Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Bit About Schiss

I mentioned the Schiss in an earlier posting, so now I thought I'd give you a little information about them.

They are aliens, and humans call them reptilian humanoids. (They call humans something approximating 'mammalian schissoids'. All a matter of your viewpoint.) In my future Earth universe, the Schiss are the first alien race the humans meet, and quite naturally, the humans are fascinated/scared by the differences between the races. There are plenty of differences, of course.

Schiss faces are somewhat flatter than human faces, with a light dusting of scales on their cheeks and foreheads gathering into a protective covering of scales over their bodies, except for the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet. They don't actually have hair, but two 'sails' of skin on either side of their face generally are left hanging down, and since this skin is a different color from their scales, it can look like hair to a human who is several feet away. These 'head sails' are a method of cooling the Schiss blood, and when such cooling is needed, they raise these flaps of skin into something of a crown, or the brim of a hat. This startles the first humans to see it, for they are used to the flaps being down. In the enclosed environments used to travel and live in space, such cooling methods are not needed.

The cooling flaps are also a surprise because the Schiss are warm-blooded, their body temperature normally runs about half a degree warmer than a human's. Like humans, the Schiss wear clothes; perfectly normal clothes that any human of comparable size can wear, if they don't mind a hole in the back to accommodate the Schissan tail.

Probably the single fact that humans most gossip about when it comes to the Schiss was the fact that Schiss are not male or female. Some humans erroneously believe that makes the aliens non-gendered, and they wonder how they have children. But the simple biological fact is that all Schiss are double-gendered. When two Schiss have sex together, 99.9% of the time, both become pregnant. In the rare instance when sex does not result in pregnancy, the barren Schiss sickens and dies. It is rumored that Schissan pregnancy produces a large egg, which is either cooled and stored for hatching at a later time, or kept warm and hatched right away, but at this time, that rumor cannot be substantiated.

So, there's a little bit about the Schiss. I'm still figuring out their culture, technology and everything else. There's a lot to figure out, and if you have any suggestions, feel free to make them.

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