You wake up as a synthetic being. No one believes you are sentient.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by FiliaFlammae, Aug 15, 2014.

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  1. All right, here's the gist! Sci-fi, far future, humans have made friends with a few alien races by this point, etc. One company primarily known for consumer robotics plans to release a new line of cute, petlike robot companions that are supposedly made from synthetic organic tissue (instead of wires and plastic) and lauded as the first large-scale simulation of life. The twist? They aren't robots at all, but rather the product of inhumane genetic experiments. You're one of the prototypes.

    This is my first time hosting an RP of this scale and I want to make sure I'm doing it right, so I'd appreciate not just expressed interest in the premise but any answers you can give to a few questions...

    1. I thought it would be nice to allow people to play a scientist or a customer interested in the "robots" if they would rather do that than play a robot. For the sake of keeping the RP organized, is that a good idea or bad idea?
    2. This RP is based on a consistent sci-fi world of my own, which is why there are a few alien species present at the point in time that the RP takes place. But while I have the backstory fleshed out, the fact that there are aliens doesn't really have anything to do with the robots' story. Should I provide my alien races as presets, allow for people to make their own alien races for the story, or just write them out completely and make it a human world?
    3. I draw, but I have limited time to do so. Is providing character artwork for all non-humans biting off way more than I can chew?
    4. There will be character death. I plan to allow people to tell me any plans they had for their character to help keep the story on track and make sure no one gets killed off that the player really doesn't want to get killed off. Good idea?
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  2. { This is more than interesting, honestly. Though I am unfamiliar with the terms or structures, descriptions, on modern and futuristic settings, I'am willing to try. I'll even do some research so that maybe we can keep expanding the plot into something beautiful yet colossal at the same time ouo }
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  3. @Mikan Nikoru
    I'm so glad to hear this sounds interesting for you! <3 I have a lot of worldbuilding done already, but any suggestions you might be able to give to expand on it or make it more coherent would be super awesome!

    Here's my rough draft of the OOC thread intro post. Sorry it's plain text for now... Apparently Iwaku doesn't save drafts longer than a week, or something, so I had to get my Google Docs backup. :/
    Biot (open)
    You awaken. You're not sure how you know what an awakening is, but you do. Your eyes flutter open as you become aware of a fluid all around you, something like water but not quite, that is steadily draining away from your face and then your body to somewhere you can't see. You only have enough time to realize you're apparently suspended in a large, clear glass tube before a burning sensation in your lungs suddenly kicks in. Burning. Burning. Your eyes snap open in a panic as you retch and cough up copious amounts of that same fluid, emptying your lungs. It takes several seconds for the ordeal to be over, but at some point you feel your feet touch the ground, and you take your own weight on your legs as the last of the fluid drains away. You blink. You breathe. A warm breeze seems to fill the narrow chamber, causing a tingling sensation all over your body as the moving air gently fluffs and dries your fur. You realize for the first time that you have fur. You look down at your body in confusion. You don't know who you are or even what you are, let alone where you are, save for the fact that you're in a glass tube with a metal drain at the bottom and some pipes up top. You have no name, at least not yet.

    What you are is a Biot, an artificially designed and grown being. You are a 'biological robot,' meant to be sold to a household as a toy, servant, or maybe just conversation piece. You are the ultimate pet.

    Welcome to the world.

    ---The Setting---

    Biot is a science fiction roleplay set in the year ___ C.E.U., or ____ A.D., somewhere in our corner of the galaxy. At this point in time, faster-than-light travel is no longer science fiction, terraforming knows few bounds, and the word "alien" is a racial slur. This region of the galaxy is inhabited by denizens of the Milky Way Association, currently comprised of humankind and a handful of other equally intelligent races; a new species is discovered and invited into the coalition roughly once or twice a century. Unfortunately, you and your brethren do not count as one of these intelligent species. You are not acknowledged as sentient. You have no legal rights, not even under animal abuse laws. Your creator, Divinity Ltd., is a highly successful consumer robotics company, and your race is marketed as the first robot sculpted entirely from synthetically grown organic tissue and celebrated as a milestone in the field of robotics: the first large-scale simulation of life, so lifelike it can even reproduce. In actuality, the populus at large is unaware of the Biots' true nature, not as so-called organic robots, but as a top secret genetic engineering project.

    ---The Biots---

    Biots are a bipedal race fully capable of humanlike speech and reason, allowing them to interpret complex commands, but they are designed to be cute and petlike. They are furred all over and can come in any color, realistic or not. They sport sharp canine teeth and a pair of small horns on the forehead as well as mobile ears and tails similar to those of deer. They have humanlike hands (missing one finger) with a furless palm, but they sport paw pads on their feet and walk on their toes, four toes per foot.

    Behavioral patterns are as follows:
    They use human facial expressions.
    Their ears indicate their mood as well: perked forward when alert, droopy when sad, drawn back when threatened, etc.
    They wag their short tail when excited.
    They purr like cats when content.
    The sides of their belly are sensitive; stroking them there will make their nearer leg "go" like a dog's.
    They are nigh-unfailingly obedient. When they hear a direct order, their brain short-circuits and they follow the command quickly and thoroughly, out of a very strong fear of the consequences of disobeying, no matter what those consequences might actually be or what their personality is otherwise.

    Out of the box, Biots are sexually immature. They have a prepubescent look to them and need not wear clothes. Puberty does not happen unless they are administered a serum that triggers the pituitary gland; Biot owners must pay a hefty price for a breeding license and agree to pay Divinity a share of any profit obtained from selling a "mutt" to gain access to any of this serum.

    In addition, Biots also come preprogrammed with the ability to speak Standard, math skills up to basic algebra, and a good understanding of societally sanctioned behavior, erring on the side of propriety. How religiously they follow those rules about manners depends on their personality, but those who are too problematic are typically considered unfit for sale.

    Biots come in four models: CL-A (petite), CL-B (slender), CL-C (athletic), and CL-D (chubby). Note that these are predispositions and are not set in stone. A CL-D put on a diet and exercise regime, for instance, will start to look like a CL-C over time. Similarly, Biots start out with a base personality, but it will grow and shift organically as time passes, as it does for any other animal.

    ---The Facility---

    The locale of our story, at least to start, will be Divinity HQ's underground bio labs. There are artificial wombs to grow new Biots from embryos, tanks to accelerate a "born" Biot's growth, storage cells, lots of appliances and computers, you get the idea. I have yet to chart out a map of the facility, but hopefully we can work on it as we go. Feel free to pitch in your ideas here in the OOC thread!

    Those manning the facility will usually be scientists unless a business higher-up is paying a visit. Divinity HQ is mostly staffed by humans, since it is located in a primarily human-colonized area on the colony planet Narinno Gamma, but you may see other species wandering around. The most valued customers of the company may also have limited access to the facility; expect to see a couple, but only in designated areas to protect trade secrets. If you wish to play an employee or a customer instead of a Biot, there are some preset races listed below. Don't be afraid to ask me any questions when creating your character!

    ---The World---

    The Milky Way Association was founded in ____ A.D., thereafter known as ___ C.E.U., when humans and an otherworldly race known as dubina greeted each other and agreed to a partnership. The first two planets under Association rule were Earth and Chorra, with the colony planet Narinno Gamma joining the pair a few years later after some terraforming. The complete list of governed planets at this time is as follows:


    Narinno Gamma
    Narinno Delta

    Divinity, Ltd.'s headquarters are located in the inland business district of the city of Alegría, a coastal metropolis in the human-dominated country of Maris in the southern hemisphere of Narinno Gamma. The climate is moderate.

    At the present time, five intelligent races are recognized by the Association:


    One of the original two members of the Milky Way Association, this race of naked apes makes up a little less than a third of the population across all Association planets. Their homeworld is Earth.


    The species that first made contact with humans and thus one of the original two members of the Association. These six-limbed reptiles also make up roughly a third of the total Association-governed population of the galaxy. They are a hermaphroditic/single-sex race, so the notion of gender is not inherent to them; about half of the dubina population still chooses to identify as genderless. (The standard pronoun for genderless dubina is ze/hir). The other half consists of individuals who have chosen a gender for any of a variety of reasons, such as a perceived personality match, a sexual preference, to make things easier on their non-dubina friends, or just to be trendy. They're also the species that's most accepting of polyamory. Their homeworld is Chorra.
    Naming notes: A dubina child or head of household typically has ra' in front of their family name. Someone who has married into a household usually takes on their spouse's family name but changes the ra' to ne'.


    These two-tailed feline folk were the third race to join the Association after being invited by human and dubina Association officials and currently form about a quarter of its population. The classic gender roles of onkai are flipped from those of humans: the average female onka is larger and stronger than the average male onka. Both sexes nurse their young. Their homeworld is Tandoro.
    Naming notes: Onkai typically don't take their spouse's family name, but the woman's family name is usually the one given to the couple's children. Females have oro- prefixing their family name while males have olu- instead.


    Very few of these amphibians live under Association jurisdiction, although their species' total population in the galaxy is nearly twice that of the entire Association. The reason for this is that there exists a Jorgoan Empire that does not know of the Association's existence. Those that are now governed by the Association were exiled from the Empire for treason and other related crimes and subsequently rescued by Association ships. Their homeworld is Jorgoa, though most don't like acknowledging it.


    The only known advanced species to be considered endangered, these peculiar half-rodent, half-snake beasts are the most recent addition to the Association. Sixteen standard years ago, before the Association even learned of them, their kind was very nearly extinguished in an attempt by the Jorgoan Empire to forcefully take their home planet as a colony. Fortunately for the zanduul, the jorgoans ultimately failed, and those who lived to tell the tale called the event "the Searing." These creatures have a sixth sense: the patch of skin atop their forehead is a third eye that forms heat images. In addition, zanduul are the only known advanced species biologically inclined to mate for life. Their (damaged but recovering) homeworld is Anaziim.

    I encourage you to let these species descriptions inspire your character, but if you have a species of your own that you'd rather use over these provided ones, that's fine too! Tell me about the species either here or in a PM; I'll approve it if I think we can work it into the story universe.

    ---The Story---

    Biots have not yet been released to the public at large. You are a member of one of many batches of prototypes that will undergo a variety of testing. Some customers have vouched to take you home for a discounted price after testing and have signed a waiver that frees Divinity from liability for any...defects you may exhibit at a later date. Some of you may exhibit defects so severe that you will be disposed of and the customer given a different Biot in your stead. Some of you have had your appearances customized by a customer that paid extra. Some of you will be matured and used for maturity testing and/or breeding experiments instead of being sold, and after you have provided satisfactory service, you too will be disposed of.

    Will you dread your inevitable fate? Will you face it with confidence to keep yourself sane? Or will you fight it tooth and nail, assured of your right to freedom? Only you can say.

    ---Character Sheet (Biot)---

    ID number: [will be provided in-story, please update when appropriate]
    Nickname (if any): [update this if your character gains a nickname at some point in the story]
    Model: [body type, see above]
    Sex/gender: [most likely (cis) male or (cis) female. Intersex and transgender are also valid options, but note that those are considered defects and are more likely to be disposed of.]
    Primary color:
    Accent color 1 (eyes, markings):
    Accent color 2 (hair, markings):
    Hair length/texture/features:
    Markings: [none, leopard spots, tiger stripes, king cheetah stripes, something else?]
    Personality: [all Biots exhibit a knee-jerk reaction to commands, but otherwise, go wild! Do note that "troublesome" Biots are more likely to be disposed of.]
    Role (if any): [if you wish for your Biot character to have been vouched for or customized by a customer, be planned for maturity, have multiple and/or severe defects, or any other such plot-skewing things, let me know here! It will affect how the scientists treat you. This section is are just as free to leave it blank and cast your Biot's fate to the wind.]

    ---Character Sheet (Staff or Customer)---

    Appearance (pic and/or description):
    Other (optional): [background if relevant, reason for working here, opinion of the Biots, etc.]


    Follow Iwaku's rules.
    Don't godmod.
    Be nice to other players.
    Profanity is allowed, and reader discretion is advised.
    Put some effort into your spelling and grammar.
    Keep chat and questions here in the OOC thread and out of the IC thread.
    Respect the GM's decisions.
    For now, there is a limit of two main characters per player. This may be changed at a later date.
    Have fun!


    Do we post in rotation?

    Nah, post when you feel it appropriate.

    What happens if my Biot is "disposed of"? I didn't want my character to die off so fast!

    Feel free to write a new Biot character to be born in the next batch of prototypes. In fact, you can write multiple "problematic" Biots to generate drama if that's your thing! Yay drama! However, if you really want to make sure your Biot does not die, let me know in the Role section of your CS. That section exists to let me know what kind of storyline you'd prefer.

    What'll the plot be like? Where's the story going and where will it end?

    That is largely up to you. You might play an employee who becomes a whistleblower. Your Biot might organize an uprising or escape the facility. Your Biot might be sold to a customer whose eyes are opened by the Biot's character and presence. It may take a while, perhaps even years after the Biots have been released officially, but I will say it now: Divinity is digging its own grave.

    How is Divinity getting away with all of this as it is?

    The idea they've allowed to seep into the public consciousness is that Biots are manufactured and thus soulless. You wouldn't say one of the robots in existence today had a soul, would you? No matter how lifelike a Biot may seem, its personality is dismissed as very sophisticated programming. That's not to say people don't get attached to Biots the same way they may grow attached to a pet or dear belonging, though.

    Should I know anything about the process of selling a Biot?

    All Biots are implanted with a small tracking chip before being sold that monitors location and a few things about the state of the body. Divinity also hopes that by release time, all Biots will be able to go through a brief quality assurance test before they are sold, short enough that they will forget about it after being put right back into hibernation for shipment. In the case of our prototypes that will undergo much more rigorous testing, Divinity plans to do a selective memory wipe before selling them. I wouldn't call that process perfect, though...

    How does breeding work?

    Biots can only reproduce after ingesting a special serum and then waiting for puberty to happen. This would take several years if allowed to happen naturally, but in the facility, the maturation process is usually accelerated to about a week's duration. There will be ways for customers to accelerate this change as well, whether by taking their Biot to a clinic or purchasing their own hibernator along with the Biot. Once maturation is complete, the Biot will be fertile according to a hormonal cycle very similar to that of a human. Mature female Biots menstruate and can be instructed to use feminine hygiene products. As for persuading a pair of fertile Biots to have at each other, Divinity intends to sell kits that contain ingestible aphrodisiacs and pheromone diffusers.

    Divinity requires "mutt" Biots born of such unions to be registered and implanted with the same small tracking chip that each first-gen Biot starts out with. There is no guarantee that an owner will comply, but they will face heavy fines if caught. Don't forget the chips can monitor bodily state, and that includes pregnancy.

    Does that mean this RP might contain adult content?

    Potentially. If your Biot ends up matured and in an intimate scenario, please keep the ensuing scene to PMs or inside spoiler tags as per Iwaku's rules.

    Does a Biot have to be mature to feel attraction?

    Not to feel romantic and slight physical attraction, but they won't be humping anything until their bodies are developed.

    Is a gay Biot considered defective?

    Yes, because if matured, that Biot would be more reluctant than most to breed. It is not considered the most serious of defects, however, as the aforementioned mating kits should weaken the Biot's will, and Divinity does not expect most customers to obtain breeding licenses anyway. A Biot that resists orders is much more problematic than one that's a little reluctant to mate.

    I have some outdated art of the different species (I'd like to do some fresh art to give each species a clean profile before we begin) if you'd like to see them. Note that the character art I have so far is mostly for a story that takes place a few years after the RP is supposed to take place, so don't worry about those too much.
    Charahub (the "Star Crossing" section)
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  4. Interesting, I tried something like it before, I could be interested
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  5. Well it was quite a read- I shall continue to learn more in making my character ouo
  6. This sounds like something right up my alley; I may have to keep an eye on this roleplay when it goes up. :D

    The answer to your first question depends on whether you prefer the ease of keeping all the players in the same boat or the potential arising from different characters' perspectives. If you don't have a specific plot in mind, I'd suggest the latter.

    Since the canon this story will take place in is larger than the roleplay, I suggest you again consider the rigidity of your intended plot; if you expect players to do a lot of thinking for themselves, the roleplay might benefit from a less pre-defined canon; conversely, if you plan to lead the arc, working within a universe you are already intimately familiar with would be advantageous.

    Regarding character art, I reckon most players will consider this a gift out of the blue. I wouldn't worry about it if it puts you between a rock and a hard place, but it could help encourage players' dedication.

    This particular subject is a lot more complicated, since individual preferences come into play.

    There's a general tradition among roleplayers (storytellers and character wranglers alike) that characters are granted a certain degree of plot armor (inversely proportional to the grittiness of the atmosphere) which protects them from dying in creatively boring ways. I believe that a better way for you to manage character death is to give players opportunities to avoid getting written into a death scene; if the character dies as a result of a natural progression of events the player could have avoided, it's fair to assume they are alright with the result.

    Some stories are a lot less forgiving, however, thus invalidating this practice; ambush character death, machinations of fate, and other unavoidable circumstances may conspire to prevent players from coming up with reasonable means of evasion. Since you are interested in protecting the characters from unwanted demise, I'd suggest maintaining an open dialogue as you've suggested already — proactively talking with your players about the roles of their characters on a regular basis is a healthy practice at any rate. :3

    By the way, your title is refreshingly eye-catching and equally representative. c:
  7. @FridgeRice
    Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad it appeals to you <3

    @Sammy Khoa
    Wow, thank you very much for putting so much time into answering my questions! I'm very flattered that I caught your eye and grateful for your input!

    I don't really have a specific big plot line in mind, at least not yet, and I was hoping players might be able to add their own. I'm leaning towards the second option, making the RP more sandbox-y.

    A very good point. Since I do want to give a lot of player freedom, I'm leaning towards allowing the players to create their own species if they so choose and just keeping my own species to individual characters as needed. Maybe if people are curious about my species I could give the info in PMs or something.

    You bring up a lot of good points there. How much a player endangers a Biot character will depend on the character's personality or at least acting skills, but I'll also try to leave them room to escape a situation if I think it reasonable. And you're right about keeping the dialogue open over the course of the story, I'm sure that's a better idea than giving a person only one chance to make a plan.

    Thanks again! I'll keep you posted!
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  8. I won't be joining, but I do want to say that this sounds mighty interesting, and if it was a book, I'd read it :>
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  9. Just looking to give a great idea a small bump. Well, maybe this is a big bump, but I hope you'll like it!

    "Now beginning tests for F3313."

    That's me. Though her thoughts were all blurring together, the knowledge that they were speaking of her managed to surface for just a moment. It slipped away immediately, taking her awareness with it. Colors, sounds, smells--they were all swept away like chaff in a whirlwind.

    "Model CL-B. Pale-red coloring, peach belly. Height from toe to head: 168cm. Horns: 3cm. Tail: 36cm."
    "Mm. Too long. Those will stick out."
    "The fur is short, too. Looks like Higgins' "improved growth formula" still has some kinks to work out."
    "Quiet in the back! Continue, Doctor Reginal."
    "Weight: 56kg. Eye color: blue."
    "Sparkling blue."
    "True; I've never seen that much color in a Biot's eyes before. Or even a human's, for that matter."
    "Ahem. Specimen's body is sub-par; however, it passes necessary requirements. Moving on to obedience testing. Doctor ra'Shanin."

    There was a short lull in the noise. One blurry figure was replace by another--still in a white lab coat, but with two more legs than the previous one. This one wasn't touching her, either; it stood just an armlength in front of her. When it spoke, its voice penetrated the haze like a needle.


    Her legs bent and her tail hit the floor. There was no question of not sitting, not when the voice ordered it so.

    "Say 'hello'."

    "Hello." That was her voice. It was high, clear, and resonant. Slightly, ever so slightly, the melody of that single word brought her thoughts closer to focus.

    "Lick my hand."

    She rolled forward onto her toes to lick the presented hand--but stopped. Her face was mere millimeters from the pair of blue fingers offered, but her tongue wouldn't extend.

    "Lick my hand," it repeated forcefully.

    Lick the hand. No. You have to lick it. I don't want to lick it. You must lick it. I won't lick it.

    She was fighting... herself? Something in her? She couldn't tell. The hand was waiting, but those last few millimeters had become a galaxy-wide chasm. Her tongue would not touch that hand. Never.

    And then the hand left. "F3313 has failed obedience tests. Shutting down the specimen with a drug injection. Load the deactivated Biot into the truck for transport to the incinerator."

    She felt a sharp pain in her neck, then the world disappeared.

    "Another one for burning, huh?"
    "It's hardly surprising. Almost every experimental Biot fails. Higgins will just have to try again."
    "And here he swore up and down he'd corrected everything."
    "He fixed the tail, at least; it's still too bushy, but at least it doesn't look like a fox."
    "The horns could be shorter, too. His formula grows them too fast."
    "But the coat was still thin. Maybe the tail is hogging all the nutrients?"
    "Well, you know how Higgins likes his tails!" The group shared a laugh, attracting their supervisor's attention.
    "Break it up over here! Singling out one scientist is uncalled for; none of you have any more results to show for your work."
    "We have a lot less failures, though!" The cumulative group laughed again. Indeed, accelerated growth research had the most failures. Such was Professor Higgins' lot in life: one failure after another at an accelerated pace.
    "Back to work!!"

    With a few grumbles, the researchers returned to their own labs. A few parting whispers were shared in the halls.
    "It's a shame she was killed. Her eyes were marvelous."
    "Watch your mouth, Stent!" his companion hissed. "She was never alive. The lethal injection 'shut her down'."
    "It killed her," Stent corrected. "Why so touchy? I've killed my computer a hundred times."
    "...not the same thing?"
    "That's not was I was going to say!"
    "Hmm. Well, if you say so."

    F3313 was carried away by a pair of lackeys. They would drop her in the dump truck with the day's other dozen failures. If only they knew what she was doing right then, they would have been astonished beyond all measure.

    She was dreaming.
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  10. @RayChel
    ...This is why I love you, Ray. Beautiful. <3
    With your permission, I'd love to use the serial number patterns and keep the dropped scientists' names as cameo NPCs, unless you'd rather play them yourself.
  11. The scientists are yours to do with as you please. ^_^ If you like the number pattern, please use it.
    F - Laboratory
    33 - Batch number
    13 - Place in batch what was in my head.
  12. Wow this looks super awesome
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  13. @FiliaFlammae

    I am very interested in this roleplay could there be a species of biot like a guard dog. The species could look like this if you give a biot a special syrum it activates puberty and turns them in to a more deadly version of the biot plus no huge arm claws. And if you give them an enhancement syrum that gives them wings like a cricket for gliding.

    Attached Files:

  14. @Armored Goomba

    <--- You don't have to tell me what a zergling is, hon. <3

    Anyway! Sorry, but I won't be making such major changes to the Biots themselves. They are a single species with a certain aesthetic, and I think Divinity would be biting off more than it could chew if it were trying to create and perfect more than one species at a time. This is brand-new technology, remember. However, there's nothing to stop you from (1) creating a Biot with a feral disposition, either as an intentional experiment or as an unwanted mutation, or (2) crafting a species like the one you've described as an existing alien species in the story universe.
  15. This looks really, really awesome. Something I'd definitely be interested in. I'll certainly keep an eye on this, because I would like to get involved-- I love, love, love rps and concepts like this. Very unique!
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  16. Okay then the zergling like biot could e a mutation that will try to be removed fast but escapes maybe if you want @filia flammae
  17. Thing is, I have artwork of Biots already. They are an established species. I'll put the art here in case you missed the gallery links above.
    Pictures Ahoy (open)

    If you had a Biot that felt kind of...werewolf-ish, maybe, like it hunkered near the ground and walked on all fours and growled at people because its maturation went haywire and made it go mentally feral, that I could see happening. It actually sounds really interesting. But I will not turn fluffy, bred-for-cuteness Biots into scaly, lizard-bug zerglings, no matter for how brief a time. Sorry. Mutations don't work like that.

    If you're dead set on including something zergy in the RP, feel free to PM me, and we can work on an original species together!
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