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Teotkoa

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Teotkoa refers to a gene therapy project that was applied to select Ertakar soldiers were put through during the Human/Ertakar war. Survivors of this project and their descendants that exhibit the unique genetic markers are categorized as Teotkoa Ertakar. Many humans often refer to them as Mutakar, and some Ertakar simply refer to them as Teot.

Through desperation and a desire to defend what they had, alterations were made to a small team of Ertakar soldiers to aid their effort in the war. The goal was to not only make single soldiers that could do the work of a whole unit, but also an effort to make something that could infiltrate enemy lines, and help balance the tide of the war.

Characteristics

In the first generation of modified soldiers, some of initial visual changes were subtle. Many both first and second generation Teotkoa bear more bulk than most of their species, but not enough to be unusual.

Abilities

The primary characteristics of the genetic experiment rest on these three primary features:

  • Faster Healing - In order to last longer and return to the battle field sooner, limitations of their natural physical healing were pushed. Their ability to heal physical injuries can take a fourth of the time Ertakar naturally take heal. Cuts and bruises can disappear in minutes to hours, and more complex injuries, such as broken bones, can take mere weeks to a month, depending on the bone and fracture.
  • Great Strength - The musculature of the altered Ertakar is much more dense than normal, granting them the ability to have greater power without the mass. This change gives them 3 times the strength of a typical Ertakar of their size and build. This density also aids in defense against piercing injuries, as greater force is needed to penetrate deeper into the tissue. This of course, also makes them significantly heavier than the average Ertakar.
  • Shape Shifting - One of the most difficult of the features, is the Ertakar's ability to take on a Human form. This was solely intended as a means of infiltrating the forces of a completely different species, though they would still have access to all the enhanced capabilities they would typically have. Human forms in the first generation of Ertakar soldiers, often had certain oddities, such as lack of human hair, or certain female soldiers lacked mammary glands. Many of these oddities seemed to no longer be present in the second generation children.

Other elements of the genetic alteration have certain chemical and metabolic changes. Adrenal production and processing is improved and increased, enhancing the physical power and drive they already posses.

The body's ability to process and handle pain is also increased, the side effects of which often cause a positive chemical association with combat and injury.

Complications

While there were many benefits to the modifications, there are several problems that come with the changes.

Berserking was a common and expected trait of the modifications. Due to the chemical cocktail that assisted them in staying in the battlefield, some became so addicted to the combat, they had to be sedated in order to be brought back to base without attacking fellow soldiers.

These soldiers most prone to berserking became victim to a craving for it, however the lack of activity after the war drove those few to insanity, either causing enough of a problem that required they be terminated, or voluntarily taking that action themselves. Most of the first generation of soldiers were lost in this manner.

Other psychological issues manifested varying forms of psychosis, related to the high levels of Dopamine brought on from the injury associated triggers. What was meant to keep them fighting, also could result in a loss of their own mind and sense of self.

Many second generation Teotkoa of only one Teotkoa parent, can be at risk of suffering those mental impairments, but their reaction tends to not be as severe, and is more potentially treatable than their predecessors. For those whom both parents are Teotkoa, their risks are much higher.

There is also one minor issue related to flying. Their denser bodies can make takeoff more difficult if not specifically trained for it. Gliding however, is still easily achieved.

Treaty Agreements

After the close of the war, many Humans and even Ertakar bore an apprehension of the remaining Teotkoa Ertakar from the project. Most fears amounted to the potential to harm civilians. With no other law enforcement force capable of reigning them in effectively the concern was the lack of any goal or conflict, in combination their track record for psychotic symptoms and berserking, would cause them to turn on anything around them with no way to prevent it from happening.

It was originally demanded that all those considered Teotkoa should be culled, but after the negotiation process concluded both parties agreed to quarantine existing Teotkoa but cull those that were deemed most dangerous. Of these required to be culled, was Tlakanok, and 4 others. Remaining Teotkoa Ertakar live in a restricted facility on government property and were required to undergo sterilization, to prevent any other Ertakar being born with their genetic modifications. For the rest of their lives Teotkoa are trained and operate as a unique force of the Sytous military, of which their duties are classified.

Other conditions of the treaty included tight restrictions on further gene therapy research. Any further research that could have the potential outcome of enhancing or unnaturally modifying beyond what is considered normal and healthy for the species, would be shut down and their records sealed. All research going forward should only be for the explicit purpose of setting any species back to a more natural state, such as the curing of injuries, illnesses and diseases. Many similar rules have been adapted from the human's history in cybernetic augmentation and these restrictions have been the foundation for space-wide regulations since then.