"I've done...terrible things. Nothing the God of Biomechanics
wouldn't let you into Heaven for."
The cult of the machine never dies, it just gets an upgrade.
Technology in the world of Neon Twilight is often unfriendly and
viewed with suspicion by many people for whom the words 'scientific experiments'
have become synonymous with disaster. The New Mutation and
the bloody mess that was the Pacific War shattered the illusion
of "humanity on the verge of a new era of peace and prosperity"
and highlighted the horrible weapons of science that the major
superpowers used during that bitter conflict.
The tremendous growth of military-oriented science resulted in
a pace of destruction that shocked most of the world's populace
and created the right conditions for an unprecedented ban on
many types of research. This ban, instituted by the winners of
the Pacific War, is called the Research Control Regime, and it
is both a force for peace and for repression. The RCR was devised
and implemented in the early 20's when the effects of the New
Mutation were still being felt across Asia and plague aftershocks
were still spreading in parts of the USA and Europe. The world's
remaining Great Powers realized that the unprecedented eruption
of new war technologies had finally created a situation in which
practically anyone could instigate Armageddon at a moment's notice,
and that further research into these fields would surely destroy
humanity or at the very least allow some upstart power to topple
the geopolitical order. In a world where ethnic Clans and uppity
Intercontinentals already exerted great influence, the possibility
of tiny countries being able to threaten the Powers was deemed
unacceptable. The only choice available to the powers was to muzzle
the other power groups by denying them the right to maintain
the most destructive technologies through a ban on not only production
(which can be turned on and off when inspectors are near) but also
research into those fields. So the RCR was born, fed by the paranoia
of the tattered winners of the War, and vigorously supported by a
citizenry intensely frightened of the monsters their scientists had
The RCR bans research and experimentation in the fields of genegineering
(except for specific medical purposes), chemical weapons, nanoweapons,
macroparasites (except in such things as purifiers), transgenic modification,
neuronic cybernetics (prosthetic excepted), neural modification, xenorganics,
animate/inanimate interface via genetics, and especially nanotech war devices
such as Dissemblers.
It also institutes procedures for proper handling of biological information,
genebanks, and supports the Medical Collegium Human Code
which prohibits any major alteration of human DNA. The glaring exception
is the creation of genegineered animals known as chimerics.
These chimerics cannot exceed a certain intelligence threshold and cannot
be cybernetically altered in any way. Nevertheless, chimerics have been
experimented upon and many of them have managed to infiltrate local ecosystems
and breed like rabbits in Australia.
What does all this mean? Well, exotics like in CP2020 are right out.
Major alterations to the body which are proscribed by the Human Code are right out,
not to mention the fact that genetic alterations to the human body were never
perfected. This means that even if 'black' labs wanted to grow you a third heart,
they wouldn't know how. Genetic engineering just hasn't
come far enough by 2038. Oh sure, a few aristocrats with a billion or three to
spare have had major genegineering done in the Orbitals (and been banned groundside),
but you're just not in that league, paisan. If you want bioware, you'll have to try
your luck with Xenorganics.