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Paradise: 2778

Species Information Thread for Paradise: 2778

a part of “Paradise: 2778”, a fictional universe by Screwface Romeo.

Paradise: a desolate penal world on the edge of the Protectorate Frontier. Six people, one starship off this rock, and a whole galaxy trying to stop you. Have you got what it takes?

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Species Information Thread for Paradise: 2778

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Screwface Romeo on Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:55 pm

Official Paradise: 2778 Species Information Thread



A compendium of any and all information pertaining to Alien Races in Paradise: 2778


Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Welcome to the Species megathread for the roleplay "Paradise: 2778"! Here, you will find all the information posted on the subject by myself, and are free to ask questions about it, or post material of your own.
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Re: Species Information Thread for Paradise: 2778

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Screwface Romeo on Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:14 pm

Followers


Many have said (behind closed doors, of course) that Followers are the grease that keeps the wheels of Humanity's economic and military machine turning. Thanks to their humanoid appearance and exceptional intelligence, they have found a place close to humanity, as tech developers, programmers, engineers, and maintenance or household workers. Still, while favored with more privilege than other races, they tend to receive some of the worst abuse, thanks to their proximity to mankind. Despised by humans for their demonic appearance and highly socialized culture, and hated by their fellow aliens for their favor with Humanity, most Followers have no one but each other to turn to.


History


The Protectorate has done a very thorough job of eradicating any and all information relating to the history and culture of the Follower race prior to Human Incursion. That, combined with over 500 years of dilution, has effectively destroyed any memory of what the Followers were before they fell to Humanity. What is known is that they were the first alien race to be encountered by Humans, before the Protectorate even formally existed. Ever since, they have been picking up Humanity's slack, taking over more and more of technological development, to the point where the Protectorate is utterly dependent on them.


Biology


Followers are the most humanoid race to be encountered so far. At first glance, they appear similar to a smaller, more lightly built human, with red skin and a long, prehensile tail. Upon closer inspection, the differences are more noticeable: their limbs are longer, with slightly different bone and muscle structure, and their faces are significantly different. While it is generally accepted that humans evolved from a common ancestor with earth's great apes, Followers are similar, in that they are definitely primate analogs, but possessing more traits in common with a monkey than an ape. Their ancestors were nocturnal, arboreal creatures, originating from the jungle basins punctuating the deserts and arid plains of their home continent, and they still retain some evidence of their origin, such as large, light sensitive eyes, long fingers, sharp hearing, exceptional manual dexterity and agility, and of course the tail. At some point, they migrated to the plains in search of food, and have since evolved into the Follower we know today.


The modern Follower is a desert dwelling creature, with a low core temperature, powerful legs for running, and compact, efficient muscles and internal organs. They are bipedal, and walk and run upright like Humans, rarely if ever descending to four limbs. The Follower relies primarily on speed, reflexes, intellect and numbers to survive, being physically smaller and weaker than most of their competitors, including Humans, but faster and with more powerful senses (excluding the sense of smell, which is inferior to that found in Humans). Followers are believed to have been primarily crepuscular animals with a bimodal activity pattern, due to the twin suns and resulting high daytime temperatures of their homeworld. To this day, they are still most active around dawn and dusk, becoming noticeably sluggish during the noon hours.


A Follower has very powerful senses. Their eyes are larger than those of Humans, with excellent night vision, long-range vision, and motion tracking ability. A Follower can see the same color spectrum as a Human, as well as a little bit into the ultraviolet spectrum. Their ears are delicate and mobile, capable of tracking and hearing sounds with surprising accuracy, allowing them to pinpoint the source of a noise easily. Followers can hear and comprehend very rapidly, and are capable of detecting and deciphering conversations at long distances, even when spoken in quiet tones. The exception is the nose, which is not particularly sensitive. A Follower’s nose is slim, with vent nostrils on the sides that are protected by triangular, rear facing bits of cartilage which served to prevent dust and other air particulate from invading. This is useful in their original desert habitat, but inhibits their sensory ability. Followers also possess a sixth sense, in the form of a pair of electroneural "lines" along their flanks, stretching from the armpit to about halfway down the thigh. These lines allow them to sense the presence and approximate location of other organic beings within a radius of about 100 m, and are even capable of differentiating between individuals based on their unique electrical signature, provided the target is either in front of or behind them. People approaching from the side are much harder to sense, and while the Follower might detect that someone is there, they would be unable to pinpoint their position with any degree of accuracy.


Whether it is proper to refer to Followers as mammals is a subject of much debate among xenobiologists. They certainly possess the primary defining features of a terrestrial mammal, having soft skin, hair, mammary glands, a neocortex analog in their brains, and three inner ear bones, as well as giving birth to live young. However, they are also extraterrestrial, and many scientists consider their mammalian features to be analogs rather than purely mammalian. In any event, they function and behave with sufficient similarity that the difference is mostly academic. Their physical resemblance to humans is also a subject of contention, with theories ranging from the theological, to wild ideas of a common ancestor introduced by an ancient spacefaring race. The most common, and probably the most likely explanation is the simplest, that due to their home continent's similarity to Africa, where Humans first evolved, it is a matter of convergent evolution, and that particular type of bipedal form is simply the most efficient for that environment.


Followers have several fundamental internal differences from Humans and other humaniods which bear mention. Their digestive system is highly efficient, capable of extracting the maximum amount of nutrition from swallowed food. In addition to the standard stomach and intestinal system, Followers possess a gizzard in the lower section of the neck and upper chest which grinds and pre-digests food, to compensate for their lack of grinding molars. The gizzard can also be used to store food or liquid, allowing them to compensate for scarcity by consuming and retaining large amounts of food or water when it is available. Followers also have a pair of long, hollow fangs which are stored in the upper section of the jaw, and can be extended when biting. Followers are venomous, but their venom is mild, acting as a narcotic and muscle relaxant rather than a deadly poison. Follower venom produces a pleasant, relaxing and soporific effect, intended to eliminate resistance and reduce struggling in prey. These attributes have led to its use as a street drug. They also have a very complex voice box, housed in their longer necks, which allows them to produce a wide range of sounds and inflections outside of the Human range, and makes them excellent at mimicry.


The Follower species is divided into three racial subgroups;


Solids, also called Serev. Serev Followers are characterized by their lack of skin patterns. They are typically a medium-dark red, with no discernable patterning or variation in their skin. Serev tend to be taller and slimmer than other Followers, with a willowy, slender build even by Follower standards. They have longer, more mobile ears and larger, straighter noses, their jaws tend to be more angular and their bone structure more harsh and defined. Their eyes are smaller than other races, and their tails longer, but thinner. Hair colors are usually dark, with blacks and browns being prevalent. Eyes are usually softer colors, with dark greens and browns being prevalent. Serev are fairly common, and despite being less numerous than Kess, are the best known and perhaps the stereotypical Follower to other species. Serev are considered by many to be the classic standard for Follower beauty, particularly in females, and are stereotypically more cultured and refined. They are often seen as aloof and condescending by other Follower races, and it is believed that they were the dominant race on their homeworld prior to Human Incursion.


Stripy, also called Kess or Tigers. Kess Followers are recognizable by their light red skin and darker horizontal stripes, which typically originate from the sides and fade out to a point near the middle of the front or back. Stripys are the most varied of Followers, both visually and genetically, and several regional varieties exist, differentiated by size, hue, contrast and cohesiveness of stripes. Two Kess Followers might have radically different skin patterns, with one having very light skin with crisp, dark red stripes, and another having darker skin with more faded, irregular stripes. Kess are typically shorter and stockier than Serev, with shorter ears, necks and tails, rounded faces, and more physical strength. Their eyes are larger and more vibrantly colored, with purples and yellows being fairly common. Their noses are frequently turned up and smaller than those of Serev. Kess males are known for being very strong by Follower standards, with broad shoulders and large hands, while females are curvy, with larger breasts and thicker frames than Serev or Laiters. Of all Followers, Kess are the most likely to be plump; they have somewhat slower metabolisms than the others, and tend to store more energy as fat. They are believed to have originated in northern climates, where this would be an advantage, and unlike Serev, who generally distain any amount of excess bodyweight, seem to view some degree of plumpness as attractive, and indicative of a healthy lifestyle. Kess are hardier than other Follower races, and can stand colder temperatures, though they still vastly prefer warm climates. Kess are often looked down on, most frequently by Serev, as being lazy, stupid, rude, uncultured and less than fastidious about their appearance. They consider themselves to be easygoing and are often the friendliest of Followers, and the most accepting of outsiders.


Spotteds, usually called Laiters or occasionally Freckleds. Spotted Followers are the rarest breed of Follower, and were believed to be so even before Human Incursion. Laiters are typically of middling height and build, in between the tall, skinny Serev and the small, rounded Kess. They have longer legs, wider hips, thicker tails and more lower body strength than other races, making them very swift and agile runners or climbers, and are generally much more acrobatic than most Followers. Spotted Followers are instantly recognizable by their skin pattern, which starts off a richer red along the sides, then fades as it approaches the centerline, accompanied by irregular, dark red spots. They are notorious for being very high energy, hyperactive creatures, and are usually very inquisitive and curious, even by Follower standards. They frequently have difficulty sitting still, and tend to be very bouncy, upbeat and excitable. Laiters hate the cold even more than other Followers, but are much more comfortable with rain or dampness. It is believed that they are the closest, evolutionarily, to their original ancestor, and have many more of those original nocturnal, arboreal characteristics than the other races. They have large eyes, very mobile ears, and are very agile and dexterous climbers. They dislike bright lights and loud noises, and are more soft-spoken than other Followers. Laiters seem to possess a decent reputation with both Serev and Kess, and don’t seem particularly involved in the ancient rivalry between those two, though they are typically closer to the Serev.

Followers originated on a continent on their homeworld which was very arid and dry. They are most at home in deserts, grasslands or savannas, preferring open spaces and a hot, dry climate. They hate the cold, and are extremely uncomfortable in wet or humid environments, especially wetlands and swamps. Left to their own devices, they will generally migrate to the saharan region of a planet, avoiding polar, continental or tropical zones, and will avoid high altitudes or river deltas. Followers are not as hardy as Humans and some other species, and lack Humanity’s ability to adapt to a wide variety of climates. They have a lower core temperature than Humans, and will not survive in the cold as well, being more susceptible to hypothermia. Forced to inhabit a cold or wet area, Followers will often become irritable and depressed, particularly in reaction to cold. Precipitation, especially rain, is highly annoying to them, and they have an intense aversion to it, preferring to seek shelter rather than expose themselves to it, even in protective gear. Followers have less body fat than Humans, and are far less buoyant. Their nasal structure, while excellent at protecting their sinuses from dust or sand, does not offer protection from water in the way Human noses do, and this, combined with long, slender limbs and a long digit-to-palm ratio makes them exceedingly poor swimmers. Unsurprisingly, they hate water and panic when submerged even partially, which only exacerbates the problem. Followers avoid large bodies of water like the plague, and are especially suspicious of swamps and bogs. While they are capable of overcoming this fear in the name of expansion and exploration, they still dislike sea travel and regard sailors as somewhere between incredibly brave, and entirely crazy.


Diet


Followers are notorious for their voracious appetites. They are technically omnivores, but their practical and prefered diet is mostly carnivorous. Followers have evolved specifically to consume large quantities of meat, and will typically consume vegetables or grains as a primary source of nutrition only as a last resort. Their teeth are mostly shearing teeth, designed for cutting and ripping, and they lack grinding molars, this function being performed by the gizzard. They prefer tender and soft meat, such as poultry, or very rare red meat, and generally cook for disinfection and sanitation purposes rather than flavor. Followers prefer savory and salty tastes rather than sweet, and especially enjoy greasy and spicy food. They tend to avoid foods that are chewy or hard, but like those with a slightly crunchy exterior and tender inside, such as deep-fried chicken.


Followers have evolved the capability to digest and absorb nutrients from the blood of their prey. This adaptation allows them to extract the maximum amount of nutrition from prey, as well as acquiring hydration from it, both vital abilities for a creature that lives in deserts. However, they neither require blood to live, nor are they capable of surviving on blood alone, and so, despite their reputation among Humans, are not true sanguivores.


Followers have a very high metabolism, and need to consume significant quantities of food daily, with 1/3 of their body weight serving as a rough minimum. Having evolved in an environment where food is relatively scarce, they have developed the habit of eating as much as possible whenever food is available. In a modern context, they tend to eat two very large meals a day, and snack regularly in between them. Follower skin and organs are fairly elastic compared to humans', allowing them to store large amounts of food in their stomachs in case of scarcity. They enjoy gorging themselves in this manner, but practical and economic concerns generally prevent them from fully satisfying themselves. After eating a large meal of this sort, they become lethargic and sleepy, and a meal is typically followed by a long nap.



Psychology


A predominant feature of Followers is their remarkable intelligence. While it would never be openly admitted, they are smarter than Humans, particularly in technical and scientific matters. The most likely explanation for this is their ability to maintain multiple trains of thought simultaneously. A human can think of only one thing at a given instance in time, but a Follower can think of multiple things at once. This concept is difficult for Humans to grasp, but is observable merely from watching a group of Followers engaging in conversation: upon first listening, it sounds like schizophrenic gibberish, but closer observation will reveal that they are actually having multiple conversations at once, and simply jumping from one to the other as their brains move faster than their mouths. While it is easy to confuse, this is not multitasking, which Humans are more than capable of doing. When a Human multitasks, they are thinking of one thing at a time, and simply keeping the others stored in their memory until they need to switch to them. A Follower does not need to do this, they can keep multiple (usually 2 to 4, depending on the individual's intellect) tasks in the front of their mind at the same time.


Culture


Follower instinct and society emphasizes the communal, and their choice of living space reflects this. Followers live at very close quarters, preferring densely packed buildings, or large, multi-unit dwellings. While Humans or other more solitary species might find this claustrophobic or stifling, Followers derive comfort from it, and will seek out neighborhoods or apartment buildings which maximize closeness and communal spaces. With their penchant for rapid breeding, they will very quickly dominate an area and drive out other species if left unchecked, and once in control of an area, will build on top of or around existing structures to provide additional closeness and protection from the elements. Followers have been known to inhabit abandoned shopping malls or warehouses, and convert them into living spaces, and on frontier worlds where the Protectorate’s control is weaker and Humanity has less authority, they will expand on these structures, swallowing the area around them until contained. Once they run out of room to expand, they will begin to build upward, creating massive, ramshackle, hivelike cities which can overshadow even the tallest freestanding skyscrapers, or burrow underground, digging intricate networks of tunnels and subterranean living quarters. These “Follower Hives” are considered a nuisance by other species, and are particularly offensive to Humans, who will attempt to stamp them out whenever possible, sometimes even resorting to burning or blowing up Follower structures which get out of control, frequently without bothering to evict the inhabitants first. While cruel, their concern is justified to some degree, as unchecked Follower Hives have frequently swallowed up entire cities.


Follower are well known for their extremely social behavior. They form large extended family/friend groups called "Colonies", which are very close-knit and are very important to Followers. A Follower's Colony is a large part of his or her identity, and more important to them than their own lives. Followers seem to have a hierarchy of loyalties in life which looks something like this; 1) Colony, 2) Nation, 3) Self and 4) Species. They are fiercely loyal to their Colonies, and most will defend them to the death, or sacrifice themselves without a second thought. In a series of Protectorate-funded experiments to test Follower social loyalty, when a Colony was isolated and put in a situation where there were not enough resources to sustain all it's members, the weakest members of the Colony routinely committed suicide in order to conserve resources for the rest. While this might seem crazy to Humans, it is perfectly natural and expected within Follower society. Colony mates form bonds which last a lifetime, even if an individual leaves the Colony, they will always be welcome back, and Colonies will offer any aid they can to former members in a heartbeat. Follower Colonies are often very ancient, some of them even dating back to before Human Incursion, and have long-standing traditions and rivalries that the Protectorate has not managed to eradicate (though not for lack of trying). Followers will leave their Colonies if they form a romantic relationship with a member of another Colony, or join a group intent on founding a new Colony. Colonies are typically geographically bound, and will form offshoots and sub-Colonies in order to expand into new territories. As a result, Colonial Lineages can become very complicated, and young Followers from traditional or "cultured" Colonies are expected to learn them by heart. Colonial Heritage is more important than biological family (since offspring are frequently born outside of formal relationships), and while Followers have a working knowledge of their biological heritage in order to avoid incest, they are more likely to associate with the history of their Colony than their individual parents.


Food figures very prominently in Follower society. Followers eat together, share food, or gift food as a basic means of social exchange. It is considered incredibly rude not to offer food to your guests, and incredibly rude of them not to partake of it. Individuals who have a conflict within a social group are often made to share a large meal, which usually results in the resolution of the conflict. Colonies hold food in common, and distribute it freely according to need. There is not generally any sort of rationing process, as Followers naturally avoid taking more than their fair share out of loyalty to their Colony. Followers traditionally have great respect for farmers, butchers and bakers, as providers of food, while they disdain merchants and large food companies as a necessary, though distasteful, evil.



Family & Breeding


Followers do not form nuclear families in the Human sense of the word. Rather, they use the Colony structure discussed above, both for living arrangements and childrearing. A Colony’s children are raised in common, rather than exclusively by their parents. This is one potential explanation for their prolific and successful breeding, as having the resources of the entire Colony at their disposal makes it easier to support multiple young on a smaller budget. Young Followers are born live, but helpless, like Human infants, and require a great deal of attention from their minders. However, they mature much faster than Humans, reaching physical and reproductive maturity at the age of 13 (in Earth Standard Years). This, coupled with their shorter lifespan (rarely exceeding 70ESY) results in Colonies being very dynamic, yet still very closely knit. Followers would understand the Human phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” far better than Humans themselves.


Since their prehistoric origins, Female Followers have been the primary hunters and food gatherers. While males are physically stronger, the female is typically taller and faster, standing at roughly 5’5” to the male’s average of 5’1”. As a result, the Colony with the most females tended to be the most successful, and Followers have since evolved to produce a higher female population, with approximately 3 out of 4 children being born female. A female Follower has a breeding cycle that lasts for approximately one third of their homeworld’s lunar cycle (their month being about three Earth weeks long), during which she is fertile and capable of producing and rearing offspring. Historically, females have rotated based on this cycle, with those currently in heat remaining behind with the males to look after the Colony’s young, while the other two thirds went hunting or gathering. This has seen a resurgence following their subjugation by Humanity, with those who had once been hunters now acting as workers. Because of this, any given child will spend only about a third of their childhood being raised with their biological mother, and most will consider every female in the Colony their mother to a degree.


Unlike Humans, who almost universally associate physical and romantic attraction, Followers are notable for their separation of the two. Followers see sex and love as two very distinct attractions, and act on them separately. Love is very important to Followers, and they are deeply sensitive and emotional creatures, forming very strong bonds with both their Colony and romantic partners. Follower romantic relationships are seen as very special, sacred bonds, and are not entered into lightly. Followers are monogamous in their romantic relationships, and mate for life. Divorces are very rare, but are not stigmatized: a romantic relationship which is devoid of love is abhorrent to them, and best dissolved as soon as possible, with as little hostility as possible. Romantic relationships are often accompanied by an elaborate and extended courtship phase, with prospective partners eager to ensure that they are compatible before making any sort of formal commitment. While male/female romantic partners frequently breed with each other, they do not develop a nuclear family in the Human sense, and breeding or even sex is not considered necessary for a romantic commitment. Followers are usually romantically attracted to only one sex or gender, with biromanticism being quite rare.

It is difficult for Humans to comprehend the extent of Follower separation of sex and love, and this generally results in derision and stigmatization. While a Follower would consider having casual sex with a friend or acquaintance while in a committed romantic relationship perfectly natural, Humans would consider the same behavior cheating, an outlook which Followers find bizarre. As a result, Humans consider Followers to be amoral, uncivilized and "slutty", while Followers see Humans as uptight prudes who are afraid of sex and overburdened with boundaries and social conventions which make no sense to them. While Humans typically dismiss this separation as an excuse for loose behavior, it is a very real and observable behavior trait. Followers who are romantically attracted to the same sex will frequently mate with the opposite, and vice versa. By the same token, some romantic couples may never have physical relations, as they simply do not find each other sexually attractive. Since it tends to draw criticism and hatred from other species, particularly Humans, Followers are rarely open about sexual matters with other species, and tend to be very private about it in the presence of non-Followers, even though they are very casual and open with each other about such things.
Last edited by Screwface Romeo on Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Species Information Thread for Paradise: 2778

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Aracrexus on Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:25 am

Enforcers

Utilized as highly obedient, highly expendable forces in law enforcement, military and security applications, as well as for arduous and potentially dangerous manual labor. Their inherent pack mentality and predilection toward aggressive behavior has been thoroughly exploited by the Protectorate, who have relegated the species to little more than sapient attack dogs.

History
Prior to being uplifted, enforcer society was driven almost wholly by the machine of war. Their civilizations tended to be of a distinctly dictatorial nature steeped heavily in notions of hierarchy and deference, where the guy on top was usually the one with the biggest stick. Even before the Protectorate’s expunging of their historical records, written accounts of their social chronology were spotty, unreliable, and often outright fabricated, due to their pervasive cultural belief in history being written by the victors. After being uplifted, these records grew even more sparse, and the few threads of knowledge that were left even post-contact are now lost.

The Protectorate had a certain amount of trouble “domesticating” the enforcers at first, due to their hierarchical structure. Their leaders were largely antagonistic, outright rebelling against humanity, and their underlings naturally followed their lead. When these leaders were killed, however, the Protectorate found that those enforcers that remained had suddenly ceased their antipathy; instead, they looked to humanity in awe, recognizing them as their “rightful” leaders. The Protectorate abused this psychological caveat, naturally. Centuries of living beneath them have thoroughly solidified “Protectorate = boss” in the enforcer collective consciousness.

Biology
Halfway between mammalian and reptilian, the easiest way to describe the species would probably be something like “hairy theropods.” Their general appearance evokes strong saurian impressions, with a digitigrade gait, powerful jaws, and solid musculature evolved from necessity on their savage homeworld, Rhiankar. Standing, on average, somewhere in the vicinity of 7 feet in height, and weighing in at over 400 pounds of muscle, their physical attributes clearly attest to vicious evolutionary pressures.

Built to both withstand damage and deal it, enforcers sport a number of adaptations that hint at their roles as both predator and prey. Their hides are up to half an inch thick around certain vital areas and overlap in protective scales — a sort of organic coat of mail that also acts as protection against the radiation that creeps in through Rhiankar’s patchy magnetosphere. On the offense, enforcers sport long, sharp, semi-retractable claws, on both their hands and their feet, along with their fangs and crushing bite force — enforcers have a bite reflex similar to that found in crocodiles, and can exert hundreds of pounds of pressure per square inch when biting at full force.

The range of skin tones among enforcers is fairly limited, spanning the spectrum of ‘taupe’ to ‘taupe, but a bit darker’ to ‘slightly less saturated taupe’. Racial divergences among modern enforcers are minimal; while there were few to begin with initially, interbreeding between populations has all but homogenized them. The real diversity in their appearance comes from the vivid white markings that sprawl intricately across their bodies, which aid in visually distinguishing one individual from another. Like human fingerprints, each enforcer’s markings are unique, a panoply of stripes and solid blocks of color. A large patch of thick, spiky fur, usually black or brown, customarily runs from the top of the head down to below the shoulderblades, forming a fringe along the lateral line. This is accompanied by a similar tuft that runs down the length of the tail.

Rhiankar is a planet of extremes; the rise of its multicellular life coincided with furious tectonic shifts and global heat waves. Its magnetosphere is thin, its gravity is high, its terrain is scarred by frequent volcanic activity, and its temperatures during the day are searing — so hot that most of its inhabitants would fry under the sun. Life on Rhiankar, therefore, evolved to be nocturnal: hiding away in the planet’s sprawling natural cave systems and vast canyons from sunrise to sunset, only emerging when the surface has cooled to a tolerable level.

Rhiankar’s oppressively cloudy atmosphere has a tendency to stifle the guiding lights of extrasolar bodies, so a tapetum lucidum analogue, like the membrane found in the eyes of Earth’s cats, would have been a largely useless adaptation. Instead, the majority of life on Rhiankar evolved infrared-sensing pits to ‘see’ heat signatures instead. On enforcers, these pits are shallow depressions that run along the length of the muzzle, below the eyes. In the absence of sweat glands, these pits are also used for thermoregulation. Their vision is absolutely appalling — enforcers are all terribly nearsighted, and tritanopically colorblind — but this is made up for with their capacity to sense heat.

Enforcers have mobile and highly sensitive ears, tuned largely to mid- and low-frequencies; while they can hear low sounds far beyond the scope of most humans, their ability to sense higher frequencies is somewhat impaired. Primarily scent-hunters, enforcers have extraordinarily delicate and capable senses of smell, with the ability to track scent trails like a bloodhound. A vomeronasal organ at the roof of the mouth only serves to amplify this natural talent — indeed, their noses are so sensitive that some can distinguish even the pheromones of other species. On a hunt, enforcers are reliant on smell foremost, and then infrared to ascertain the exact position of the quarry.

Endowed with a hardiness borne from necessity, enforcers are capable of surviving in a wide array of environments, and can withstand conditions that may be hazardous to other species. Their skeletal structures are incredibly solid, adapted to withstand the crushing gravity of their homeworld (at the cost of some flexibility); their lungs are efficient at gathering and utilizing oxygen; their core temperature is high enough to deter most forms of illness carried by other species, and their immune systems are adaptable besides. They boast a natural strength and endurance facilitated by their muscle attachment points, which are far more effectively placed than in most other species. The structure of their legs enables them to maintain a steady canter for long periods of time, at a speed that easily outstrips the average human’s.

Though enforcers lack the ability to quickly regenerate, they rarely balk at pain: their nerve endings are fairly insensitive, in part due to their thick skin, and thus they literally cannot feel most injuries. Numerous recorded cases exist of enforcers who have been stabbed or shot not noticing their wounds until much later, and dying of infection as a result. This insensitivity applies to their sense of touch in general: unlike humans, they cannot distinguish between different textures with a brush of the fingertips, and may not react at all to being prodded or nudged by others. Another consequence of this inadequacy is a poor sense of hot and cold; you will probably never see, for example, an enforcer wearing a winter jacket. Despite the heat of their planet of origin, an enforcer’s layers of skin and muscle serve as effective protection against most environmental conditions, and are less prone to hypothermia and heat stroke than other species.

Due to the structure of their jaws and vocal chords, enforcers have some difficulty vocalizing human language, which doesn’t exactly help allay the common assumption that they are a species of inherently low intellect. They have particular difficulty producing fricative sounds; nuances and inflections are commonly lost in their speech, and they lack the vocal range of humans and most other species, giving their voices a flat and guttural cast that many non-enforcers construe as threatening or indicative of anger.

Enforcers breed rapidly and are fully mature by roughly 5 years of age, but this comes at the cost of dying quickly, too. The average enforcer can anticipate a life expectancy of up to 40 years, if not prematurely put out of commission by their line of work. After reaching adulthood they show few outward signs of seniority as they grow older, making their age difficult to discern by sight alone.

Diet
Enforcers lack the ability to break down most plant matter, making them hypercarnivores by nature. They have exceptionally hardy digestive systems, highly resistant to foodborne illness, a physiological attribute that has given rise to the inaccurate stereotype that they are willing to eat anything regardless of its state of decay. While an enforcer could hypothetically subsist exclusively on carrion, they strongly prefer fresh kills, and culturally look down upon scavenging; enforcers living in areas where hunting is a feasible option will regularly do so rather than eat processed meat.

With their innate immunity to bacteria and limited sense of taste, enforcers spend little time on food preparation. Most are perfectly content with eating their food raw, and have no qualms as to the toughness of their meat. Enforcers are well aware that some other species may find this behavior somewhat alarming, so they are more likely to properly cook their food when in mixed company.

Enforcers are not frequent eaters, and will generally only need to consume one large meal every three or four days, depending on activity levels.

Psychology
Enforcer psychology revolves largely around their pack mentality. They do not value individualism or privacy as other, more solitary species might; indeed, an enforcer deprived of the company of their unit may become excessively despondent and pent up, driven to acts of inordinate and unprovoked aggression. Enforcers view the pack as less of a group of autonomous entities and more as an extension of the self. Among packmates, there is no deception, no secrecy, and no shame. Just as an enforcer would defend themselves with tooth and claw in response to a threat, the same protection is extended to their packmate; a member of a cohort would readily fight and die on another’s behalf, if necessary.

Traditionally, an enforcer’s pack would be formed during youth, comprised of their family and neighbors — more or less the people they grew up with. The advent of civilization on their home planet, and, later, their assimilation into Protectorate society, altered this somewhat. Modern enforcers now tend to recognize their close friends and coworkers as packmates, as opposed to their kin. The bands may vary widely in size and constitution; age, consanguinity, and even species have little bearing on pack inclusion. Adoption into one of these groups is a gradual, unconscious process; there is no formal means by which subsumption is initiated.

Within a pack, there is generally a single overarching force that serves as the decision-maker — in other words, the alpha. Some enforcers are simply more ‘dominant’ than others, though whether the predisposition is a result of nature or nurture is up for debate. Two or more individuals vying for top dog will usually settle the issue through sparring (most other issues among enforcers are settled by sparring, too). While debate and dissent among packmates is common and healthy behavior, and many issues within a pack can be solved democratically and without the alpha’s intervention, the alpha usually has the final say in matters that pertain to the whole of the group, and their underlings are hardwired to follow those orders unconditionally.

When enforcers graduated from tribalism to civilization, this intrinsic aspect of their psychology manifested itself in another form: a fierce sense of nationalism driven by loyalty to governmental authority. Coupled with their territorialistic tendencies and inborn love of conflict, this acted as a catalyst for a great deal of strife between nations throughout enforcer history. In the event that a leader was deposed, those followers remaining would usually look to their conqueror as their new boss. Post-uplifting, most enforcers view the Protectorate as their collective alpha, making them a particularly loyal and devoted species.

Most enforcers lack in linguistic and spatial intelligence; they tend to be disinterested in or simply not understand complex metaphysical and philosophical concepts, and as a species place little value in most intellectual pursuits. Despite this, some enforcers are actually fairly proficient at logic and strategy; these usually go on to be alphas.

The enforcer equivalents of adrenaline and serotonin are chemically very similar; thus, they derive intense pleasure from combat, whether it be cordial sparring between consenting individuals or actual death matches. Fighting and hunting are also used as outlets for stress release, and a lack of these activities is likely to make an enforcer feel even more stifled.

Culture
Enforcer culture is commonly viewed by other sapient species as “barbaric”; though simplistic, that descriptor is actually somewhat apt. Compared to the myriad of other social habits that flourish in Protectorate space, enforcers generally come off as belligerent or even outright hostile. Though centuries of subjugation by humanity has tempered them significantly, enforcers are still far from docile in regard to their social interactions.

Within the scope of an enforcer’s pack, interactions are generally congenial. To an outsider looking in, even inter-pack relations may seem tense, but the sparring and arguing that go on within these enclaves are usually lighthearted and not meant as actual challenges. In fact, one enforcer arguing with another is generally indicative of mutual respect between them, a sign that they each find the opposite on equal enough footing to find them worthy of disputing. Physical conflict, too, can be meant as a sign of respect; formal sparring challenges are basically a roundabout means of flattery, a way of telling someone that they look tough, which is itself a desirable trait in the species.

Associations with other enforcers outside of the pack run along similar lines, albeit with less camaraderie. When speaking with others of the same species, enforcers heavily utilize their pheromones and posturing along with verbal language, for the simple reason that body language and pheromones do not lie. Enforcers value honesty between individuals, even among enemies; deception is viewed as cowardice of the highest order (this mentality even seeps into the means by which they wage war; stealth and espionage are generally regarded by enforcers as ‘cheating’). Displays of dominance and submission are common, with some social situations actually getting physical. The means by which enforcers establish pecking orders are elaborate, and attempts to understand the scope of their social nuances have left many xenopsychologists thoroughly burnt out and scratching their heads.

When speaking with other species, most enforcers make a conscious effort to turn down the aggression and turn up the charm, if only for their own sakes. They have developed a tendency to exaggerate their gesticulations to mitigate the inexpressiveness of their voices and aid non-enforcers in understanding their body language, if only a little; however, given the imposing nature of the enforcers themselves, this also commonly has the adverse effect of intimidating their conversational partners. The vast majority of enforcers are not actively hostile to everything that moves — unless they have a reason — and many attempt to establish this with other species during engagements with them, but these efforts are largely ineffectual. Their propensity for bluntness does not help matters much; neither does their emotional insensitivity and indifference toward most art and galactic culture.

Enforcers do not have much of an aesthetic sense, at least visually, and tend toward starkly utilitarian architecture with minimal decoration. They strongly prefer to build underground, and generally loathe any building over a hundred or so feet high; in contrast to the vertical spires constructed by some other species, enforcer buildings are usually horizontal sprawls that progress downward, deep into the earth. Packs will generally rent homes together, sharing food and amenities freely, and are possessive over their land to an emphatic degree. Incidents in which other species have inadvertently wandered onto enforcer ‘turf’ and have subsequently been killed for their trespassing are not unheard of. Protectorate officials tasked with evicting enforcers are advised to do so with caution.

Enforcers assign little value to most non-destructive hobbies, though as a culture they are not entirely devoid of art. Most enforcer art, however, is auditory, given their poor eyesight; in enforcer-dominated areas, their music is nearly ubiquitous, albeit generally unappealing to everyone but the enforcers. Their range of hearing means that much of their music is comprised of bass tones, and other species without the same perception of infrasound may not fully catch the intricacies. Enforcers do go ‘clubbing’ and use recreational drugs to some degree, but their particular breed of debauchery usually results in violence and would probably prove hazardous to most other forms of life.

Their short lifespans have impressed a certain hastiness into enforcer culture; deliberating too much over a decision is seen as stupid and a waste of time. Self-preservation is seen as a weakness; enforcers emphasize jumping right into affairs, teeth bared, and openly scorn individuals of theirs and other species who “overthink” their lives. Fearlessness is seen as the ultimate virtue. Tying in with this, enforcer culture in general does not propagate fear of death; in fact, they practically romanticize death in battle, believing an honorable death to be the highest glory imaginable. Religiously, the majority of enforcers are apathetic pantheists who have no notion of a personal god, consider the idea absurd, and do not hold any strong opinions on what comes after expiration.

Family & Breeding
Enforcers are oviparous and hermaphroditic, and do not experience love as humans do. Mates are usually chosen based on a very general set of criteria: physical fitness is usually the most important factor, with social status and personal skill both figuring into the decision. Interest in breeding is usually expressed directly, and courtship is minimal — enforcers find the elaborate customs of humans and others to be fairly silly and superfluous. The act of breeding itself is fairly casual; though they definitely derive physical pleasure from mating, they are psychologically incapable of forming romantic attachments like some species do. Many pairings hook up solely for the act of procreation, and may never see or talk to each other again after that single instance. Thus, there is no stigma among enforcers in mating with multiple people; widespread propagation of one’s genes is, in fact, encouraged.

After fertilization, the resultant eggs are held in utero for roughly 30 days, and post-laying require an incubation period of about 60 more. Before electricity, packmates usually took turns warming and defending said eggs while the others hunted; in the modern age, the logistical quandary of incubation is mitigated entirely by incubator machines. Though the average clutch consists of 8-12 eggs, the number of healthy, living offspring after hatching tends to be significantly lower, as infant mortality rates in the species are notoriously high. The young in question are fully ambulatory immediately after hatching, can eat solid food, and are generally far less helpless than the progeny of most other species.

Child-rearing among enforcers is a communal affair. The offspring of one enforcer are considered the responsibility of all in the pack, though enforcer youths do not require much scrupulous caretaking. They reach important developmental milestones quickly and learn language and other skills mainly through observation, as opposed to being directly taught; by the 6th month, they are walking bipedally, talking fluently, and hunting with the rest of their packmates. At that point, they are assigned the same agency as adults: enforcers do not coddle their children; they are held to the same social standards as those who are fully mature.

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Re: Species Information Thread for Paradise: 2778

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Screwface Romeo on Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:27 pm

Workers

Large, sturdy and muscular, Workers are the backbone of industrial production, working as construction crews, mechanics or with heavy equipment. Any job that requires brute strength and minimal intelligence is typically their domain. While they are not as stupid as most people have been led to believe, the average Worker is gifted more with common sense than intellectual prowess. However, there is a blessing within this curse: they typically have little contact with humans, and are permitted to keep to themselves. In the world of the Protectorate, out of sight and out of mind is one of the safest places to be as a Xeno. Still, their low position on the Protectorate racial hierarchy has left them mired in poverty and abysmal living conditions.

History

Workers were the most technologically advanced race thus far encountered by Humanity. At the time of first contact, they had developed primitive interplanetary travel using nuclear pulse propulsion craft, and managed to colonize four other planets within their home system. The Workers were also one of the few races to have established a universal planetary government, which centralized their political and military establishments, a system which would prove very difficult for the Protectorate to defeat.The political party which was currently in control of their government had a vast interest in space exploration, expansion, and scientific progress, and where initially overjoyed to make contact with another spacefaring race. This outlook would change very quickly.

Worker and Human met for the first time when a prospecting craft operated by LeBlanc Energy Solutions entered their system looking for stellar gravity wells to harvest for antimatter. Upon discovering advanced sapient life, LeBlanc, a member of the Big Ten, immediately contacted the Board for support. Startled by the existence of a race that had achieved even primitive space travel, the Board dispatched no less than two Adjutants to investigate. Arriving and assessing the situation, the Adjutants initiated negotiations for an alliance. But this was only a ruse, intended to buy time for an invasion fleet to be assembled and the extent of Worker military forces to be gauged. While the Workers labored under the delusion that the Protectorate was friendly, the Protectorate dispatched a third Adjutant, one of the first to be commissioned and with nearly half a dozen alien conquests under his belt, along with the largest battle fleet ever to be assembled.

When the fleet arrived, the Workers were caught completely by surprise, and their Navy, despite putting up a valiant effort and managing to destroy no less than five Protectorate warships, was quickly overwhelmed and annihilated by the superior speed and numbers of the Human fleet. The Workers had built up an impressive industrial infrastructure, and the Protectorate, wishing to keep it intact, saddled the Adjutants with very restrictive rules of engagement that severely limited the use of orbital bombardment and tactical nuclear weapons. This forced them into a long, bloody slugfest on the ground with the Workers' hardened Warrior caste. Faced for the first time with an alien enemy that had infantry weapons to rival their own, Protectorate forces were quickly bogged down, taking heavy casualties as the Workers made them pay dearly for every inch of ground taken. Eventually, the Board could no longer stomach the casualties, and the Adjutant was let off his leash.

Free to do as he wished, the Adjutant enacted the Charon Protocol on one of the system's outlying inhabited worlds. An Alcubierre Drive enabled missile was warped into the planet's core, unleashing over a ton of antimatter, causing the world and all its inhabitants to be completely obliterated in the ensuing chain reaction. Realizing for the first time the true power their enemies held, the Workers surrendered unconditionally. But if they had expected to be treated with dignity in their defeat, they were sorely mistaken. Every organ of their government was completely dismantled, every trace of their accumulated historical and scientific knowledge was either stolen or destroyed, as they were subjected to the true horror of the Protectorate assimilation process. After robbing them of their identity, the Adjutant embarked on a frightful genocide, systematically exterminating their Philosopher and Warrior castes, until only the docile Worker caste remained.

Biology

The Worker homeworld is very wet, spanned by massive oceans punctuated with swampy islands and archipelagoes. So the amphibious origins of the Worker race should come as no surprise. Workers are large, bipedal humanoids, typically standing at around 6 to 7 feet. While they have evolved to be primarily land-based now, they still retain some traces of their aquatic origin, such as legacy gills, semi-webbed hands and feet, large lung capacity, and excellent swimming ability. The overwhelming majority of today's Workers are descended from the original worker caste, and retain the features thereof, having large, muscular frames, broad shoulders and barrel chests. Their skin is thick and rough, with typical coloration ranging from black to dark green. Workers, like Followers, have three fingers and a thumb to each hand, rather than the Human four fingered configuration. A Worker's leg has two joints, like a dog, with the lower joint being the ankle, and the "foot" actually composed of the toes. They have little to no neck, with a flat topped, wedge shaped head and powerful jaws.

Workers have four eyes, with two on each side of the head below a heavy, furrowed brow. Originally, they were located more towards the sides, but evolution has since shifted them to the front, to give them binocular vision. The foremost eyes are the primary set, with trichromatic vision as found in humans, while the other pair are smaller, and provide vision in the infrared spectrum. Hearing and smell are on par with a Human in those with primarily worker caste ancestry, while an individual with warrior genes would have those senses slightly heightened. Worker ears are located towards the rear of the head, taking the form of small, discrete holes, while the nose is placed at the front, above the mouth, as a pair of slits.

One notable feature of the Worker race is their genetic caste system, created through centuries of selective breeding and genetic engineering on their own world, prior to Human contact. At one point, there were three distinct subspecies: workers, warriors, and philosophers. Workers, as the name implies, were created for labor, and made up the majority of the population. They are large, strong and tough, but docile and not overburdened with intelligence. Warriors are also large, but built for endurance and speed more than brute strength, and possess a highly aggressive nature, coupled with a savage cunning. Philosophers stood out as being smaller, more delicate, and lightly built, but with exceptional intelligence. Philosophers were the leaders, while Worker and Warrior were subservient to them. Since being assimilated into the Protectorate, the warrior and philosopher groups have been almost entirely wiped out, and those that remained have bred into the worker population, gradually increasing both the intelligence and savagery of the race as a whole, to the point where neither still exist in a pure form.

At a glance, it is difficult to differentiate between a male and female Worker. The most obvious giveaway is the spiny, webbed crest on the top of the male's head and the back of his neck. Normally, this is laid flat, but the spines can be raised, displaying the bright colors of the webbing in between them. This is typically done as a display of challenge or aggression, or to impress females. Other than this, the differences are far more subtle. On closer inspection, the male is typically larger, while the female is a bit broader in the hips, and slightly less muscular. Workers themselves rely primarily on pheromones to distinguish between male and female when the male's crest is not in plain view.

Diet

Despite their large and imposing appearance, Workers are vegetarian, with flat teeth intended for grinding plant material. They are incapable of digesting meat, and generally find the concept distasteful. Thanks to a slow metabolism, they do not need to eat very much in terms of calories, and can survive on a relatively light diet, which is useful given their low income status. They prefer leafy greens and vegetable matter to grain, but can and will eat bread regularly if nothing else is available.

Psychology

Worker psychology is an interesting topic, given the unique situation as regards subspecies. Philosophers, obviously, are highly intelligent and analytical, and prefer a purely logical approach to emotional appeal. They are not Vulcans however, and do feel emotion, they just prefer to leave it out of decision-making from an ideological standpoint. Warriors, on the other hand, while still quite intelligent as regards tactics and strategy, have been bred and conditioned to act on aggression, passion, and a sense of duty, rather than logical introspection. Workers are highly docile and open to suggestion, and while they retain free will, are more likely to bow to orders and cultural suggestion. However, due to the almost complete extermination of the previous two subspecies, those who remain have bred into the Worker population, and have passed a good portion of their traits to today's Workers.

The species as a whole is generally believed to have a lower level of intelligence, compared to Humans and other high functioning species like Followers. This is not entirely correct, and based primarily on stereotypes. A Worker in the 28th century is not stupid, their intelligence is simply different. You would not typically consider them to be intellectuals, nor would they perform well as scientists or mathematicians, but they are usually excellent at problem-solving, and often possess a very worldly wisdom. Most Workers today are not particularly interested in high flung ideological or theoretical topics, preferring to live day to day, and stick to immediate, practical matters. Most display a general attitude of pragmatism and a somewhat zen like outlook of "what happens happens, I don't need to know the reason, nor should I care, but if I apply myself to the here and now, everything will work out for the best".

Culture

Workers typically lack a uniform culture, or marked cultural tendencies in the same way that Followers do. They generally go with the flow, living as the day dictates, and adapting to whatever cultural trend happens to be popular with the general populace at the time. However, the majority do seem to stick to a certain set of values, not so much because it is culturally ingrained as that it is simply natural to them. Workers value dedication, pragmatism, loyalty and kindness, generally looking down on individuals who act selfishly or attempt to dominate others. Finding one's place in life and being satisfied and fulfilled by it is their highest goal. They do not seek fame or stardom, preferring to find a happy medium that pleases them.

Family & Breeding

Workers are oviparous, but reproduce sexually. Once an egg is fertilized, it is laid, and typically hatches in 2 to 3 months. Juvenile Workers are hatched capable of eating and digesting solid food, but are still relatively helpless, and require attention from their parents. Young reach physical and sexual maturity slowly, with the typical mark being around 20 to 25 years, which is complemented by a long lifespan, generally between 100 and 150 years. Workers are monogamous and generally mate for life, forming a nuclear family in order to raise their young. This tends to be the most important unit to them, and extended family is not generally as important as it is to Humans. While they generally form relatively strong bonds with their mates, the bond with young is not as pronounced, and once children reach adulthood, they usually go their separate ways.

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