One would hardly consider bio-gel, that seemingly harmless substance found in gleaming steel and glass tanks, so similar to mother's own womb fluid, to be something of rather stark horror. It seems rather fitting in our cold and callous age that we birth our children and soothe our wounds in the refined viscera of what amounts to abominations in the eyes of God and a living crimes against humanity.
You could tell everyone the truth and the stock value wouldn't drop an inch.
Amnion is a liquid that is as vital to the health, genetic modification, and reproductive industries as oil was to the Petroleum era. It comes in a number of grades, which have a wide variety of uses.
Red Amnion, also raw amnion, or red honey. Red Amnion is unrefined, and is typically the cheapest available. It is also the lowest grade material and once given a basic filtering, is used for cloning operations, filling artificial wombs so that embryos inside them can develop into fetuses and then children.
Amber Amnion, or bio-gel, is the most common application of the substance and is found in the health and medical industry where it is used to culture organs, and used in immersion tanks to accelerate healing. This technology has lessened the impact of burns, and allowed more burn victims to live better lives, some walk away without any indicator that they survived a serious burn. Reproductive services, similar to cloning, but for individuals who don't want or cannot physically bear children use amber amnion. The red amnion would work almost as well, but there is a certain status and appearance that is required of such higher end operations. There are a number of variations of amber amnion, and these are typically dyed specific colors for trade and copyright reasons. The UAC's biotech division uses a distinctive blue-green amnion, while OCP favors an antiseptic minty green color.
White or Blue Amnion is the highest level of amnion refinement, and correspondingly, the most expensive. In very small amounts, this substance is used in culturing vaccines, genetic modification therapies, and is an integral part of longevity treatments. Most denizens of the Cosmic Era hold white amnion in the same stratospheric category as hypercars, megayachts, $10,000 bottles of wine.
How it's Made
Most people assume that amnion is made in a refinery, or something similar. Given that most things in the Cosmic Era are heavily recycled, or made on an as needed basis by polyforges, this is a rather forgivable misunderstanding. The corporations that manufacture the stuff do everything they can to make sure that the fewest possible people know how amnion is made, and where it actually comes from. The primary source of amnion is extraction from placental simulacra. Farms of simulacra are held in highly secure areas where the entities are kept in a state of incubation, while being tapped for their birthing fluid. The potential chimera they are gestating are typically destroyed well before birth to protect the simulacra from being torn apart and eaten by it's monstrous progeny, the biomass is either rendered down and fed back to the simulacra or is separated for synthesis into other pharmaceutical products.
Actual amniotic fluid can be synthesized into Amnion but it is expensive, both in terms of collecting amniotic fluid from pregnant women, and in the process of enriching it to Amnion standards. There is generally a 95% loss rate associated with this form of production, requiring twenty units of human amniotic fluid to make one unit of Amnion. This is not a popular method of gathering the material.
Lilith - buried in a geofront near Tokyo II, Lilith is a lobotomized, immobilized, and sedated teratomorph. The creature is vaguely and frighteningly humanoid in shape. It is technically female, and is held in technological and chemical bondage, it's body is used for scientific experiments for Nippon's teratotechnologies megacorporations. The teratomorph constantly 'bleeds' out a stream of red amnion which is collected and provides all of Nippon's Amnion needs, and the surplus is sold internationally.