The Faxons really were a quite charming people and were the other principal civilisation on the planet Zizzdum. They had a sense of smell that was many times more sensitive than domestic dogs on Earth. They had little else in common with dogs, however, walking on 2 legs as well as liking cats, keeping them as pets once the first Earth settlers introduced felines to Zizzdum.
The Faxon sense of smell was so great that they could detect rare minerals and elements in very small quantities. As a consequence, they could command significant salaries working for Earth-based mining companies. Whilst Faxons could speak to each other, and to humans, they often preferred to communicate silently among themselves through releasing odours from their com-gland, situated just behind their ears.
This method of communication, whilst very effective, could become very confusing at dinner parties where humans might unintentionally be releasing their own ‘gaseous’ signals. There was many an embarrassing moment at early official banquets on Zizzdum when Earth ambassadors inadvertently said something rude or on occasion, made a pass at a female Faxon through natural bodily functions that had been activated by the excellent though wind inducing Faxon cuisine.
Cat, we know, is a robot. But how exactly does he come to be so like a real cat? Why does he have such an intensely superior personality? Is it programmed or inherited from Zeus or a similar God?. Well, you may be surprised to hear that it is largely inherited. He actually derives from the Pure Cat Ashley, a domestic cat from the 22nd Century who saved humanity and has essentially never let humanity forget it.
When some of the few human combatants in Interstellar War I returned to Earth around 2175, despite the usual stringent quarantine checks, humankind began to be devastated by a virus that attacked the human immune system. Deaths mounted and the projections were that within 10 years humans could be wiped out. That was looking to be the case until the work of Vice-Professor Tjoorbaert Morabitz from the Austrian Academy of Galactic Science and his assistant Trevor (unfortunately, Trevor’s surname has been lost in the annals of the history of science but some experts believe he actually did all of the work). Anyway, Tjoorbaert was also the founder of ClonaCat and in his efforts to create the perfect domestic cat, he had spent many years trying to fully understand the genetic make-up of Ashley who had been perfect physically and had an IQ almost 100X higher than normal for a cat of the time.
Whilst studying Ashley’s genes and behaviour (and the latter was what you probably would expect from Zeus) Tjoorbaert (or possibly Trevor) discovered that a transposon in Ashley’s DNA had the capability to destroy a range of viruses, including the common cold, that variously afflicted the human population. The so-called ‘friendly-transposon’ also became the miracle cure for the Amora virus, the bug brought back by the early deep space explorers.
Humanity was saved by this serendipitous property of the Ashley ‘Friendly’ Transposon. There were consequences, however. All humans effectively became part-cat, or rather part Ashley, with the phenotype of humans in relation to cat characteristics varying widely. For some there was hardly any effect, others suddenly liked to chew grass and vomit whilst some couldn’t pee unless they were standing on a tray full of litter and quite a few couldn’t survive without being waited on hand and foot. Obviously, despite the social embarrassment some of these actions could lead to, it was better than dying. Fortunately, around 15 years after the introduction of the Ashley Transposon, other scientists found treatments that could suppress most of the cat characteristics that Ashley brought into the human gene pool. This left us with immune humans who occasionally hissed when they got really pissed off and chased anything smaller that moved.
And Cat? Robot Cat? Well, he was the perfect clone of Ashley though he had no living flesh because of course, he was ‘robot’. However, Ashley’s DNA had properties that went well beyond the 4 nucleotide bases found in all living creatures across the Universe to date. Ashley’s DNA had attitude and Cat had inherited elements of ‘attitude’ in extremis.
Commssters were one of 2 principal races living on the planet Zizzdum, the other being the Faxons. Commsters were quite gentle humanoid beings and possessed quite remarkable telekinetic powers. Their heads were very large, to accommodate the rather large brain that they had and they had very long arms that almost could touch their equivalent of toes with little bending required. They loved to flap their arms about in a very animated fashion when communicating, a characteristic that had the first human explorers resort to wearing protective headgear to avoid getting unintentional, but hard, slaps around the back of the head.
With their telekinetic powers, they could control the movement of objects and make them disappear and re-appear at will. Though generally quite shy, Commssters loved the fact that early human visitors were so enthralled by their little tricks. Due to this, they developed a number of magic acts to entertain settlers from Earth on Zizzdum. A handful of Commssters have, in the years that they have been in contact with humans, become confident enough to offer traveling shows that visit outposts and space stations across the universe. They looked resplendent in their glittery clothes and pointy magic hats.
The Commssters have no name for themselves and no one is sure anymore why they are called Commssters . It is believed that the name derives from the first Commssters who tried to speak Earth language, inviting settlers into their shows with loud cries of ‘Come Sir’. They called all humans ‘Sir’ as Commssters were a) gender neutral and preferred short words where they could get them. However, their somewhat guttural interpretation of Earth language made it sound like Commsster. Well, at least that’s what my Great-Granny used to tell me and she knew a heck of a lot more than Cosmopedia about the old days.
I was also told by an old friend that they were called Commssters because they made people laugh at the way they communicated animatedly without actually saying anything and had a habit of bringing their hands, at the end of their very long arms, up to each side of their mouths and making clicking noises as their hands moved, reminding people of hamsters. Actually, thinking about it that sounds a bit more like kangeroos than hamsters. Maybe I’ll propose a name change to the Inter-Galactic Panel for the Naming of Extra-Terrestrials from Commssters to Kangeroosters!! Or maybe not……
What does eMDaDD stand for? I had no idea myself until Cat told me it was Electronic Matter Dissolution and Display Device. What a mouthful!. Anyway, an eMDaDD is basically a system that can move inanimate or animate objects from one physical location to another in a flash. Well, actually there is no flash as such – it is just quite quick.
On Earth in the early 23rd Century, a system called Fastmove had been developed. Stimulated by a 20th Century sci-fi series which I believe was called Star Trick (well that’s what it says on Cosmopedia), though Cat maintains it was called Star TREK (but what does he know?). Anyways, Fastmove on Earth never really got perfected. In fact, it turned out to be unusable. Tested on humanoid robots and laboratory animals, one could never be certain that all limbs and other body extremities would re-materialise in the same place as they were originally on the object being moved. Naturally, humans (and especially politicians) were not too keen to use this technology if there was a chance their backside could re-appear where their elbow used to be.
Enter the Mud Lizards, who I’ve always considered to be a bunch of basically quite ‘thick’ lizardy type things. Turns out they’re quite smart and developed a device with Fastmove capability. Not only that but, as their dastardly plots show in our adventures, they also added to Fastmove the capability to change the shape of an object so that it closely resembled another. In the most extreme case, a Mud Lizard is able to re-materialise in almost perfect human form. Only when the Mud Lizard in human form flicks out its slimy tongue and grabs you sloshily by the throat do you realise that you are not face to face with a fellow being.
What slimeballs these Mud Lizards are!!!!
Siluria was another Earth-like and habitable Planet discovered around the end of the 21st Century. Silurians were the dominant species on the planet and were basically bi-pedal, reptile-like beings with huge eyes and even huger teeth. They were, however (despite the teeth) an extraordinarily friendly and placid civilisation. They are one of only 2 extra-terrestrial groups that have made proactive contact with Earth with a view to meeting and sharing knowledge and expertise. And they did, of course, give us Baffleberry juice!!
The Silurian way of living was quite a basic one. They did have rudimentary technologies for communication (so they could phone home when they needed to) but they didn’t really have the lifestyle ‘tools’ that Earth had. So they didn’t need vehicles to move around on their planet and they only ate vegetables and fruit. They also didn’t wear clothes as they had no obvious dangly or otherwise private bits to hide. Procreation apparently only really involved their tongue. They had quite tough and wrinkly skins that varied from pale brown to almost black. So, all in all, they led a very simple life on a daily basis and enjoyed a very temperate climate that hardly varied as they went through their equivalent of a year.
Trade was limited with Siluria primarily because they had few needs and limited items to export. The exceptions were, of course, Baffleberries and also Silurian silk rugs, unique because living Silurian silkworms were incorporated in every rug. These were very popular on Earth as you could buy a small one and then if you ever moved to a larger place you could trigger the growth cycle of the worms and watch the rug grow to fit the space. Downsizing was a bit of an issue as there were no equivalent means of shrinking a Silurian rug. In addition, Silurian silkworms have quite strong legs which meant that on occasion a rug could go walkabout unexpectedly!!