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 Armstrong City, which expanded to encompass Aldrin city.
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 v. 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. v. 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 GeneTek 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 v. 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…