I've been spending a bit of time in the Workshed just recently, when my thoughts turned to the nGenes, referred to as the Technicians of the Karn. All we know is that they now depend on the Technologies they have created. The important word here is "depend" not just rely, so I began thinking about what would it mean to literally depend on Technology..............................
- “Over countless centuries the nGenes have placed an ever increasing reliance on Technology, to such an extent that their very existence now depends on it. – They are the Technicians of the Empire and endow us with our power. In return they will be nurtured and defended by the forces of the Karn Imperium”……. …..Klan Lord Diaz of the Darkest Suns.
The nGenes are all derived from the female of the species and are all female, long ago before they embraced Technology there were 2 sexes, the nGenes reproducing in the normal manner.
However early Technological advances led them to utilise in-vitro fertilisation techniques more and more and as the Centuries passed, the males began to lose their dominant character and became lazy, all the hunter-gatherer tasks and technical advances began to be made by the females.
Unfortunately, the males became a costly, non productive burden on the nGene society. Gradually more and more female offspring were chosen over male offspring which finally resulted in 200 different strains of DNA being harvested and synthesised by the female scientists. The male was effectively redundant and the Y chromosome was finally eliminated in the “Great Cleansing” which meant that only females could now be produced.
Today reproduction is undertaken completely through the “Service Citadel”, where DNA sequences are “read” from the Donor nGene and cross compared with each of the 200 strains of DNA on file. The best match is then computed and a DNA sample is taken from the Donor nGene and incubated with the synthesised DNA match. In parallel with this activity endorphins are circulated into the brain of the Donor nGene to simulate a pleasurable experience.
The newborn is nurtured in the confines of the Service Citadel which acts as nursery and school to the nGene infant. When the infant attains the “Age of Concordance” at the age of 7 years, the eyes are replaced with a Video Optical Sensor (VOS) Visor. With this it is able to see in different Electromagnetic Spectra, Infra Red, Visible light, Ultra Violet and Radio Waves. Ears are then removed and the Visor is fitted with Extended Spectrum Analyser (ESA) Units. With these the infant is able to hear from very low vibrational levels of 1 or 2Hz through to the MHz range which includes the VHF Spectrum. They can literally see and hear Radio Waves and more importantly where they come from.
Finally the weak muscles and bones caused by millenia of under-use are encased in the chest cavity of a servo-assisted Exoskeleton (SAE), allowing the infant to move under their own will for the first time. This gives them enormous strength, far more than a normal human. Five more years elapse before the SAE is fitted with an Electro-Chemical Memory Array (ECMA). This comes in two interdependent units which are fitted on each of the shoulder positions at the back of the SAE. ECMA being similar to ancient computer RAM work in tandem with the nGenes natural organic Brain, so that they can remember much, much more than other Karn Klans. However it comes with the disadvantage that if the ECMA is damaged the nGene is reduced albeit temporarily to relying solely on the functional capabilities of the Organic Brain.
The nGenes no longer eat or drink, but must be connected to a Service Citadel on a weekly basis. Tubes, Electrical Wiring and Optical Filaments are connected between the recipient nGenes and the Citadel. Any damaged ECMA is replaced ready for overwrite. There, in the safety of a Citadel the nGenes take on nutrients and share experience data between ECMA. They don’t however share data or experiences between their organic Brains.
The nGenes being Technicians and Scientists are extremely innovative, producing almost all of the Karn Technology for Millenia. The nGenes seldom go into Battle, they don’t need to, as they are always jealously guarded by Karn Combat Units. However, they have been known to bear arms when their very survival comes under threat.
Because of their Exoskeleton they are strong in close combat, but by no means invincible. The nGenes are led by their Klan Queen Miranda, who like some Kai-Unes is fitted with a Nanodroid Server. She is currently over 3 Centuries old.
I've once again drawn on the EM4 Series of models, this time the "Robots" which come in 5 different poses. These are metal and at the time of writing are £1.25 each. The Service Droid is a Micro Robot manufactured by Galoob in the mid 1990s. The Power Droid came with the Impact game,and required a bit of fettling. The surreal rock formations came from the same game, which I know won't be to everybody's taste but I kinda like them.