This is the comment perk from the October Giraffe Call, a setting piece on the Tir na Cali cat-people. For whom I really need their own icon.
The Modified Humanoid in Tir na Cali Culture
The trend toward today’s Modified Humanoid, or “Moddies,” began as a fad for cosmetically altered slaves in the early sixties.
The first on record were a set of three cat-girls, triplets who were modified to have pointed cat-like ears, tails with some mobility, and dental work to look like sharp, cat-like fangs. The trio belonged to the tycoon Madison Arthur, a man who took great pleasure in appearing as eccentric as possible.
Others soon followed, modified with ever-increasing skill from a small cadre of experienced cosmetic surgeons and the empowered, to look like everything from house pets – dog-girls and mouse-boys – to predators – crocodile-men and wolf-women – to the fantastic – dragon-beings and, once, a failed pair of centaurs.
These slaves, altered through a combination of internal power and surgery to appear in some way inhuman, were genetically and biologically still completely humanoid. Their brain chemistry was still entirely “normal,” and their children, when they were bred, were of course still humanoid. They were no stronger, no more aggressive, no quicker than a normal human, either, and thus the purpose of their modifications was entirely cosmetic.
The trend towards owning “moddies” came and went, as with any fad, and, as with the sad accessories of any fad, the modified slaves were left by the wayside when the trend passed. Some were consigned to fieldwork who have been pampered house slaves; a few lucky ones were modified further to suit the new trend, or returned to their “natural” state. With each surge of the trend, the technology, science, and skill of the innately powered modifiers became more refined, and with each surge, the modified humanoids looked more and more realistic.
The second true wave of modified humanoids have only recently come into existence; the first genetically modified humanoid was made known to the general public in 2002. There are, of course, rumors that the Agency had been working on these genetic changes for as long as a decade earlier, and the rumors of second-generation genetically altered beings seems to lend credence to this theory.
These modified humanoids, better described, perhaps, as “scientifically produced hybrid species” are created by manipulation at the genetic level. At this date, the only producer of said hybrids is the Agency; all known attempts to make genetic hybrids outside of the Agency’s labs have resulted in, at best, failure, and, at worse, death. As such, all such experiments are illegal, save on volunteer free subjects.
The hybrids produced by the Agency are to their predecessors what a real tiger is to a children’s drawing of one. While a well-modified cat-girl might ape the behaviors of a cat, and, in modern times, have catlike ears, tail, and sometimes whiskers and claws that move naturally and serve as part of her body, the Agency’s well-protected hybrid cat-humanoids have brain chemistry and behavior patterns that, in many ways, are more feline than human.
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