When I’d gotten the invitation to join in the drug trial I’d jumped at the chance to earn an extra few hundred bucks for a couple of hours work on a weekend. I was paying my way through college and every extra dollar I earned helped. It was just another clinical study after all – they’d already have tried the darned drug out on every conceivable animal and computer modeled its effects to Hell and back. It was very unlikely that anything would go wrong – all I’d have to do was sign the disclaimer and everything would be fine. Well that’s how I thought it would work out.
I did a little research and was surprised to discover that Liebermann Biosciences wasn’t a drug company after all. It turned out that they specialized in genome manipulation, creating custom built organisms for different purposes. One of their main customers was NASA which needed organisms bioengineered to withstand the conditions on distant planets – particularly in the early stages of terraforming. The US military was another user of their products, but their website unsurprisingly didn’t go into a lot of detail on that score. By 2067 gene science had come a long way, and you could usually pretty much tell what the creature you’d designed would turn out to look and behave like in advance. Of course there was always the odd exception and sometimes those exceptions could be very odd indeed.