They make up almost the entirety of the Reivers and were one of the earliest clades of meta-humanity to appear, alongside the Temyrians and Gremorians their close allies.
They are known for being master geneticists and engineers, with both RachemetallundGlock Engineering Systems and Antaki Drive yards, two mega-corps being Prismismal operated and owned.
Biology and Appearance Edit
Prismismals are a rapidly evolving species, using genetic treatments to improve their genome. The first generation of Prismismals were almost identical to humans, with the only differences being blue skin, coloured lenses and a stockier build. These adaptations were all selected to cope with environmental conditions on Erebus. However, approximately every 30 years or so the Prismismal genome receives an update. Prismismals generally “update” to the most modern genome within 5 years of it being available.
They are a sentient, blue-skinned, metahuman race with an average height of 185cm. Externally they appear fairly similar to humans, with the main differences being their blue skin, a more muscular build, a greater average height and coloured lenses over their eyes. In reality they’re one of the most heavily modified races known.
Their lifespan is estimated to average 1,200 years but this is purely theoretical as no Prismismal has yet had the opportunity to live that long. They reach maturity at around the age of 30.
Prismismal skin is unusually thick, and thanks to elastogens present in the structure can tolerate exposure to space for periods of up to one hour. Additionally, thanks to the combination of durability and elasticity they appear to be fresh faced no matter their age. As a further adaptation for space and aquatic living, their bone marrow collects additional nitrogen, allowing them to cope with the bends better than a human. The last major adaptation protects their ears, nose, mouth and other openings and consists of a series of closing mechanisms.
Their visually distinctive eye lenses protect their eyes from dust, vacuum and other irritants (such as chemical weapons). To protect against flashes of light, such as blinding lasers their lenses contain photoresponsive protein crystals that mitigate much of the damage. The skin typically remains a shade of blue, but darkens as radiation levels increase, sometimes within just a few minutes. Their skin also possesses genes originally found in the cuttlefish that add red, yellow, brown and black chromatophores and layers of reflective iridophores and leucophores to a primismal’s skin making it possible for Prismismals to rapidly change their skin colour and create complex patterns.
It is also extremely sensitive to pressure differentials, thanks to a high concentration of sensory nerves. This allows them to form a crude image of their immediate surroundings (around 4m away) by using air currents.
Prismismals are highly resilient to radiation, in part due to their UV reflecting skin. Additional anti-radiation measures include improved DNA repair abilities, toxin resistance, improved free radical scavenging and an enhanced immune. In addition to boosting radiation resistance, this increases life expectancy but at the cost of increased energy requirements.
To provide protection against the Norovirus, the FUT2 gene is deactivated in the species.This prevents infection as the virus gets into cells by binding to carbohydrates called histo-blood group antigens. These coat the surface of mucosal cells that line the airways and intestines. Different strains target different HBGAs but a particular sugar group is always targeted. People without a working FUT2 gene do not produce this sugar, meaning they’re not infected by common norovirus strains even at extremely high doses.
One of the more unusual Prismismal traits is their ability to respire anaerobically. Using genes originally derived from the Crucian Carp, they build up glycogen reserves with a particular large store found within the liver. When there is no oxygen these reserves are turned into glucose and ethanol, sustaining the individual. For long term survival the metabolism of the individual also slows.
They avoid the typical problem of anaerobic respiration whereby cellular concentrations of lactic acid quickly rise and pose a major threat to the organism by producing acetaldehyde instead of acetyl CoA. This Acetaldehyde is then metabolised by alcohol dehydrogenase to produce ethanol which can then be easily secreted. This combined with the large store of glycogen found in the Prismismal brain means that they can survive for several hours without a respiratory or circulatory system, which allows them to survive injuries that would kill most other species within a minute. There are reports of Prismismals surviving for several hours after being decapitated, much to the surprise of the decapitator.
Arguably the most extreme Prismismal adaptation is the lack of a heart. Instead a vasculoid system replaces it. Essentially it consists of a tissue lining the surface of all blood vessels, coated in cilia (Each cilia has a length of around 100 nm). These cilia then waft blood through the vessels.
This design has also led to redesigned red blood cells and lungs. These new cells are spheres approximately 1 micron in diameter with a basic valve system and are capable of holding gases at great pressure. Specialized loading and unloading cells permit the quick transfer of gases. The redesigned lungs provide a centralised area for this to occur. This new system is vastly more efficient than the standard mammalian lung set up, allowing Prismismals to survive from 3 to 62 hours without access to oxygen depending on their level of physical exertion. If they enter hibernation they can survive even longer.
An additional benefit to this system is that it frees up a great deal of space within the body, allowing the possibility of additional storage.
These changes to the circulatory and respiratory system make Prismismals vastly most resistant than any other species. The vasculoid lining provides additional resistance to trauma and wound can be sealed almost instantly. Even in detached limbs, the system continues to operate. Additionally, as the enhanced fluid is so much more efficient an individual can lose a much greater volume of blood and still survive.
To further enhance protection, Prismismals have doubled the number of ribs they have. These extra ribs overlap with the existing ones to form a ribcage that fully protects the chest yet remains flexible. Their skeletons are structurally stronger than a baseline’s, incorporating a shock absorbing filling and fibrous reinforcement resulting in greatly enhanced strength while under tension and compression. Despite this they are light enough to allow a Prismismal to float in water in standard gravity. An impact and puncture resistant membrane stretches over organs and other vital areas to provide additional protection. A Prismismal’s skull and spinal column are much better-protected than baselines, making it much harder to break a Prismismal’s neck compared to a human.
The shock absorbing gel that covers a Prismismal’s brain is also found in their fat and connective tissues making them far more resilient than comparable species, with Prismismals routinely surviving terminal velocity falls on Earth like worlds.
Their blood contains a series of proteins, similar to that found in some polar fish that prevent their blood and tissue from freezing in temperatures that would kill a human in minutes. It is also slightly corrosive, allowing it to kill most nano-based intruders.
The Prismismal digestive system is far more efficient and selective than a baseline’s. It only absorbs that optimal amount of nutrition required to meet the demands of the local environment. Excess nutrition or toxins are rejected and pass through. Their ability to store energy is also more efficient, allowing for an individual to go for longer periods without eating as well as going some way to allaying their high calorie requirements. It also has the beneficial side effect of reducing defecation substantially. Their digestive system can also handle a number of inedible substances to baselines, including cellulose, rotting food and some non-terran flora and fauna.
They’re quite comfortable in the water, with their ankle and foot structure being modified to allow them to bend their feet down and lock it in this position. This lets them easily maintain a streamlined straight line for improved efficiency.
Most Prismismals can enter hibernation for up to half a year without any negative consequences. Prismismals in the Remyrian Armed Forces are capable of spitting a corrosive venom up to 10m accurately.
A Prismismal is much stronger than a baseline, due to more of an individual’s muscle fibers working together with greater efficiency and readiness similar to a chimpanzee. This results in each mass of Prismismal muscle being equal to 4 masses of non-prismismal muscle. Combined with much denser muscle growth this results in incredible strength.
Their joints have been redesigned to make them more resilient and effective. Stronger tendons and ligaments are combined with general reinforcement and larger attachment areas to improve muscle leverage. This also makes it much harder for them to dislocate a joint, let alone break bones. Throw in an improved healing factor and they suffer far less joint damage than a human after continuous exercise. They are capable of living comfortably on a world up to 3g with no issues, and can tolerate much higher G forces than humans can.
Prismismals are ambidextrous, with no preference for their right or left limb. They do not suffer from motion sickness or dizziness from rapid spinning or changes in direction. They’re quite capable of being spun on multiple axes while catching and throwing back objects.
If a Prismismal is placed in a given environment (Hot, cold, damp, arid, high altitude, low altitude, or microgravity, etc.) for a significant length of time, this will trigger (generally over a period of some weeks, but in extreme cases some changes can happen in a matter of hours) a series of physiological and biochemical changes that will result in the Prismismal being adapted to survive comfortably in the environment they are in. This may result in alteration of the physical features, darkening or lightening of the skin, growth or loss of insulating hair and fat layers, addition or loss of bone and cartilage, and so on. In more extreme cases even changes in hair type (straight to curly for example, or vice-versa), height, body proportion, or even gender may be achieved.
This ability also leads to prismismals rapidly gaining immunity to a wide range of substances ranging from allergens, poisons and other organic/inorganic toxins. In addition, with some training and practice most Prismismals can activate and control their adaptive abilities through conscious effort allowing them to both accelerate the adaptive process and make limited alterations to their appearance fairly quickly. Minor changes such as alterations in eye colour may take a few days while more extensive changes to the musculature or bone structure may take weeks to months of effort. A side benefit of this ability is that prismismals respond very rapidly and effectively to physiological stressors such as exercise. Combined with their denser and more efficient muscles, this means that the only species that rival Prismismals in pure strength are Temyrians.
Even the least active Prismismal has a comparable level of fitness to an amateur decathlete as a result of their standard routine and genetic modifications. If a Prismismal decides to engage in a specific exercise and diet regime their body rapidly optimizes to a level of fitness comparable to a world class marathoner. Additionally, they have an increased endorphin response from exercise resulting in most Prismismals being dedicated amateurs in at least one, and frequently two or more sports.
Prismismal senses are extremely acute, with their vision comparable to the most hawk-eyed of animals in terms of acuity, colour sense and night vision. Additionally their vision extends into both the infrared (with the assistance of infrared sensing organs, similar to some snakes) and ultraviolet wavelengths.
They have well developed senses of smell, taste and touch and an audio range that is comparable to some animal species. They can hear both much higher and much lower frequencies than baselines and are excellent at locating the origin of a sound. Additionally, they are capable of echolocation.
The amount of sleep required by a Prismismal has dropped to 2-3 hours daily, although they are capable of going without sleep for several days.
The Prismismal brain has been completely overhauled, with additional nodes extending down into the spinal column. Compared to a human brain it has a greater surface area (with a texture more like broccoli than cauliflower) and is slightly larger (2.1L compared to 1.2-1.9L), but thanks to the slightly larger frame of a Prismismal this difference is not noticeable. It is vastly more capable than a human brain, with most Prismismals having the combined intellect of 15 individuals. Despite this, a more efficient design results in only slightly higher energy requirements.
Additionally, their brain is much more resilient. The shock absorbing gel that encases it acts as a preservative, greatly slowing the speed at which it decomposes. This makes recovery via lazarus much more viable, even after 50 years. A Prismismal brain is far better at self-repairing, with damage to the brain from a serious head injury or stroke being healed once the supporting infrastructure is repaired.
Prismismals are much better than a human at dividing up their mental resources to allow multiple inputs and trains of thoughts simultaneously. With little effort, up to four separate tasks can be handled simultaneously and up to 8 with effort. For instance, a prismismal could watch a monitor, carry out a conversation, write a report, carry out complex mental calculations, listen to a radio with no difficulty. Carrying this sort of intense mental activity for more than a few hours does require a period of rest.
A Prismismal can devote their entire attention to just one objective, without becoming bored or discouraged no matter how repetitive the task may be. This allows them to avoid boredom easily, work on dull tasks for days without frustration and keep their attention on a task even if they have suffered a grievous injury. They do obviously stop when their body requires food, water or rest.
The brain of a prismismal has been significantly redesigned to improve their memory, they have virtually perfect short term recall and can “edit” or repress memories easily. Thanks to their generally higher brain functions, they observe the world in great detail, making them fantastic investigators. They are quite capable of remembering a memory at such a high level of detail that they essentially relive it, making them excellent witnesses when they choose to be. An additional benefit of this ability is that it lets them easily find their way home no matter how convoluted the route taken.
Prismismals are extremely talented at pattern recognition, allowing them to quickly sort meaningful information from the chaff, even in highly complex environments and to see connections between what seem to be separate events. This also makes them much better at picking out hidden objects than baselines.
A Prismismal brain features enhanced neural plasticity compared to a baseline, allowing them to rapidly gain new skills and knowledge. They can achieve total comprehension in a given field before extending it to more general cases or combine it with previous information. The average Prismismal has a level of ability previously only seen in autistic savants although in the case of a Prismismal their talents can encompass multiple fields simultaneously and result in no loss of mental function in other areas.
Prismismals have had their mental architecture redesigned so as to eliminate phobias, panic and shock. They retain reflexive reactions, such as jerking their arm back if they touch something hot but don’t suffer from panic or rational thought being overwhelmed by emotional stress. In a disaster, they don’t go into mental or physical shock and always remain calm and capable of thinking clearly in these situations.
In Prismismals, the equivalent of the corpus callosum (the nerve bundle that connects the left and right halves of the brain) is larger than in humans. This results in greater rational-emotional communication. Prismismals can actually control the degree that their emotions affect their thinking, allowing them to be completely rational or much more intuitive. This also results in greater resistance to memetic attacks.
The Prismismal nervous system no longer consists of electrochemical signals travelling along axons. Instead, it operates as an organic optical fiber network, with bioluminescent organelles creating pulses of light that travel along the redesigned nerves. This results in these signals travelling at approximately a million times faster than the standard electrochemical signals. Every cell in the body now has an organelle capable of generating and processing these bioluminescent pulses. This also grants a Prismismal much greater control over their bodily functions compared to a human.
The organic fiberoptic system is capable of transmitting and receiving light of different wavelengths at the same time in both directions. Red light represents conscious brain-led thoughts, with green light acting on behalf of the body. This allows the body to react much quicker as well as optimising the body’s cell growth and biochemistry to the individual’s current requirements. A Prismismal who takes up running may find their lungs expanding and their legs stretching as cells multiply or die off in controlled patterns. Even more radical changes are possible with stem cells changing and multiplying to form new organs while unused ones slowly atrophy and break down into more stem cells. These changes take place over a time frame of days to months depend on their scale.
The last wavelength carried by the fiberoptic system is blue light for individual to individual communication. Photon receptors and transmitters have been added to the Prismismal’s skin. When light is detected on the skin, it triggers a burst of light that acts as a query signal. If a reply is received then a “conversation” between two or more Prismismals can occur. This allows the establishment of a something not dissimilar to a hive mind for limited periods of time. These is no upper limit on how many individuals can take part in a conversation as long as they are within visual range of each other. The photon receptors/transmitters can be disabled if a Prismismal does not wish to broadcast or receive.
The Prismismals have joined the Temyrians as one of the few naturally psychic races in existence. In addition to the psion micro-organisms common in all remyrians, they have developed a dedicated psychic organ that greatly enhances their psychic prowess. Additionally, psion organelles have become common in their cells, allowing the unique situation of a Prismismal able to control their body, even if they are decapitated.
Personality == Prismismals possess a kind-hearted, curious, friendly and relaxed personality on average. They’re a fairly nonconformist people, and fiercely loyal. They’re very sociable, and have a knack for getting along with others. They are a peaceful race, however this does not mean that they are any less capable of defending themselves than more aggressive species.
They have a resilient and optimistic attitude that allows them to create, notice and seize chance opportunities more often than baselines, in part due to a relaxed and open world view that lets them see what is actually there instead of what they want to be there.
As a result of the first humans to undergo the conversion process having a fairly similar political outlook, Prismismal political views are clustered around the centre with a strong liberal streak and focus on pragmatism.
The first Prismismals were created in 2092, by genetically modifying humans. This treatment was originally developed to aid the colonization of Erebus, a planet with low levels of UV protection and high gravity. At first, this therapy only increased muscle mass and added UV protection but overtime the Prismismal genome has evolved.
In late 2106, the Blackett was launched with 10 million Prismismals carried onboard. It successfully landed on Erebus in 2115, becoming one of the first bloatship nations to set up a colony. One of the first acts to be held was to establish a government with Avan Da being successfully re-elected as Warden. It was decided that the nation would become the Reivers.
The Reivers then embarked on a continual re-engineering of the Prismismal genome.