Art by, Chimerii
Common Jobs: Oil fields, Landlords, Anything dangerous
Likes: Their robots, Dressing up, Doing something both stupid and dangerous
Dislikes: Their true bodies, Business meetings, Paperwork
Attack Method: Consume foes via amorphous cytoplasm or shoot them down with cannons attached to their backs.
Venserras do not honor gods. Some pretend to honor Petryva as a joke.
Venserras are on a scale so massive, it is difficult for many to fully comprehend their size. 5 million feet long, 100,000 feet wide, and yet a mere 2 feet tall, this spacefaring species is among the biggest in the universe. They are unicellular organisms and ten times the length of the average stellar drake.
They have a backside, underside, and a "head". Their backs have hard white scales, a foot long and wide, covering their entire length. The scales are usually tilted at a near-right angle to let in sunlight or gases, but can flip closed when carrying something on it or to protect the venserra from impact. Beneath the scales, usually perfectly visible due to the angle of the scales, is the venserra's membrane. Short pili, about half a foot long, protrude from the membrane at all areas not completely encased by shells, such as the "head" area of the protist.
Their undersides are uncovered by scales and have millions of long flagellums, 60 thousand feet long on average, sticking out of their exposed membranes. These flagellums find most use propelling the venserra through gas giants, but aid in space travel to a minor degree. Their bodies narrow out towards their ends and are covered with much larger scales that cover the entire circumference of the venserra towards its narrowest points. Flagellums stick out from where the scales cross over each other on their sides and bottom. The cytoplasmic bodies of venserras are typically a translucent purple color, and their flagellums a ghostly blue.
The "heads" of venserras are completely encased in the same material as their scales. They appear flat and triangular with small ridges on the top, and protect the nucleus held within. The heads do not possess eyes, ears, mouths, or noses. Instead, they gather such sensory data from the exposed membranes everywhere else on their bodies, although they are still mute. Virtually all venserras have a massive artificial antenna sticking out from their nucleus through a hole drilled into the center of their heads.
Venserras undergo mitosis once every 1000 years, effectively cloning the original person. However, the two new venserras are given a significant temporary weakness to solar radiation, causing a short but rapid spurt of genetic mutation that drastically alters their personality and minor physical traits, making them effectively different people than who they used to be. However, both product venserras keep some of the memories of their predecessor. Venserras, outside of the above exception, are usually highly resistant to radiation and the hot and cold extremes of space.
Venserras naturally produce oil that can be extracted from their cytoplasm to fuel various things. The oil is not strong enough to power ships but is able to be used in many planet-bound products. Due to the protists' massive size, a single oil company, Petryva, has bought the rights to set up oil rigs on venserras to harvest the oil, making venserras a species of living oil fields. Settlements or structures for other purposes, such as satellite dishes, deep-space observation sites, or even defense cannons are also common things that have bought the rights to build on a venserra's massive back. As a venserra has the ability to move its body in a slightly amorphous, amoeba-like fashion, anything that tries to build on a venserra without its permission and permits will likely be consumed by its cytoplasm.
Venserras use the money gained from its oil and further use of its body as land to interact with the wider universe on a scale where their size would usually prevent them from doing so. Using the massive antennae drilled into their heads, venserras remotely control notailoid-shaped and sized robots that allow them to travel through planets and society as any normal species would through an experience similar to using a virtual reality headset.
All venserra robots look the same due to them falling under the regulations of robot species having standardized models, the only variation being that they can change their paint colors to whatever they wish. The exact same model as was used on the first venserras to be connected to a robot, and with no legal window to change its design aside from color, most are tan, have no facial features aside from a pair of large oval-shaped orange eyes, and have a long antenna affixed to the right sides of their heads to connect with their unicellular controllers from millions of miles away. Additionally, as all venserra robots are made by the same manufacturer, Petryva, they each have an indent of the company logo, a venserra wrapped around a spaceship, on their right soles. The logo is the only thing that has been changed about venserra robot models since their initiation.
Petryva is a widespread company with locations throughout the universe. Though venserras are small in numbers, they make for good publicity, so most major offices hold replacement robots inside. Whenever a venserra destroys their old robot, they are able to reconnect to one of the new robots in less than a minute.
Without their robots, venserras lead a rather dull life. They inhabit barren solar systems, knowing they would be fought off if they tried moving to populated ones, and live solitary lives without any feasible way to communicate with other venserras or anyone else. They drift from gas giant to gas giant, absorbing the gases within for food, and observe the orbits of nearby planets to more carefully plan out their path of travel.
Being able to live a far more exciting life through their robots, they greatly dislike conducting matters outside of it, often acting bored or distant when thinking about their true selves, even when controlling their robots. All venserras that gain an income through their oil and land control a robot, and while they use they frequently use the robots with disdain while using them to communicate business matters over permits with Petryva and other groups, most lighten up in the majority of their remaining time where they are allowed to freely explore the universe through them.
As a massive creature remotely controlling a body, venserras feel a slight detachment from the greater world in the sense that they are far more invulnerable to outside threats than others and they frequently enjoy taking advantage of that. Whenever a venserra uses their robot to interact with others, they generally adopt a mindset similar to a player interacting with a set of video game characters. Whenever their robot gets destroyed, it holds little impact for them as they are able to functionally respawn by being connected to one of several replacement robots waiting on standby. Venserras generally feel compassion towards the people they talk to and will form genuine connections with them, but have been recorded to feel less upset whenever a friend gets hurt or killed than a person normally would.
Aware of the functional invulnerability of their robots, venserras often have little concept of danger and will frequently do dangerous things for fun or the sake of curiosity. Venserras hooked up to robots are near-universally extremely wealthy and will spend it frivolously on extravagant parties, vacations, or just the plain silly if they can think of it. However, they will withhold their money if they find that a more average life is just as fun, or even just novel. They are rarely uptight about their wealth, but they will still try to make their virtual reality lives as exciting as they can make it in an attempt to further distance it from their true lives.
It's not uncommon for a venserra to destroy their robot, whether through the sake of fun or taking the blow for someone they know would have been permanently killed had they not stepped in. Each time a venserra is loaded up to a new robot, they have a habit of treating it like a new player character or customizable persona. They can change names, change outfits, or even try changing their personality if they're good enough at acting. While they can, of course, keep a look, name, or feel if they enjoy it, many take advantage of the fact that no one would know that Sarah the venserra was the same person as their old friend or enemy Taylor the venserra, taking pleasure in having each new robot be a blank slate. If they left behind unfinished matters, there's a good chance they'll take their new robot as an opportunity and excuse to go off to new places, new people, and new things.
Venserras, as a whole, greatly enjoy customization through outfits. Because they are unable to legally modify their robots due to species regulations, dress-up to the extreme is their next best option. Venserra robots often push one kind of aesthetic to its fullest and will switch to a new aesthetic when transferred to a new robot and if they feel bored of the old look. An overwhelmingly cyberpunk-looking venserra can go exceedingly cottagecore within days if the mood hits them. Those that care less about the law, especially in lawless sectors, will make physical modifications to their robot if they can find a willing mechanic, and if they get in trouble with the law for doing so, purposely destroying the robot to start anew and away from repercussions is not an unheard-of option.
While extravagant and carefree through their robots, if put into the situation where they cannot connect to one, or simply having to keep from using them so they can eat or travel, venserras become notably vicious and hostile, though it is generally hard to notice due to them being unable to talk or communicate through standardized body language or sign language. The average venserra simply treats it as a horrible day and might be more likely to lash out and consume someone through their cytoplasm if they accidentally try to install an oil rig in a slightly different location than agreed upon. Their robots are a form of escapism for them, and going a day without it is loathed.
The homeplanet of the venserras was destroyed before they were even sentient. A collision with an asteroid shattered the planet, launching the proto-venserras into space. They are the only known species of fauna or flora from the planet surviving deep space after the incident. The proto-venserras, while still extremely large compared to most protists and bacteria, evolved into their current size and intelligence to better travel space and predict the orbits of the planets they feed on.
They inhabited a completely uninhabited sector of space, unaware of alien life, until a small exploratory crew discovered them and reported back to others to better study the massive protists they had found. Research crews were sent in, and those who were not tragically consumed by the cytoplasm of a species that did not know what they were dealing with reported that the protists, who they had named maximus venserra, naturally produced oil that could be extracted for potentially lucrative purposes.
With most research crews stopping investigations on the venserra due to not wanting to risk losing any more crews, it left an opening for a single oil company known as Petryva to ignore the warnings and move in and start the construction of oil rigs on the massive, and, as believed at the time, unintelligent, protists. Just as before, construction on the venserras was met with large amounts of cytoplasm destroying any meaningful progress, but the combined reports of the previous research team and Petryva led the company to realize that all the structures and crews that had ever been consumed by the protists were consumed strategically. Every assault on their construction attempts was planned out like a proper sabotage.
Petryva, realizing that they might have cracked the code to safely extracting the venserras' oil, drilled an antenna into the one venserra they randomly singled out to study and hooked it up to a robot from an old custom model line they had. Now able to communicate through a robot, Petryva learned that venserras were, in fact, sentient and capable of intelligent thought. In turn, the venserra learned that it greatly enjoyed seeing and communicating through the robot, as well as the concept of money and that both the robot and its own oil were worth a lot of it.
A deal between Petryva and the venserra was made- as it now knew the extent of what Petryva was trying to do, it allowed the company to build rigs and extract oil from itself in return for a share of the money, a constant supply of robots, and specieshood for itself and the other venserras so that they could all legally interact with the wider universe. Petryva held up on their end of the deal by locating most other venserras, drilling antennae in their heads, and telling them of the deal they and the first venserra they had communicated with had made. Through their robots, virtually every venserra agreed to the deal. Venserras as a whole were given specieshood, and those who gained antennae and agreed to Petryva's deal were also given a connection to robots and a permanent business deal with the company, who profited greatly from their works of ambassadorship.
The venserras' homeplanet, designated 6JDBW F9392-873100 after being rediscovered once the venserras gained specieshood and later shortened to Sixjay at the combined diplomatic requests of Petryva and the venserras, is a cluster of destroyed rocks floating around the venserras' original solar system. Though all life except the venserras that used to live on Sixjay has been found to be extinct, fossils exist within the rock shards that show a history of macroscopic single-cellular life, many of which appear to have been capable of producing the same oil that a venserra can. While there have been no known attempts of it, an ambitious geneticist could bring back the extinct fauna and flora of Sixjay for such a purpose.
Disconnected: The miniscule handful of venserras that have made no contact with Petryva or denied their offers live disconnected from the robots that virtually every other venserra enjoys. While the connected ones largely view life without their robots as incredibly boring and unfulfilling, the disconnected venserras seem content to solitarily drift through space, incapable of speaking or communicating with anyone else. While those who had antennae installed into them but denied Petryva's deal are aware of interstellar society and the concept of speech, even they appear largely happy, if not sometimes a little bored, to live a far simpler life.
Traitors to the Company: Standing at an even smaller number than disconnected venserras are those who have had antennae inserted and were connected to robots by a group that has no ties to Petryva. Both illegal and garnering the scorn of Petryva, who have dubbed these venserras as traitors to the company, they likely pilot robots that look much different than the standard Petryva model. Not all betrayers are aware of the existence of Petryva or the illegal status of their connection to whatever group sponsored their robot, but some are in the loop and willingly choose to ignore their species' significant historic and legal ties to the company.
Where the Fun Is: When a venserra gets their robot destroyed, morale plays a heavy part in whether they will return to their crew with a replacement model or leave the crew for good, sometimes without a letter of goodbye. If they do decide to return, there is always a small delay between a venserra destroying their robot and returning to the current position of the crew.
Venserra morale is altered differently than most species. They are less negatively affected by bad events, such as a crewmember getting hurt or dying, than usual. However, they take a greater penalty from what could generally be seen as boring events such as being forced to stay on a ship or just not having anything interesting happen. The opposite is also true for both types of events.
• Petryva has to readd antennae to any connected venserra that has undergone mitosis. Luckily, the product venserras remember pieces of their old lives and make the diplomatic process relatively quick. If the company finds that another party has added an antenna to a venserra and connected them with a robot before they did, they are quick to press charges and win virtually every case.
• There is at least one venserra who has resolved to get their robot destroyed in every possible way and there is at least one who has resolved to dress their robot up in every possible aesthetic. They tend to make popular bloggers.
• Killing an individual of a venserra's size is generally seen as a difficult task. Additionally, since they are largely immune to solar heat and radiation, laser weapons only have a very small effect on them. While cutting them down with physical weapons is the most recommended method, killing them with clockwork is ironically an easier way. Clockwork strains remove the venserra's resistance to heat and and much of their resistance to radiation, allowing them to be passively killed by stars or shot down with laser weapons.
• Having the venserra itself flee or fight back in a meaningful away is rare due to it being difficult for them to quickly change their trajectories in deep space, usually relying on their path of momentum from gas giants to travel, and venserras having no natural weapons aside from their size or relatively short-reaching cytoplasm. Their aforementioned lack of agility in space means that they generally cannot reach a ship if it is positioned far away, but Petryva, aware of this, has set up defense cannons on most venserras, allowing them to strike down any hostile ship without a skilled pilot. Nevertheless, since venserras generally live isolated, most of the clockwork strain dies out with the individual with nothing around it to infect.