Humans and Parahumans in Dark Energy

From GURPSworld Wiki

Experimental human genetic engineering started in the 21st Century on Old Earth, with rudimentary parahumans emerging in earnest by the 22nd century. Wide scale developments in genetic engineering continued over the centuries and, by the 31st century, purebred humans were a rarity, and remain so today. Genetic engineering reached its current state of advancement around the 81st century, with minor incremental improvements continuing through to the present day. The total population of humans and parahumans in the Kingdom of Mankind numbers in the quintillions, with humans being a tiny minority numbering only in the millions. Some of the major types are listed below.

Humans - While not numerous, pure humans rule over the galaxy by way of their seemingly immortal lifespans. At some point in the 24th Century, humans stumbled upon the secret of immortality through genetic engineering. But, it was discovered that unagingness could not be granted to other parahuman variants. Furthermore, human women could not reproduce biologically and still maintain their indefinite lifespan. This led to a dramatic drop-off in what had already become a low birthrate for humans. Attempts to create lab-grown immortal humans failed; it only seemed possible for humans to be born immortal by way of having two parents carrying the genes for unagingness. Most humans are unwilling to undertake further genetic engineering, because they do not wish to risk their immortality for what could amount to short-term upgrades.

Helots - Helots are the most common parahuman, making up about half of the total population of the Kingdom of Mankind. Helots are slightly healthier and more docile than typical humans. They serve as colonists and workers throughout the galaxies. Helots reproduce normally, with the offspring generally being another Helot, even if one parent is not.

Alpha - Alphas are the second most common variant of parahumans, and can be found in colonies all over the Kingdom of Mankind. They share some features with Helots, such as improved overall health but, unlike Helots, they also have greater longevity than humans originally did, and have superior hand-eye coordination. They also lack the innate docility of Helots, exerting more individual will and, therefore, are more difficult to control in large numbers. Alphas end up in many skilled professions. Alphas may reproduce normally, and two Alphas will generally produce another Alpha. An Alpha and a Helot will produce a Helot. A variant on the Alpha, known as the Omega, was developed in the 29th Century, but was subsequently banned. They are simply more intelligent, more attractive versions of Alphas. Occasionally, two Alphas will produce an Omega as their offspring, though the child is, by law, to be terminated.

Spartan - Spartans make up about one percent of the total population of the Kingdom of Mankind. They are strong, resilient, and have quick reflexes. They are often found in the emergency response fields, and make up the majority of the Intergalactic Police. Spartan athletes are also common, and worlds with high concentrations of Spartans are known for their dynamic and robust sports leagues. These athletes are, of course, of great interest to the Helots, and huge media and entertainment leagues surround Spartan-dominated sports leagues. Spartan reproduction is controlled by law. Spartans who wish to produce offspring either naturally or in a laboratory must apply for a permit.

Orion - Orions are a little less common than Spartans. Like Spartans, they have heightened reflexes and superior physical abilities. While not as strong as Spartans, they are quicker and more resilient. In some respects, they make even superior athletes to Spartans, though Orions are almost exclusively limited to the military. Orion modifications are prohibited to the general public, and Orions cannot naturally reproduce. Orions tend to be overconfident and risk-seeking.

Guardian - Guardians were developed in the 87th Century by Jose Saint-Germain, a human genetic engineer who had long been striving to develop the perfect superhuman. Guardians were gifted with innately high intelligence and coordination, as well as a long lifespan and increased longevity. They were also capable of exerting command over other parahumans by way of their extensive glandular modifications. After a few generations of Guardian reproduction, they discovered they were able to turn this ability on humans as well. This culminated in the Guardian Uprising in the 89th Century, where the Guardians attempted to supplant humans and become the master race among the Kingdom of Mankind. Devastating conflicts happened in several galaxies, including both the King's Galaxy and the Queen's Galaxy, and the Queen was killed. Guardians have since been banned and eliminated though, given their keen intelligence, it is generally believed some survived and are either hiding in colonies or have ventured off to the fringes of civilization. For his part, Jose Saint-Germain was exiled.

Diana - Dianas make up a tiny percentage of the intergalactic population. They are naturally intelligent and durable, and end up in fields related to academics and design. Some exceptional Dianas serve as architects, and most present-day architects are Dianas, as they are more intelligent than humans, yet not banned. Dianas do not generally reproduce on their own, as they tend toward homosexuality, and are generally considered a legal, albeit restricted, variant of Omegas. Alphas who wish to produce a Diana may do so with the proper licensing. Humans may also develop Dianas for their own use. The Artemis type is an offshoot of Diana designed for military use, to command groups of Alphas or serve in special forces. Some Artemis types with no interest in military life are employed in other fields, such as architecture.

Ishtar - Ishtars are a relatively rare parahuman that are considered to be a variant of the Alpha. Alphas may selectively produce Ishtars, though it is a rare choice, as Ishtars are notoriously ill-tempered. Ishtars tend to be physically attractive, and always stand out in a crowd, even among Alphas. Two Ishtars may reproduce and, in doing so, create a Siduri, which is a longer-lived, better-tempered variant of the Ishtar. Siduris cannot be created in the laboratory; they only arise through natural reproduction between two Ishtars.

Gilgamesh - The Gilgamesh type was developed as an improvement to the Alpha in the 48th Century. Much like the Omega, the Gilgamesh represented a generic improvement over humans, but they were banned after certain mental instabilities were discovered. Some Gilgamesh genes remain in the intergalactic gene pool from incidents of mating with Alphas and Helots millennia ago, though no positively identified Gilgamesh has ever arisen from these vestigial genetic traces.

Pandora - Details of the Pandora Project remain classified. The Pandora type was first developed in the 63rd Century, but the project was shuttered. It was later re-opened by Jose Saint-Germain in the 85th Century as the Prometheus Project and, while no Pandoras or Prometheuses are confirmed to exist according to any public records, there is speculation that some do live among the humans in The Castle, serving as high-ranking military analysts and strategists. Officially, Pandoras are considered an obsolete model, and Pandora specifications are not available. The Prometheus model is not officially recognized at all.

Eros - Eros models, and various Eros subtypes, are a heavily restricted parahuman variant. Only humans are allowed to produce them, and each Eros is registered to a particular human. Eros is a relatively new type of parahuman, having first appeared in the 91st Century.

Ranger - Rangers were developed at around the same time as Spartans, and were products of the same genetic engineering program. Rangers are rarer than Spartans, and typically live on the fringes of society. They serve as surveyors, remote explorers, prospectors, scouts, and in other, similar type of work. Most Rangers are civilians, though a minority find work serving in the Royal Fleet.