The parcnytes were a human-descended species genetically-modified to serve the needs of the arcopel. Like their former masters, the parcnytes entered into steep decline after the Mind Cataclysm and are believed to be extinct in the modern era.

Basic Information


Unlike most species modified through the application of the arcopel gene drive, parcnytes exhibited significant morphological changes when compared to their human ancestors. A parcnyte's skin is thick, smooth, and ruddy, with only short, very fine hair. A parcnyte's limbs are thick and powerful, but the toughness of its skin tends to make for poor muscle definition.   The jaw of the parcnyte is significantly shortened, the muzzle pulled down and back, and the nasal cavity lengthened and expanded, terminating in a pig- or elephant-like snout that sits just in front of the mouth. This head structure was chosen because it allows the creature's head to perfectly fill a gas mask, rebreather, or space suit helmet with a single forward umbillical, while the smooth skin provides an airtight interface for gaskets; members of the species were universally bald and without facial hair.

Genetics and Reproduction

Parcnytes do not exhibit strong sexual dimorphism, with self-identification and certain weakly-detected pheremonal cues being the best means by which the two sexes could identify one another without having to remove clothing. The four mammaries of a parcnytes lie mostly flat with the surface of the body except when nursing so as not to disrupt the fit of unisex protective gear, and the width of the average parcnyte's overall bodyform is such that widened hips are not required for natural birth.   Like the Lepidosians, errors in the gene drive cause congenital changes in sex selection, resulting in only one in four female fetuses being viable. Furthermore, menopause occurs in parcnytes as it does in humans, but the thick skin remains smooth and tough up to natural death, meaning that identifying that a parcnyte is out of its fertile period is also more difficult for potential partners. These factors, along with the difficulty in finding viable mates due to lessened dimorphism, significantly hampered the natural growth of the parcnyte population. While the low birth rate could easily be ameliorated by the arcopel and their advanced medical technology, the parcnytes lost access to this technology with the decline of their masters, sending the parcnytes themselves into a period of steep decline. Archaeological evidence suggests that the last remnants of the species fought wars over viable females on their terrestrial holdings, hastening their own demise through the use of arcopel superweapons they had little understanding of.   Unlike most human-descended species, it is not believed that the parcnytes were capable of interbreeding with other hominids. The morphological changes wrought by the gene drive were likely too signifiant to result in viable hybrid offspring, and there is no evidence in the fossil record to indicate that any successful interbreeding took place.

Ecology and Habitats

While small populations of parcnytes have been discovered across numerous worlds previously inhabited by other human-descended species, the greatest concentration of parcnyte fossils, ruins, and artifacts are found on Karst in the Alpha Xymeria System. The species was not designed for a specific environmental niche, but could utilize protective gear provided by their arcopel masters to survive just about anywhere. The overarching nature of their genetic modifications and the stricture of the gene drive prevented them from adapting to their environment through evolution as well as their less-modified kin, but this limitation was largely overcome with technological prowess.


Parcnytes had dampened emotional responses and greatly expanded spatial reasoning skills as a result of genetic modification. A stern, practical lot, the parcnytes made for excellent engineers, technicians, soldiers, and pilots. Though they had been grievously mutated as a result of alien ministrations over their genome, the parcnytes bore the insult of their distorted, porcine forms with a dignified grace. In their brief time among the other human-desended races, the parcnytes proved worthy of their peers' respect, influencing the culture of the early Karstineans with their engineering aptitude and sense of honor.


Cover image: by Beat Schuler (edited by BCGR_Wurth)


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