Tank’s, you ask a normal person what the word means and most will point to an artificially gestated and created sub-species of humanity rather than the ground based vehicle designed to carry a large ass gun and blow things away and the reason for that goes back simply to the ‘code name’ given to the original project that created them and the Confederate and Coalition’s attempts to keep what they were doing ‘off’ the books. Let’s face it most senators and the like who see something marked ‘Project TANK’ would have at the time just assumed it was for a weapon rather than Tank or ‘Vat’ grown humans, the military and corporations playing ‘god’ and the thing is though that they kind of succeeded in what they were doing not that it was necessarily ‘hard’ for the first batch.
Project Tank’s first run period started in 3249 and ran for a period of 53 years at the time the product of the project where used for hard labor and to fill a manpower shortage in the wake of the 1st colonial rebellion, the problem was of course that while all involved could easily select out genetic material that made for strong workers the ‘product’ as most were seen to be had some serious flaws caused largely by the lack of understanding of how accelerated growth and learning patterns would react with the human body. It took 2 years to gestate each of the original projects subjects and at the time of gestation each was biologically 18 years of age and yet most had the mental attributes of some one half of that and the batches where also prone to large scale failures where entire vats would result in product that was nonviable for gestation. Records show that one million tanks where produced in the original project run however what most do not fully understand is that it required almost fifty times that number to be ‘produced’. In other words, the original project had a failure rate of 50:1.
Due to the specific reason for their creation the original tank subjects where all based around similar genetic templates, while some make the mistake of thinking of Tanks as ‘Clones’ even today this has never been the case at all. A clone is a perfect reconstruction of an existing genetic pattern, a copy of a person which Tanks are not, indeed the ‘technology’ base for tanks creation has existed since the 20th century with IVF and other means of artificial impregnation of egg and sperm however in the case of the tank project it is the Egg and Sperm where cloning was carried out, with tens of millions of fertile viable eggs being created from an initial stock of just ten thousand meaning that most Tanks have a 1 in 100 chance of being genetically related. The genetic template and adjustments made where all likewise similar and designed to meet specific requirements such as strength, resilience to pain and other environmental factors, a reduced sleep cycle, sterility and of course reductions in several urges primarily those of the biological nature. Some of this was done by suppression of hormones and other means. By the end of the first project run and its shut down as ‘unethical’ by the Confederate oversight committee the technology had begun to advance to the point that more and more ‘tank based’ learning could occur however it is still a noted fact that the original batch was used very much as a slave labor force and all appeared to manifest some form of accelerated aging as the processes used to create them where not yet fully completed or understood. The average life span of the first tank was all of 30 years, at a time when the standard human life span was 120.
The second project was not done in secrecy but rather openly and with confederate senate approval as the second colonial rebellion entered its 21st year of war and the Confed Armed forces found themselves suffering again from severe manpower shortages not only in unskilled labor but also for their naval vessels. As part of the project a deal was struck with several corporate entities within the Coalition of Aligned Corporations Specifically Integrated Technologies and Genetic Technologies. The first formed a subsidiary called Integrated Genetics for this very purpose. Unlike the first batch of Tank grown humans this time it was made clear that the product of this set needed to be able to be sent straight into the front lines, the navy could not afford to waste time on training, luckily for the Confederation however was the fact that while genetic research had been almost ‘outlawed’ amongst their corporations this was not the case with the Coalition and some progress had been made from the earlier work. And while the manpower shortage was listed as and was very much a real factor in the resumption of the project we know also know that there was a secondary ‘goal’ and reason, the attempted creation of viable tank grown ‘pilots’ something which would at the time prove to be almost impossible with only one viable subject ever being produced during the near hundred-year run.
At the end of the second projects run over 20 million tanks had been gestated designed and used for everything from manual labor to operating important roles on ships and the flaws that had caused the earlier ‘aging’ to occur had been solved. This of course led to a direct dilemma for the Confederation as it began in the later years of the war to shift and fight against the colonies that held out as one of the major ‘sticking’ points that they used was the ‘slavery’ that these colonies allowed to take place. Many saw the hypocrisy of this argument and on 1st Dec 4321 the Artificially Gestated Bill of Freedom was passed by the Confederate government officially freeing all confederate tank born and granting them full rights within the confederacy, the day after its passing the Confederate gestation facilities where closed and the project terminated at least within the Confederate borders. Outside of the confederacy the Coalition of Corporate Alliances continued their research, production and development of Tank born subjects especially those whom they found had a ‘good’ market stream available to them such as laborers and of course the ‘sex’ trade.
The two major corporations that continued the production was of course Integrated Genetics and Genetic Technologies, I.G quickly became well known for high quality tank born subjects and their high treatment of them, essentially extending the normal ‘corporate’ citizenship rules even to the tanks they produced. This meant that while each tank was born ‘indentured’ to the corporation they could and most often did work that indenture off, with the typical tank serving the corporation as an indentured citizen for a period of ten – twenty years. Genetic Technologies on the other hand are known specifically for the fact that they treat the tanks they produce completely and utterly as merchandise and product, going as far as bar coding and making theirs dependent on injections and other forms of control.
It was perhaps GT’s treatment of their ‘product’ that led the Amaterasu government to refuse their bid in 5031 in the attempted second production of pilot capable tank grown humans and instead go with Integrated Genetics, the result of their work was the much needed ‘Pappa’ (Pilot) model of tank grown humans first produced in 5048 and used highly successfully in 5054 against the second Ingerath expansion.
In summery or rather to answer the original question ‘what is a tank?’ a tank is by legal definition a person created by mass production artificial gestation with genetic modification and adjustment. The exact roles of a tank vary depending on the actual ‘product’ and what its intended role may be. There are however as mentioned specific traits that all production Tanks have in common they are:
- Sterility: Unwanted pregnancy was quickly identified as an issue even during the first project and the means of reproduction was removed. This is done at a genetic level; male tanks sperm is nonviable and in effect they shot ‘blanks’ while female tanks do not actually have fully developed ovary and wombs making it impossible for them to become pregnant.
- Rapid physical maturity: While it is possible to produce a tank at the infant age and raise them normally it was quickly deemed ‘unfeasible’ as such would require a minimum of 16 years of care. As such all tanks are gestated at a physical maturity roughly approximating the age of 18.
- Imprinted learning: All modern tanks are given a ‘base line’ template of imprinted knowledge and skills, this includes the ability to read, write, speak, basic understanding of culture etc along with the skills and required knowledge to carry out the tasks for which they have been produced.
- Enhanced resilience to physical injury: almost all modern tanks have some genetic modifications to enhance their ability to heal or at the minimum reduce the amount of damage done by trauma to their systems.
It should be noted that while these traits are standard typically to all Tank born subjects each corporation tends to adjust their actual production and indeed individual batches may be adjusted to deal with specific needs and requirements, an example of this are the tank models produced by I.G from 5029 – 5067 whom all show increased resistance against Warrior pheromone reaction as well as those produced by the Ingerath, they are also reportedly nonviable as ‘host’ incubators for the Ingerath though to date neither I.G or G.T have released exactly what this entails, but given that the Ingerath use humans for the incubation of their eggs and young it may have something to do with the lack of a womb which would remove the very area that the Ingerath normally implant their eggs into. Other traits that have been noted over the years include various levels of emotional stability, reliance on certain medications etc based on the parent company, Genetic Technologies for example is known to make their tanks require certain drugs as mentioned that without result in the subjects going into shock and dying within a month of not receiving a dosage.
Under the Coalition of Corporate Alliances, Tanks are considered corporate property and it is up to the corporations what their actual ‘status is’ 90% of corporations simply treat them as they do any other corporate citizen, charging the cost of their creation against them as a corporate debit that they may then work off, while the remaining 10% see them simply as corporate assets to do with as they please.
Within the Confederation, Tanks are considered sentient living beings and accorded all rights and pillages set forth by the constitution as specifically granted by the Bill of Artificially Gestated Human Freedom.
Within the Amaterasu and Rome Empires ;Tanks are accorded either Indentured status (Rome) or laborer status (Amaterasu), they may in either earn full citizenship and progress to any role that they are capable of.
Amongst the Clanners they are seen simply as any other race, though their sterility tends to mean that they have little chance of reaching positions of power as the Clanners entire society is based around the formation of a ‘clan’ in the familiar sense.
Finally, amongst the Free nations their role highly depends on the government with some declaring them nothing but property and others declaring them free people.