This page contains fantasy information.
It is based on a set of literary works and not meant to reflect actual events.
Any resemblance to real people or events, past or present
is purely coincidental and unintentional.
Personal Information:Tanya (Host)
Tanya Sapien is the CEO of Sapien Technologies, a company she built from the ground up. She spends the majority of her time experimenting and tinkering. Sapien Technologies is accredited with several major developments in propulsion, cybernetization, and weaponry; projects which were spearheaded by Dr. Sapien herself. She was born a human in 1870, but later became a Mutarevulpis when an experiment in dimensional travel failed catastrophically.
She is generally amicable and outgoing, but with a short temper and low tolerance for immature behaviors in her staff. Surviving on a mostly vampiric diet has had effects on her behaviors, including a propensity for violence and a heightened understanding of and curiosity for the anatomies of organic lifeforms.
Personal Information: Akaila (Symbiont)
Akaila Is the name Tanya's given to her symbiont. She appears to be a healthy specimen of her species, however biopsies to confirm this are impossible due to her resistance to sedatives and a paranoid fear of being dissected. She is somewhat less friendly than her host, and very protective over her. Interviews have confirmed a human level of intelligence and a psychology similar enough to human to allow easy communication of ideas.
Akaila has several known phobias:
- Dissection of her or her host
- Aquatic mollusks (squids specifically)
- Zero gravity environments¹
- Suffocation due to a vacuum¹
Outwardly, she is only observable by a set of four prehensile probosces which are retractable. These limbs resemble and are often referred to as tentacles.
During the field testing of an orbital shuttle design, a faulty gasket caused an atmospheric purge while in the stratosphere. Dr. Sapien experienced 68 seconds of weightlessness in an atmosphere of 28kPa, suffering bends syndrome as a result. The autopilot was able to recover and land the craft, but Akaila developed an extreme fear of space flight afterwards.
Sometime in 2011, both Akaila and Tanya developed extreme abandonment issues. Neither commented on the source of them. Regular therapy was able to remedy the majority of their symptoms, but Akaila has been observed to be much more prone to physical contact in the aftermath of the event.
Mutarevulpis are a hermaphroditic symbiotic lifeform which lives inside a host body, sharing control over their conjoined body with the original host. A symbiont attempting to completely dominate their host, or “going parasite” as they call it, is considered a horrible taboo and is punishable by death. This death is performed by the symbiont being removed from the host. In older times, the host was given a quick and painless death to avoid the coming malnutrition, but with modern medicine making it possible, the host in these cases now receives a replacement symbiont to keep them alive instead. The removed symbiont is left to die from lack of the nutrients a host body provides, this is a painful process which can take upto three days and is performed publicly as a warning to other symbionts who contemplate it.
The name Mutarevulpis (Müt-ah-rēh-vul-pēs) which is latin for “Mutant Fox” is a misnomer for the species, as they are actually more closely related to the flatworm than to foxes. The reason for the name is the set of mutations the symbiont causes in a host body, which together make the host resemble a fox, both in appearance and behavior (see image below)
The most prominent of these mutations are:
- The host will become female if not already.
- Growth of thick charcoal colored fur.
- Red coloring of the eyes.
- Appearance of bio-luminescent markings.
- Vulpine mutations of the skeleton and muscles.
- Growth of venom glands and fangs in the mouth
The fur they grow contains a protein which has a large amount of iron bound to it, which is believed to be one of the reasons for their sanguivorous (vampiric) diet. This fur is incredibly resilient, and their manes, when trimmed, can be woven into light body armor which performs similarly to kevlar. It is also very heavy when compared to other keratin proteins and results in a higher body density. As a result mutarevulpis have a negative buoyancy and though still capable of swimming, tire from it very quickly.
The eyes of a host will tint red when the symbiont matures. This is due to the formation of a bio-luminescent film on the outer surface of the iris and an opaque membrane on the inner surface and the edges of the pupil. The pupil itself becomes slit shaped (cat like) if it isn't already. The bio-luminescent growths, while capable of fluorescing into the human visible spectrum, continually give off infrared light. This light is below the visible range of some mammals, and gives a host the ability to see in absolute darkness at ranges of approximately ten feet or less. A byproduct of this ability is the ability to see the infrared light given off by most night vision systems. As a result, mutarevulpises in the military or rescue fields don't require their own night vision goggles, as simply the lights from them are enough.
In addition to the eyes, bio-luminescent markings will appear on the rest of the body, trending towards the face and chest. The patterns of these markings resemble the stripes of a zebra or tiger, though in much smaller number. They serve multiple functions in their society, though it's believed the evolutionary function of them is the same as the bright markings of venomous insects.
The intensity and patterning of the light they give off can be consciously controlled, but more often it is driven by instinct. When a mutarevulpis feels any strong emotions, positive or negative, they will flourish brighter momentarily. When at rest, their appearance is often described as looking like a bed of hot coals, or fire rippling behind paper.
The venom of a mutarevulpis is different than most. Instead of being necrotic or neurotoxic, it's actually a psychedelic and anti-coagulant. Each of the four probosces of a symbiont has three jaws on the end, which each has a single fang, giving them a total of 12. In addition, the host grows a pair of venom glands in their own mouth, and their upper canine teeth are replaced by hypodermic fangs. In the case of a host body which already possessed venom, the venom glands merge with the originals, creating a blend of the two in this pair of fangs which usually shares the effects of both types, but in rare circumstances results in odd mutations².
The bite of a mutarevulpis has five primary effects:
- Softening and relaxing of major muscle groups, such as arms, legs, wings.
- Euphoria and disorientation.
- Marginal increase in libido.
- Antiseptic properties, destroying most harmful bacteria around the bite location.
- Anti-coagulant properties, thinning the blood greatly.
It's believed by scientists that this odd combination of effects is due to their vampiric nature, to make prey not want to struggle, to reduce the chance of injury to the host and to increase the likeliness of repeat feedings on the same animal. This claim is supported by the addictiveness it has on some species.
In large doses, these effects can become dangerous, and are quite effective both in self-defense and combat. Due to the Geneva convention's clause on chemical weapons, mutarevulpis soldiers are forbidden from using their venom against human combatants. An overdose of mutarevulpis venom is fatal if left untreated and progresses in three stages;
- 1 Complete paralysis.
- Physical sensations become distorted and muscles still mobile lose coordination.
- 2 Delirium and hallucinations.
- The psychotropic effects of the venom become more pronounced and behave similar to LSD.
- 3 Massive internal hemorrhaging.
- The thinning of the blood causes capillaries to rupture. Blood accumulates in the eyes, lungs, brain, and extremities, resulting in death by a combination of blood loss, suffocation, and cerebral aneurisms.
While the host body a mutarevulpis occupies can still eat the foods they consumed before, a symbiont itself requires a supply of iron based blood to survive. Alternative types of blood, such as the copper based blood of mollusks can be substituted if they're given iron supplements in combination with it.
To fulfill this blood requirement, many mutarevulpis have people they use as feeders. The accepted term for this group is simply “feeders” however some have taken to calling them a harum. Referring to a mutarevulpis's group of feeders in terms such as “cattle” or “stable” is a grievous insult and is likely to result in violent retaliation. Feeding on sapient creatures or from synthetic sources is mandated by law for mutarevulpis, as a feral creature or a pet lacks the ability to say “no” if they don't condone it, and therefor feeding off of one is violating it.
Mutarevulpi will often develop strong emotional ties to their feeders, sometimes resulting in marriage. In mutarevulpine culture, feeders are treated with respect and benefit from free medical care and food subsidies under the condition they continue to make regular blood donations.
Synthetic blood was developed in the 1770's which fulfills the dietary requirements of a symbiont, but is unsuitable for most other medical uses. While flavored variants of this synthetic blood form the majority of their food market, many prefer traditional feedings off a live and willing feeder.
Becoming a mutarevulpis's feeder has rules and regulations, most notably a full medical examination to check for diseases or deformities. The mutarevulpis herself is also required to take an oath to never knowingly cause her feeder harm, to never let them become addicted to her venom, and to never treat them as a slave. Treating them as a pet is only acceptable if the feeder willingly consents.
If a mutarevulpis is found to knowingly and willingly let a person become addicted to their venom, it is punishable by surgical removal of their venom glands, or in extreme cases a complete de-fanging procedure and lifetime restriction to only synthetic blood.
Since the beginning of their written record, the number and concentration of bio-luminescent markings on each generation has been waning. Scientists believe it is due to them no longer performing their evolutionary purpose of warding off predators. However, their religion teaches that they are all descendants of a hybrid of angel and demon, that the fiery appearance of the markings is due to their inner struggle between good and evil. They believe that the reason for the markings fading is that as they draw further from their original mother, the intensity of that inner conflict wanes.
As they view the balancing of good and evil as a key part of their purpose in existence, they forestall this waning effect as much as possible. To achieve this, a practice began millennia ago of having a “prime elder” a mutarevulpis who is treated with respect and expected to make wise decisions. They are cared for and kept alive and healthy as long as possible, and when they near the end of their life they sire a brood of offspring, from whom their successor is chosen on the basis of physical fitness and mental aptitude, and is then expected to live the longest and healthiest life possible. This life, under ideal conditions, would last up to 250 earth years in older times.
With the advent of genetic engineering and DNA archiving, the prime elder is no longer their genetic black box, and has become a ceremonial figure who only serves as an adviser to current leadership. These modern medical practices only came into their own during the 1600's on the Gregorian calendar. As a result, only one prime elder has benefited from them. As of 2014, Prime Elder Lezana celebrated her 423rd birthday for host, 412th hatchday for symbiont. With life support, she's expected to live another 30 before her body completely fails and a successor is chosen.
A mutarevulpis symbiont is an invertebrate, they have no bones aside from their fangs, and their proboces are supported by a latticework of cartilage. Their flesh is very elastic and has a high tensile strength. An average, healthy symbiont has a gripping force of 170kPa/25PSI with their proboscii, comparable to a snake of the constrictor family of the same diameter. They have a biting force of 90Kg and are capable of dislocating their jaw to swallow objects up to 15cm around. However, the anatomy of the host can act as a choke point. The threshold where the probosces exit the host body can restrict the diameter of swallowed objects to as little as 6cm. The four probosces meet at a central esophagus, which connects to a secondary stomach and the host's uterus and lungs.
The hermaphroditic nature of the symbiont allows it to produce fertilized eggs measuring on average 6cm around and 9cm long. At any given time, two to three of these eggs are stored in the host's uterus in a cryptobiotic state. If the host becomes pregnant, one attaches to the growing embryo, causing the infant to be born with a symbiont already inside them. This symbiont will remain in its cryptobiotic state until the child enters puberty, at which time a hormonal trigger will awaken it and cause it to begin gestation into an adult form.
It is possible to remove an unhatched egg from a child born from a mutarevulpis before they hit puberty, however it is a taboo practice and illegal in modern culture, as doing so prevents the child from ever hitting puberty. It has been compared to the outlawed practice of castrato in humans and has similar results.
Alternately, a mutarevulpis can use its probosces as ovapositors, laying an egg directly into an adult host. This causes the egg to begin gestation immediately, mutating the host into the standard appearance of the species. This practice is very tightly regulated. Only willing, healthy, adult hosts are allowed to be assimilated in this fashion. They must also have a full understanding of mutarevulpis culture prior to accepting the egg. Violation of proper procedure in this action bears very harsh consequences, including forced sterilization and death.
When a symbiont hatches from its egg, it burrows its way to the spinal column of the host. Once there, the larva begins giving off pheromones and chemicals which cause the initial mutations in a host. Initially, the larva survives on the host's blood supply. When it nears its next life stage, it begins exuding nerve fibers, merging itself with the host's consciousness and body. It's during this stage, the “bonding stage” where the telepathic link between host and symbiont is formed.
The larva will fully adhere to the host's spinal column and begin incubating as a pupae. During this stage, the host will undergo the rest of their physical changes, and the symbiont will gather information from the host's mind, teaching itself all it needs to know. This knowledge will merge with genetic memory to create the end personality of the symbiont.
This is a delicate stage for the host, as the growing pupae will consume several vital organs, many vestigial organs, and the large intestines, creating room for itself and preparing for the final stage of its life cycle. During this stage, the host will be surviving off of stored bodyfat. As it can take up to three days to complete, hosts are sometimes put on intravenous systems to reduce strain on their body.
When the adult form is ready, it will connect itself to the host's lungs, uterus, and the end of their small intestine and colon. Its own bloodstream will merge with the host's, sharing organ functions.
In all, the organs which are removed are;
- Gall bladder
- One kidney
- Large intestine
- Testicles and prostate (if existent)
- Lymph nodes
The symbiont's own internal organs replace the functions of the spleen, large intestine, and gall bladder. Additionally, it supplements the functions of the other organs by granting the host an additional heart, a second liver, both of its own kidneys, a spleen capable of filtering most toxins, and its own immune system, which is much more robust than most mammals and is in fact closer to reptilian in function.
Once all the internal changes have completed, the last part of the transition is universally agreed to be the most painful, the four probosces will cut their way through the back of the host, erupting into their iconic bi-dorsal arrangement. These sites will heal into closeable openings, which the proboscii can retract into when needed.
Once in an adult form, the symbiont has completely merged itself into the host's nervous system. The host and symbiont effectively become split personalities of a single entity, however they have the ability to directly communicate with one another to share information and ideas.
The brain of the symbiont is stored in the host's rib cage, between the lungs. On its own, it's capable of operating all functions of the body, as is the host's. Due to this binary functionality of a mutarevulpis, both brains must stop functioning for it to be considered dead. This stacks with the dual hearts to make them very durable in combat, leading to the phrase “It takes two bullets to kill a vulpis.” as both brains or both hearts must be disabled for it to die.
In the event of one brain becoming damaged, the shock to the system often causes a surge in the fight-or-flight instinct, resulting in a violent feral state until the body has recovered from the injury. They are capable of regenerating gray matter more effectively than most mammals, however it's not a perfect process and often results in amnesia or loss of core functions after the tissue has been repaired, requiring them to be re-taught.
On average, a mutarevulpis is capable of recovering 70% of its mental capacities after one brain becomes damaged. If a brain is completely lost, either through severe trauma or amputation, the consciousness it carried cannot be recovered. In these cases, if a replacement can be grown properly, the remaining consciousness simply expands itself into it³.
The written record of the mutarevulpis begins in 6500B.C. On Alderamin 4, the name they use for the planet essentially translates to “Earth”
They evolved alongside a sapient species known as “Amianos” and developed a symbiotic role with them, functioning as protectors and guardians from both the environment and the criminal element.
They first achieved space flight in 1652 by the Gregorian calendar, when mutarevulpises first set foot on their closest moon. Their drive for space flight was largely spurred by the knowledge that life existed on Alderamin 5, and their desire to establish contact with it.
Coincidentally, 1776, when the United States declared independence, the first mutarevulpis and amianos colony on Alderamin 5 was breaking ground. They found no advanced life there, but it spurred them towards the stars and by 1850, they developed faster than light travel.
They went to any planet their astronomers predicted life on, and in doing so were drawn into the latter years of the war between the Kaimere and Pimmerians. They saw the conquistadorial and parasitic nature of the kaimere as demonic and helped the pimmerians fight them back.
In the end, the mutarevulpis proved to be an overwhelming enemy, capable of swelling their numbers almost overnight by assimilating wildlife into their ranks. Over a period of two months, nearly two million new mutarevulpises were hatched, an event which their historians refer to as “The Great Sin.” Their vast numbers allowed them to capture kaimere weaponry and turn it against them, driving them out of the solar system in only the span of a year.
The pimmerians swore a nervous alliance, with the terms that the half-feral creatures that were made in the war would be allowed to die of old age without reproducing, and the remaining mutarevulpis would swear their loyalty as guardians to the surviving pimmerians, an entire species dedicated to functioning as a police force.
While this was happening, one-way-trip mutarevulpis scouts found life on other planets, usually not nearly as advanced. They had the mission of spending their remaining years studying anything they found at their destinations and sending the data back home. One of them landed on Earth in 1884, meeting a young scientist by the name of Dracano Sapien, who taught her about human culture and assisted her in finishing her mission.
In 1893, the mutarevulpis on earth was attacked by people mistaking her for a demon. On her death bed, she offered an egg and the extended life a mutarevulpis life gave as a reward for all Dracano had done for her. He eagerly accepted, changing his name to Tanya after the conversion completed. With her newfound longevity, Tanya Sapien set to work on all of the long-term projects she'd previously feared she'd die before completing.
She remained hidden and worked in obscurity until 1947, when she flew an experimental aircraft of hers too close to a military base and was shot down, which resulted in her decapitation. US armed forces responded to the wreck and covered up the incident. Her symbiont worked alongside surgeons to help them reattach the severed head, but they were unable to save her brain. This resulted in the Dr. Sapien who is known today³. She spent the rest of her time until the 2012 contact incident in captivity, producing many of the advanced technologies the US military covets today.
In the 1930's, the data the scout had sent back arrived at their home system. Faced with the knowledge of an advanced race which was yet to establish extraterrestrial contact, and the dying ecosystem of the war-damaged Pimmer, which never recovered from the kaimere attacks, they built several colony ships, which then embarked on their journey to Earth.
The large colony ships could only travel at 75% lightspeed, so they didn't arrive at Earth until 2012. Dr. Sapien was crucial in the initial contact, but has decided to let herself fade into the woodwork since, as her long separation from other mutarevulpis and long isolation from the human race she formerly was a member of has left her preferring isolation and anonymity.
²In 1893, a mutarevulpis that chose a venomous reptile as a host was discovered to have a bite which caused complete numbness and blindness. Their venom was harvested frequently for medical procedures.
³This event happened in the case of Dr. Tanya Sapien, who survived a decapitation. Her head was surgically reattached, but the brain in it had decayed beyond recovery. Her symbiont became traumatized by the event and developed a split personality in an attempt to replace the host it lost. This split personality became aware of her nature through counseling, and instead of merging back with her original consciousness, the pair of them exploited the expanded awareness they had as a result of doubled brain mass, and have become very successful as a result. The faux Tanya Sapien decided to keep her name, in remembrance of the person she replaced.