The Ship-ChildrenHomo sapiens cambiatum tecnavis
The tecnavi were the creation of direst necessity. A small population of humans stranded on their ships in a solar system they did not plan on arriving in, with no way out and no way to build the infrastructure necessary for a proper colony to wait out the decades a tightbeam request for aid would take. The early years of warp travel are filled with stories such as this: an extra 0, a misplaced bracket, an engineer who kept clicking "remind me later". In this version the tragedy is averted, but just barely.
The ships of the proto-tecnavis could sustain the population for a time, but not forever. More importantly, among the fleet there were several talented geneticists and enough android logic-cores to rewire into a proper shipmind.
Generations pass. The original crews die. The tecnavi replace them. Help finally comes, and by that point there is no going back.
The tecnavi are small, sexless beings, designed to take up as little space and consume as few resources as possible on board a vessel. Their brains are augmented with cybernetics to make up for the lack of volume, rendering many of their underlying thought processes as transactional and their speech as both incredibly swift and incredibly dense. They wear their environment suits at all times when traveling outside their specific ships - their home microbiomes are so specifically tailored that exposure to foreign bacteria will likely result in swift and terrible illness and highly likely death. So as to better identify themselves to outsiders, they take great pride in the decoration and coloration of these suits: a group of tecnavi arriving on station will be a bombardment of sound and color.
While the tecnavi exist within the same cultural sphere as the spacer clans, hidebehinders, apulmon, and cacogens, they stand apart in one primary way: their naviparens. Shipmothers.
Exowombs are nothing new. Shipminds are established tech. Combining the two is hardly controversial. But generations of wetware upgrades to the ships and hardware upgrades to the children, linking logic cores to brains from fetus to death, have hybridized the two until there is very little difference between. The ship gives birth, the tecnavi grow and live and die, their brain imprints return to the ship and their genes go back into the bank to be hybridized again. When the tecnavi arrive on station in their bombastic hazard suits it is the shipmother that calls for clearance and gets visas stamped.
A tecnavi on their own is either an extreme social outlier, the result of incredible tragedy, or terribly miswired. Otherwise, their shipmother has asked something of them.
Starting Skills: 0-G +20%, Shipwise +15%, Consult the Shipmother +10%, Machine Language +10%
(Note: I only included the starting skills with the intention of plugging this more elegantly into the classless chargen I am working on.)
This post was requested by Zelda (a player in my Mothership game), who wanted me to make quarians to go along with the
[Insert LARGE OPINIONS about Mass Effect and its fallout here]ReplyDelete
Write it DanDelete
You know you want to
Dammit, you are correct.Delete
The ending and what led up to it are not what I consider ME's great crime. Disastrous, but not the core of the issue. That award goes to the series' full embrace of the sci-fi of half measures: introduce an idea, but ignore the interesting consequences of that idea either out of lack of imagination or in order to provide a safer, less weird, more marketable product.
An example off the top of my head:
There are potentially dozens of alien species living in exotic environments (under global ice sheets, in Titanian methane climes, etc) that the Reapers have never touched due to lack of technology. These species would, naturally, be excellent allies to anyone trying to fight or avoid the Reapers. Plus they'd really drive home that whole wonder-of-exploration thing they were aiming for in the first game.
Have you read the 'Sheep and Battle Chicken' series by LogicalPremise? He does an amazing reinterpretation of the ME verse and theres shitloads of expanded lore docs as wellDelete
I have not, but it appeals to me.Delete
Thanks Dan. Sorry for the inconvenience if their was any.ReplyDelete
No inconvenience at all! It was really fun to write. I'm always looking for new post challenges.Delete
i LOVE this take on quarians! your reinterpretations of ME races are fab, have you considered doing Turians?ReplyDelete
Oh, they're easy! Neodinosaurs bred out of modified cassowary stock.Delete
Easy to make, and also terrifying!
cassowary's with guns, love itDelete
I feel like this opens up a whole new field of 'Yo Mama' jokes.ReplyDelete
Yo mama's radiator fins are so inefficient...Delete