[tab=30]Excerpt from lecture on Uplifting and Genetic Self-Improvement by Professor Xirg Ta’Nolek
[tab=30]Royal Science Academy, Nishga VI
[tab=30]Galactic Stardate 394.48 (Post-Upheaval Reckoning)
[tab=30]3 hours before unconditional surrender of planetary authorities
[tab=30]Excellent. I’m glad so many of you could make it, given the present conditions. Especially you, Mr. Zeq-Zeq! Please, don’t let the sound of the orbital bombardment distract you.
[tab=30]Now then, let us begin! First I will be talking about the uplifting and genetic manipulation of pre-sentients.
[tab=30]While surveying planets, explorers will sometimes come across a pre-sentient species that shows particular promise. These are beings who would likely evolve some manner of intelligence on their own if they were left alone for a few million years… but that is a long time to wait. Many spacefaring empires instead take it upon themselves to accelerate this process, turning the pre-sentients into productive galactic citizens within the span of just a few years.
[tab=30]In addition to the gift of sentience, the uplifted species is often bestowed with new genetic traits as well, to better suit whatever purpose their benefactors might have in mind for them. Perhaps they are looking for a hardy species to serve as shock troops in their ground armies, or industrious workers that are skilled at mineral extraction. Uplifted species are also frequently used as colonists, to settle worlds with climates that are unsuitable to an empire’s dominant species.
[center]After successfully rebelling against their masters, the uplifted Hulfir would eventually go on to establish a twelve-system interstellar empire.[/align]
[tab=30]Let us not forget the tragic example of the Shigarans, who were used to…
[tab=30]<recording ends abruptly, and is resumed 43 minutes later>
[tab=30]…there, I think power has been restored. Don’t worry, that was only a near-hit. How I can know that? Miss Zuka, if it hadn’t been, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Will someone please check on Mr. Zeq-Zeq? I saw him take a nasty blow on his pileus when the roof collapsed.
[tab=30]In the meantime, I believe the smoke has cleared enough for me to resume the lecture.
[tab=30]When an empire has reached a certain level of technology, they will have unlocked the tools necessary to modify the genetic code of their citizens. Whether or not they choose to make use of those tools, their citizens sometimes take it upon themselves to do so - especially if they find themselves in an adverse environment. There are several recorded instances of colonists modifying themselves to better cope with a planetary climate that is too cold or too hot, or any number of other things that their frail organic bodies weren’t designed to handle.
[tab=30]Focus, Miss Zuka! Ignore the flashes - what you are seeing is just tracer fire from the local garrison. Nothing to be afraid of.
[tab=30]Now, the changes introduced by the colonists into their genetic code may eventually be of such magnitude that they have essentially mutated into what must be considered a new subspecies. From experience, I can tell you that once you have modified yourself and your family to better deal with the cold, it can be very tempting to also increase your strength, or your fertility, or whatever else you think will give you and your kin an edge in a cold and uncaring galaxy.
[tab=30]No, you may not be excused, Mr. Kolosch! Sit down!
[center]The birth of the Post-Cynn. Their failed attempt to eradicate their parent species would leave billions dead in a conflict that lasted almost two decades.[/align]
[tab=30]A new subspecies that is stronger and more formidable than their parent species may eventually come to see themselves as… superior. Why should they bow down to their lessers? Meanwhile, the unmodified members of the parent species often come to regard a subspecies with jealousy and suspicion. Fear of that which is different has been a driving force in the creation of conflicts since the dawn of this galaxy, and the creation of a subspecies can often be followed by civil strife and unrest.
[tab=30]The fighting appears to be drawing closer, so I’m afraid we’ll have to cut this lecture a little short. Many of you will be leaving shortly in an attempt to break the orbital blockade so that you can celebrate Khartaz-Ya with your loved ones. I wish you good fortune, and since there will be no lecture next week in light of the holidays, I hope to see those of you who survive in two weeks time.
[tab=30]Oh! That was a close one. I believe the shockwave will hit us soon. As my old mentor, Professor Kalabux, used to say, “Ji ka vixa, zu na…!”