Quack-a-doodle Item in The Five Skies | World Anvil


  "What was that sound"?
— Nameless guard, last words


Half of the art of stealth is the ability to distract onlookers. The good old stone might do the trick, but it is a crude and inefficient way to attract a target, especially in the age of technology. In this day and age, overengineered solutions exists for everything, and the Ultimate Perception Simulator 5th generation(UPS-5X) is not an exception. What makes Xur's model so special is its data bank, full of elements long disappeared in the common memory. Like ducks.


Unique data


The first UPS-5X released far after most data regarding Earth was lost, and thus its initial model contained few to no data specific to humanity's cradle. However, some databases were still around, especially one managed by Kur, memory of the 26. With some help from Uur, technician of the 26 who converted the antique data format to the proprietary one that the UPS uses. Thus, the memory stick is filled to the brim with data that would make a historian willing to kill his family to obtain.


Considering how frequently the device has to be replaced, every fifty years or so, Xur possesses numerous backups scattered all throughout the galaxy in safe hideouts.

3.4 kg
Completely fortuitus example of a visual deception with the UPS-5X by Rumengol via MidJourney

What's in a name

— I didn't know you had a sense of humour!   — Neither do I.
Lur, to Xur

For millennia now, every UPS-5X that came in the hands of the stern scout was renamed "quack-a-doodle" and gained two yellow duck eye stickers. Furthermore, the type of deception they always default to is either a hologram of a small duck standing still before running away and a short quack. It always has a strong effect as ducks are long gone from the galaxy, and the vision of a grotesque land bird is unsightly to most people, enough to make them curious and look after the origin.


As for if this is a kind of joke or a carefully researched distraction mechanism, it is hard to tell. Xur is not known to have ever done so much as to smile in nine millennia of existence, so the idea of someone like them joking about important infiltration strategy seems unlikely. It doesn't explain the eyes, however.

Cover image: Xur's UPS-5X custom model, with duck eyes by Rumengol via MidJourney


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