The Bureau of Ridiculously Unethical Human EXperimentation (or “BRUHEX”) was founded in late 20XX in response to a crisis. Medical discovery had hit something of a brick wall, and everyone knew it.
The human body was just too much of a mess to map. Evolution had been working for millennia upon millennia to obfuscate its source code- after all, for all those years, anything trying to force changes to the human body was reliably not the sort of thing that had the human body’s best interests at heart. Advanced machine learning algorithms made a few discoveries here and there, but those “discoveries” were themselves too opaque for humans to understand except as black boxes. The field was stagnating.
One major reason for this was that medicine was unlike engineering. You could take apart a machine, hypothesize about how it worked, and put it back together again, no problem. If you broke the machine by testing your hypotheses, you could always get a new one. Couldn’t do that with people- breaking a person was a very serious problem that you couldn’t risk. It severely limited what would-be human engineers could do to investigate the workings of their subjects.
You couldn’t really justify it. There was no way you could put a positive spin on it. If you wanted to get anything done, you couldn’t be the good guy. So, acknowledging this, they named themselves the Bureau of Ridiculously Unethical Human Experimentation.
No one knows exactly how BRUHEX started. If we did, they’d have been easier to stamp out. But this underground organization appeared, and began kidnapping the homeless and mentally ill and experimenting on them, and of course world governments did their best to bring these criminals to justice.
They proved to be like cockroaches.
It’s often hypothesized they had some kind of official backing, or a technological head start- anything to explain how difficult they were to wipe out. A BRUHEX cell would be wiped out, all the signs would point to them having been the ringleaders, and then a week later they’d surface again. It started with police raids, then army response, then bombings, then finally an incident with a nuclear strike which marked the end of that phase of history.
After ten years of escalating warfare that took a substantial civilian toll, governments found being tough-on-BRUHEX to be decreasingly popular. The public was split- both because of the destruction caused by the crackdowns, and because of the life-saving medical advances released to the public by BRUHEX operatives.
It wasn’t the sort of controversy a politician could use to rile up their base. It cut across party lines. Surely, it was for the greater good, right? But they called themselves the Bureau of Ridiculously Unethical Human Experimentation! So clearly they had to know the ends weren’t justifying the means! But was it worth it to shut them down? Clearly not, because it hadn’t worked! But clearly it must be, because of the horrors they perpetrated! And shouldn’t their discoveries be banned, suppressed, removing their incentive to make them? Or would that be condemning poor little Sally McRaredisease to a painful death that could’ve been avoided?
Politicians learned to avoid discussing the subject.
Governments would still fund occasional rescue missions (small things, organized by volunteers, cheap enough to put in the budget without raising hackles), because it was generally agreed that Something Should Be Done, but no one was going to risk their career Doing Something, not after how disastrously it’d gone for everyone else who’d tried Doing Something.
So you’re a good citizen, of course. Your [family member] has been kidnapped off the streets by men in black lab coats, naturally. You have a small endowment to by supplies to rescue her, and a few friends willing to help. BRUHEX isn’t going to miss one measly test subject, so they’re not going to do anything too drastic to stop you- but y’know, you’ll need to get past a few enhanced supersoldiers and biohazard traps and locked doors and the like.
What? No, yeah, this was totally a setup for a cyberpunk dungeon crawl; I don’t know where else you thought I was going with this.
#story ideas I will never write #murder cw #torture cw #medical cw #kidnapping cw #(I *think* the thing the last sentence is getting at is that it *seems* as if this post is leading up to a pun?) #(writing this as one long excuse for a pun is the sort of thing Benedict would do) #(but this is good too!)