Homeworld: Multiple Homeworlds
Central Authority: Nanotrasen
Allowed Command Roles: Chief Engineer, Research Director
Guides: No external guides
Polymorphs are a lab-created Xenomorph Hybrid from multiple testing facilities owned by Nanotrasen. They have unique acid blood and an aversion to fire similar to their Xenomorph counterparts. Polysmorph have been released from their colonies during the year 2551 and have begun spreading among Nanotrasen facilities while among the facilities they are generally avoided or disliked due to their appearance along with their behavior. Their names tend to be 2-3 syllables ending in a vowel and may include a surname from their home colony.
Polysmorphs tend towards single-word names, usually with two or three syllables, and almost always end in a vowel. Examples include “Thrinia,” “Alei,” and “Saavi.” They do not have surnames as they do not have any true families, but it is not unheard of for them to adopt one based on their home colony.
- Acidic blood grants them resistance to acid.
- Limited Night Vision
- Can breathe both oxygen and plasma.
- More damage from heat sources.
- More damage from burns.
- Cannot wear shoes.
- Likely subject to racism
- Likes: Meat.
- Dislikes: Grain, dairy, vegetables, fruit.
Polysmorphs are an optional playable race. You can make a Polysmorph character in the character panel, and change aspects of its appearance such as teeth, dorsal tubes, and domes. Polysmorphs attack with their claws to slash and hack people, though this does not deal any additional damage. They also tend to hiss when talking. In addition, they have digitigrade legs and can't wear normal footwear and can only wear footwraps.
Polysmorphs have sulphuric acid in their blood and take almost no damage from acid. They also take lower damage from cold but take more damage from heat and fire.
Note that as a Polysmorph, the AI does not consider you human and is not obligated to listen to you and an Asimov AI will often respond lethally should they find you harming a human, however, this also means the AI can allow you to put yourself into harm's way in a positive manner, such as opening an airlock exposed to space to save someone. Also, certain crew members will show you the depths of racism previously reserved for the clown.
Far off on backwater planets at the distant edges of Nanotrasen space lie several hidden genetics research bases. The purpose of these bases was, initially, for experimentation on captured xenomorph specimens. The goal of this experimentation was two-fold: to figure out how to control Xenomorphs in order to help suppress outbreaks and to create a modified version of Xenos that could be kept under the control of NT as workers. Over time, the first goal was deemed impossible and was forgotten as the hive link shared between the Xenomorphs was virtually impossible to replicate convincingly. This left the second objective, genetically modifying them to create a new workforce. Work on this eventually produced the first Polysmorphs sometime around 2465.
Initially, the scientists began mixing DNA from different animals, such as domesticated dogs and rats, with xenomorph DNA. These experiments initially showed some success with animal-xenomorph hybrids, but it was soon found that their DNA deteriorated rapidly regardless of what the scientists did. Through trial and error, it was found that stable hybrids could only be created using DNA from humans. However, even though they had managed to prevent the hybrids from rapidly deteriorating at a cellular level, they were still largely feral. This led to another long series of trial-and-error experiments lasting several years before the first properly “sentient” Polysmorphs began to be produced.
Each lab maintained their own small Polysmorph “colony” consisting of 100-200 individuals, with the largest having a population of 433 at its peak. Over time, each colony began to develop their own hive-like culture. While each was slightly different, they all had a few key similarities. First and foremost was that all members of the “hive” were of equal standing. This meant that, at least for those that could properly express themselves, each individual had the same say in matters pertaining to internal management of the group, such as food allocation. The second most significant similarity was that each individual almost inherently knew their assigned role in the colony without necessarily having to be told it. This was speculated to be a result of the inherent caste system used by Xenomorphs being loosely transferred into the hybrids. Across all colonies, individuals that resembled similar castes of Xenomorphs (drones, sentinels, queens, etc.) tended to have similar roles in the colony. Finally, Polysmorphs across all colonies developed a near-identical dialect of what is assumed to be the same “language” Xenomorphs use to communicate with each other vocally. This language was the primary one used by the Polysmorphs and seemed to come naturally to them, with freshly-created Polysmorphs only requiring a few weeks to learn the language in its entirety. Galactic common, however, took several years to fully learn.
The colonies themselves were nothing spectacular. Some research bases were able to accumulate more funding than others, and as such had marginally better living conditions for the Polysmorphs. This included things like proper education and access to technology. Others were nothing short of slums, with individuals living in close proximity to one another in shoddily-constructed habitats that only barely kept the atmosphere in and the desolate nothingness of the barren planets they lived on out. Despite this, once the program was eventually discontinued in 2551 due to a lack of new developments, some Polysmorphs opted to remain in the colonies with their peers. Where possible, a few of these colonies were maintained as it was deemed profitable to keep them working on whatever they were occupied with. Most colonies, however, were disbanded entirely and the members of them scattered across the various space stations and settlements owned by Nanotrasen. Integration of Polysmorphs into the workforce after the discontinuation of the project was difficult. Many Polysmorphs were not ready to work with those of primarily other species. Individuals that were only barely mentally stable soon cracked, with many cases of rampages or catatonia recorded among the Polysmorph workforce. Eventually, these cases lessened and the need to re-contain the Polysmorphs faded.
As of today, most Polysmorphs in the workforce are, while still usually less stable than an average human, mentally well enough to continue working in the hazardous conditions often found on Nanotrasen stations and ships. They are (despite the original goal of the project creating them) paid about the same as most other employees and generally treated as, if not equals, neutral outsiders by other crew members.
Polysmorph anatomy varies greatly between individuals, primarily dependant on the methods used by NT scientists to create their unique genetic sequence. Some look more similar to true Xenomorphs, while others may have much more human-like characteristics. For example, most Polysmorphs have a tail but a relatively small portion do not. Additionally, some have a rounded head very similar to that of a human, while most others have varying shapes similar to those of the different Xenomorph castes. Finally, Polysmorphs have a wide range of heights. The shortest ones stood only 5 ½ feet tall, while the largest measured were nearly eight feet in height. Internally, Polysmorphs (at least those still alive) have similar body functions to true Xenomorphs. Most significantly, this includes extremely acidic blood and inherent resistance to all acids. Because of their extremely corrosive blood, surgery on them is often difficult without proper tools and protective clothing. They also have greater ability to see in darkness than humans. However, unlike true Xenomorphs, they still require a certain amount of oxygen and food to maintain the more human-derived organs, such as the brain or heart. All surviving Polysmorphs are also female, suspected to be a result of all true Xenomorphs also being inherently female.
Polysmorph behaviour varies wildly between individuals. Some are wild and feral, while others very calm and analytical. Nanotrasen tends to avoid keeping the more animalistic ones as crew members on their stations, resulting in primarily those with dispositions similar to the average human being found anywhere in space. NT is not entirely against using the more undesirable ones for menial labour, though.