ENTRY 271: Mutant
“You don’t get it, do you? Evolution does not stop. You’re looking at the now, not the future. Already, transhumanity is split into isolated populations, limited genepools. Give it a thousand years—ten thousand—a hundred thousand—speciation! A hundred new breeds of humanity, and that not counting what we do ourselves…”
- Drunken Rant #37, Rodrigo Rodriguez Caldona, Sr. Planetary Biologist.
Transhuman science has overcome many of the inherent barriers and constrictions that are thought to drive evolution. Through genetic engineering, biomorphs can be shaped as they are needed or desired to be; forking and synthmorphs escapes the vagaries of genetic propogation entirely. Yet transhuman society has not yet fully adapted to the full consequences of the Fall, and as the first generation of transhumans born and bred in the years since transhumanity became scattered from Earth come of age, the lessons of evolutionary science are once more being brought to the fore.
Populations of biomorphs are mostly isolated, with little mass migration. While a minor issue in terms of genetic isolation in the short term, transhuman archives have shown the results of extensive intermarriage within a limited genepool, including the propagation of recessive traits and genetic diseases. One brinker community that consists entirely of Icelandic descendents is already being monitored due to the extremely close interrelation of its population. The long-term viability of their tiny colony is already a major concern, and various plans have been proposed to expand the limited gene pool or remove the worst of the genetic diseases inherent in the population.
Splicers and other non-flat biomorphs should be mostly immune to such worries, but none of these designs has yet been tested past the third generation, and genehackers cannot confirm that new issues might not crop up, especially from “accidental inbreeding” due to long biomorph lifespans and the same splicer designs being reused in subsequent generations. Likewise, radiation, viruses, and certain chemicals can promote mutation in all biomorphs, with the possibility that some mutated traits may be passed on to the next generation. Some of these cumulative genetic mutations have already become apparent in the non-genefixed population, often coincidental with genetic defects.
Mutant (Morph Trait) [Positive]
Cost: 5 CP
The morph is not genefixed, and has inherited cumulative minor mutations that make them verifiably different from the transhuman norm in some small but obvious way. These are not adaptations to any environmental stimulus, though given a hundred generations of selective breeding they might become so. Common mutations include a small tail or lack of an appendix; slight changes to the shape of ears, eyes, or teeth; and odd colors to skin. The oldest habitats have relatively large populations of mutants with similar traits, representing what might become emerging phenotypes. The gamemaster must determine the exact effects of the mutation on gameplay, as appropriate. For example, when dealing with a fellow mutant the character might receive a +5 bonus on social skill tests. This trait is suggested to only be available for flats.