Thursday, January 20, 2011

Komintharru: Beauty Beyond Blasphemy

Seven foot tall humanoids with wildly colored secondary exoskeletons that cover their entire exterior, the Komintharru appear more insect than mammal, but they actually are warm-blooded and distinctly human, despite the outrageous modifications they have voluntarily undergone.

Komintharru wear only tabards or loincloths and vests, with lots of jewelry, trinkets and charms dangling and draped across their bodies. They have keen senses of smell and are notorious for manipulating pheromones and olfactant chemicals that they secrete from glands placed all along their bodily surfaces to stir up emotions, put enemies at a false sense of ease, or to drive away predators. Komintharru are also fast healers, highly resistant to heat and radiation, having descended from colonists who adapted themselves to some fairly exotic environments that have since become blasted wastelands due to the Hive Wars in which other more insect-derived clades have tried unsuccessfully to wipe them out. Those that were not fast-healers and resistant to the attacks of the rival clades are now mostly dead, enslaved or best forgotten.

The Komintharru have been reduced to scattered nomadic clusters who rarely cross one another’s paths any longer, many of whom have turned their backs on Civilization in order to find a place to restore their genoculture beyond the reach of their implacable, inhuman enemies who are driven by intrinsic biochemical imperatives that are beyond thought, belief or any sort of negotiation. There is no way to reason with their ancestral enemies, so they don't bother trying, instead they have, for the most part, dropped out and gone off to rebuild somewhere else. Just as long as it is free of the influence of the myrmaiads, Hive-Queens, sublime droneproles, or any of the other genocultures descended from insects more than humanity.

Physical Appearance
Physically, the Komintharru are an extremely well-balanced and agile people, gifted with two pairs of reflexive limbs just below their two arms that they use in self-defense, often equipping them with shimbucklers or defense batons when they engage in duels or sweat-fights. They resemble a strangely exotic amalgam of beetle and human characteristics, with photoreactive exochitin covering their bodies in a variety of self-modifiable segments, sections, plates and other shapes. Each Komintharru takes great care in sculpting their exochitin into forms that are deeply personal, culturally significant and very intimately a part of who and what they are as an individual and as a member of the Komintharru. The psychomalleable exochitin of the Komintharru is also used to form blades, spikes and hooks as they require or desire, either reactively as a fall-back, or deliberately as a form of intimidation against those who cannot match their mastery of the artform. Challenging a Komintharru to a duel means challenging their mastery of the exochitin. They extrude masterpieces of malevolent elegance that are very often enough to end most such contests entirely on aesthetic merits alone.

The majority of them have eight primary limbs, though some adopt extra limbs based on their fighting style, chosen work or artistic temperament. They also have extendible stingers in each of their (4) primary forearms that inject a combination of toxins that the Komintharru can adjust at will to paralyze, put to sleep, cause excruciating pain, or kill. This capability was bargained for during the Fall of Setallim and it was through the mercenary genartists of the Ketanjin that these stingers were incorporated into the Komintharru genoculture. There are no records of  the genoculture that pre-dated the Komintharru who are registered only after this exchange. A lot of things were lost in the unconscionable destruction of Setallim; the history and identity of the pre-Komintharru genelineage is just one of them.

Komintharru possess nervous systems that enable them to operate each of their limbs independent of one another, a capability that they cultivate from hatching through a traditional set of folkloric dexterity-games. They also have a secondary internalized skeleton which cross-anchors their overlapping layers of silicaxive and protein-based dual muscular systems.

Oviparous, the Komintharru can deposit clusters of eggs in concealed niches where they will lay dormant and undetected for centuries before hatching. They will often choose to remain near a particular cluster so as to imprint various kinds of knowledge upon the unformed minds or to inoculate the eggs with specialized nanological or biological systems to revise their base genomic templates. The Komintharru are all genartists, after a fashion. Each one takes a great deal of pride and status from the generations of offspring that they personally design, train and release into personal sovereignty. Keeping ones children as slaves is highly distasteful to the Komintharru, a major point of disagreement between them and the Scylloi-descended genocultures.

Komintharru are unable to interbreed with other races and are increasingly sterile amongst their own kind, perhaps due to lingering aftereffects of the weapons used against them by the Thijo, Skarabiks, or other insect-descended races. Komintharru remember fondly a time when they enjoyed a fully-integrated and highly-functional group-mind, but now they can only share a limited form of telempathy amongst their close-knit groups, experiencing a nasty sort of feedback and backlash whenever they attempt to engage or interface with another cluster. This backlash effect only gets worse around other insect-derived species.

Each cluster of Komintharru is segregated into specific biocaste assignments which gives them biochemical access to entire repertoires of specific, specialized nanological and biological modifications unique to each biocaste. In extreme circumstances, a Komintharru can shift from one biocaste to another, but this leads to a compound-state that places them outside the pheromonally-regulated conventions of Komintharru society and is a very difficult, emotionally challenging experience for any Komintharru to process without suffering some form of distortion in their emotional make-up. Most make the adjustment to the new biostatus, but some don't and those that fail to integrate the transition adequately become self-destructive and suicidal in the extreme.

Cultural Aspects
Dedicated bughunters, stingkillers and swarmongers, the Komintharru are punctillious, even chivalrous samurai-like biomilitarists who have adopted a medieval-esque siege mentality in the face of their on-going biologically-instigated persecution by insect-derived genocultures that hunt and kill the Komintharru entirely without the slightest thought or consideration. To combat this sort of unreasoning and reckless aggression, the Komintharru have adopted and adapted a form of Zen practice that is rooted within their enhanced reflexes, instincts and intuition. The master-adepts in this practice eschew all sensory inputs and just let their opponents defeat themselves, which sounds far more complicated than they make it look.

Clusters of orphaned Komintharru hatch in some of the most out-of-the-way regions of the Core Worlds. Many believe that this is all part of some great plan or strategy on the part of the Komintharru, perhaps a sort of rear-guard action to occupy their bio-rivals, possibly a coldly calculated biological PR campaign to not let them be forgotten by Polite Society. It is rumored that there are fanatically dedicated Komintharru bioadepts moving around in the less reputable, less well regulated regions of the various Core Worlds who are planting egg-clusters in hidden niches like long-term biological bombs in a war against forces that know no mercy, no quarter, no cessation of hostility that is hardwired directly into their very genome. But that is only a rumor and the premise of an only modestly successful vidrama available off the localnet.

The truth is probably even weirder.

1 comment:

  1. "The truth is probably even weirder."

    Hard to imagine, but let's hope so. How do you master-adepts develop so many and such good ideas? It's a privilege to be privy to them.


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