Designed to be the next big fad, "melding" lets users modify their appearance to look more like animals - ears like a cat, antlers like a deer, etc. But a private contractor discovers that the side effects might do more than just change how someone looks on the surface. More
Chicago, 2070AD. Darwyn Industries is banking on "melding" to be the next big fad, replacing tattoos and piercings as the thing every kid wants that their parents pay lots of money to get. Melding uses bio and nano tech to temporarily alter one's appearance, allowing a teenage girl to have ears that really look like a cat or a boy to literally have bear feet.
Unfortunately for Darwyn the tech has been leaked to the public. They call in Jake Aldrich, a private contractor known for his dealings with tech-related crimes. He discovers that not only is melding already being done, but someone has devised a way to cause an overdose - turning the user into something that's more animal than human.
Working from inside the belly of the corporate beast Aldrich has to figure out who's behind the leak and why, and try to convince his bosses not to release the tech to the public before they know who's behind the overdoses and if there's a way to reverse the process. Is Darwyn being completely honest with Aldrich and this is just about selling the next hot craze for teens, or do they have greater plans involving the next step in our evolution as humans...and animals?