Tuesday, March 12, 2013

071: Garden-of-Me


ENTRY 071: Garden-of-Me

On Vo Nguyen, the bioconservative stronghold orbiting Earth, the nursery-spaces for children were designed to be integrated with low-level hydroponics bays, so that the young transhumans could see green growing things, and learn their properties and how to care for them, and look back up at the planet of their ancestors which they might one day return to and reclaim. Most of these spaces have since been abandoned, or converted, as the demand for them failed to materialize. Various individuals and organizations have purchased or leased the use of these spaces for their own ends: commercial light hydroponics, living quarters…and a single garden.

Wiry, wood-like vines yield freckled pink flowers, and which slowly ripen into lightly furred, peach-skinned fruits. Tiny pseudo-arthropods with clear, tough exoskeletons tend the soil, farm aphids, and are consumed by little chameleons. Cup-like flytraps sweetly reek of decomposing meat to attract scavenger flies, and burrowing earthworms up to three feet in length are visible shimmying through the transparent earth-boxes, wending their ways around roots. All told, it is a testament to ecoscaping—but for the majority of inhabitants of Vo Nguyen, this garden is reviled and rarely visited. Because every living thing in that garden—every plant, insect, and lizard—is a genetically engineered chimera containing some human element. Digestive enzymes from human saliva fill the flytraps, the scuttling insects are armored in shells of keratin based on human nails, fruits are pigmented with human-derived melanin…and so forth.

The Garden-of-Me was crafted following the death of noted bioconservative Vim Spcyowski, as per his request and his instructions, from his own genetic material, and is maintained by the members of the Spcyowski Trust. Vim’s purpose was for the garden to serve as a living, up-close example of the seductive nature of what bioconservatism resists—an ecosystem where one genome has subtly infiltrated and infected everything, twisting what might have been a beautiful encapsulated nature into a cruel parody of itself. Visitors touch the fruit and see little difference between the plant and their own skin; despite the lack of visitors the garden air is always heavy and fragrant with the smell of a large group of unwashed humans in close contact; diseases tend to spread rapidly and jump species easily leading to sudden massive die-offs that require the caretakers to replace them. To the bioconservatives, this is a slice of hell kept close to their heart, as a reminder of what they would not be.

Seed

  • Sensation surrounds the expansion of the Garden-of-Me, which introduces its first mammal—a tiny transgenic chimera that resembles a cross between a field mouse and a tiny simian, with long paws and a nearly-human face. Competing groups are looking to capture or destroy the four specimens (two male and two female) before they are introduced: a religious sect which objects to their existence, an anti-bioconservative group that wants the creatures crucified in the garden to troll the bioconservatives, and nano-ecologists that believe the specimens aren’t transgenics at all, but actually a supposedly-extinct species. Any or all of them could approach the PCs for their assistance—as strangers to Vo Nguyen, they are most likely isolated from its warring sociopolitics and can operate with less scrutiny. In exchange, the PCs could get valuable introductions and make contacts on the habitat that would take months or years to develop otherwise.

4 comments:

  1. Major typo noticed. Vim Spcyowksi vs Vim Spcyowski

    Love this idea btw.

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  2. I love this idea as well, especially since my group will be going to Vo Nguyen soon! I like the idea of this bizarre, transgenic enclave in the midst of the Reclaimer/biocon station. I'm going to make a map of VN for the game so I'll be sure to include Garden-of-Me on it.

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