The Impact of Guerilla Scientists

Rather than focus on a “group” this week, I thought it might be nice to shine the spotlight on a few misguided individuals across the Dominion.

Mad Science

Isn’t there always a friendly neighborhood mad scientist living nearby, willing to lend a hand with a quick fix, an enhancement or two, or maybe even a custom tool or weapon that might come in handy in the field? No? Well, there wouldn’t be if the authorities had anything to say about it, but these folks tend to be smarter than the average bear when it comes to staying at least one step ahead of any consequences…

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

The so-called “mad scientist” comes in many flavors, usually playing chicken with the line between sanity and insanity–and some of them skip that line all together, deciding to stop taking their meds and checking in with their therapists in favor of doing horrible things to people who seek them out. One moment they’re stitching up your latest wounds and the next they have you strapped to a table while they get ready to experiment on you in new and interesting ways.

Some may call these folks “heroes,” but few actually are. The Dominion calls them public menaces. It’s well and good if they’re running an illegal medical practice and making sure the workers are surviving the nasty alien virus going around, but it’s quite another when Bob gets kidnapped, experimented on, and left to die in a little-traveled alleyway in the dark.

Dr. Parasol

Dr. Stephanie Avens, also known as “Dr. Parasol,” was widely respected in her general practice until her appreciation for mixed drinks with tiny umbrellas led to a string of medical malpractice claims on Earth. One step ahead of the authorities, she bounced through the nearest BANCE gate and found herself on Mikko Station orbiting Proxima Centauri. Sure, she helped out the workers in the Taylortech refining facility, but it was easy to “disappear” one every now and then to test her theories on integrating alien DNA into human beings–at least for a while.

NPC Art courtesy of the Terrible Character Portraits Project from Jeff Preston. (CC BY 3.0)

After the third poor soul vanished, the local security forces started asking questions. It costs money to import labor, so each worker who went missing was a hit on the facility’s bottom line. They eventually found them, one at a time, stuffed into ventilation shafts and missing limbs. But it wasn’t until they found one of those missing limbs slithering around those same shafts that things got really interesting.

Dr. Avens is now serving time in one of the maximum security prisons orbiting an uninviting rock in the Sol system. Three murder convictions and sixteen felony counts of biohacking, kidnapping, torture, medical malpractice, and practicing medicine without a license will keep her on ice for at least three back-to-back life sentences, though she still holds out hope that she may one day return to her research.

The Hackmaster

George “Hackmaster” Greene was a technician with no small amount of education or talent for designing custom cybernetic implants for the wealthy. Unfortunately, he also had a gambling problem. Staying one step ahead of his bookies led him to the doorstep of Wallace “King” Edward, a notorious mob boss operating on Pax B Alpha on Proxima b. During the civil war of 2123, Edward went from being a common criminal to being the only person able to get things done, for a price.

NPC Art courtesy of the Terrible Character Portraits Project from Jeff Preston. (CC BY 3.0)

The Hackmaster became employed by King Edward sometime in 2150, when the King’s health was beginning to deteriorate. Greene used a rudimentary knowledge of medicine and many failed experiments to find ways to extend Edward’s life. In return, his gambling debts were forgiven and he was given a safe place to work. For the last 70 years, Greene has been operating unchecked on Pax B, and thought to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of individuals unfortunate enough to cross his path when he needed a body.

Edward and his organization have sworn that they will protect their technological godsend for as long as he continues to produce medical miracles. And with the amount of chrome-plated hardware adorning Edward’s crew, several groups have been seeking permanent solutions to taking the Hackmaster out of the equation.

The Roaming Moon Called Moreau

Early in the exploration of the Field of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, several genius technicians decided it would be cool to strap propulsion engines on an asteroid and pilot it out into space. Many rich members of the Dominion purchased such mobile worlds for their own use. Dr. Rosa Morai was a geneticist with a penchant for extreme research and decided her own world with no legal oversight would be a great investment.

NPC Art courtesy of the Terrible Character Portraits Project from Jeff Preston. (CC BY 3.0)

Among the papers published before Morai’s departure from the Sol system was one that raised a great number of red flags among her peers — “The Application of Genetic Engineering to Solve Complex Environmental Problems.” Essentially she proposed introducing alien strands of DNA to increase the resiliency of those colonists bound to conquer new worlds, giving them an edge that no human had ever seen.

That was back in 2184. More than 100 years later, the Moon of Moreau is still flying. Its exact location is a bit of a mystery, but Dominion authorities believe it is traveling along less congested trade routes between Sol and Proxima Centauri with regular visits by the rich and shady seeking biological enhancements or looking to purchase monsters for their own entertainment.

It is not known if Dr. Morai herself is still alive, but the moon continues its travels and the stories coming out of those who have been there boggles the mind. Merging human and animal DNA was just the beginning.

This is one of a series of articles proposed by our Patreon members! Want to get in on the action? Come join us and help the cause for as little as $1 per month! Become a Patron!

Looking for more critters and groups for your Aliens & Asteroids campaign? Check out the rest of the Group of the Week series or the Creature of the Week series!

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