1. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    A second body

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jack Asher, Aug 13, 2014.

    You know what happens when a caterpillar goes into it's crysilis? You'd think that it would slowly become a butterfly, one day it get antenna, then wings and whatnot.

    You'd be wrong. The entire caterpillar turns into mush. Only it's central nervous system remains as out of a soup of genetic material a butterfly is formed.

    Lets leap ahead in concept here, and say that human bodies are ill adapted to interstellar travel. It would be better to put your brain into an engineered body then try to adapt to every planet you come across. Able to breath more then oxygen, denser bones, better sight and hearing, these are all on the table.

    It also might be that other aliens need these bodies as well, and a general set of guidelines have been established, being basically humanoid in nature. It would explain why aliens always look like humans in make up. The new bodies would obviously need to have ridges for certain brain types, or pointed ears to better hear interstellar frequencies. I don't have to draw a map here.

    But what would you call this process, and this new body?
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Obviously some kind of standard had to be set with genitals as well. Either everyone has a corresponding set, or they're packing a swiss-army knife of potential parts.

    Either way it's how you can have sex with green women.
     
  3. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hm, Star Trek apologetics? :)

    I like the term "chrysalis", or "pupa", for the actual metamorphosis stage. Sounds romantic :)
    But the actual end product... I don't see any reason for it to be humanoid at all - except if you go by the good old (pseudo)abrahamic concept of the human form being the perfect form because it's the devine form...
     
  4. Clive Maguire
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    Clive Maguire New Member

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    I'm not clear - this is a biological process, or an "engineered" body, as you say, with "certain guidelines"? If the latter, then it is just surgery. If the former, then you might be looking at two terms - one invented by scientists and one used colloquially. For the former, you could just look for words from latin or greek which give the sense of the process (e.g. change+into+new+form or change+for+travel or something), and put it all together in a nice scientific-sounding word. Then you think how us plebs would come up with a catchier name for it.
     
  5. Berber
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    Berber Active Member

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    Aliens always look like humans because we live in a highly ethnocentric society - but I like your idea more. ;)

    Would the actual process simply be a metamorphoses or transmutation? You could get fancy/technical and call it something like astro-transmutation. I'm a little confused on the actual body. Is it a static, one-size-fits-all-planets avatar or does it adapt? Either way, humans who morph into this form might become transhuman or replicants.

    It's a very intriguing concept. You could definitely develop your own terminology with a little research and creativity as well.
     
  6. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Sorry I was really manic and didn't explain what I thought I explained.

    So you (the human) get into a nice bath, and your body dissolves away like a caterpillar, leaving only the central nervous system. Then you grow a new body. A better body.

    I need a name for that new body. @Clive Maguire is right, there would be a scientific and a slang name. But the narrator would only use the colloquialism.

    Right now I'm calling them GEN-B but it's not very snappy. Any help here would be hot.
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Well the best reason for people to be humanoid is we only have humans to play the parts. But the fact is that the human body is very well developed.

    Bipedal meas we can manipulate our environment independent of our legs. Head on top where it can see. Eyes above the mouth so food doesn't drop in to them. Nose above the mouth to smell and screen incoming food. Our biggest problems are the dual use speaking/eating tube, and the genital/waste disposal situations.

    While it would be possible to fix these things in the new body, I imagine that extra orifices would make the regular humans very uncomfortable. It's something to consider.
     
  8. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    Queendomiciles? If that's not too sex/race/species/concept-centric.:rofl:

    Edit (if it wasn't obvious enough):
    My suggestion for a general term for these beings.
     
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  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I think that's sexist to the 10-15 genders that exist in this story.
     
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  10. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    First question of all would be 'what sort of tone are you aiming for?'. With that in mind, and depending on how literally you're sticking to the insect metamorphosis analogy...

    Maybe call the final form an 'imago' (plural: imagines, although imagoes is also accepted I believe). Sounds nice to me, and I reckon plausible as both a scientific and colloquial term (unless you specifically wanted one of each).

    In terms of the metamorphic stage, there would be a pun in calling it an 'instar' (given you're talking about interstellar travel), although that departs from the word's insinuations a little bit (larval/nymphal/pupal arthropods are referred to as 'Xth instar' after each moult, so it seems you'd lose some of that sense of sequential progression if there were only one metamorphic stage).

    Those sound nicest to me (I like keeping things short to avoid sounding like 'sci-fi technobabble', but that's just personal preference). Off the top of my head, can't think of anything snappy/witty for the process as a whole... but some other entomological terms that might influence your creative vision (if you're not already aware of them): 'ecdysis' (basically the process of moulting, where the outer layer of the exoskeleton is shed and the arthropod emerges as its next instar) and 'exuvia' (plural 'exuviae'; the shed exoskeleton you can find lying around sometimes, especially cicadas and spiders). I'd be interested to learn the ramifications of a human leaving their exuvia lying around!

    If they don't appeal, I'd probably just brainstorm a list of relevant words (insect words, transformation words, outer space-y words, etc, or just any that are in line with the feeling you want the term to have) and see what stands out. Portmanteaus can be a bit tacky, but sometimes there are good ones. If you're really stuck, you can use an etymology dictionary to track even further back, and make your own new word from relevant roots.
     
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  11. AlannaHart
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    AlannaHart Contributing Member

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    I'd go for a long, sciencey sounding name that can be shortened to a slang word everyone would know, even if they didn't know the origin. Maybe something like a 'regenerative performance-enhancing thingymabob whatever' that they all refer to as a 're-gen'.
     
  12. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    Why would it not also be called birthing? Human's have a strange habit of simply regurgitating a known word and applying it to similar processes and thereby taking on shades of meaning. Language is nothing more than approximation, it isn't exact.
     

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