The Gen-Nu Disaster

“The advance of genetic engineering makes it quite conceivable that we will begin to design our own evolutionary progress.”

Issac Asimov

The Gen-Nu Disaster

Gen nu

In the dawn of the 21st Century, the biological research corporation Gen-Nu was leaps and bounds ahead of it’s competition – nearly all modern biodroid, genmod and wetware technology owes it’s existence to the phenomenal breakthroughs of the Gen-Nu Golden Era.

When the major changes in climate first started affecting food production, Gen-Nu was there: genetically modified grains were hardier and required less less rainfall; the Gnox, a genetically engineered bovine that produced much more meat and leather, while able to survive off minimal lichen and scrub grass; and a host of other genetic marvels seemed to be humanities hope to surviving the changing climate.

Research lab 23

Then all hell broke loose: Gen-Nu’s biological research HQ in western Nebraska was attacked by a misguided liberal “ecoists” calling themselves “The Messengers of Gia” that were protesting both animal testing and genetic manipulation in all forms. In their ill-conceived plan to free “mother nature’s children”, the M.o.G. released all of the animals into the wild. By design, the Gen-Nu altered animals were hardier and more productive than normal animals, and they spread like wild-fire. Retro-viruses never intended to interact with the human genome were now running rampant through the bloodstream of the young activists. Lab rats from an experiments to build stronger immunities to disease are free to cross-breed with other rodents, and within a year there are toxic plague carrying rats that are immune to poison and disease spread though-out the country. The Gnox thrive in the wild, between cross-breeding, retro-viruses and other unknown factors, they started forming packs of monstrously ill-tempered cattle larger than buffalo with massive horns, strong herd instincts and the ability to survive just about any condition. Mutant viruses sweep the nation, and soon spread into the globalized plagues of the 21st century.

Bio lab

Public outcry pointed all the blame at Gen-Nu, pointing out their lack of safeguards for such a situation. Devastated by the loss of research, drain on resources in a futile attempt to contain the spread, and the mounting public villainization, Gen-Nu was in no way prepared to deal with what happened next. Whether it caused by the effects of effects of one of the many new super-viruses, or simply an unforeseen failing of the product is up for debate, but the fact is less than 2 years after the Messengers of Gia fiasco, there was a world-wide epidemic of GM crops, the vast majority originating from Gen-Nu, destroying local ecosystems, devastating ground-soil and killing off much of the local fauna in the processes. The only good news of this turn of events was that these plants strangled their resources to the point of causing their own extinction.

The damage to the climate and ecosystem of the world was irreversible. The CEO of Gen-Nu committed suicide days before the company was dismantled and patents divvied up between other major corporations, the biggest winners were Rossem and Umbra. In the decades since the fall of Gen-Nu, the world has seen their research turned into biodroids, wetware, custom GM guard animals, and many other ethic travesties, but nothing that caused the outrage Gen-Nu faced.

“We’ve got ninety-nine per cent the same genes as any other person. We’ve got ninety per cent the same as a chimpanzee. We’ve got thirty percent the same as a head of lettuce. Does that cheer you up at all? I love that about the lettuce. It makes me feel like I belong.”

Caryl Churchill

The Gen-Nu Disaster

Edgerunners Langy Langy