Promethean

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Prometheans (Macrolimus artificialis) are a species of artificially-created gelatinous humanoids, chiefly characterized by their primarily liquid bodies and ability to change their bodily shape and color in order to mimic many forms of life. Derived from the Aetolian giant slime (Macrolimus vulgaris) inhabiting the warm, tropical planet of Aetolus, they are a relatively newly lab-created sapient species, and as such many things about them have yet to be comprehensively studied.

Mechanics

  • Can change their physical shape and color at will, to (crudely) imitate other humanoids.
  • Devoid of nearly all internal organs found in other humanoids, including traditional bones.
  • Can consume almost any organic matter that will fit within their bodies (such as dust, dirt, blood, mice, and regular food products) to gain nutrition.
  • Capable of rapid regeneration from damage assuming their nutrition is high, and can spend nutrition to regenerate lost limbs.
  • Permeable dermal layer and decentralized internal structure renders them resistant to physical attacks, but very vulnerable to burn damage.
  • Mostly unaffected by radiation.
  • Limbs do not break as other species’ do, instead the limb severs much more easily, and becomes a splattered mess.
  • More susceptible to temperature extremes than most other humanoids.

Overview

  • Can change their physical shape and color at will, to (crudely) imitate other humanoids.
  • Devoid of nearly all internal organs found in other humanoids, including traditional bones.
  • Capable of rapid regeneration from damage assuming their nutrition is high, and can spend nutrition to regenerate lost limbs.
    • This ability is disabled if a Promethean is covered in water.
  • Permeable dermal layer and decentralized internal structure renders them resistant to physical attacks, but very vulnerable to burn damage.
  • Mostly unaffected by radiation.
  • Limbs do not break as other species’ do, instead the limb severs much more easily, and becomes a splattered mess.
  • More susceptible to temperature extremes than most other humanoids.

Biology

Promethean.png

Much like their slime predecessors, all Prometheans have been observed to possess a core (or nucleus) that contains a substantial electrical charge at all times. Prometheans appear to have slight variations in their cores from individual to individual, similar to variations complicit in the cores of their slime brethren, however, the physiological significance of such variations is not currently understood. What is understood is that this core serves as the primary storage for the Promethean’s genetic information, and if removed, will cause immediate and irreparable disintegration of the surrounding body.

The epidermis is comprised of a semipermeable membrane that allows absorption of desirable materials (namely food) while keeping unwanted and/or potentially harmful elements outside of the body. Promethean “skin” is not as strong as that of other humanoids, and therefore are quite sensitive to substantial air pressure or lack thereof (in other words, they cannot survive in space).

Their “skeleton” is actually a pliable, relatively dense fluid structure (referred to as a macro-cytoskeleton) that supports their body, yet is able to be reshaped at will (the process of doing so is relatively slow and laborious, however). This structure is not as resistant to sudden shock or impact as the rest of their bodily mass, and any such impact can and will cause substantial damage.

Outside of these organs, the majority of a Promethean’s body mass is not well understood. Many different cells within their body appear to be capable of repurposing themselves as-needed, and this behavior is believed to be strongly correlated to their physical regenerative capabilities. Confoundingly to xenobiologists, Prometheans do not show strong evidence of possessing organs or organ systems (such as a discrete nervous, vascular, respiratory, or muscular system) retained almost universally among other humanoid species, thus throwing their classification as ‘humanoids’ at all into question by the greater scientific community.

Life Cycle

Prometheans are artificially generated lifeforms, only publically known to have been created in Xenobiology labs using highly sophisticated gene-splicing and cloning techniques. While the exact process is not a matter of public record, the process is known to involve the synthesis of terrestrial primate DNA, or the genetic material of other non-terrestrial similarly intelligent species (such as Stok, Neaera, or Farwa DNA) with that of the Aetolian giant slime or its genetically-modified cousins.

A freshly created Promethean begins life as a core surrounded by a thin layer of amniotic fluid. At this stage, there are no observable distinctions from a typical gray slime core. Almost immediately, the core will begin to rapidly absorb adjacent organic material and metabolize it. Depending on the quantity of food available, gestation into a fully-formed adult can take only a few minutes to complete.

While physical and rudimentary cognitive development is extremely rapid compared to most other sapient species, more advanced behaviors such as speech and complex problem solving must be learned, typically through observation and mimicry. Depending on the seed DNA used in their creation, adolescent Prometheans may adopt differing techniques to learning about their environment, but all young Prometheans display a strong affinity for mimicry as a means of learning and retaining information. Repetition and the development of consistent behavioral routines appear to be very important to Promethean development. This can unfortunately lead to strongly antisocial behaviors becoming “imprinted” on an individual, which then take substantial effort to unlearn.

Diet

Prometheans are filter feeders, subsisting on a diet of just about any organic matter available. Probably due to their unique chemical composition, they are extremely tolerant of many substances that would be harmful or downright lethal to many other humanoids, including most alkaloid toxins. Their digestive system is exceptionally efficient, and as such are not observed to excrete waste matter.

Behavior

Early on in their development, Prometheans may exhibit a preference for a specific body color, or “resting color”, usually heavily influenced by the color of their parent species. Prometheans are believed to possess emotional capacity roughly equivalent to other humanoids, and will often display their emotional state via their present body color. As with their physical shape, they are able to change their hue at will, although generally maintaining a color aside from one in line with their current emotional state or resting color requires continuous conscious effort.

Prometheans are a nearly universally inquisitive race, often inspired by their scientist creators to learn as much as they can about their environment. They tend to have trouble grasping abstract and non-binary concepts such as philosophy; preferring to focus on the physical and practical sciences.

Otherwise, an individual’s personality may be derived from the species of their “parent” slime. For example, Prometheans created using DNA from red or orange slimes (M. v. rubicundus and M. v. luteus, respectively) may be more prone to anger than those developed from pink or cyan species, whereas one generated from a black slime (M. v. ater) may tend toward a timid or reserved personality.

Relations

As an artificially-created (or, as some might say, ‘uplifted’) species, formal relations with other species has not yet been established, though the general attitude given toward Prometheans is not often charitable.

  • Humanity - The United Systems of Sol Central has officially warned against the “mass production” of Prometheans, but their fundamental right to exist is protected by legislation from the early Positronic Era. They tend to be viewed with more sympathy in the technophilic Almach Rim, where several (often positronic-majority) states have offered personhood and citizenship.
  • Skrell - Skrell typically view Prometheans as another extension of humanity’s tendency to create sapient species out of alien technology with little regard for the consequences. Like advanced drones, they’re viewed with suspicion and not found in Skrell space.
  • Teshari - Similarly lacking a unified central government, Teshari have no official political stance as regards Prometheans as a species. Reactions and opinions would generally be on a pack-by-pack basis.
  • Tajaran - Due to a lack of any form of ‘faction’ or governmental base, Tajaran governments often lack bias in either direction for Prometheans. Individuals may however have such a bias.
  • Diona - The Dionaea view Prometheans with the same sort of detached curiosity they view most species with.
  • Vox - Vox tend to find Prometheans confounding and difficult to work with. They also find them to be delicious.

Background

Promethean Xenosociology is a nascent field currently dominated by speculation and controversy. Being an artificially-created species so new to the universe, Prometheans lack a unified, documented culture. Most Prometheans are isolated from their kin due to the vastness of space and scattered origins, though some (relatively small) population centers do exist — such as on their origin world of Aetolus, where roughly 1,000 individuals reside.

Being able mimics, Prometheans will enthusiastically adapt aspects of other societies culture to their own purposes, and naming conventions are no exception. Prometheans are most commonly named by those involved in their creation, although the more independently-minded among them will choose a name that speaks to them on a more personal level. As a result, Prometheans do not seem to have any real consistency to their naming conventions, and as such may be found possessing very normal or very strange names indeed.

Due to existing USDF regulations, Prometheans are not currently allowed to live completely independently. As such, all Prometheans must be assigned a legal guardian — typically a Xenobiologist or other trained caretaker who is responsible for the Promethean and their actions.

Technology

While being fairly quick studies and highly enthusiastic about technology in general, there is yet to be any new or unique technology to be directly attributed to Promethean ingenuity. Due to the malleable nature of their physical bodies, Prometheans are easily able to adapt other species technology not intended for their use, such as space suits. As such, Prometheans will be able to make prodigious use of whatever technology they can get their pseudopods on.

Genetic Experimentation

While comprehensive documentation on such actions has not been released to the general public by any major scientific body or interstellar government, there have been persistent rumors regarding the fringe/pseudoscience of Therianthropy, or the process of mutating a mature (read: non-embryonic) lifeform into another species. This procedure has been deemed both extraordinarily dangerous to the subject and highly illegal under USDF law and others. In a majority of cases, the subject will simply meet an excruciating death, and those that survive the metamorphosis will be irrevocably changed, often experiencing a range of mental complications including the perception of ‘headaches’, exaggerated emotional shifts and psychosis, and periodic bouts of short term and long term memory loss. Furthermore, the subject will face a daily struggle to simply retain their former personality and sense of selfness against a torrent of alien instincts and impulses fighting for dominance in whatever remains of their consciousness.

This article or section is not officially recognized as part of the continuity of Vorestation.

The content of this article has not been sufficiently discussed by the Vorestation community, and should not be relied on for Vorestation. It may be edited or deleted in the future.

Timeline:

Discovery

  • 2495 - Katai-1 set up as a Grayson Manufactories mining site. Waystation planned.
  • 2505 - Waystation set up in orbit of Kataigal under authority of the USDF, serving as a refueling point and rest stop, under the name SGWP Deliah.
  • 2516 - Small colony station founded by Nanotrasen in orbit of Katai-2, due to the founding of Deliah. Serves as a ‘home away from home’ for some begrudging Grayson employees.
  • 2522 - Aetolus considered for colonization. Aether Atmospherics sets up an outpost on the planet’s surface for atmospheric filtration, in preparation.
  • 2529 - Aether facility mothballed due to loss of interest, after multiple small habitats are constructed nearby.
  • 2531 - Near-abandoned Aether facility acquired by Nanotrasen. Repurposing begins. Colonial-Timeline Diverges here for readability.
  • 2538 - Repurposed Aether facility dubbed Nanotrasen Mining and Observation Point (NMOP) Sisyphus.
  • 2541 - Nanotrasen Research Station Prometheus constructed in orbit of Aetolus, as a sister station to NMOP Sisyphus.
  • 2541 - NMOP Sisyphus employees discover the original ‘slime’ specimen. Singular subject returned to the Prometheus for testing.
  • 2542 - Specimen duplicated, with a degree of ease surprising to the station’s research team.
  • 2542 - One specimen found missing from containment. Later found in the station’s chemical storage.
  • 2543 - Previously lost and reclaimed specimen ‘evolves’, forming the first form of ‘Grey slime’. Rate of growth far exceeded the creatures found on the planet’s surface. Other specimens terminated.
  • 2544 - Attempts made to fully sequence the creature’s genetic structure fail. Only noted to seem to be some form of thickened triple-helix structure, as opposed to a double-helix in most other forms of life.
  • 2544 - Another specimen escapes, once more found within the chemical storage module. Phoron exposure evident.
  • 2545 - Phoron-exposed ‘slime’ mutates, one of the offspring somehow managing to produce the compound in miniscule amounts within their core.
  • 2546 - ‘Grey slime’ cores are acquired by USDF researchers from the unknowingly stolen package, and distributed among other smaller research facilities.
  • 2546 - Nanotrasen mourns the loss of the ability to fully monopolize the ‘Slimes’, further distributing them among its own research stations, due to ease of care and low maintenance. However, the exact means of their mutation remains a Nanotrasen holding, allowing them to continue trying to exploit them.
  • 2547 - First Promethean created by accident in a lab aboard the NRS Prometheus. Dubbed ‘Pr[r]-1’.
  • 2547 - After the first Promethean was created,the lab’s Director self-assigned themselves to the study of the being.
  • 2547 - Second ‘Natural’ Promethean (Pr[g]-2) created after nearly a year is spent attempting to analyze the fluid seemingly responsible. The exact mechanism of biomass transformation is not able to be determined, however the formation and rapid gestation of some form of hybrid fetal core is assumed.
  • 2549 - Pr-1 and Pr-2 moved into separate containment after Pr-1 attempts to breach its own.
  • 2550 - Pr-1 and Pr-2 show signs of rapid mental development, and are given various tests to assess their degree of intelligence.
  • 2551 - Pr-1 and Pr-2 continue their tests, however with the pushing of the head scientist, tests are shifted to include basic morality tests. Tests suggest non-primal morality concepts in the two subjects.
  • 2551 - The NRS Prometheus’ Director, with the backing of the other head scientists, petition for recognition of Pr-1 and Pr-2 as fully sapient beings to the local state, under the name ‘Prometheans’ in respect to the station they were created on.
  • 2553 - Due to their nature as a synthetically created species, they are judged to fall under similar restrictions to those that early positronics and drones have, under the EIO.
  • 2553 - Nanotrasen is permitted to authorize the creation of Prometheans within its laboratories, under the requirement of strict documentation and care that newly created forms are not a threat at large. Commonly restricted to aiding and working in the facilities that create them in-lab, in base maintenance, and in civilian work.

Aetolus Colony ‘Aetoran’ Timeline

Starting post-2531 NT Acquisitions

  • 2533- Habitats previously constructed by Aether are purchased by multiple smaller parties, including a sizable internal fraction of positronics, with the intent of colonization.
  • 2535 - Small colony set up within the habitats. Aether Atmos once more requested to aid in the efforts.
  • 2536 - Habitats expanded. Planetary governmental framework beginning.
  • 2536 - Official colony name, ‘Aetoran’, established, marking the start of the colony’s official history.
  • 2537 - Colony publicly supports a majority agreement with the SEO, due to Nanotrasen influence.
  • 2538 - Aetoran’s economic base leans toward agrarian, in agreement with Nanotrasen’s previous mining rights. Mining operations continue.
  • 2541 - Morpheus Cyberkinetics joins the SEO board of directors. Aetoran support pushes further toward the SEO, however minor.
  • 2545 - A-class drone population increases due to lightened EIO regulations the year prior.
  • 2547 - Pr-1 specimen is created aboard the NRS Prometheus.
  • 2551 - Aetoran authorities contacted by the NRS Prometheus’ onsite Director regarding the petition of sapience recognition for Pr-1 and Pr-2 as a new species.
  • 2551 - Legal discussion between the Aetoran government and the local Nanotrasen stations ends after a full year, resulting in the Aetoran government agreeing to consider them ‘persons’ akin to their population of higher A-class drones.
  • 2552 - Aetoran authorities discuss the prior year’s occurrences with the SGWP Deliah’s officials. More subjects created within other divisions of the NRS Prometheus, following the same Pr-# designation scheme.
  • 2553 - In light of their synthetic creation the creatures, now officially dubbed ‘Prometheans’, are held by Sol under similar restrictions as early positronics and drones are, under the EIO. While not classifiable under the drone nomenclature, they are still believed to be a threat in the event of rapid genesis, and require observation and yearly checks.
  • 2554 - Nanotrasen is permitted to authorize the creation of Prometheans within its laboratories, under the requirement of strict documentation and care that newly created forms are not a threat at large.


Species on Vorestation
Station Crew
Akula - Angels - Demi-Humans - Demons - Dionae - Humans - Nevrean - Promethean - Rapala - Sergal - Skrell - Tajaran - Teshari - Unathi - Vasilissans - Vox - Vulpkanin - Xenochimera - Xenomorph-Hybrids - Zorren - Alraune