It was 2038, and the city of Liquenova bustled in the early morning sunlight as its occupants revelled in the beauty of the sky, while they hurried about doing their morning chores. All was well in the city with the birds singing, and glowing billboards advertising Varicom Unlimited’s newly opening embryo alteration service. The company insured that the altered children would be perfect; they would be strikingly attractive, they would be intellectually gifted, and be immune to all treatable diseases known to man.
Gustav and Ella Celeste were two of the first in line at the opening of Varicom’s genLAB in Liquenova. As they entered the sprawling complex, they marvelled at the futuristic architecture around them. As far as the eye could see, there were reflective panels casting soft sunlight from all angles. Lush green vines populated the brightly coloured walls of the vast genLAB interior and dark steel beams supported the massive ceiling of the structure. All in all, it was a sobering sight.
Elatedly, Ella strolled up to the receptionist, and inquired about the embryo modification process, finding it to be quite simple. She would be given anaesthesia, and wouldn’t feel a thing. After she was numb, the fertilised embryo would have its genes spliced and modified so that it would end up being a perfect human specimen.After a taken aback Gustav attempted to haggle the price of the operation down, and settled on a suitably chastening payment, the operation went ahead, and Ella ecstatic for the future.–About twenty something years later, the results could visibly be seen. Isla Celeste and all the other modified children never fell sick, consistently performed better in school than unmodified children. This was all topped by the fact that all the modified children were definitely more attractive and athletic than the unmodified children. All in all, the outcome for the future of the human race was incredibly optimistic.Isla was twenty-five years old and in peak physical and mental condition. She was beautiful and intelligent and was good at everything she ever did. After finishing school, she had chosen to study law and artificial understanding at University. Every day after university, she would go home and relax, or go out to have fun with her friends. However, a few months back, as she stepped onto the hyperloop to go home as usual, something was amiss. The second seat on the left side of the third carriage was occupied.That was her seat.Sitting in it was a guy who she hadn’t seen before on the hyperloop. She strutted up to him to shoo him away, but ended up sitting opposite to him and speaking for the rest of the way. As the months progressed, and she got on the hyperloop every day, she became closer friends with him.In the end, she ended up marrying him and eventually wanted kids.This is where the problems began.–According to the Varicom Unlimited, and the rest of the human race, the genetic alteration of humans was a bold but necessary move to ensure that the human race would live on and progress.And they were not incorrect.But there was a vital flaw in the execution of their idea.–It could have gone great, with specially modified humans reproducing and benefitting humanity.If the greedy corporate scum of the early 21st century wasn’t so foolhardy and self-centred.In the fine print of the agreement to have modified babies, it was written that Varicom Unlimited owned the DNA sequences of all the altered children, meaning that if any of the modified children wanted to have their own offspring, they had to purchase the right to reproduce.They had to BUY the right to have kidsfrom a private company.The anatomically fundamental ability to pass on genes, the same one that defines the purpose of life itself in all sentient organisms, had to be bought.–So, anarchy?–Isla Celeste reeled in horror as she realised the true gravity of the situation. The statement made by the CEO of Varicom Unlimited about having to pay a hefty sum of money to have children, had hit her hard. She was about to go barging into her parents’ house and scream at them for taking away her right to have kids by not reading the fine print, but then realised that she could do something about it. She studied law. She could fix this problem. She could advance humanity past petty political matters instigated by corporate greediness and actually make a difference.So off she went, attempting to make a difference.Isla began online, spreading enlightenment and created petitions, rallying up a large number of like-minded supporters, promoting the fact that humans were free to do as they wished, and not be limited by Varicom. Then she filed a class action lawsuit against the massive company, claiming their act to be a violation of human rights, and being unethical. And so, the suing process began.–She succeeded, and the court brought the iron gavel of justice upon Varicom Unlimited, forcing them to renounce ownership of all DNA of modified people, turning the world into a better place by allowing all people to breed without restrictions.–Yay.–But let’s be realistic. Joyful is not the way life works.These are humans, not fair-minded justice seekers.Humans ARE greedy.Humans ARE selfish.And corporations ALWAYS win against individuals.Varicom Unlimited was an established company for over 20 years, and they would not stand down to someone who was angry. They had money on their side, and with a little payment to Isla Celeste, they were off the hook, and the rest of the human race who were modified were still not able to have kids.