<!>Meet the Peseneyi (2014-04-07 01:34:46)
Meet the Peseneyi
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Forums / Department of Creativity / Meet the Peseneyi / <!>Meet the Peseneyi (2014-04-07 01:34:46)

? Rhetorica Your Writing System Sucks
posts: 1279
, Kelatetía message
quoting Pthagnar:
how come they don't fall into a death spiral when they fuck the robot waifus?  is it because some physiological component is missing, [like it involves genetic interchange], or is it psychological [and so surely this means some desire is not being met by the waifu??].

It's physiological. They're hermaphrodites with a symmetric mating process, resulting in both parents carrying young; this transition is what starts the fast-track death clock.

also how come they never hit on /in vitro/ solutions to the u-fuck-u-die problem? [also in your above blurb you talk about the imprinting in basically *sexual* terms, whereas in the link it sounds more like *language* — how much does it actually coopt sexual functions, and what is physiologically involved in that?]

Their culture adapted around the experience of semelparity and developed mores that frown upon living long into the lifespan of their children. (They probably have books about it in the same vein as Frankenstein.) Since the robot suits have immense value in mobility and environmental manipulation, granting the suits sentience was as natural as keeping a crazy old lady company with one or more cats. Wearing a suit at all may even be seen as delaying one's biological success in order to serve the needs of society; because of imprinting, the Peneseyi as a whole are not readily given to individualism.

Imprinting primarily denotes a strong emotional bond. In its natural context it serves as the pretext to sexual thrall, but for biologically incompatible targets, the result is much closer to deep platonic love. Imprinting on aliens or (as in the cats example) pets is not unheard of; the former was instrumental in their early diplomatic success, and the latter is almost inevitable if isolated from others of their kind. The relationship with the suit occupies some liminal space between beloved pet and true soul mate; I'm not yet sure exactly where it falls.

However, imprinting's hallmark feature is that the subject becomes overly empathetic towards the target—they feel compelled to act on the other's interest and lose some of their own identity through the imprinting. It can also be likened to the behaviour of a groupie, only with schizophrenia.

why did the deoxygenation event happen — how developed and nichy was the planet when it happened [like, what happened to all the plants? Was it some Wardian Medea-type CO2 crisis ?] ? how developed was the persene-clade, for that matter?

I don't have the whole history worked out yet, but I would gamble that the evolutionary chronicle is somewhat shorter, as the biosphere was able to bounce back in a matter of millions of years. Yes, the plan was for it to be a Medea-style scenario caused by the innovation of extremely efficient nitrogen fixation. (And me not being a biophysicist, we'll just leave the details of that mechanism to fantasy.) Quadrupedal arthropodids of their type constitute what a Linnaean taxonomer might call a family; at first they occupied a place on the tree not dissimilar to our trilobites, although they ended up being somewhat more successful since they managed to colonize land, as well. (It remains a mystery how one of the lower species, the koplazu, ended up on an uncolonized outer planet of their star system. Personally I suspect tourists.)

when you say their quasicellular architecture is weird, is that weird relative to some notional galactic norm, or are they in some clade that is weird for their biota? in either case, there'll be some reason for it. sounds to me a little like maybe they're *fungi who learnt how to walk.

So far I've settled polymer-bag-cells for most of my other planets. The nuclei-and-scaffold architecture is common to everything from their biosphere. (Although incidentally, I do have sentient slime molds elsewhere.)

what big cognitive fallacies are they prey to that humans aren't? what about the other way round? how do you do meddling in other people's business for their own good without notions about democracy?

Imprinted Peseneyi are inept (and sometimes incapable) of handling rejection, although at the same time an imprinted individual becomes better at more objectively understanding their own unrelated actions and value to society—they literally learn to see things from a different perspective. Even with people they aren't imprinted on, they over-value the emotions of others and may have trouble accepting that a decision is purely pragmatic or rational, while at the same time they are more likely to believe their own actions are not coloured by emotions. (This may seem like run-of-the-mill asymmetric insight, but it comes coupled with overprotective intentions.)

Humans tend to find the Pesenese to be very literal-minded and preoccupied with social welfare; not much seems to interest them until it has been factored into at least one long-term survival plan, or preferably is of immediate concern. They are slow to do basic research and operate an almost wasteful number of hospitals etc. But perhaps most obnoxiously, they believe that everyone—everywhere—wants, if not needs, their help.

This is where the meddling comes in. There is a gradient between interventionism and outright conquest, and depending on their appraisal of a society's ills, they may go as far as to try and depose a government and institute sweeping legal reforms. Fortunately, this became less common as suit AI and alien political theory improved; otherwise a few strong interspecies imprintings could beget an entire political movement to amend an alien nation state.

how do their nervous systems work, anyway?

Interesting question! It's not something I'd thought about at length. I would guess they have a basic limbic system wired into their scaffolded nuclei, with a more familiar layer of vine-like neurons growing around the frame. They wouldn't be recognizable as cells, however; just signal-conducting conduits that include the necessary molecular machinery for signal transduction and integration, similar to the scaffolding itself.