Wonder in Beyond Earth
|Requires|| 3 Xenomass|
|Notes||City no longer produces [ICON_HEALTH_4] Unhealth.|
The Promethean eliminates all Unhealth from its host city.
"Anansi looked at the man's genome and said: 'Messy! Messy! Who can live like this?' He took a broom and swept up the genome, and when the man woke up, he felt much better." - The Uncle Nevercloned Stories
The old saw goes: Humanity is just human enough to get off Earth, and just ape enough to not think of leaving sooner. The truth is that the human genome as it existed at the time of the Seeding was largely undifferentiated after nearly 200,000 years, and had furthermore been subject to a fair amount of environmental degradation and unpleasant selection pressures. The average colonist's genome at planetfall contained a fair number of unhealthy codes, predispositions to disease, and was fragile enough to suffer extensive radiation damage on the new world.
Genomic medicine was well-described theoretically, but not extensively attempted on Old Earth for a variety of reasons (religious taboo and political prohibitions on scarce resources being the most common), but on a new world the question of revisiting the human genome came up again with each new discovery about the planet's own life and each new medical realization. With the maturation of gene-informatic theory, a new possibility arose: Creating an optimally human genome, free from disease and limiting flaw.
The Promethean idea was to create a new human genotype. It would be compatible with the genetics of humanity, but strip out problematic genes and replace many sequences with more optimal protein operators. Not only would this undo the damage of the Great Mistake, but strip away the impediments of humanity's evolution - the dead-end sequences, the mistake codes, the hidden landmines that lead to disease. The resulting creature would look like human, but be something more than a human.
The idea was, naturally, of great social debate. At the heart of it were concepts of "humanity" and the meaning of "human life." Is a hypothetical new creature which shares phenotypic expression with a genetic human still a human? (This was popularly known as "Duckism" for reasons that are too convoluted to explain here). Is this creature somehow a "better" human for not being subject to the limitations of its exemplar? These questions are, to many extents, still not resolved. But the Promethean was created.
Devoid of DNA noncoding sequences and vestigial phenotypes (or with vestigial phenotype restored to functionality; the Promethean has a working appendix), the Promethean is a creature of profound beauty - not only in each individual human who shares its underpinnings, but in the way that the Promethean functions from the cellular to the holistic level. A Promethean moves with spare grace, sees the world in colors unknown to the old Homo sapiens, ages easily and slowly, retains her faculties through the lifespan, and, when the end comes, often has left behind a legacy that simply could not have been achieved by Old Man.