Recombinant genetics and bio-engineering are household terms. Every house has a splicer and an artificial womb. As resources depleted and we started hitting the upper limits of what we could achieve with technology we turned back to nature, millions of years worth of development, and repurposed it for our own use.
Nanotech was bunk, we just couldn’t make artificial constructs detailed and clever enough to do what nature had already achieved with viruses and bacteria millennia ago.
Bio-hacking is the next big thing, gone are the electronic glows of computer screens on the faces of geeks everywhere to be replaced with the glows of protein sequencers and gene splicers. The computer age has come and gone. Now its the genetic age and already its achieved what technology was only barely struggling to do. It got inside you, inside everyone. Artificially enhanced muscles, retroviral cosmetic treatments, toggleable savantism. Its not just what’s inside though, architecture soars in once impossible forms made from spiders silk grown in bio-farms by fields of targetted bacterium. Streets kept clean by customized reptiles that hoard them into the dark places beneath cities where the trash is digested by tailored organisms into useful products in industry. Mobile homes in the interior cavities of colossal, engineered woodlouse roam the countryside, self-sufficient nomads.
It’s a golden age, or at least it was until the infection came. Nobody knows how, it shouldn’t have even been possible with the huge numbers of regulatory viruses and gene sequences in place, but somehow the world got cancer and not the kind that’s been wiped out for generations. They call themselves the Malignancy, a race of sentient tumors that consume everything in their path. No one knows where they came from or who made them but they are here and the world is in an eternal arms race against them, trying drugs, viruses, nukes, anything to cull the spread. Every city is a quarantine zone, every living thing a suspect, a carrier, a vector for the Malignancy to worm their way into the barricaded biospheres that hide behind glass domes or nuclear fallout.
The biotech companies are in control now. They hold the gun to your head and the keys to the cities. Protectors, tyrants, murderers, saviours, thieves, the companies run this world now and if you don’t like it, you can try your luck outside with the Malignancy and see how they treat you. The companies exist in constant battle, stealing each others secrets whilst coveting their own, each wanting to be the saviour, but none wanting to give up the privilege and power they have.
Jobs still need doing, people need killing, genes need stealing. Somethings gotta pay the bills, you might as well let a company foot the bill.
The night’s young, and you could kill for some credits.