We Are Not Alone Among the Stars

Dolphs, Gath and Neodogs: The aliens we brought with us

I am not opposed to the idea of intelligent life on other worlds, and as far as I know, such a subject is not addressed by Orthodox teaching. It does raise interesting questions, but that's not what I'm interested in. Also, In the real world, there is challenge aplenty provided by our fellow men, so non-human aliens are not to me an essential part of science fiction. 

In Ancient Faith in the Far Future, by 945 SA mankind has discovered other life forms in the galaxy, but none that have developed intelligence. Man is not alone among the stars, but all the intelligent life came from Earth.


(Note, this concept appears in an old JTAS article. This is not an original concept, and no challenge to anyone's copyright is intended.)
Animal psychologists in the 20th century AD had determined that dolphins, a marine mammal, were close to human intelligence levels. By the 22nd century, when both human and dolphin genetic codes were known, geneticists created a human-intelligence-level dolphin. Zoologists debated and raged for years, but eventually the 'smart dolphins' were recognized as a distinct species. They were first called Dolphs by the popular media, and the name stuck over the proposed Quatterans (Quatteran was one of the geneticists responsible for developing the new species) although they are still called such in scientific publications.

Dolph communities exist on many worlds, the largest, numbering in the millions is on Talavera. They have their own language, and use translator equipment to speak with humans.
  • Dolphs can travel in space using a modified Low Berth. As a species they have no desire for space exploration or service, so there are no Dolph spaceships. Even finding a Dolph aboard a spacecraft is unusual, unless they are in low berth.
  • Dolphs excel in aquaculture and fish harvesting, and represent a major food-producing component of the planetary economy.
  • Antigravity has made it possible for dolphs to leave the water. They can use gravbelt/wetsuit combos to move over dry land. It is unusual though to see a dolph out of the water. The dolph's attitude toward 'going landing' is about the same as human's attitudes towards skin diving. It's perfectly acceptable, but most dolphs don't do it.
  • The dolphs' flippers have small finger-like appendages, allowing them some capacity for manipulation of small objects and limited use of gear designed for humans.
  • Dolphs are gregarious, outgoing and cooperative. Their society has settled at the family/clan stage. Dolphs have no military or police, and never serve in human militaries. There is dolph music, literature, artwork and sports. Only a small portion of any dolph community has official/work contact with humans, but social interaction is common.

In game terms, roll 1D+1 for STR, 2D+2 for DEX and 2D-4 for INT. Other stats are 2D. Dolphs do not pursue 'higher education' often, so EDU will rarely exceed 9. Social standing refers to how widely a dolph is known and respected in his own society. This can fluctuate to some degree. Dolphs have no concept of 'aristocracy', but show reverence to elders and family leaders.


The Gath are not a truly separate species. They are genetically modified humans. The most noticeable characteristic of the Gath is their size. A normal adult is between 2.7 and 3.3 meters tall, and weighs 130-240 kg.
There are only a few million Gath in the Galaxy. Most live in the Thrainian Confederation, the Dothan Alliance or the Republic of Tamarkand. They are rarely seen in other regions of space, and never in the Union, where they face officially sanctioned racism.
The Gath have not expanded as quickly as normal humans for two reasons: they develop and mature more slowly than humans (including an 14-month gestation cycle) and it is very difficult to cross-breed a human and Gath. Gath typically live 140-150 years, but do not reach physical maturity until the mid-twenties.
Thrainian and Tamarkand society have adapted to accommodate the Gath; buildings have expanded dimensions to fit them, and retail manufacturers build in human and Gath sizes. This is less common in the Alliance and almost unheard of elsewhere. As a result, the Gath as a social group are very industrious in making things to fit their size.
Gath are indistinguishable from humans in psychological profile.Gath can sequester themselves in separate communities & form parallel social organizations or they can live & work alongside normal humans. Gath dominate in some professional sports, except in leagues which specifically exclude them.

In game terms, a Gath can enter any service or career. Add 2 to STR and END when rolling for stats. Disadvantages for Gath occur in play to make up for the bonus. Gath get an automatic –3 DM when attempting Stealth, acrobatics or any task involving very small items (buttons, circuits, etc.) Weapon attacks directed at a Gath get a +1 DM to account for their large size. Equipment that is size-related (armor, clothing, etc) is 10-15% more expensive to make it Gath-sized.


Credit and appreciation are given to Robert Heinlein, for coming up with this idea long before I did. Neodogs are mentioned in Starship Troopers [the book not the movie]. I have taken the concept and added my own vision to it.

Neodogs are the result of genetically altering normal dogs to increase intelligence. There are several 'breeds' of neodogs. Chows, retrievers, rottweilers, shepherds and beagles have all been 'intelligence-enhanced'. They have also been altered physically to improve their use of the forepaws as manipulators, and changes in the vocal chords allow rough but understandable human speech. Neodog personalities mirror those of normal dogs, but tend to stay away from extremes of playfulness or aggressiveness.

Neodogs live in packs, by themselves or with human families. While considered free sentient beings, almost all neodogs choose to continue the pattern of human-canine interdependency.
There is very little 'culture' among neodogs. They do not paint, sculpt or draw. Some neos have reputations as storytellers, but these are found most often as guardians or companions to humans. Neodogs are extremely practical. A typical neodog's ambitions can be summed up as: 'eat, sleep and play with humans'. On the other hand, some have displayed an almost disdainful attitude towards their two-legged creators. "Where would these no-tails (neos' term for humans) be without us?" Scientists who study neodogs claim that the ‘neos consider humans to be a mutant species of dog. The neodogs deny this as 'ridiculous'.

In game terms, neodogs roll 1D+1 for STR, 2D+1 for END, 1D+3 for INT and 1D for other stats. Neos never try to increase INT or EDU, and SOC is only among other Neos. Normal dogs have a Neo-SOC of 2.

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