neoXeno

Several millennia ago a group of scientists sought to save the lives of unwanted babies who were diagnosed with various birth defects during pregnancy and deemed undesirable.  These babies were being aborted early in the pregnancy.  A group of scientists took these unwanted babies and augmented them with cybernetic parts to sustain their lives.  This experiment grew into a full movement to save otherwise unwanted babies; however, no one gave thought to what would happen to these people as they became adults.  Most were believed to be well below average intelligence and were relegated to basic domestic work on initially a few small Apsu settlements.  Over the course of a few hundred years their numbers had swollen into the millions.

Each Apsu colony could count nearly a third of their population as what had come to be called Mechaniques.  They did not reproduce; most settlements ordered them sterilized at an early age to prevent their numbers from exploding.  As genetic defectives, it was considered bad for the species to allow them to procreate; however, more and more intelligent Mechaniques were born.  Fetuses and eventually, babies of full term pregnancies who were physically disabled were being augmented and cast into the ranks of the Mechaniques.  The smarter of the Mechaniques, led by a covert group of isolationists who had escaped their lives of servitude, began to organize a separate society eventually creating their own settlement far removed from the Apsu.  Around this same time the Apsu were drawn into a war with another race known as the Veel Vla.  This war would eventually include the Mechaniques who were now trained as soldiers and sent to the front lines to fight for their Apsu masters.  The greatest mistake in Apsu history; in less than 50 years, a massive force of well-trained fighting Mechaniques intended to defend the Apsu from the Veel Vla was infiltrated by a cabal of isolationists calling themselves The Order.  Under the direction of The Order, these “Mechs” began snatching Apsu women.  Initially they took women on the edges of society; prostitutes, criminals and other undesirables, but soon the numbers began to include women of all stripes.  Apsu settlements across the galaxy were in turmoil, both under siege from the Veel Vla and threatened by the Mech troops that were supposed to be protecting them.  But they showed no interest or intent to protect the women.  Apsu men who fought the Mechs and were captured were either put down or - in extreme instances - converted themselves.  The adult conversions usually led to a form of suicidal madness, which seemed to be a form of execution. 

Initially the Mechaniques looked very much like their Apsu progenitors; save for their visible mechanical parts, i.e. arms, legs etc.  However, Mechaniques with mental maladies and having all of their appendages intact were not so easily identified, hence on many Apsu worlds Mechs were required to wear a special mask to segregate them from the general Apsu population.  These early masks which were usually whimsical and friendly with soft curves and kind eyes were later co-opted by members of The Order, but in idea only.  Iinstead of wearing masks they replaced their flesh and bone with an actual mechanical head with faces of stern creases, sharp points and cold lifeless eyes.  Over the centuries the Mechaniques would use less and less of the flesh with which they were born.  Their robotic parts becoming nearly 80% or their bodies, leaving little more than a brain and spinal cord left from birth. 

As the Mechaniques spread their dominance previously peaceful and prosperous settlements descended into chaos across the galaxy.  Within 150 years of the formation of the Mechanique army, the Apsu had all but fallen; nearly all previous settlements were either under the control of the Veel Vla or the Mechaniques. The few small colonies that remained free were under constant threat of invasion from the two powers of the galaxy who were usually more interested in attacking one another.  When either side approached an Apsu settlement it was more common for the people to pack up and flee than wait to see what they wanted.  This would eventually drive the few remaining free Apsu in to permanent exile wandering the stars looking for a new home.  These wandering caravans of Apsu would eventually make their way into a new galaxy just a few decades ahead of the Veel Vla who after more than 75,000 years of conflict had defeated the Mechaniques. 

The Mechaniques

A cybernetic-biological race borne of the Apsu

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