Retroviral Serum

The figure shuffles into the light of the campfire on uneven legs. The flickering light illuminates the figure, wracked and burdened with dozens of retroviral induced mutations.
  The concept for retroviral serums originated with certain theories on broad spectrum genetic manipulation. Before, genetic modification was an expensive and difficult process, where fragile zygotes had to be manipulated in vitro. This method can be performed only once with no chance for correction later.   By contrast, retroviral serums are designed to circumvent the restrictions of old methods. They are designed to be small doses of fluid to be either intramuscular or intravascular injections. These injections are comprised of carefully engineered mRNA sequences suspended in a solution of hormones and pharmaceutical compounds designed to stimulate the growth of new tissues and organs.   In preliminary tests on animals, the sheer range of bodily features that could be grown on recipients was staggering. Fur, scales and feathers in any pigments that could be biologically synthesized. Enlargement of bones, teeth, claws and tails. Additional hearts, kidneys and stomachs. And this was only the beginning, as mutations were only limited by the ingenuity of the geneticists crafting the necessary mRNA sequences.   When the first applications for human trials were put forward, they ran into a major problem in the form of a seemingly endless tide of hostile lobbyists, nuisance lawsuits and misinformation campaigns spread on social media. It was never clear exactly who was responsible, but it is suspected that the well established Kedrex Systems and their line of medical Nanites had something to do with it.   Among all the delays, research and development data along with patent drafts were stolen. "Homebrewed" retroviral serums starting popping up among certain sections of the general populace. Despite the fact that the original researchers' serum never reached the market, these leaks have allowed the production of retroviral serums to persist to the current day, even in spite of the apocalyptic state of the world.    
  Gameplay mechanics to do later.


Cover image: by Dutrius

Comments

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Grandmaster nnie
Annie Stein
2 Jul, 2021 07:45

Oh, those pesky Kedrex Systems! I love the worldbuilding towards the end of the article, where you really get a sense of how the world has taken to this new technology.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— On the Shoulders of Giants entry: Refugees of Mercury
2 Jul, 2021 07:53

Thank you!

2 Jul, 2021 07:51

That sounds both useful and scary! I also like the idea that a competitor would try their best to damage this technology's reputation. How error-prone are the "homebrewed" serums - do they usually have their intended effect, or do things tend to go wrong somehow?


Creator of the Kaleidoscope System, an alien star system shaped by a colorful radiation source.   My Pledge for Summer Camp 2022
2 Jul, 2021 07:58

That's something I aim to expand on in the future, but that's also something that's going to be tied with game mechanics.

2 Jul, 2021 09:39

"Homebrewed" retrovirus serums sounds both horrifying and inevitable. We're already seeing bio-hacking happen with CRISPR, and that just fits with that trends so well.   In a fight who to trust between this stuff and corp-controlled nanites... That's a lose-lose situation,for sure. Great stuff :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
2 Jul, 2021 10:02

Thank you! The "Homebrewed" stuff is supposed to be unreliable, especially given the current post-apocalyptic state of the world. I'll have to mention that when I make another pass over the article later.