Kong Mark II
Kong Mark II, informally referred to as Kong, The Kid, or Junior, is a teenage incarnation of King Kong who appears in the 2005 novel Kong Reborn by Russell Blackford. He is a clone of the original King Kong created by Denham Products using some of Kong's blood that was discovered on the Empire State Building in 1999. Gaps in Kong's genome were filled in with code from bonobos and a local zoo gorilla named Leonardo. The cloned Kong then gestated in a female gorilla named Matthilde, and was later removed due to his size before finishing gestation in a tank and being born in March of 2006. Within two years, however, he had grown too large and unpredictable to continue being housed in New York, which lead to an expedition to release him in his "natural habitat" of Skull Island, where he reunited with a troop of other giant gorillas.
From birth, Kong resembled an ordinary gorilla, only much larger. He had brown eyes, and as a child, like most gorillas, had reddish-brown fur that darkened to black as his fur grew out with age. It was expected that the gorilla parts of his genome would kick in at some point and he would become a silverback. Kong at one point had, or perhaps still has, several small probes inserted just below his skin to research his mental condition. While only his eyes appear on the book's cover, the full photograph used to depict Kong was taken of a male lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) named Billy at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, USA. It is available on numerous stock photo websites.
After the original Kong's blood was discovered on the side of the Empire State Building in 1999, some of it was sold to Jack Denham on the black market, and in January of 2004, efforts began to clone the monster. Unfortunately, only about 70% of his genome was able to be reconstructed, so the gaps were filled in with DNA belonging to a young male gorilla named Leonardo from the Bronx Zoo. Additional DNA contribution from a bonobo was integrated in the hopes the genes of the placid species might make the clone less aggressive than the original Kong. The reconstructed genome was inserted into ova from his surrogate mother, a gorilla named Matthilde. The reconstruction and modification of his "father's" DNA effectively made the clone a distinct species from the original Kong.
A pet project of Denham Products CEO Jack Denham, Kong Mark II's story began when the original King Kong's blood was found on the Empire State Building in 1999. After much effort by Jack and the Denham Products team, in-tact blood cells were harvested and were able to be recreated with help from extant ape genomes.
After Kong's blood cells were accepted by the gorilla Matthilde's ova, eleven of the twelve zygotes succeeded without any of the defects typical in primate cloning. Three were selected to be implanted into Matthilde, but only two attached, and the more robust of the two was chosen to keep on while the other was terminated. Kong gestated within Matthilde from November of 2004 until March of 2005, when the fetus was removed because he was getting too big for Matthilde to deliver. He was placed in a kind of tiny "space suit" for transfer and was placed into an artificial womb, where he grew for the next year until they felt he could safely survive on the outside. He was finally born in March of 2006, and was housed in the lower level zoos and farms of the Denham Products complex in New York City. The only human Kong was exposed to for the first four months of his life was Dr. Laurel Otani, who came to be the closest thing he had to a mother, and fed him from a two pint bottle while wearing a gorilla suit. When he grew too big for the lower levels in August of 2006, Otani slipped some tranquilizers into his dinner of soft fruits and milk and he awoke in total awe of a new special greenhouse enclosure on the roof, surrounded by grass and tropical plants.
However as continued to grow, he began to pubesce and suffer moody spells, which culminated in a full-on tantrum in March of 2008. After failing to reach a mango high up in a tree, Kong tore off the branch and must have enjoyed the sensation, as it lead to him tearing apart the entire enclosure, flinging dirt, plants, toys, and feces. He then went to sleep and felt better. It was theorized that Kong had entered puberty early because of his not being able to have a normal relationship with a mother, coupled with his abnormal existence. It was then decided by Jack, Otani, and the rest of the Denham Products team to try and repatriate Kong to Skull Island, but land claims issues made this difficult.
By December, the legal battles over the rights to the island had been settled, and the Skull Island voyage was being planned. A press release was held in front of Kong's enclosure, and the rapidly maturing ape's eyes were almost level with the twelve foot high fence around the observation area. He was curious, and glad to have visitors, but was relatively disinterested and lay down to watch them. Laurel then entered with Roxanne Blaine, a scientist from rival company and cloning pioneer "Bionimals", to whom Kong took a liking remarkably fast, and even grew curious enough to touch her a few times before being firmly rejected. This made Kong a bit sad, but as time wore on he began to stop getting out of bed except to get something to eat, and so the scientists began to visit him for an hour every morning to socialize with him. Kong began to relish the experience, and took up the habit of watching over the edge of the building, which one day lead him to roar and beat against the plexiglass until it began to crack. The guards fired a tranquilizer dart, but it grazed off him due to his constant moving. Despite this, feeling the blast made him go bananas yet again. He once again tore up his habitat and threw plants, dirt, and dung before slamming his body against the windows until they broke and he began to climb down the building.
On the street, Kong utterly destroyed many cars by smashing them or throwing them until he smelled Central Park on the air, and began making his way there when Jack hit him in his back with a tranquilizer. Kong turned and began angrily approaching the man as police and helicopters swarmed, but the dart took effect and put Kong to sleep. He was then put in a cage made for mammoths and transported to California, where he was approached on the tarmac outside of the Tropical Explorer by Blaine and Otani, who tried to comfort the sulking ape. On the ship, he was transferred from the cage to a pen, allowing him more room. Kong could smell the island and grew incredibly restless, entering an awful roaring fit, and continued his fits until he was tranquilized and carried by helicopter to the beach. When he awoke, he was coaxed by Laurel toward the beach, and on realizing his freedom, he began to run around the beach, and his mood improved considerably. After roaring in celebration, he entered a shouting match with unseen creatures on the other side of the wall.
The next day, Laurel gave a tearful goodbye, which confused Kong, and he and a team of humans including Jack and Roxanne entered the jungle. There, Kong happily ran ahead of the team before constantly doubling back. In the jungle he encountered many awe-inspiring things like giant gaurs, a giant fruit tree, Stegosaurs, and Hadrosaurs. When he became entangled in a carnivorous vine, he tried to run away from it, and this cost him some bits of flesh and fur. Kong quickly recovered, but the party was soon attacked by vicious Raptors. They took down a few of the humans, who shot at the beasts while Kong twisted them in his hands or threw them far over his shoulder until they retreated. After a brief burial for the fallen humans, the trek continued. Unfortunately, they were eventually attacked by a Carnosaur, which crushed one of the humans underfoot while charging, and tore another in half with its jaws. It quickly turned around and used its muscular tail to injure a great deal of the party. The rest of the humans attacked with tranquilizer darts and live rounds as Kong attacked. Not being fully grown, Kong maneuvered under the Meat-Eater and began biting at its throat. Despite the reptile's best efforts, it eventually succumbed to the onslaught of man and ape. Even so, deeper into the jungle the Raptors returned. Kong smelled them, but that didn't prevent them from killing most of the crew, and nearly overpowering him before his roars attracted a giant, fully grown male gorilla.
Together they killed the Raptors, but immediately afterward, they began to challenge one another for dominance, and Kong refused to give up, and even took up a tree trunk as a weapon, but only survived with the help of Jack and Roxanne, who dosed the adult with tranquilizers. Kong roared in "triumph", but heard a female call in response, and he ran toward the sound, leaving his human companions behind. He immediately attempted to mate with the female, but she was disinterested and swatted him away. Kong then followed her into what the humans referred to as the "green cathedral;" a large sanctuary of giant gorillas. Kong watched in wonder and apprehension before seeing that his friends were there and being menaced by mercenaries from Bionimals' parent company. Kong called for help, and his adversary from earlier and all the other giant gorillas dispatched the hostiles menacing Denham's group. Afterward, many gorillas came up to Kong and gave him curious sniffs, and did not object to his presence, which effectively indoctrinated him into the troop. He soon found another young male, and the two began to wrestle playfully. The next morning, Jack and Roxanne left him behind in his new home, repatriating him to the wild.
While not fully grown, Kong has shown immense strength compared to other gorillas. He was capable of uprooting fruit trees as a child, and could break off trees and throw 1000 pound Raptors far over his shoulder before even reaching adulthood. While not able to physical overpower the Carnosaur, he did hold his own and managed to badly wound it by biting out its throat.
Kong has shown the ability to use tools. He displayed this when he broke off a tree to use as a lance-like weapon. Furthermore he has demonstrated comprehension of complex human social dynamics when he was able to understand that one of the groups of humans on the island intended to hurt the party he had been traveling with.
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