Terran biomedical technology

Throughout this period the one area of technology were the Terrans had a clear and unassailable advantage was in biological and medical technologies. Even at the time of the first contact the Terrans had a clear lead of several tech levels. The reasons for this advantage are not too hard to find. As the true homeworld of all Humaniti, Earth holds the greatest variety of life compatible with Humans. Thus the Terrans clearly fitted into the scheme of life on Earth; and there was a wealth of experimental subject matter that gave results relevant to Humans. However the most important factors was probably that, unlike the Vilani, the Terrans were exposed to vast numbers of hostile microbes every day and had to develop advanced biomedical technology simply to survive.

This advanced biomedical technology gave the Terrans a number of advantages over the Vilani. The Vilani never developed any technology equivalent to the Terrans cryogenic devices (low berths, food storage and the like). The Terrans had access to highly advanced drugs and medicines. The Terrans were able to genetically engineer Earth organisms to fulfil a great variety of roles, vastly increasing the viability and efficiency of their colonies. The Terrans were able to utilise terraforming to enable the colonisation of otherwise marginal worlds. Most Terran ships used a biologically based closed loop life support system, giving them far greater endurance than their Vilani counterparts. Terran computers used a synaptic architecture based on the human brain, greatly increasing their operational flexibility.

However the most well known product of this Terran biomedical technology was their biological warfare program. This is curious as the Terrans only employed these weapons once. During the 3rd War the Vilani employed nuclear weapons against Terran civilian targets on the colony world of Fenris. In retaliation the Terrans deployed a viral weapon against the Vilani world Shululsish. The virus proved to be more effective than the Terrans had envisioned; and within six weeks over 95% of Shululsish’s population of 500 million had died either from the virus or the social collapse that accompanied it. This one solitary attack was to have far reaching consequences. The Vilani were terrified by this new weapon; its effectiveness and their lack of any defence or counter measures were quite clear. However, the attack also had consequences within the Confederation. There was a huge public outcry against the use of these weapons, it was only the pressures of the war that prevented the entire biological warfare program from being abandoned all together. However it was evident to the Confederation government that public opinion was very solidly against the use of these weapons and that there would be severe domestic consequences from any future deployment of biological weapons. As a result the Vilani and Terrans came to an informal understanding and neither side again deployed weapons of mass destruction against civilian targets.

Unfortunately the reluctance of the Terrans to employ their biological arsenal did not prevent the exposure of the Vilani to Terran diseases. It was inevitable that as the Terrans occupied a Vilani world, many of Earth’s hostile microbes would accompany them. As a result, the local Vilani population would be exposed to a plague of monumental proportions. It is a testimony to the Terrans dedication to their humanitarian roots (and their medical technologies) that, before the final collapse of the Ziru Sirka, on average only 5% to 10% of the local population died as a result of these plagues when the Terrans occupied a world. However with the final collapse, the Terrans occupied far more worlds than they could ever hope to deal with and the death toll from the plagues that swept through the former Ziru Sirka after the Interstellar Wars was far higher.

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