Armstrong Dome, Moonbase Alpha, Colonial Lunar Administration Zone -- 2 May 2057: The Department of Reparations and Protected Persons has officially designated a group of over 25000 people created by corporations and pre-Alliance nation-states in early human cloning, genetic modification and neuromodification research programs to be a Class Entitled to Reparations due to Historical Injustice. The decision comes as welcome news to people like Maarten Huygens, who has been working ceaselessly for decades to press the case to the government that he and others like him deserved to be compensated for the suffering and hardship they had endured due to genetic and neurological anomalies introduced into their system by flawed genetic manipulation techniques.
Mr. Huygens was one of 50 clones created in 2018 by a now-defunct biotechnology company in a secret and illegal research program. Only 23 of his brothers lived to the age of 18 bio-years, and Mr. Huygens is the last one left; all of the rest fell victim to Dolly's Syndrome, or rapid aging due to degraded telomeres. Research on the Huygens Clade, and other early clones suffering from the same malady, led to a cure for the syndrome and techniques to prevent its occurrence. "My brothers were martyrs to science," Mr. Huygens told us in an audio interview. "I was the only one to benefit from the cure that all of us contributed to, through some freak of biology that made me the strongest one. There's not a day goes by that I don't feel guilty that I lived when they all died." Mr. Huygens was moved by the stories of others he met while participating the research program. "It seemed like, back then, every country and every big-deal biotech firm had these human genetic research programs going, trying to breed the new evolution of the species. People were real scared; there was the Civilization Buster, the Big Blowout, the Water Wars and the Weather Wars, revolution and terrorism everywhere. Not that it excuses what they did. Almost all of us had something wrong; birth defects, organ failure, autoimmune syndromes, developmental disorders. They made us just 'cause they could, then cut us loose when they were done with us or it looked like they were going to get caught -- the ones they didn't straight-up murder."
In those clinics, Mr. Huygens was among the founders of Vox In Vitro, a support and political action group for the survivors of these unethical experiments. When the Department of Reparations and Protected Persons was first created by the Trapezoid, with the mission of redressing the unfair treatment which had led to systemic inequality and discriminatory social systems, Vox In Vitro immediately applied for reparations. "We thought it was a no-brainer. Not to belittle the tragedy faced by all those other people that got special protections or reparations right away; but we were created by political whim and profit motive, created to suffer and die. I though if anyone deserved to be compensated for what was done to them..." The first groups given compensation and protection by the Department included racial groups, sexual and gender minorities, persecuted political and religious groups, physio- and neuro-atypicals, and synthetic consciousnesses; uplifts and certain neogenetic groups soon followed, but Mr. Huygens and his fellow sufferers were left behind. "There was always some excuse. During the Teegan Administration, the line was that our problems were only an individual thing; they had plenty of sympathy, but we weren't victims of systematic prejudice. Ha! Then the Corum Administration got in and they told us that if it weren't for those experiments we wouldn't even exist, so what were we complaining about? With the Pilner Administration, it was all about how we had already got state-sponsored medical treatment and been cured of our ills, so we had already received all the compensation we were entitled to; and the Saxon Administration outright told us they weren't responsible for fixing the mistakes of dead corporations and defunct governments. This has been a long time coming."
Chancellor Galorvian released a public apology to the group for their suffering and for the delay in recognizing their right to reparations. "You, and your brothers and sisters who did not live to see this day, were among the first wave of neo-humanity, and your birth was both a triumph and a tragedy," the Chancellor stated in a publicly broadcast address from the Grand Sphere. "Your ill treatment stands as an indictment of the kind of greed, pettiness and short-sighted thinking we should have left behind when we expanded beyond the planet that nurtured our evolution, and it pains me deeply that our government betrayed both you and the principles on which it was founded in repeatedly denying you your just deserts. We must never forget that research which violates the inalienable rights of its subjects is never worth the cost, no matter what is gained in the process. What was done to you is inexcusable; no amount of reparations can ever redress it, but perhaps it can go some small way toward erasing the shame which with your very existence besmirches our civilization. On behalf of the entire Stellar Alliance, I am sorry."