. Mrs. Harlan clamored to her husband to switch up the breeding partners, stop using such closely tied pairings.

Mr. Harlan liked the looks of the matriarch’s third daughter and wanted her traits to carry. So he ignored his wife’s pleadings and bred her again with her older brother. This time had to be the charm. Her cousins were much too dark. Only she and her brother had the pale hair he wanted.

This was much easier with animals.

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