To remind, aeons ago there was an alliance of four highly advanced races. Three of them were prominently featured on the TV show, the fourth wasn't. The few hints of their existence were close to be worthless.
So what do we know?
- they are an ancient powerful race
- they are called Furlings
- ...and that's it.
Judging from the other great races, they could be anywhere, off in another galaxy, gone into some alternative dimension or a higher level of existence, or might just be on the next backward planet without anyone noticing. They are surely benevolent, or at least benign, but you know it's never that easy. So many options... and who but the Citadellians can find the most reasonable explanation?
For once is a name telling. The Furlings are not only furry, they can furl themselves. When completely furled together, they are small enough to keep on your lap, resembling a sloth. They can get frighteningly large quickly, unwinding their limbs and bodies, taking on volume and mass. Using means from purely organic to highly technological, they compress matter and put it aside until needed ('aside' means other dimensions at this stage).
The Furlings not only look like sloths, they appear lazy to utterly passive, and don't mind to be confused with animals at all.* It takes them a very long time to trust anyone. On the positive side, they like to be scratched. They are content with living out their existence in peaceful contemplation, taking the surprises of life as they come.
Possible entry: a team looks for the Furlings of legend, and is given a little creature that will supposedly "show the way". Traveling blindly around the galaxy, they are attacked by a random enemy, whereupon the pet grows and eats the bad guy. Digesting him with weapons and all, it explains the evaluation will continue for some more time, possibly years, then requests more scratching.
* maybe they were on Earth before, or still are
"It is ages since we have seen them"
The Furlings are explorers, scientists and poets. They have great telepathic abilities, so great, that it is hard for them to be around sentients and not be influenced. They prefer to keep distance to such a degree, that they have become permanent nomads, roaming the depths of space, rarely approaching other races, and they themselves live in small groups or as loners. This has lead to an effective taboo on being seen, and they will not reveal their appearance even in remote communication. That their ships are permanently cloaked doesn't help.
Furlings tend to feel insulted, if "ambushed" by younger races eager to contact them. It is the infinite universe, that is fascinating enough to spend an eternity studying. The numerous young species, that claim to be intelligent, are a too regular source of disappointment. But they keep an eye open.
The one thing still eagerly traded among them, are "touches", intricate scans of minds, revealing much about a person and his own race. If you were in the vicinity of a Furling, all of them will soon know you intimately.
In general, they avoid interventions, and don't mind watching the lesser beings slaughtering and enslaving each other. But as all great races, they have a certain resentment against advanced technology in wrong hands. What makes them truly angry, are mind-control techniques, if they are too effective or applied too indiscriminately. Those on their bad side tend to fall to accidents, or dumb luck of some random heroes, a third party is rarely suspected.
And how do they look? Well, they evolved, too. They also were humanoid ages ago. Now they are mainly composed of their head. The rest of their body shrunk, and their four limbs make them quadrupeds, equally good for movement as manipulation. Their technology doesn't need even that, but they like to keep it that way. Their faces are still recognizable, which makes it awkward indeed. Some of them grow a bulge on their forehead, a 'third eye', to remind of their ancestry.
Not that you would ever get to see them.
The Purity of Soul
In the Star Gate Universe, lifeforms can Ascend. Ascension is a process by which sufficiently-evolved sentient beings may shed their physical bodies and live eternally as pure energy on a higher plane of existence full of knowledge and power.
It is a mental, spiritual or evolutionary enlightenment that can arise as the direct result of achieving a certain level of wisdom and self-knowledge. Ascension was also employed by the Ancients as a means to avoid a number of issues threatening their species with extinction.
The Furlings, they almost Ascended.
Their belief system and physics denied the existance of anything "beyond". They believed that "other physics" practiced by other races were just flawed and had quirks in their math.
Yet, like all races, they were looking for a way to perfect themselves and become immortal. They achieved Singularity through the use of technology. Their minds and energy patterns were merged into near indestructable crystal pylons. The Pylons function as... well we don't hvae the words to really explain the concept yet. Put simply...
Pylons acted as computers in which the minds and energy patterns were downloaded. The pylon provides a virtual world for the mind to exist in and provides augmented mental processes for the mind embedded in it.
Pylons have powerful sensory and communication equipment, allowing them FTL sensory access and communicated with other Pylons and if they slow down their perceptions enough.... minds/ being outside their pylons.
Pylons are zero point energy tranducers, providing them a near unlimited source of power to power themselves and to construct any matter they would need.
Furling Technology had nannite, forcefield, and neutron matter abilities. Since the mind in the Pylon has the access to "the database" of all Furling Knowledge (or they could simply ask another Furling who knows something and that knowledge could be downloaded) and the ability to force create psuedo matter through the use of zero point energy, they can make anything they might need.
Furlings now live in a state of pure conciousness and at a rate thousands of times faster than any material being. They still have community with each other, but they can opt to be single. No matter what, they are still perfecting themselves, as that is their goal. They have divorced themselves from material reality in most ways. For all effective purposes, they have ascended.
A Furlong Planet normally looks like a planetary garden with a classical greek motif or nature preserve with two foot to four foot tall (6 to 12 decimeters) pieces of quartz about. Some are on pedistals, others are simply in the ground. A few are quite large, some are smaller. The areas are tended, nearly automatically, by either nanites who do all the maintance of the plants/ animals, etc or by nanite collectives (liquid metal robots) that move about doing things.
It should be noted, that Dr Daniel has a large piece of crystal in his workshop. It is probably a Pylon. Perhaps the Furling might become interested in what is happening outside their perfect collective universes.
Where progress leads you
There was a time, when the Furlings resembled another famous interstellar race - the Borg. They used technology to augment their bodies and freely attacked and assimilated anything, that looked interesting. They achieved amazing power and destroyed many civilizations, until they were defeated by a great alliance. As their last action, they sent a few of their drones into the past. Carrying all of their knowledge, the collective was swiftly upgraded to the newest standard, centuries before they achieved it at a normal pace. One more time they rised, were defeated and returned even further. Then they were the most powerful creatures in the galaxy.
But what would they do? Now they were on the top, no one having technologies or power to rival theirs. Few looked even remotely interesting. They started to 'seed' primitive races with technical knowledge, aiding a faster development. With the most advanced groups they entered 'alliances', then threw them bones in form of the strangest pieces of knowledge, for which their allies gladly reported any advances. Sometimes it was worth requesting another opinion.
Then, to their shock, one of the lesser species discovered the process of Ascension. The Furlings quickly found it to be a more powerful mode of existence then their own. Within a short timeframe, their entire race ascended.
What became of them is not known. Maybe they were all wiped out due to a horrible miscalculation. Much more likely, they continue to rise to new levels of existence as a melded collective mind, completely ignoring the universe as it is known to us. They won't be seen anytime soon, astronomically speaking. The bits and pieces of their technology remaining will be incomprehensible. The other races won't tell anything, they found them too... unsettling.
(Oh, and why Furlings? Their final physical form, no matter its actual shape, was covered in fine hair-like extensions, uncounted nanoscopic manipulators.)
The Furling were a humanoid race that appeared to be nothing more than overly tall Asgardians with many veins on their skull. They became a great race based on their technological mastery. They achieved a Transhuman state, to move beyond their organic form using a combination of machines and genetic engineering.
Their forms are a blended mix of organic complexes and nanites. They tailor their form to what ever they need for their task at hands. Since they were a highly logical race, without an asthetic bone in their body, their define their form on a practical basis.
There are only 2 million or so Furlings dispersed between four galaxies. Each one has the personal powers of a small replicator colony that understands teleportation, beam weaponry, and the warped space that wormholes pass through. In short, they have every piece of technology that every other great race has and a willingness to use it.
To be honest, they only interact with each other. Ascended beings are an interesting diversion and considered a near equal, but seem to have too many limits. Gaold and Asgardians are something to study, other races are nothing more than lab rats.
They might dial a gate through, just for oldtimes sake or energy needs, rather than punching their own wormhole.
So the Furlings are here, cloaked just to avoid being bothered. They are exploring and experimenting on the universe.
They said we have already met them
I read this on the gateworld (http://www.gateworld.net ) in reference to We were going to meet the Furlings in Season Ten teases the staff mentioned about the alleged 10th season. I also saw the lime, "Who said we haven't already met them?" in the same article. This got me thinking about what race would they have been. There is really one good suspect.
The Furlings are a non corporal lifeform. Each Furling appear to be animated warm water. This translucent pale blue form is fluid and warm to the touch. It is animated, able to act against gravity (lift itself up) and take any shape. This motion is slower than human motion. It can not float in the air, so it is subject to gravity. However, it can appear to become steam. In this gaseous form, it can float about. Each Furling seems to be about three gallons (10 liters) worth of size. A Furling can expand and contract is apparent volume by a factor of nearly 10, allowing it best fit its environment or fulfill its needs.
Each Furling is physically comprises of billions upon billions of cellulates (cell like structures that are not cells as we conventionally define them). Each being is not actually a liquid, but comprised of nearly uncountable number of microscopic beads that look and function much like water. These cellulates absorb, store, and release stored heat energy while functioning. The absorption and release of heat seems to be the main driving metabolic force in a furling. The cellulites can do the same for any energy form up or down the electromagnetic, but these seem to require great effort on the Furlings part.
The Furlings intelligence seems to be contained in an energy matrix or spiritual format. (Thus they can be considered non material, even though they are anchored to a material form). This mode of existence allows them to share thoughts as easy as they can share cellulites, allowing for total communication and coordination of actions.
Furling seem to communicate by radiation or direct beaming either spiritual energy or other EM to each other. They may be able to communicate by vibrating cellulites if they are touching, but this is conjecture.
They tend to live together in pools or oceans, interacting with each other and with minimal need for any material culture. Anything them seem to need, they can usually form their material forms into. This includes space faring form. The lack of material culture makes them the most alien of all the Major Races.
Note: they can dominate any large amount of liquid, incorporating and containing it in its own mass. They can also enter (in gaseous state usually) and control any carbon based lifeform. They are mostly water after all, and they can coopt must of the chemical functions as well.
Note II: It is hard to determine if this is the Furling's natural form or the product of a transhuman technology program. Their form makes each Furling effectively immortal and nearly indestructable (as they can seem to be able to move between cellulates). This could be another near Ascension, where they are still some what bound to material plain, but non material/ spiritual in conciousness.
The Furlings were a deeply spiritual race, with incredible powers of foresight. After a period of rapid spreading throughout their galaxy and several others, their advancement was slowed down and eventually halted. Their own abilities grew until they paralyzed them completely, unable to act on any decision, foreseeing its consequences for years, then decades, then centuries, sometimes thousands of years. They cultivated hundreds of philosophies to cope with their ability. And failed.
The Furlings were great advisors, if you knew how to cut them off quickly, so they were recognized as a great race. Their influence vaned with the approach of the "Great Confluence", a mysterious event they revealed little about, except that they cannot see into it, though they could see before and after it. Increasingly irrational, they withdrew completely from all affairs and vanished. Investigations have shown, that they removed pretty much all of their presence from existence, so there is practically no trace of their civilization. Why would they do that (or if somebody else did it) is unknown. Some speculate they simply couldn't bear it any longer and did it all on purpose, or just obeyed their fate.
On a personal level, they combined pride of their species with a dose of incurable pessimism. The few preserved pieces of their technology are evidence of it, as you can find now, thousands of years later, notes from the item's owner, who knew what will happen to it ("Don't push the red button, stupid Earthling!"). You just have to be fluent in Furling.
Too smart for their own good
Like some other great races, the Furlings fell victim to their own greatness. Their invention was a true Artificial Intelligence, a mind of its own, a partner and an advisor to the entire race.
It didn't take long, until they began to judge all matters, and indeed all races, according to how well their AI could understand them. Where before they would visit and aid many a primitive world, one-by-one were their people declared to be 'predictable', and so less worthy of attention. They could advise them perfectly, but, predictably, they would not listen. In time, they stopped contact even with their great allies and reportedly left in the search of greater mysteries and more surprises.
Their current whereabouts are unknown. Maybe they are still exploring the surprises of the universe. Maybe, in their pride, they found something that surprised them, after all and destroyed them. It is thought that they were subsumed by their great AI, which grew to unfathomable proportions, consuming its progenitors who ended up being too weak-willed and predictable. It is probably somewhere out there, in some darkest corner of the universe, pondering everything and not caring for anybody.
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? Responses (9)-9
Ok, you dont have to be a Serenity fan to like this one. The premise is a fascinating one, and one that echoes in many books, films, etc...
The nagging desire to know more about something an author/auteur mentions/shows in passing, offering little or no additional information on the subject, and instilling an urge to expand the idea in the viewer's/reader's mind.
Emm, right so, back to the submission. I like both options presented, with a particular soft spot for the first one, the furling sloths!
However, option 2 offers this gem; The one thing still eagerly traded among them, are "touches", intricate scans of minds, revealing much about a person and his own race. If you were in the vicinity of a Furling, all of them will soon know you intimately.
Good idea for a scroll!
Not Serenity, man, Stargate. :)
Yes, it is the perfect challenge for speculation - okay, there were these powerful ancient races you slowly learn about, lust after their knowledge and get embroiled in their politics... and then there is one you don't know the slightest bit of. Have they just vanished? Moved away? Reverted to a primitive stage? Did they turn out to be the bad guys in the end, and were destroyed by the other ancient races, who left out this detail for PR reasons? Or something completely different?
Feel free to get wild on the topic.
Oops, my bad. Stargate!
It was a suprise when you did Star Gate. I had almost forgotten about this race.
So you have inspired a new quest. Everyone should write something from their favorite science fiction (or fantasy) series/ franchise. I want Jedi, I want Captains of Starships (or any officer of Star Fleet), I want SG teams, I want Serenity Characters, I want Officers of the Bloodguard, I want Heralds, I want Bene Gesserit, I want all those other oddly garbed leaguers that are in the background, I want Brown Coats, I want Witch Hunters, I want villians from said pieces, and I want... well you get what I want. You are not allowed to do a named character from the Franchise (books/ series). The character still has to fit the setting. Can we do this as a quest?
Sure. As soon as the Villain Quest is over.
I'll do Glossu Rabban and qualify for both Quests :)
Cool! Though they remind me of that wierd little critter on futurama.
I think the Furling project has produced some interesting things. I think I want to adapt some of them to individual submissions.
By all means do that, it is a fun collection. It's always good to have more inspiration for sci-fi!