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The Qliq

The Qliq (pronounced "Click") on Earth are one species of Xorn ex-slaves who have been freed or had escaped during the Xorn Invasion of 1984.  The Qliq are used by the Xorn to assist their invasion of planets where psionicism might foil their conquests.

The Qliq are primitive sentient creatures from a wet world with substantial volcanic activity.  Long ago, life took a strange turn when the predominant insect species evolved a mild telepathic communication ability.  Natural selection favored further development of psionics which served to coordinate defensive and food-gathering activities of the hives.  To keep up, the ancient ancestors of the Qliq, which ate these insects, developed receptivity to the insect psionics allowing them to, at first, easily find their prey and avoid the confusion induced by their telepathic broadcasts.  A Darwinian war ensued over the next million years producing the modern Qliq, who naturally detect and dissipate psionicism as well as dine on the varieties of hive insects on their home world.

The Xorn stumbled upon the Qliq home world roughly a hundred years ago and would have just left it alone except for the fact that they nearly simultaneously invaded a world which was protected by an enclave of psionically adept philosophers.  The utility of the Qliq was discovered and the planet was enslaved under the threat of destruction of the Qliq Holiest.  Qliq serving on Xorn invasion ships are held by Xorn masters on leashes that contain sealed packets of toxins which are highly effective against the Qliq.

The frog-like Qliq usually stand on four legs, but can balance on two.  A layer of thick mucus-like slime protects them from such things as insect bites, but facilitates the toxicity of contact poisons, which are not seen on their home world.  The Qliq breed by laying sperm and eggs in a small tub, which the parents protect for two months until the young hatch.  The hundreds of young then must fight for the food given to them by their parents and only a handful of the strongest survive to six months post-hatching.  It is at this point that the parents consider the young to be their children.  The children are then doted over for the next fifteen years until they are considered to be adults.  Qliq have an average lifespan of roughly 50 years.  Because of partially incompatible vocal chords and mouths, Qliq and humans can never fluently speak each others languages although it is possible to hear and understand each other completely.

On Earth, Qliq are treated in a manner similar to superhumans, but are often avoided because they are sometimes considered "gross-looking" to humans.  Needless to say, psionic superhumans are wary of the Qliq.  Conversely, government officials, big businessmen, and others who wish to ensure their mental privacy have hired Qliq 'mind-guards'.

 

Rapture

Rapture is a highly addictive (and highly illegal in most countries) narcotic which rewires the subject's brain so that, while under its influence, all sensory input receives is mapped through the pleasure-centers of the victim's brain.  The more intense the sensory input, the more intense the pleasure response generated by the brain, which cascades through all subsequent physiological systems.  The drug has a severe withdrawal component (with addicts willing to do just about anything for another dose), and a single dose is usually enough to cause addiction in just about anyone.

 

Ray Guns

Studies between 1976 and 1978 of the unusual behavior of the Jaffe battery resulted in the discovery of the physics of the "blaster pistol".  In 1978, Professor Angus McKree of MIT published the now-famous paper entitled An Examination of Irregular Wave Forms and Power Phasing Effects in the Jaffe Battery, better known as the "Ray Gun Paper".  The McKree-Jaffe equations, combined with Lucent Technologies advances in laser and maser technologies, gave the first theoretical insights into the physical processes at work inside the bodies of energy projecting superhumans. Additionally, in an appendix to the paper (the inclusion of which McKree later called the "greatest mistake of my life"), there was a general outline of how one might actually engineer a generic power blast weapon.

Almost as soon as the Ray Gun Paper had been published, various governments began research into such weapons.  Within five years, a perfected blaster rifle and blaster pistol had been created, and today almost every military force on the planet is equipped with such weapons.

 

Recreated Animals

With genetic engineering and cloning technology advancing as fast as it had, it was inevitable that sooner or later someone would try and recreate an extinct species.  To date, nearly every such attempt has been successful.  The only failures have been recreating dinosaurs; despite Hollywood products as "Jurassic Park", extracting intact dinosaur DNA from any sort of fossil has been impossible. 

Extinct mammals and birds are another story, since several preserved carcasses have been found for more recent species.  The London Zoo currently has a pride (twelve individual animals) of saber-toothed cats; all descended from the original pair cloned in 1981.  The National Zoo in Washington DC has a small flock of dodo birds, the Moscow Zoo has three mastodons, and the National Zoo in Wellington, New Zealand has fourteen moas.  The biggest success story regarding recreated animal species has been the quagga.  Since its first release back into the wild in 1972, the initial herd of recreated quagga has grown from eighteen individual animals to over six hundred.

 

Regenerative Gel

Invented by Dr James Jensen in 1998, as a result of investigation into the nature of his own metagene powers.  This substance is a pale red gel, produced by a combination of chemical, genetic and radiation techniques using a subjects own DNA as a base marker.  Its usage is primarily in the regeneration of skin samples for burns victims or others suffering epidermic problems, though of late surgeons have been using it for the removal of unwanted scars and tattoos.

It should be noted that Regenerative Gel is not an instant fix (i.e. it does not instantly replace skin), rather it accelerates a bodies own natural skin replacement mechanisms, even to the point of allowing skin to be renewed over large skin free areas.  While at the "general production" stage, this treatment is still expensive and limited to the bigger hospitals around the world.

 

Robot Companions, Inc.

This corporation, which was begun in 1978, advertised itself as "the source for all your personal escort needs".  This was a polite euphemism.  In truth, the company made sex-toy androids for whoever could afford to pay the price.  Doctor Brian Baker, the founder of the company, is a metagene-inspired genius in the field of robotics who managed to create a succession of mechanical women and men who were undetectable as machines by any external examination.  The company specialized in "sexbots" made to resemble celebrities.  It went out of business in 1980, after the passage of the Non-Human Intelligence Law.  Very few of the androids still exist, having never been designed for long term use.  A few occasionally turn up in prostitution sweeps in the larger cities, but the numbers are dwindling every year.

 

 
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