Monday, June 20, 2011

A Dark World: Animals (Pt. 1)

World building and porn go together like nerds and spirited discussions of sports at the local watering hole. In other words: they don't.

I don't really write porn, though. I write about sex. I just happen to like describing it in graphic detail, often while exercising my own fetishes. Apparently that means porn, not erotica. I read it on the internet so it must be true.

Almost all of my stories that involve animal hybrids (aka anthropomorphic animals, aka furries) take place in one particular town, and more importantly, one overall alternate near future. I'll start off with the most pertinent bits:

Animal people?! Read on.

Breaking Down

In the world that encompasses Lainsville, NY and various other fictitious locales, there once were only humans. Then, someone screwed up. For a while, there almost weren't even humans, but that was solved by a complicated plot device that I will discuss in the future because I'm still thinking it up.

Now, there are four different subspecies. For the most part, they are designated by a data encoding system known as the International Phenotype Code, or IPC.

  • IPC-H, or Humans-as-we-know-them
  • IPC-1 Hybrids, otherwise known as Firsts
  • IPC-2 Hybrids, otherwise known as just hybrids (sometimes called Seconds, usually by other Firsts)
  • IPC-3 Hybrids, otherwise known as the Shenaus.
IPC numbers are really encoded alphanumeric values that look mostly like long hexadecimal numbers. Like an American credit card number, they aren't integers but instead are groups of values that represent various pieces of information. They encode the phenotype (the above differentiation), impression (otherwise known as 'what animal?'), various chronic genetic or medical issues, dietary restrictions, and several other biological tidbits. 

IPC numbers aren't uniquely identifying, and the individual has to intentionally add them to ID cards for convenience. 

They are very useful, especially for handling dietary restrictions (deer do not eat meat) and ensuring safety and proper medical care.


To describe humans in this fiction world... look in the mirror. See that? That's a human. 

Unfortunately for humans, they like to screw around with nature, and almost eradicated themselves. Then, they happened to cure the virus that almost destroyed them... by becoming animal people.

No, really. 

I'm serious.


Firsts are the first 'model' of hybrid. They are persistent, although they were the chronological first generation to be transformed. The IPC-1 phenotype was easy to apply to living humans, and genetically stable - firstness  is not gained or lost through subsequent generations. That particular trait also applies to IPC-2 hybrids, and humans. 

While Firsts were easy to create in a theoretical and physical sense, they aren't carefree animals. The IPC-1 hybrid mind is essentially an animal brain and human brain interleaved, with the two 'styles' modulated by the inhibitory nervous system.

In pure IPC-H humans, the inhibitory nervous system and the frontal cortex provides the executive function and mental control that gives rise to complex thought and consciousness. In Firsts, it controls the interaction of the two contrasting states of human mind and [insert species here]. Imagine the mixer valve on a shower: turned one way, you get only hot water; turned the other way, only cold. The daily life of a First can be thought of like that extremely narrow range of knob-turning where the water is just the way you want it. A nudge either way, and it's all profanity. Unfortunately for Firsts, the humor ends at that analogy.

This bifurcated state of consciousness - far more intricate than something like human bipolar disorder - makes for fantastic insight at best, but all too often leads to violence and sociopathy.

Some of my characters who are firsts: Harley Benson, businesslion; Tomasz Dusicielski (nee Dusic, an improper Polish last name), psychopathic cougar fetish photographer; and Kyros Panagakos, sysadmin and abusive tiger.

"Regular" Hybrids

Firsts saved humanity from a gigantic mess, but they were a mess themselves. The second attempt at hybrid transformation was much more consistent. IPC-2 hybrids are much more evenly human in terms of thought processes, emotions, and mental capacity, while still retaining the biological duality that makes hybrids who they are.

They are much harder to transform, requiring heavy medical guidance to avoid a swift and unpleasant death, although only a handful of new transformations are done every year.

An example of a regular hybrid is pretty much everyone who isn't explicitly a First.

The Shenaus

The Shenaus are, to put it bluntly, a hack. I created them for a completely unrelated set of stories in a different world, which I have never been able to properly realize. They have an iconic appearance, so I transplanted one of them into a few of my Hawk stories and then retconned them into the world.

IPC-3 hybrids are completely bioengineered, to the extent that they are only born in the vaguest sense of the word and grow up in institutional rearing centers. They have little fur, and what fur they do have is patterned after human body hair (although with the textural quality of mammal fur.) They are also almost always black-skinned, giving them a devious, leathery appearance. This is completely intentional, as all Shenaus are engineered as militaristic law enforcement public servants in the Southwest Colonies.

You see... while humanity was imploding, the United States also imploded and cleaved off most of the desert southwest as it was a structural liability. As a result, the inhabitants ended up experimenting with arcologies, and with authoritarian centralized government. The end result wasn't a success or a failure, but something that probably would be at home in a post-apocalyptic action movie from the 1980's.

The only Shenaus in any story so far is Jakob Laryan, who has been transplanted to Lainsville as a bounty hunter (but usually just assistant to Tomasz.)

1 comment:

  1. This is what keeps me coming to your stories.
    The setting keeps getting more interesting.