If someone is being used to test a new product or idea, they can be called a "guinea pig" (because Guinea Pigs are usually used by medical labs for testing). What is another term that would carry the same meaning (other than "lab rat")?
I don't simply want other words for "guinea pig", like rodent or cavy. I'm hoping someone knows of a good term with the same interpretation but completely different and unrelated to "guinea pig". My main motivation is to avoid the cliche, since I find "guinea pig" and "lab rat" are used too often and the characters in my story use more sophisticated terms.
The leaders of the tribe within the fantasy world in which the story takes place, have devised a new system they want to secretly institute. They approach the first character, let's call John and try to convince him to start using a certain something (John doesn't know about the secret plan). Catching on to what is happening, his close friend Jim tries to talk him out of it by calling him a "guinea pig". [However I am looking for a different word than "guinea pig" if possible].