I’ve been thinking about the dynamics of self-modification, DNA, and genetic trickle down economics. We live in a society that encourages modification of one’s self. If those modifications were made on the genetic level, and those modifications happened to be dominant, what would the population look like in 100 years? 500? 1,000? For the sake of Smuggler’s Pursuit I’m taking a look at that. Granted that the world in question is hot and swampy with large, nasty predators, what kind of modifications would be most popular in the wealthy segments of the population that would be able to afford to have them done?
Yes, I’m headed off in the lizard man direction. Mammalian apex predator-based modifications would still have fur and nasty dampness to cope with, and exoskeletons are impractical on a wet world. On this world, considering the feudal system of government, it’s quite likely that only the Lords and their families would be able to afford to be directly modified, so the nobility would tend to be most reptilian, perhaps even to the extreme degrees that I’m positing for the civil war. However, if those modifications are genetic and dominant, we would run into the spread of those modifications through the serf population by means of lordly indiscretions, droit de seigneur, and youngest sons marrying higher-ranking serfs or skilled laborers in guilds.
Naturally, the nobility would keep the much more extreme levels of the modifications, but the genes would spread, particularly over an extended length of time on an isolated colony world. In some demesnes the serfs would be much closer to ‘pure’ unadulterated human, if the lords were particularly moral about taking advantage of them for many generations, in other demesnes the serfs might be nearly identical to the nobility in cases where the nobility’s depredations were pervasive for many generations.
Throwing Melia and Sophocles – 100% pure human Amazon and 100% pure antique human stock with a huge dash of metal enhancements – into this scaly society should prove interesting. Since Amazons are violently opposed to any enhancements or modifications whatsoever, what will Melia think of the relentless ‘self-improvement’ of the nobility and its spread to the serfs? What will Sophocles think of serfs at all, considering his views on the evils of government with too much power over the populace?
In other news –
I have at least one more Beta reader; thank God for volunteers! I may have another, but I haven’t heard back yet. I’m honestly surprised by the difficulty I’ve had in finding Beta readers. I’ve immersed myself in reading science fiction and fantasy since I was 7 or so and discovered J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, and Isaac Asimov, so I’m pretty firmly attached to speculative fiction, which may explain why it never occurred to me that so many people don’t like the kind of fiction I like. I really want informative reactions, though, so I’ll keep trying!
On the home front –
Little man pulled out another tooth, but he wasn’t upset about it this time. Now, Himself freaked out when Little Man was giggling happily while spitting out blood, but at least it wasn’t the huge trauma the last three teeth to come out were. We still haven’t found the tooth, though!