Art by, Artem1s
Summary: Notail capture creatures are animals trained to follow notails around, but unlike normal pets, these creatures are both purposefully a nuisance and made for work just to teach notails a lesson. While usually for children, adults enjoy fighting their creatures on the side.
Original Creator: Gimeurcookie
Capture creatures are loyal companions of the notails. Technically any animal that can be tamed, caged, and battled with is a capture creature but when most mention "capture creatures" they specifically mean notail capture creatures. Notail capture creatures tend to stick out from the crowd due to their abnormal disadvantages that are intended to teach children lessons. Things such as not being able to feed themselves, wanting to be eaten alive, needing constant surgery to live, and just being plain freaky are just some of the things people think about when thinking of the words capture creature.
First starting out as just plain animals, notails started changing and breeding animals to have certain traits and giving them to children to learn certain lessons. Some people give their children puppies so they learn responsibility, notails give their children large rats to learn how to put down suffering people.
Notails get their first capture creature at the age of eight, just two years before many of them will be heading into the woods in an attempt to survive. Notails must pick up their capture creatures at a V-eterinarian, Z-oologist, or B-reeder class lab that tends to be around most M-atriarch class settlements. Each type of lab has diffrent types of capture creatures. Children go over their options obsessively in the months prior to this, after all, supplies are limited.
Capture creature distribution works as such. Every non-G-eneral class gets to pick out their creatures first, starting from class rank. First come first serve, and if a type of capture creature runs out because a notail didn't get there as fast as their peers, they may end up with either options they didn't want, or the ones who didn't come out as well. Once every non-G-class gets their pickings, the G-classes who got there first have the option to pick from the creatures meant for other classes that didn't get picked, and their own, rather weak normal pickings.
The very last group to pick up capture creatures are the odd metaparxis who arrived to see if they may obtain some of the bottoms of the barrel pets.
Most capture creatures are babies when first obtained, allowing the notail to form a close bond with the animal that will help them obtain resources, but also be a constant, and sometimes annoying lesson. Notails are given small books on how to care for their creature and what to expect if they don't already know. If a capture creature dies for any reason, the notail simply will not have one until the next year if there aren't any left at any of the labs, thus putting them at a great disadvantage.
Some capture creatures due to the nature of them can only be reserved, given to the notail once they head into the woods.
This whole song and dance are what makes capture creatures so strange. Even non-starter notail capture creatures are almost always created with some lesson purpose that gives them frankly odd quirks. Other things that are shared by most capture creatures is their extreme bond, and also their pain tolerance. Most capture creatures either do not feel pain at all or have a high tolerance for it, being able to be injured deeply and seem at ease. This can cause gruesome events such as capture creatures attempting to run on a broken leg as they are unable to feel it.
It seems their pain tolerance is such a common factor in many capture creatures because once a notail gets out of the woods, there really isn't anything else to do with their creature. They either toss it away or more likely, fight it for fun on the streets or on their breaks at work.
Capture creature fights is a sport, though one with many opposers due to it clearly being animal violence for the sake of entertainment. Some breed perfect capture creatures to fight in these battles, while others inject their companions with evofluid in an attempt to make them stronger versions of themselves. Either way, this is not a sport for those easily disturbed.
Capture creature fights happen over anything, bets, for fun, and even as a way to "dispose" of an unwanted pet with a bang. The etiquette for most capture creature fight is for both opponents to get a good look at the other's creature. If one side feels it is an unfair match up, the fight will not happen unless it's declared to be a free for all. Notails, in particular, do not enjoy fighting capture creatures who are bred to not feel pain against those who do feel pain to a completely normal level. Not only are these fights not as exciting but most notails at least have a bit of heart.
Of course, there are always a few sadistic members who only fight with those who feel pain.
Until their owners say fight, most capture creatures are docile and friendly towards any other creatures they meet. First-time watchers of a capture creature fight are often baffled by how fast it starts. Most capture creature fights do not result in death, as the fight is broken up once one is clearly winning over the other. A stick or rod is placed between the two and they usually part ways. Sometimes this doesn't work and the two creatures will have to be pried off of each other.
Overall, capture creature fights aren't for everyone due to their brutality.
Many capture creatures function as pets and are part of the exotic pet trade. No matter what anyone may advertise, most capture creatures are harder to take care of than a common house cat, as such buying a capture creature should be a well-educated decision. Adult notails and other species tend to buy capture creatures made just for adults. These capture creatures have less heavy lesson teaching tactics but always still have some of them, and are linked to a certain class even though the creature is sold for anyone to buy.
Unfortunately many people realize that their capture creature is far too hard to keep and let it out into the wild instead of returning it or putting it in an exotic pound. While many capture creatures tend to be of one gender, and also clones of one another to avoid incidents of becoming an invasive species, some are none of those. Breeders may grab wild capture creatures who do not have any of these safety traits and interbreed them with notail versions to make a hybrid that can be bred and sold. These become invasive species, and some are even banned on certain planets.
Many people dedicate their life to breeding and selling capture creatures, some for fighting, some for helping with jobs, some to ride to work on, and some just to look pretty.
Capture cages are an item that is used to contain most small to just above notail sized capture creatures in a small and easy to carry space. Most people are ill-informed and believe that notails always keep their capture creatures in these cages, and do so too. Notails almost always let their capture creatures roam freely, and there's a simple reason why, capture cages can ruin or even kill a capture creature.
The tech used in capture cages basically freezes the capture creature in time, not allowing it to age for its stay in the cage. Their primary use is only when they need to be moved to a new permanent home but are disallowed from being on a ship freely, or when the owner knows they will no longer need them for years to come, but wants to keep them just in case.
Capture creatures do not gain an added chance of horrible cage malfunction or instant death if they're in the cage longer. Instead, the chance of both events is per entry and exit. If used sparingly capture cages can be a wonderful item to transport creatures over long distances or freeze them during vacations. If used often, well, it's a good idea to known a nice cleaner.
Only capture creatures, robots, and fauna can be put in a capture cage, anything else will be refused.
Evofluid is a liquid that is injected into a capture creature, or anyone else, to induce a sudden transformation. 80% of those injected will die. Those who survive may not even be changed for the better as they may gain painful mutations or even lose vital tools for survival. Many gather up hoards of one type of capture creature to inject them over and over until they get a perfectly "evolved" one, hoards of the dead tossed into the nearest trash bin.
Perfectly evolved capture creatures can go for a fair bit of money, but as evofluid is very expensive it's a fair gamble. Evolved capture creatures tend to have longer lifespans, and are more powerful, but some completely lose their mind, returning to an aggressive wild state that makes them useless, and a danger to the owner.
Evofluid can be applied in small amounts to the skin of a creature to induce smaller mutations with a much lower chance of death. Some slowly drizzle the fluid every month over their creature, adding more and more mutations to the spots they desire. While safer, this method will never get the extreme results that injections can provide.
Evofluid is completely illegal to use on sentient species and all planets that allow the sale of it have laws that state if one willingly uses evofluid on another person, they will be given to the notails who hate people who use evofluid in such ways. What happens after that is anyone's guess. Due to the abuse and required law connected to evofluid, it is banned on most planets outright.
Below are examples of what some starter capture creatures are like for every class. Do note that these are examples and that for every class there tends to be a fairly wide range of capture creatures, some who may even teach the opposite of what is listed here.
A: This class type does not have any capture creature starters.
B: B-class capture creatures tend to be capture creatures with high reproduction rates, and high variations in children. This allows the B-class to learn to get rid of the useless children and breed the ones who show the best genes to get a creature that will help the B-class better survive.
C: This class type does not have any capture creature starters.
D: This class type does not have any capture creature starters.
E: E-classes tend to get capture creatures who are either constantly mobile, forcing the child to either keep moving or lose a valuable lifeline or capture creatures that encourage them to pair up with others as their capture creature can provide more than they can use, but requires more than they can offer.
F: F-classes have a large pool of capture creatures to pick from depending on what job they wish to train in. Most of these capture creatures require a stern or dominate owner as they have more behavioral issues.
G: G-class capture creatures are rather weak, only having a minor talent and providing very little. Some G-class capture creatures are even useless without more member of their species, causes G-classes to correctly group together to protect each other.
H: H-class capture creatures tend to be able to carry or grow plants on it, or is a creature that needs to be cared for like a plant, dying if the H-class fails either duties.
I: I-class capture creatures do much of the heavy lifting for I-class children as the whole class is ill-suited for the woods. These powerful capture creatures tend to be horrible at tracking prey, and thus follow I-classes around so they may sniff out the clues and lead them to a meal it can kill.
J: J-class capture creatures are an odd bunch. They will steal, hide things, and attempt to lead their J-class astray, but they always make subtle tics when they do so. J-classes must notice theses and stand their ground, at which point the capture creature will point them in another false direction, or the correct one.
K: K-class have a wide range of capture creatures, most are basically advance versions of G-class creatures, allowing the K-class to either form smaller groups than the G-classes, or even head out alone. Many K-class capture creatures do not enjoy the mundane and may run away if the K-class sets up shop for too long.
L: L-class capture creatures either teach the L-class the value of trade, help them build shelters, or help them protect their land. L-classes rarely go against the L-class in an attempt to teach them a lesson as L-classes are already stacked against the odds.
M: M-class capture creatures tend to have children that the M-class will need to raise. They tend to be very powerful capture creatures who can more than enough provide for everyone in the family. Keeping the children safe is another matter. These capture creatures either have large groups of children or frequent children.
N: N-class capture creatures tend to be on the odd side and are hard to explain. Some seem to only exist to be cryptid creatures, appearing and disappearing to give the N-class a sense of god. Some leave symbols that the N-class must interpret to a limbo god so they may know what "plague" will befall them soon if they don't take action. Some just lead the N-class to horrible situations, not so they can join, but so they can watch, and learn to hate.
O: This class type does not have any capture creature starters.
P: P-class capture creatures may not be living at all, rather being robots they must program to do tasks. Even when they aren't robots they tend to be organic robots, also known as living creatures who cannot do tasks without being commanded.
Q: Q-class capture creatures are normally made to teach their Q-class about the concept of death and suffering first hand. Q-class capture creatures live perfectly fine for the first few years but have been genetical engineered to basically shut down a year into their journey into the woods. Normally they don't die, but endlessly suffer and take up resources. The Q-class will need to learn to kill them.
R: R-class capture creatures are either a loyal companion or the R-class' next meal. If the latter, the capture creature leaves hints of it being around and the R-class must track it down before it tracks them down. Once tracked down the R-class can "kill" and eat most of it. Over time the capture creature will regenerate, making them a stable monthly meal, and threat.
S: S-class capture creatures tend to need to be cut into and put back together. They either can provide supplies like this, or they can end up dying if not constantly operated on. S-classes are expected to fail many times for their first year in the woods, thus they are regiven a capture creature if they need it every month. They learn all about the concept of losing someone on the table and becoming numb to it.
T: T-class capture creatures are all about investment. Normally useless for their first year or two, the T-class needs to work harder than any other notail to get their capture creature to the next level if they choose to do it. If they invest enough time and resources their capture creature becomes an extremely powerful one, allowing the T-class to relax much more than the normal notail for the rest of their stay in the woods.
U: U-class capture creatures appear to be the capture creatures of other classes but are in fact a mimicking species. Some U-classes will even have these mimics traded with another in the middle of the night, and the U-class will be forced to act like another class to appease the mimic. Some self-aware U-classes will pretend to be another notail to calm other capture creatures into submission so they may loot the owner's items.
V: V-class capture creatures, like S-class ones, need to be operated on, the only thing is that V-class capture creatures put up more of a fight. While they need to be operated on less than the S-class types, catching an unwilling patient and calming them down enough to cut into them is a learned skill.
W: W-class have simple capture creatures who are just there to aid them in their work. Considering that W-classes follow other classes around many call W-classes the "notail capture creature."
X: X-class capture creatures hate X-classes. They attempt to flee from them whenever possible and it's up to the X-class to trick them with a kind voice, food, and other objects the creature wants so they may catch them. These capture creatures either have limbs that regrow or naturally produce food such as always carrying around an external clutch of eggs. The X-class may then take these things and toss the capture creature away, so that it may be caught again.
Y: Y-class capture creatures may, oddly enough, only be part of one bigger capture creature. Y-classes are expected to form a pack bond and as such must join together. Their capture creatures tend to be goopy animals, who when they join together form a much more powerful single capture creature which the Y-class must learn to ration between all of them fairly.
Z: Z-class capture creatures technically do not exist. Instead, Z-classes are given supplies and must track down and capture their own creature and train it from the wild. Luckily there are docile creatures purposefully put out there for the Z-classes but a newbie Z-class may attempt to tame the first creature they meet without watching it from afar to learn if it's safe enough to wrangle.
• While there are no records on what animal was the first capture creature, the first capture creature noted in recorded history was a bull whose body could be used to plant crops in. Planting too much would kill it, making it a lesson in balancing supplies for the extremely important H-class back in the day.
• Many notails ride their capture creatures to work, letting them roam around outside and training them to come back to their place of work at a certain time. Even notails who don't have rideable creatures do this for their creatures, as most notails let their creatures roam outside freely until it's time to go back home. Notails letting their capture creatures roam around freely on other planets are considered a nuisance due to the danger they cause for the uneducated and some local wildlife. Like, you know, other people's outside pets.
• It is considered absolutely awful etiquette to attack an owned capture creature when their owner is not around. As capture creatures are docile to most intelligent species as long as they aren't touching items they are protecting most would have a hard time believing a self-defense claim.