The Road Thus Far…
The road to cloning was a long one, full of pitfalls and dead ends, but it started with a very simple problem. There were too many people. As the world became one united government, technology and lifestyle changes caused an unforeseen population explosion. The land grab of 2079 locked down resources, but with the farmlands of America producing soy and wheat to use as transportation fuel, and fifteen percent of the surface of the earth set aside in ecological preserves, there simply wasn’t enough food to feed all of these people.
Animal rights activists fought against the use of meat as a dietary supplement, and for decades scientists attempted to make a bulk-protein supplement. Jokingly referred to as ‘the tofurky,’ the experiment was declared a failure, and artificial life was created. The Global Parliament passed the Sanders Bill, allowing corporations to grow genetically modified animal starch, code-named Animal-54. This animal was not sentient, had no brain or sensory organs, and stock quickly grew to supplant the world food shortage. Far tastier than krill or soy-based products, Animal-54 was a complete protein and vitamin diet, leading to far healthier lifestyles for the entire planet.
The next step down the road was attempts by conservationists to preserve the lost races of animals that had become extinct over the previous three hundred years. Using animal DNA preserved from extinct species, scientists were able to re-create animals that had been rendered extinct through hunting, climate change, and pollution. Failed experiments to re-create ancient species of lizards and dinosaurs, called the Crichton Experiments, led to determination that reptiles do not adapt or respond well to cloning procedures as well as mammals had. Pollution-resistant birds and pets were soon to follow, allowing entire flocks to grow in conditions which a hundred years before had caused their extinction.
The first cloned human, called Eve, was actually an illegal experiment conducted in secret by conglomerate corporations. Baby Eve died fourteen days after birth, but the legal ramifications stretched on for years. Court battles over the determination of what was legally property, the definition of slavery and cloning, raged on while the advances continued to climb. Parents began having genetic screening for their children done, allowing treatment of diseases before birth as the birth rate climbed.
The Global Parliament expanded colonization of the earth, building huge biospheres underneath the oceans, expanding existing space stations, and building the first sustainable ecosphere on the moon, named Armstrong Base. Armstrong base grew into
As the population of Earth grew, space-based research built the first Longships- ships designed to travel the years to the planets of the solar system and build bases there. Deimos was the first planetoid outside of Earth’s orbit to be colonized, and has been a staple of travel within the solar system ever since.
In the Ambercrombie vs. Global parliament decision, it was decided that if a creation’s DNA had been altered beyond 2% of the genetic differentiation possible within human breeding, that the creation was property of the customer who had commissioned the creation. This decision was doubly-important, because as Earth’s population swelled to over 12 billion and humans began to colonize the solar system, more and more relationships were infertile (due to long distance, genetic problems, or homosexual relationships), and ‘clone babies’ became all the rage. These children were simply the perfection of the parent’s DNA; in the very controversial Bob A. vs. Globo-Clone decision, it was allowed for single parents with means to support children to purchase a clone of themselves. Direct-clone models (exact copies) were less popular than variant-clone models (copies with implanted variations), as the parents were able to alter defects in the clone to make them prettier, smarter, or simply superior.
Private corporations were the first to capitalize on the cloning decision, creating genetically altered employees, workers, and troops. The legal decision International Union Board vs. Global Parliament allowed that corporations owned these clones, but were required to maintain safety requirements as though the employees were full humans. Still, conditions for cloned workers were deplorable and legal reform twenty years later required that for every five cloned employees, a true human needed to be installed as a manager. This led to a wealth differential between true humans and their clone counterparts, and sociologists have claimed led to the GenTek Wars.
Corporate clones, created with 2.1% difference from true humans, quickly became more and more specialized. Clone variants were created with low-light vision, low-gravity tolerance, for heavy lifting, think tanks, and pleasure. These clones, commonly referred to as “Tanks” due to their incubation in umbilical tanks, or graphically called “Franks,” a reference to their abnormal creation (and Frankenstein’s Monster, from the Mary Shelley novel). “Franks” is considered a foul insult, and often Tanks are brought in for fighting over such an insult.
The Fett vs. Globo-Clone decision, the one that ultimately put Globo-Clone out of business, was that clones, sentient beings with 2.1% genetic variance, were considered people, with rights and privileges, including the right to petition for redress of greviance. The same day, five million clones filed cases of greviance against their parent company. Two and a half months later, Globo-Clone was completely bankrupt, and sold off its assets to other companies, including GeneCom and GeneTek.
Research soon developed clones that had even less DNA in common with true humans, leading to the creation of “Moreau Clones,” human-hybrid clones that had segments of custom animal genes implanted throughout their DNA.
Corporations, desperate to escape the responsibility of providing safe work for its tank employees, decided to destroy their property. The Globo-Clone clones owned by GeneCom were quickly destroyed, and other companies sought to follow suit. In the most well-known incident, Clones took over and held hostage three hundred true humans on the GeneTek station terraforming Io. Refusing to surrender, the clones killed one hundred and fourteen of the hostages before they were put down. In the court case Miranda v. Multi-Universal Governing Parliament, Zoe Miranda, one of the survivors of the GeneTek hostage crisis argued that the clones were sentient beings acting in their own best interest. The parliamentary supreme court disagreed, and ruled that clones were property of their creators, and had no more rights than robotic counterparts.
This decision led to a mass-exodus of self-stolen clones from Earth, reaching out to deeper, darker regions of space, where alien law held sway, and colonial governments were softer on clone ownership laws.
Whether tank, moreau, robot, or simply a clone sympathizer, you were on one of the ships leaving earth- striking out into the unknown…
Frank (D20 Future: pg. 46)
Brute: +2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha. Low-light vision.
Deadeye: +2 Dex, -2 Int, -2 Cha. Low-light vision.
Egg: +2 Int, -2 Con.
Honeytrap: +2 Cha, -2
Praetorian: +4 Con, -2 Int, -2 Cha.
Moreau (D20 Modern Core Book: pg. 247-251)
Bat Covert: -2 Int, +2
Moderate: +2 Dex, -2 Con, -2 Int, +2
Overt: +2 Dex, -2 Con, -4 Int, +4
Bear Covert: +2 Str, -2 Dex.
Moderate: +2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Int.
Overt: +4 Str, -4 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Int.
Canine Covert: +2 Con, -2 Int.
Moderate: +2 Con, -2 Int, +2
Overt: +4 Con, -4 Int, +2
Dolphin Covert: +2 Int, -2
Moderate: +2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Int, -2
Overt: +2 Str, -2 Dex, +4 Int, -4
Feline Covert: -2 Int, +2 Cha.
Moderate: +2 Dex, -2 Con, -2 Int, +2 Cha.
Overt: +2 Dex, -2 Con, -4 Int, +4 Cha.
Rat Covert: -2 Str, +2 Dex.
Moderate: -2 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha.
Overt: -4 Str, +4 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha.
Robot (D20 Future: Chapter 10, pg. 174-176; D20 Future Tech: Chapter Five, pg. 82-91)
Friendly Alien Races (D20 Future: pg. 214-223)
History of the multi-verse:
The peoples of the earth expanded to the stars, colonizing first the moon, and then the moons of the surrounding planets in tiny biospheres. These biospheres expanded to become tiny cities, and then as the moons were terraformed, these biospheres were replaced with farms and cities to sustain the growing numbers of earth. These moons became cities with needs unto themselves, and soon the planets below them were being colonized as well. Mars and Venus were the first colonized, with Uranus and later Pluto and Charon growing cities to sustain the mining and food trade. Beyond Pluto and Charon, the discovery of a gravity well allowed colonization of deep-space.
Colonists were sent out into the unexplored depths of space, to find sources of food and metals to sustain the Sol system. The first problems with colonies appeared early on, as colonists were likely to disappear or be wiped out by disease and starvation. Contact with alien races soon followed, as their hostility toward humans quickly led to them stonewalling any attempts at diplomacy. As of now, only a handful of alien races are non-hostile to humans, among them the Fraal (the legendary ‘little green men,’ a race of xenobiologists who have been studying earth for thousands of years).
In order to combat alien hostilities and the lack of manpower on colonies, huge groups of ‘tanks’- genetically altered humans, divided into two groups: Franks, humans with specifically altered DNA to give them unique purposes among a colony, and Moreaus, humans with altered DNA to give them a human-mammal cross-breed, specifically created to be warriors to protect colonies and the Sol system from all enemies. Also created are semi-autonomous Artificial Intelligence robots, typically used alongside Tanks on Earth for all servitude and jobs considered ‘too demeaning’ for natural humans to do.
This inequality among humans and their Tank and Robotic counterparts led to the “Genetek Revolution,” a political and legal battle in which many fought for the freedom of Franks and Moreaus, while robots were largely ignored. While this was a non-violent revolution, fighting did take place in many slums and colony moons, although Deep-Space Colonies were almost totally in favor of genetek freedoms.
This battle was almost solely fought over ‘Miranda vs. Multi-Universal Governing Parliament,’ in which a group of Moreaus sued their parent corporation for emancipation. Sadly, the case (and the Genetek revolution) was defeated, with the Multi-Universal Supreme Court ruling that because they were creations of corporations and private citizens, they had no more rights than robots or antique timepieces. This led to a mass-exodus from Sol System of franks, moreaus, and surprisingly, robots. Many stole ships or retro-fitted those not given to the task for deep-space exploration, and set out for deep-space colonies. A few ships set out into uncharted space, although this was considered suicide even by those fleeing the Court decision.
The decision of Miranda vs. Multi-Universal Governing Parliament was the first of those considered anti-colonial, since many colonies already treated Tanks and robots as equals. This decision was followed by a change in government of the Multi-Universal Governing Parliament, which led to much stricter, earth-friendly laws and rulings, almost to the exclusion of the colonial matters.
As Colonial-Parliamentary relations continue to decline, reports have been coming in of open skirmishes between colonial militias and earth-based corporate soldiers. The Colonial Wars have begun.
Mercury: There is no settlement on the planet of Mercury- the red-hot volcanoes and lack of atmosphere and temperatures ranging from -270 to 800 degrees Fareinheight make mining impractical. Vulcan station, sitting in Mercury’s ‘shadow’ for solar observations, is the closest manned station to Mercury.
Venus: Venus contains
Earth-bound cities are divided into three levels: Smog-level (poor districts), Cloud-level (mid-level), and Sky-district (Rich district). There are also Airless-districts, but those are solely the domain of the super-rich.
Earth’s oceans are also filled with cities at this point, cities with farms for algae, krill, and soy growing right outside the portholes.
Food on earth is almost completely processed, consisting of high-protein kelp, algae, and soy. Only the extreme super-rich are able to import “natural” grown foods from Deep-space colonies and limited Sol-Colony Farms.
Luna: Earth’s Moon, covered by
Mars: Mars is home to three cities that cover the entire surface of the planet, named for ancient science-fiction writers: Asimov, Verne, and Wells; Mars is second only in population to Earth. Mars was terraformed over the course of two hundred and seventy years, using techniques discovered and perfected on the Galilean moons of Jupiter. Although this makes the atmosphere of Mars breathable and makes it possible to grow plants on the surface, Mars’ air is often described as “dusky” by off-worlders, and Mars natives can often pick out off-worlders by the constant coughing or covering of mouth. Despite predictions, the sky of Mars did not turn blue, but remains the dusty orange-brown that it has been since its discovery.
Phobos: Phobos is home to
Deimos: Deimos is home to
Jupiter: The largest planet in the Sol system, Jupiter, has long been mined to sustain the space travel that allows the Governing Parliament to maintain control of far-flung colonies. Jupiter’s strong magnetic field makes most sensor reading impossible at close range, and gas mines on Jupiter must work ‘blind,’ although a system of satellites have been manned with laser communication to allow warning of mines after the ill-fated Daedalis Mine was swallowed by the Great Red Storm. Mining of Jupiter has been surpassed by the much safer mines on Neptune, Saturn, and Uranus, leaving the primary value of Jupiter to be that of its surrounding moons.
Moons of Jupiter: There are 63 moons of Jupiter- the Galilean moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto) were the first in the solar system to be terraformed, although the GP has approved funding to terraform others. All of the moons of Jupiter are used for mining and farming.
Ganymede: The largest moon circling Jupiter, Ganymede was the last of the moons to be terraformed, using perfected techniques. Ganymede has a sustainable atmosphere of oxygen and nitrogen, prolific plant life transported from earth, and even animals. Ganymede’s one ocean is named for astronomer Galileo, and is a habitat for earth’s aquatic life, protected by the Governing Parliament. Land masses and the cities built on them (smaller than earth’s continents) are named for influential philosophers: Aristotle, Descartes, Marx, Nietzche, Rousseau, Socrates, and Confucius. Space-traffic control on Ganymede controls all traffic in the system.
Saturn: The mighty gas planet of Saturn is mined for Hydrogen and Helium, but the rings of Saturn are Protected Universal Treasures, safe-guarded to preserve their beauty for future generations. Mining cities on Saturn are named for Greek city-states, including
Moons of Saturn: Saturn, the second largest planet, has the second most moons, numbering 33. The moons of Saturn have been colonized, but only the largest three (Titan, Rhea, and Iapetus) have been terraformed.
Titan: Titan, Covered by Roosevelt and Churchill cities, is the largest moon after Ganymede, and is actually larger than Mercury or Pluto. Titan controls all traffic to Sol from outside the system, and holds a military base and the MacArthur military space docks to assure that the Sol System is not invaded by hostile species.
Uranus: Uranus is covered with clouds of methane and hydrogen, and now serves as primary hydrogen mining for the Sol system and Parliamentary planets. Covered in ‘cloud cities,’ named for Norse Mythology, namely Odin, Thor, Fria, and Loki.
Moons of Uranus: Uranus has many moon colonies, with six terraformed moons: Ariel, Miranda, Oberon, Puck, Titania, and Umbriel, each with a city named after the moon it occupies. The tiny outer moons of Caliban and Sycorax contain the primary and secondary space traffic control stations, as well as the mid-range Sol navigation system. The two innermost moons, Cordelia and Orphelia, are controlled by the gas-mining corporations, and tightly controlled by Parliamentary regulations.
Neptune: Neptune, like other gas giants in the Sol system, is mined for Hydrogen and Helium, but
Moons of Neptune: Neptune is circled by 8 moons, none of which have been able to be terraformed, due to irregularities with
Pluto: Pluto and Charon share an orbit around Sol, circling each other. This has led to many difficulties in terraforming them, leaving Charon lifeless and covered with habitats, and Pluto a slowly growing ecosystem. Pluto is used as a staging ground for all deep-space mining forays into the Kupier Asteroid Belt. Pluto is covered by
Charon: Terraforming difficulties on Charon have led to abandonment of the project, leaving Charon as cold and lifeless as it was when GP ships first landed there. Charon houses prison settlements for all of the Sol system within the legendary Cerberus Prison, and while breakouts are possible, they are far from common. Staff for the prisons on Charon are housed on Pluto.
Eris: Eris, deep in the Kupier Asteroid belt, has been difficult to terraform, as asteroids regularly collide with it. Early Hera colony was demolished, with all colonists dying, and has been officially ‘unmanned’ ever since. Unofficially, Eris is a gathering place for criminals, smugglers, and anyone looking to buy illicit goods, including alien races.
Ceres: Ceres, in the Main Asteroid Belt, was the first minor planet to be terraformed, using its already earth-like atmosphere and presence of water oceans. Pumping methane into the atmosphere, the planet was made into as earth-like as possible.
Main Asteroid Belt: The Main Asteroid Belt, circling Sol and resting between Mars and Jupiter, has been discovered as a gold mine (literally and figuratively), housing alien artifacts that led to many modern technological innovations. Fraal, the famed ‘little green men,’ aliens who had been watching Earth for millennia left behind many ships and satellites to let them know when our race was ready for contact. In addition, the Main Asteroid Belt houses the best heavy-metal mines in the Sol System, yielding everything from gold to uranium-235. The Main Asteroid Belt contains the NASA station, the oldest working space station, although the original station has been decommissioned and set up in a central holding space for all to see and enjoy. People marvel at the tiny spaces which ‘astronauts’ used to have to live in. NASA station is a popular vacation place for people from earth who want to see the Solar System. The Main Asteroid Belt also contains the Ceres, the first minor planet to be terraformed, and the site of the oldest human settlement outside of Earth’s atmosphere.
Major Asteroids: Major Asteroids in the Main Asteroid Belt include Pallas, Juno, and Vesta, each one an early terraforming project. All but Pallas were abandoned were abandoned, as the large asteroids were frequently hit by smaller satellites, making life there difficult.
Trojan Asteroid Belt: The Trojan Asteroid belts share an orbit of Sol with Jupiter, one leading and one following. Stable Trojan asteroids have been mined for heavy metals, while unstable asteroids and those too small to be of use have been ignored. This has led to several places where smugglers, revolutionaries, and aliens can hide and do business. The unofficial “Tiujuana Station” and “Hong Kong Station” are salvaged space stations where these criminals can do business.
Kupier Asteroid Belt: The Kupier Asteroid belt is currently being mined for heavy metals, using Pluto as a jumping station to collect shipments. Pirates hide among the Kupier Asteroids, making regular shipments difficult. Surprisingly, many of these pirates are alien as well as human. Kupier Asteroid Belt contains unofficial “Batman Station,” where illegal trans-universal flights are piloted and planned.
Deepspace Colonies: Named by global committee to ‘reflect earth’s diverse background,’ the deepspace colonies are similarly small bastions of humanity, each colonizing a group of worlds beyond the gravity well for mining and food production to sustain the population of earth.
The Original Seven: The current colonies were not the first attempted by the GP. Alexandria, Athens, Babylon, Constantinople, Rome, Syracuse, and
The Current Colonies: The current colonies were sent out with a full tactical fleet after the original colonies were lost. Afraid that all of the colonies would be destroyed, the GP flooded the area around the
The current colonies are:
Zeus: Zeus, the larger of the two habitable planets, needed terraforming before settlers could begin farming, so Athena was settled first, and a small base was built on Zeus’ moon, Mercury, while the planet was terraformed. The agrarian setup is similar to that of Athena, with tiny cities built to process and package the foodstuffs for return to Earth. Zeus is home to Hera station, which carries packaged foodstuffs to space, and allows for very minor trafficking with smugglers and illegal operators.
Athena: Athena, the second of the three planets, was the first colonized, making it the oldest colony outside Sol system. Athena needed minimum terraforming, allowing settlers to begin farming right away. Named for Athens’ namesake godess, Athena is covered with agrarian farmland, with tiny cities that process and package the corn, rice, soy, and wheat, as well as containing the bare minimum that can be tolerated to supply colonists with medicine and necessary supplies. Athena’s spaceport, Hera, is the only true city on the entire planet, and allows for a small smuggler trade. Athena has no moon.
Titanus Cronus: Named for the Titan Cronus, Zeus’ father in Greek mythology, Cronus is a gas giant that has not yet been mined for the helium and hydrogen that it contains. Since Athens Colony is in a small system, both Cronus and Zeus are visible in Athena’s night sky, and both Cronus and Athen are visible in Zeus’ night sky.
Olympus Station: Named for the home of the Greek and Roman Gods,