Background Fiction - Kasmenai
Posted on Saturday Oct 15, 2016 at 05:00pm in Fiction
The Kasmenai originally came from a barren world long lost to mankind's expansion. Bipedal with elongated limbs, the Kasmenai are radiation resistant and so often find work on human-owned worlds where radiation levels are high. Typically they can be found on mining colonies, and on highly radioactive worlds. Their service is cheaper than robots, especially when the robots need radiation shielding.
When the Maelstrom threatened many of these worlds, the Kasmenai were shown to be the subclass they are amongst humanity, as even those they thought friends fled the catastrophe, leaving the vast majority of the aliens behind. With much greater numbers than human populations on some harsh worlds, the Kasmenai have been driven to rise up and overthrow governments, but besides those in space already, very few find transport to escape. Most are happy to join the Broken given the chance.
Kasmenai bodies are very different from human. Their hardened skin is made of radiation-proof scales, but the absorption of radiation is also how Kasmenai feed, transferring the energy from alpha, beta and gamma decay into the chemical batteries that make up much of their internal organs. Due to this strange electrical sustenance they do not have blood or a digestion system, and their insides are much more radiation resistant, however if they do absorb too much radiation on their outer skin they can shed it like snake-skin, sloughing off the most dangerous contamination. Their bodies are lined with aluminium capillaries that transfer power and thought alike.
Although Kasmenai do not eat like most organisms, getting their energy from radiation, they still need a supply of metals and silicates to build their bodies, and Kasmenai can often be found sucking metallic lozenges to replenish the elements they need to grow and repair. Although their skin is designed to produce energy from radioactive decay, it can also feed off the photons from light and heat, albeit much more slowly due to the vastly lower energies involved. Their dependence on sources of energy can often make them prone to enslavement to work in dangerous locations, and the pallid grey colour of an energy-depleted Kasmenai's scales is a sign of danger, as their normally benign temperament becomes angry and unpredictable when they have not fed properly.