[Cosmosdex] The Fictional Encyclopedia

[Cosmosdex]

Synthii
         

Synthslave / Hivers

Synthii
“What separates a perfect society from a machine?” — Unknown

Art by, NekoLychee

  • Strength-3
  • Intelligence-6
  • Charisma-2
  • Endurance-3
  • Agility-4
  • Luck-7

Common Jobs: All job types, Specialist jobs fitting their morph
Likes: Working, Community, Music, Sunsets
Dislikes: Isolation, Surprises, Rejection

Attack Method: Synthii who are isolated have few special methods of attack, but in groups they swarm like insects to take down and immobilise those who would wish them harm while waiting for more deadly biomorphs to arrive.

Attributes
Homeplanet: At'Rann
Lifespan: 70
Size: 5 ft tall
Diet: All

Social Class: Upper Middle Class
Rarity: Common
Common Traits
[Loves Music] Neutral trait
This character enjoys whatever X is. While characters can like anything without having it as a trait, with this trait X is slightly more likely to pop up or be a starting item for the character.
[Disciplined] Positive trait
This character has a certain behavior or way of working. This behavior is usually helpful to their group and commonly promotes teamwork. This character is less likely to disobey commands, is less likely to lose sanity and will likely follow routine.
[Vulnerable] Negative trait
This character is viewed as a easy target, whether or not it is true. Enemies will attack them first, and this character is more likely to be attacked when alone.
Gods

The synthii do not worship any gods culturally, and if they ever did in the past then it has long since been forgotten to time.


Gods: None

Original Creator: Dorf/Space Dwarf


Physical Description

Individually, most synthii are nothing remarkable to look at. On average, a synthii is simply a chitinous biped of unremarkable size, with pale cream or pastel colourings across their body, and a hardened head carapace. This head will have several holes and gaps in it for sight and smell, depending on the job of the synthii in question. At the rear of the head, there are zero to two structures which may be hornlike in appearance but are in reality a continuation of the skull itself, and from beneath this insectile carapace, many fleshy ears hang.

The description of the synthii is vague as the species carry out extreme genetic modification and biodesign to meet their societal roles. Actual individuals might be drastically taller or shorter, with more arms or a cluster of eyeholes facing every direction. These descriptions are as close to a truly universal depiction we were able to devise, and while many other features are common to most synthii (such as sharp peglike feet) they are not found in every morph. An advanced biomorph of synthii might be a skyscraper construction worker with a cluster of sticky-footed legs and a single, gigantic arm for lifting and manoeuvring heavy loads.

Synthii biospecialise to an almost absurd level, with genetic engineers determining the ideal body shape for specific roles and situations and growing their young precisely to those specifications to minimise requirements for gear and equipment, easily filling the predicted niche to an exacting standard. This leads to the aforementioned occasionally wild differences in anatomy, though the more generic a job is, the less physically divergent the synthii is likely to have been designed. Office workers and other white-collar roles typically have the fewest physical differences from the generic "base" design (Long since abandoned for actual use), though they are likely still highly different in specific design and personality.

The ears of a synthii, as one of the only truly common aspects of their species structure (the manager/worker distinction between rounded and pointed ears notwithstanding), are very important for communication. As well as usual verbal communication, synthii have an advanced sense of body language, primarily displayed through the positioning of these six prehensile ears and the head, enabling them to constantly "get" everyone around them on a base or subconscious level. This conveys a level of unconscious meaning and intent that helps synthii navigate the crowded conditions in which they thrive by rarely being surprised by their surroundings. Many a person talking to a synthii has been surprised when they step backwards halfway through a sentence as a stranger carries a box right past them without even breaking eye contact or acknowledging the intrusion either.

Personality

The iconic image of the synthii is the mysterious being in brightly-coloured and garish robes, extending to the floor and billowing around them, with an overcoat or waist jacket added on top to finish. Most synthii clothing does indeed fall under these categories, considered a stylish and practical gown, modified to suit its purpose just like its user. Metalworking synthii gowns will be fire repellent, while an Ambassador's robe might be covered in a variety of common alien symbols indicating to the species of the universe that they are there to help and assist. Regardless of the purpose, these clothing are almost always in rich and deep colours, with decorative trims or edging in colours which may relate to their job or simply indicate personal preferences.

The best way to describe the personality of a synthii at work would be "Satisfied". No matter how repetitive, demeaning or boring their assigned job might seem, they are always utterly content with it and pleased to be on the job. To be a cog in the machine of society. As already mentioned, synthii design their young to fit a certain role, but it goes far deeper than simple caste designations of "Builder" or "Soldier" or even "Water Mains Repair Technician".

Synthii are designed and reared from before the moment of their birth to a specific job opening at a specific place. A synthii might have been created to fulfil the specific role of "East Strawberry-Wing Tower Janitor and Hazard Cleanup Specialist". The body they are created in is in all ways optimised to meet any additional requirements or conditions for that position, that workspace, that slot. Their satisfaction with their job, their purpose comes from deep genetic and mechanical conditioning towards this goal, all of it artificially created and pre-planned potentially decades in advance. A child is born and before it is even decanted, it has been decided that they will become the maintenance overseer at the Danger Road electrical substation fifteen years from now, once their training has been completed and their predecessor has retired. synthii are well aware of this societal control over their body and lives however and see nothing wrong with the idea, with many embracing it as a major advantage in their lives. As one said when interviewed, "Everyone is happy. Nobody is ever unsatisfied at their job, their existence. Everyone communicates clearly and understands each other at all times. We can all be fulfilled at life no matter where it has been laid out for us". As unusual or unfair this complete lack of self-determination may seem to any outsider who looks in on the society of the synthii, there can be made no mistake - they are happy as they are, and quietly resist any attempts from people outside the system to affect their lives and drive them towards a more normal state of being. To them, this is a utopia.

This certainty of job roles and availability has given synthii society an unprecedented ability to pre-plan the workings of society out in advance, with the administrators setting out job roles and availability years ahead of time, everyone working in unison to a schedule that spans worlds. This, as one can imagine, can cause issues of flexibility, and the synthii often have trouble responding to accidents or natural disasters as an entire line of production encounters setbacks and delays while the plan is re-shuffled to make things work, and emergency temporary jack-of-all-trade synthii are brought in to pick up the slack for however long it takes for the scheduled replacements to arrive.

A lack of adaptability is in fact something that has crept into the species psyche as a whole over time, with many synthii (Even ones who have left their society for some reason) having difficulty when a situation is not as expected or there is a sudden change, unless they had previously planned out the possibility of that happening. The name of the game is to be prepared for everything that could happen to you in your life, once the simple one-direction train of society has skipped its rails. Synthii who are caught in stressful and unexpected situations with no plan of action, however, are liable to panic and 'freeze up' until some kind of order is restored or a new objective is reached.

This attitude is one that has coloured their interactions with the universe at large to a worrisome degree, as other species seem chaotic and out of focus to them. People who have fitted into a perfect society moving in lockstep their whole lives have a great deal of trouble coping with the actions of outsiders. They can't subconsciously 'read' them, they don't understand what they're doing, and they have an annoying tendency to ask questions that seem weird or meaningless to the synthii such as "Are you happy with your job" and "do you realise how terrifying your society looks to everyone else?". However, despite this, the synthii are not, total isolationists that only interact with themselves while shying from the rest of the universe and maintain relations with many other species. This is made possible due to the answer to one of the first questions that might arise upon hearing about the synthii societal system - what happens to a world of perfect satisfaction when someone does not fit in?

Sometimes, the machines and procedures designed to ensure total work and life satisfaction don't work quite right. Young synthii affected will try to fit in, and many may remain happy with their job and their lot in life, but for others, they are just unable to place themselves into the slot society ordains for them. But even these people who find that they really cannot fit, these unexpected deviations from the plan, are accounted for. They eventually end up reassigned to the one job with the most variation, where simple routines and the comfortable everyday normality of the synthii civilisation are not enough - Ambassadors.

"Ambassadors" is the term synthii use to describe a wide variety of misfitting or outcast citizens who work in an official capacity with other species, in jobs ranging from official diplomats, to tourism centres, to babysitting visitors in synthii worlds and stopping them from having an accident caused by misunderstanding their society. This is important considering that many synthii who are not more used to aliens will assume that their intents and information are being picked up and act accordingly, even though said alien will have no idea that the truck driver ahead of them in the road intends to suddenly reverse. This new occupation isn't always right for the misfits either, but it's the only one the synthii can make available without compromising their grand plan of society, and most make do rather than choose to leave and risk the truly unknown.

Any synthii planet will have large clusters of cities, for the synthii are communal by the intertwined nature of their society, and suffer little from crowding at work or during leisure by dint of their casual communication and ability to avoid collisions with ease. The iconic symbol of these cities is the steeply-stepped block skyscrapers, where every floor and every room has a dramatic balcony overlooking the city, to gaze out over their world, and watch the sunset, an activity which any synthii, no matter how outcast or alone, can take comfort and solace in. The synthii are fond of music that they feel replicates the beauty of their worlds, their cities, and favoured ambient tracks play constantly throughout any location where many synthii can be found, no matter where they go. While the city lights will be dimmed during the night-time hours, they will rarely if ever shut off completely, as the nocturnally-designed night shift awake and move to their places of work. As such, the hubbub and music never die down in these cities, an ebb and flow that cease no more than the beating heart of a living creature does.

While crime in the synthii society does occur, it is exceedingly rare, with few synthii ending up of the temperament required to upend the plans of their surroundings so selfishly. However, there is still a form of police, but its primary goal is to keep outsiders from causing trouble in the machine of synthii civilisation and to eject or destroy those who try to cause it harm. The worst punishment a synthii can face is to be dismissed, to be told that their actions have made sure there is no place into society where they can fit. To be cast out into the universe at large, alone and purposeless for the first time in their lives.

History

Long ago, there was a synthii (Though that was not the name they called themselves then) by the name of Bright Idea. Bright Idea was a freelance inventor, someone who could never find a job he was happy at, no matter how hard he tried. Bright Idea had no conception of the future he would create the day he invented something seemingly innocuous, the first stepping stone towards the synthii. When he built a device that quite simply could make you satisfied at work. And from then on, everything became more and more inevitable.

When this device was released, it instantly became a hit all across the world. A simple way to instil happiness and let you be content no matter where you worked or how dull or frustrating it was? How could it be anything else? Soon, it became a common sight to see the wearable band or sleek pendant of the device around, like a fashion trend. The first sign of what was to come was likely when even people who had been perfectly happy at their job before noticed how people using the devices were so much... *more* happy than they were. People who would previously have described their opinion of their job as fine felt bad by comparison, and for a reasonably affordable price, they could be happy too, and they began using it by the droves. Eventually, it was almost a standard of society, until a law was set officialising use of the device as a right to which all were entitled.

As the use became more and more universal, it began to be given to people even before they joined the workforce, as a gift or to help them in life, and the technology that (the now impossibly wealthy but elderly) Bright Idea had pioneered was developed, allowing for the effect to last longer and longer without use of the devices. As the device was officialised, the government began taking over and standardising the number of jobs available, as now that people could and would be happy no matter what role they were moved to, they could begin to focus on streamlining and efficiency of society. This increase in efficiencies let them begin the planning which would later become endemic to the synthii, and one final upgrade allowed the device to be applied once at birth, with an effect lasting for the whole natural lifespan of the pre-synthii. Right as the pre-synthii reached this peak of happiness, something terrible happened. They discovered messages coming from space. Messages warning them of what was to come.

The ages of fear and silence had come to the universe when plague walked the stars and species fled for their lives against the coming storm. While many species were paralysed by fear and disunity, when the whispers of escape and rescue came from a mysterious group known only as the "Zodiacs", the synthii moved with a united purpose

Seizing complete control for the first time, the centralised synthii authorities and their administrators began silently evacuating their people out to the zodiac worlds, following hidden paths and routes, people taking up the reins of any job asked of them without complaint. By the time the invaders finally located At'Rann, the whole planet was an empty ghost town, all the residents shuttled away leaving nothing but empty buildings and a landscape that was worthlessly poisonous to almost everyone else (albeit extremely pretty).

Once the situation had been resolved, the Zodiac species extended an offer of friendship to the synthii, inviting them to stay part of their association and continue working together to limit the activities of the universe's more unsavoury elements. The synthii however, had planned ahead on their own, and already had a future in mind. They gratefully thanked the Zodiacs for their help, stole every scrap of information about bioengineering the interspecies alliance had collected, and simply took their people back home to their essentially untouched homeplanet.

Using this information, the synthii were able to begin genetically modifying themselves to an increasing extent, beginning the slow progress towards the hyper specialisation of today, discovering that their species was highly suited to this kind of modification, far beyond what many other species could achieve. The concept of pre-birth designation and modification was brought in, eradicating the last traces of self-determination for members of the synthii society. The transformation that the long-gone Bright Idea could never in his worst nightmares have foreseen was complete.

Ever since, the synthii have largely kept to themselves on the galactic stage, utilising their extreme efficiencies aggressively, and maximising their plans for peaceful growth. This expansionist nature of the modern synthii makes it inevitable that eventually one of the many worlds they earmark for colonisation will turn out to contain unique forms of life, intelligent or otherwise. While they are markedly less aggressive than many other species and do not interfere with species advanced enough to have spread civilisation throughout their world, they are not above cordoning off vast regions of primitive-occupied planets for their own cities and infrastructure and simply declaring the still-inhabited sections to be a "reserve". This strict delineation between what they consider to now be their lands and those of the original inhabitants is enforced as if it was an agreed-upon fact, with trespassing highly forbidden in both directions.They have spread sporadically across the known universe, and wherever they go their cities of light and music follow them, creeping across the shores, the desert flats, and anywhere a sunset even as partly as striking as that which can be found on their homeworld is. While relatively few synthii choose to leave their society, the sheer volume of this species has meant that these days they are a fairly common sight even outside their territory, whether isolated outcasts, explorers scouting for a new world, or Ambassadors on a mission.

Home Planet

At'Rann The homeworld of the synthii, At'Rann, is a world of rolling plains and endless balmy beaches. The synthii have covered much of the planet with their distinctive many-stepped skyscrapers to a far greater degree than elsewhere, and seemingly endless streets pour themselves out onto dramatic beachfront in the evening darkness. Beams of light crisscross the skies, and the whole world seems to be lit by a soft glow as you enter these tightly-packed urban conglomerations, where everything is made of bright vivid contrasts against dark backgrounds, and nothing is left grey or plain.

The city never sleeps despite the darkness, and at every hour of the day, there is a hustle and bustle of quiet, happy purpose that seems almost synchronised viewed from an outside perspective. The synthii music plays endlessly, giving a dreamy, ethereal vibe to the endless lights both warm and cold. While At'Rann is famed for its long, beautiful sunsets, visitors should be well aware that the magical-seeming colours and incredible glowing sky trails are caused by high atmospheric levels of sodium gas, which is harmless to the synthii but very dangerous to many other species. Bring breathing equipment when visiting if necessary .

Subspecies

Extreme Biomorphs: Synthii can vary drastically from the default appearance due to their genetic editing, especially those in jobs involving manual labour, where the body may be built to a radically different plan in order to replicate the function of the machinery that would otherwise be required or to augment and synergise with the tools and machines that are in fact used.

Special

Body Language: Synthii constantly telegraph at a subconscious level their emotions and intent along with some basic information about their surroundings via body language, and other synthii will subconsciously pick up and understand these cues from any synthii they see nearby. It is possible, though difficult, for non-synthii to learn many of these cues, though attempts to "speak" it in return via robotic or otherwise manufactured imitations rarely function well.

Trivia

• Synthii often have a bad case of what some people call "normality" enforcement. For example, an outsider being allowed to visit an administrator to make a request requires months of security checks and planning, and they are kept securely guarded. If someone somehow secretly made their way to the administrator's office then the administrator would be likely to assume that everything must be in order because there's no way anyone could be there if it wasn't, and fulfil whatever request was made, even if it was completely unreasonable (Like asking for 500 tons of golden pentagrams or a free private beach resort)

• Synthii have occasionally been described as a "hive", but unlike hivemind species which are effectively a single superorganism, they are billions of independent individual beings who merely work together in unison to the extent that their society seems like one giant organism.

• The custom of painting faces in synthii society has a number of purposes. While some festivals or celebration days may include face-painting, it is more commonly seen to indicate one of two possibilities, especially in everyday use.

Firstly, facial paints and patterns are often worn by synthii who wish to indicate that they are no longer a part of society for some reason, whether that be choosing to leave of their own free will or having been forcibly expelled. Secondly, bright fluorescing or reflective markings are worn by police units in order to increase their visibility and stand out in the busy crowds of synthii life.

• The shape and size of synthii horns and ears can be used to roughly determine their rank and job type, to a certain degree.

• One thing which is never done in synthii society is to take a song off the air. Some of the melodic tunes and beats which reverberate throughout their stepped cities have done so for millennia, and even the most hated or disliked songs are simply reduced in likeliness to play across the speakers, or 'banished' to areas which view them more favourably. This can mean that the process of adding songs to a newly-created or already-existing musical system is highly contentious, perhaps the most contentious life in these colossal conurbations becomes. The central spire of the oldest hive of At'Rann contains every song that has ever been accepted to any synthii musical playlist, which it plays sequentially to all who gather there to listen.

• The point at which this massive musical sequence restarts again from the beginning, playing the oldest music of all, is often considered a local festival as thousands gather to hear this ever-rarer occasion.

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