If Mankind can be said to surely possess any qualities, they are those of adaptability and ingenuity. In the Time of the Rushing Outward, the explosion of the human race into the stars heralded new changes in the vast library of human existence- thousands upon thousands of cultures, subcultures, entities, new parahuman lifeforms, memes, societies, clans kaleidoscopically morphed into existence.
One of the most ubiquitous of these societies is that of the Numch’ot Laguj, the Spacers’ Clan (in Old Numuglach, the full name of the Spacers’ Clan was Numruch’nrot iblLagulazh, “The Clan of Void-Dwellers”), also known as the Void-Dwellers, the Pilots’ Guild, and the Keepers of Ships.
It is necessary in these times of far-flung worlds to travel at distances beyond human comprehension; no planet is an island, and very few of the worlds and peoples of man’s dominion, even the most self-sufficient, can survive without commerce with its fellows.
The Spacers’ Clan facilitates this need. Only the Spacers’ Clan possesses the means to navigate and discover the trunes, the para-space tunnels which allow travel of billions of miles to be achieved within hours. Only the Spacers’ Clans possess the human beings with the genetic types and mutations which allow the creation of the Four Beneficent Archetypes of the Clan of Spacers, the sub-clans which make up the crews of Spacers’ Clan ships: The Pilots, the Handlers, the Maintainers, and the Conveners.
Most human beings never see three of these inner clans. The public face of the Spacers’ Clan is the least-strange of their genotypes, the Handlers.
The Spacers’ Clan Handlers
Spacers’ Clan Handlers are the public face of the Clan, and make up the majority of any ship’s crew and contingent.
Of all the Spacers, they most resemble baseline humanity.
They are humanlike individuals, but genetically tailored down to the most efficient and well-suited to a life of eternal space travel- hairless, tough-skinned and with long, monkey-like digits, and prehensile tails. Their long eyes and flat faces give them the appearance of quite exotic apes.
But not all differences between Handlers and baselines are obvious.
Here lies the crux of our discussion. Space is a place of naked natural ferocity, where the particles which make up the more mixed environments of worlds and planets are left open and unrestrained to explode through the void.
The effects of the particles and radiations of space (which passengers on ships are spared from by the sealed living-chambers and cells of the passengers’ quarters) explode unimpeded upon the bodies of Handlers.
Thus, during each Handler’s childhood, before puberty, a mysterious ceremony called Idlopth is performed. The Handler is neutered, its genes altered, its gametes armored against the ferocity of the void. In order to spare the Handler a lifetime of sexual childhood, its sexual organs are removed, and sexual attraction is removed entirely from its brain.
Thus, the Handlers are left almost entirely sexless. They are without sexual urge or predilection, unmoved by the carnal debauchery of galactic society or of bored passengers (who dubbed nipresh’ud by the Spacers’ Clan- “blinded ones”). Their gametes are undamaged by space, though they are unshielded. They remain unchanged, unweakened by the rays of harsh suns or the strange chaos of the trune tunnels.
But the rest of mankind is not desexualized as Handlers are (and even the strange and madness-provoking Pilots of the Guild know physical desire). There are many among mankind with strange desires, and stranger fetishes.
The creation of Handlers saw the awakening of a new group, known as abszurl, short for abszurlioq n’lodyoj, “they make love to the loveless”.
These individuals are captivated by, and fetishize, the sexless Handlers.
Abszurls are fascinated by the complete asexuality of Handlers. The statuesque unarousability of Handlers, their complete removal from all carnal urge, their (so the abszurls describe it) godlike absence from the world of human flesh- in essence, their complete unattainability: this is what arouses the abszurls.
Most abszurls are obsessed with their sexual objects. They are among the few passengers on long journeys who can be frequently found beyond the shielded quarters, attempting to seduce Handlers. They are strange people, concerned with purity, the cold removal of the Handlers’ personalities.
Many abszurls can become almost manic with desire. Others go insane, never allowed satiety.