Adastra Genomics is the largest biotech firm in Karabou. Adastra is probably best known for its widely advertised market dominating prescription drugs including: Ilpazodrine for hair restoration, Lafargadex for erectile dysfunction, and Pizmoxol an effective but very addictive anti-anxiety medication1. What few people realize is that most of Adastra’s massive profits, plus generous contracts with the Karabou military, are poured into the development of genetically modified humans.
Years ago, Adastra Genomics was founded with seed money from A. Mysterious Donor in order to create a race of spacefaring humans through genetic modification. After the highly publicized Donor Foundation grant, Adastra secured large scale corporate investment and several lucrative contracts with the Karabou government2. With a well stocked treasury, a team of brilliant genetic engineers, and the charismatic leadership of Chairman Kyle Kurtz, Adastra Genomics appeared poised to create a new breed of human for the conquest of the stars. Then rumors of alien landings in Borderline City started circulating amongst Karabou’s business elite.
Once Karbou’s millionaires realized that space seemed to be filled with arrogant, destructive, self-centered jerks, just like the members of their country clubs, they quickly lost interest in space exploration. The value of Adastra Genomic stock plummeted, but Chairman Kurtz was not deterred. He quickly bought a controlling interest in the corporation at a bargain price. Then Kurtz assigned some of his not-quite-so-brilliant genetic engineers to the relatively easy tasks of making commercially viable drugs and genetically modified crops to assure a constant cash flow. And Adastra still had its government contracts.
Karabou’s well funded military was quite happy to convert the appropriations for developing genetically engineered space explorers into appropriations for developing genetically engineered super soldiers. The bioweapon contracts are conveniently hidden in Karabou’s black ops budget to avoid civilian scrutiny. (The exact size of Karabou’s black ops budget is a closely guarded military secret, but conservative estimates place it at ninety percent of Karabou’s total military expenditure.) Furthermore, all of Adastra’s military activities have been classified to the highest security clearance so only a handful of highly placed officers are aware of their existence.
Kyle Kurtz is very happy that the focus of his research has switched to military applications. He feels that there are many different gene combinations that could produce effective fighting machines and has created thousands of mutants. So far less than one percent of Kurtz’s creations have survived the incubation process, but Adastra has plenty of cash coming to fund new experiments.
Adastra Genomics’s biggest setback was an explosion at one of its genetically modified crop labs which spewed tons of waste over a large section of Borderline City. Since the “Rain of Noodle Soup Incident”, as the Borderline Rag termed it, there is widespread resentment of Adastra throughout BC.
Inromation on Adastra’s Organization and Assets to come later.
1 Symptoms of Pizmoxol withdrawal include increased feelings of foreboding and a heightened sense of impending doom.
2 Rumors abound that most of the Donor Foundation money went to the creation of a glossy illustrated investment prospectus. Artist’s renderings from the prospectus showing the proposed homo celestius as attractive twenty-something space elves in form fitting uniforms are highly prized among collectors.