IA File #114572
By Necanthrope Jekyll, 837 SD.
It was three years before the fall of confilct society that the Shaktar first came to the notice of Slayer and his corporation. While the sprawling universe was seen as a weath of technologically ignorant cultures, waiting to be enlightened, they were, initially, percieved as a race of primitive monsters, uncouth barbarians capable of space-flight and little else. It soon became clear, painfully clear, that the Shaktar were highly developed socially and at a stage in their own, unique, technological ladder almost on a par with SLA. The extracts from files that appear in this essay have all since been destroyed, and this document should be treated with great care and respect.
The place to start this investigation should be in deep space. The time is irrelevant, as dates had not been standardized, and space travel tended to be inherently unrelyable, distorting time and distance like so much clay. The place, however, was to become a focal point for the expansion of the World of Progress, and Slayers Big Picture.
The Foldship Makepeace was a bulk cruiser, designed to house, feed and maintain in relative comfort a small army, capable of pinpoint attacks and subversion of planetary govornments through to full scale air ground and sea invasion. The Makepeace was also the first exploratory vessel SLA dispatched into the deeper and relatively unexplored regions of space. You might say it was our first, best hope. On board were the 119th, an unremarkable body of men and women, all trained to be better than average warriors, and 101% loyal to Slayer.
As per its orders the 119th were to drop onto populated planets, conduct preliminary searches of the area and, if possible, demonstrate superior force to the natives. The drop in question was their 48th, and leading the excursion was Remote Battle HQ Sliver.
"... <Chhrrrhch> ahh, this is Delta Niner Gamma reporting to Sliver control... <Ccccgggghch> Come back, over.. <Fzzchch>"
'Sliver control here, D9G, what've you got?'
"Ummm<Fzzwzilit>... It's a man, control. We have a sing<Grch>... I repeat, single... Lizard.. man thing barring our path. He appears to be, umm, naked. Sir. Response, over? <Vshcchhh>"
'You have your orders, Delta Niner Gamma, eliminate any and all obstructions to the group. <Deept> Remote locks off, weapons are hot, over.'
"<Grrhchuh> Recived, control, and understood. Ok boys, you heard the man, let's kick some reptile arse. Lock and loooaooaoaooaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG <Fwzzzzllllllll SHREP, SHUICK, K'PDOING, CRRESSSHH, DOMF> <KChhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhDop>
'... Uh .... DG9? ... You there?'
Conclusions drawn from this initial meeting of peoples was mixed. Sliver controller Jones maintains that weapons locks were off, and that there was no natural phenomenon that could have torn up 25 men in powered armour that quickly. Speculation of wild beasts were thrown around, until Sliver control abruptly lost contact with the 119th. The planet was deemed "Geologically Unstable", and the 119th moved on.
(For the record, it should be noted that the 119th reported back to SLA once more before losing contact. The Makepeace was never recovered.)
This encounter, along with many other First Contact situations, was erased from SLA databases, and only a few copies remained. The Shaktar race, inhabitants of Planet SLA-S 119-48, were left to their own devices, until SLA, scavenging the jumble of Conflict Races, latched onto them in a more diplomatic way, and introduced them to the Big Picture. Their past had, of course, long since been buried. Literally.
Although the Shaktar are hugely secretive of their abilities and background, technologies occasionally slip out. The official story is that T'ire, some kind of Tech-Demigod, and his diciples left the homeworlds to bring their understanding to the universe, and set off in a "Random" direction, co-incidentally the same direction that Cadaver and the Kilneck took. Without their 'Physical' leaders, they turned their gaze inwards, and concentrated on the Spiritual side of their nature. Meanwhile, T'ire was meant to bring enlightenment to all he found, and would eventually return with the rewards bestowed on him for his services. 900 years, and Shaktar techs are still waiting.
It's a nice idea, but the truth makes much more sense. The Shaktar, feared that battle with Slayer would leave them depleted, banished the majority of their people to beneath the surface of Kn'thh, and transformed the surface into a primitive but beautiful haven. SLA, convinced of the Shaktars need for privacy, investigated subtly, and discovered their true abilities lay in the creation of close-combat weaponary and physical enhancements.
The technology listed below are objects that have either been found, stolen or divined from broken fragments. None of it is understood with the exception of the biogenetic implants which are being reworked by Karma. It should be noted that should any items of simmilar design be found they should be forwarded to Head Office or myself at Dark Lament.
|Item 1: Shaktar Switchblade|
|Description:||2 small blades attached to the wrist, triggered by tendons in the fore-arm. Material: Stone, simmilar to slate in many ways.|
|Abilities:||Severe physical damage to many sections of the body. Most effective on mid-chest, skull and hands.|
|Comparable to:||Variable. Ranges from MAC Knife to Dark Lament force blades.|
|Notes:||Widely available to Shaktars who complete their Warrior training, and most effective in the hands of a Shaktar Priest.|
|Item 2: Axian|
|Description:||Comparable to double-headed axe or halbard. Designed for decapitation or blade catch-and-twist techniques (see notes).|
|Material:||High-precision cast ceramic.|
|Abilities:||Strong sturdy axe, used with either fatal or incapacitating force, can be thrown or used as a climbing aid.|
|Comparable to:||DPB are already working on making an exact copy the design.|
|Notes:||Like most axes can be used to catch a blade at close-quarters, and with a sharp twist break it in two. Rumours of Shaktar bearing Axians burning with a dark flame have been substansiated by video footage.|
|Item 3: Kn'ttt (foot blades)|
|Description:||Short but effective retractable blades, fit to the base of footwear.|
|Material:||Simple iron alloy.|
|Abilities:||Allows trained "Point Kicker" to make short but often fatal stabs to opponents chest or head.|
|Comparable to:||Two civilian knives attached to the feet.|
|Notes:||SLA technicians have yet to discover how they are commanded to extend and retract. No moving parts have been found.|
|Item 4: Shaktar war armour.|
|Description:||Ornate but extremely sturdy suit of battle-armour capable of turning aside all knife blows and many calibre types.|
|Material:||Unknown metal, golden brown in colour.|
|Comparable to:||Angel Deathsuit|
|Notes:||Unstable molecular construction only further confuses the problem of reproducing it.|
|Item 5: Shaktar Priest crown|
|Description:||Large but light headgear, covering the eyes and temples, and looping around to the base of the skull where large 'Nodule' contains various seemingly pointless wires and metal constructs.|
|Material:||White opaque plastic-like substance, as yet unknown.|
|Abilities:||Endows the wearer with huge mental powers, the extent of which are unknown.|
|Comparable to:||Necanthrope mastery of Telekinesis|
|Notes:||This object is extremely... Frustrating!|
|Item 6: Implants|
|Description:||Small insect-like implants, stored in a narcotic gelatine substance, which keeps them docile. Sentient, but only partially inteligent.|
|Material:||Simmilar to Karma tissues, based 100% on self adapting Shaktar DNA.|
|Abilities:||These range from simple strength enhancements to complex adaptation of the skeletal structure. Some bizzare possibilities have been developed by Karma, along with temporary devolution to a feral mental state and the decomposition of bones and tissue to a liquid form which, theoretically, can be recombigned at a later date.|
|Comparable to:||Karma technology in 200 years|
|Notes:||The small implants are all injected into the base of the skull via a large seringe, and they move around the body, performing the adaptation themselves. Drugs and materials for the procedure are automatically produced in minutely measurable quantities. Test subjects are now being recruited for implantation.|
Although the majority of the Shaktar race's claims about their currunt status are falsehoods, some truths do slip through. It is largely true that the Shaktar are a deeply religious people, and this is reflected in their code of honour, their social heirarchy and their way of life. The Shaktar priests, a mysterious and inteligent cadre of thinkers, are not only above most of their race mentally, but further up the evolutionary ladder. There are some who claim that the Preisthood is a self-contained race of beings who, while physically simmilar to the Shaktar, have very different ancestral roots.
The preconception that Shaktars are lizards is incorrect. They are equine, their long heads and strong warm-blooded hearts being very simmilar to Horses and other quadrapeds. Their scaly skin is more a protection from the blistering sand-storms that their ancestors had to endure, as viewed by the 119th. The preisthood, however, are different entirely. They are, as far as any have been able to discover, closer to small inteligent dinosaurs, with reptilian and avian roots and smaller faster hearts. The split is quite distinct, even to the level of the average brain-size and physical endurance, although quite when it occured no-one is exactly sure. One of the problems is that, historically, Tud'juck Shantii, the first true Shaktar, was born of a common farmer, and then formed the preisthood from his friends and family. The Shantii bloodline continues to this day, with the current High Lord Shantii, as normal Shaktar. But the Preisthood, who can also be traced directly back to Tud'juck, are markedly different, even though both lived on the same planet.
Autopsies have been going on for decades now, trying to find simmilarities and perhaps a link. Gene sequencers have compiled the DNA of both races and are scanning section by section for a simmilar section, but it is estimated that they will finish on March 3rd 1346 SD. The likelyhood is that there will be one mutation that occured in the priesthood thousands of years ago, and this will be difficult to trace, so we may never understand this phenomenon.
As I mentioned, the preists are physically and mentally stronger than their ordinary fellows. They are for the most part educators, politicians or warrior-leaders, although some take to the desert plains and wander searching for what they call "The Calling".
(The calling is a Shaktar proverb, stating that each and every being in the universe is called into existance to perform one spectacular and important task, and alter the future. However, the calling is rarely found, and most pass it by, either through lazyness, greed or bad luck. To find your calling is considered to be the ultimate achievement in Shaktar society, and many spend selfless and subserviant lives, waiting for their time to come. This is what brings so many Shaktars to Mort and the War-worlds.)
Others spend their time as advisers to Shaktar clans and other large groups. Still others join SLA, and generally rise to positions which, while they have little power individually, when used in conjunction with each other can make large and sweeping decisions.
In summary I would have to advise readers against opposition of the Shaktar race. They are clearly a powerful force bearly contained by their compassion for the inevitable deaths that would occur should they rise up. They are a race clearly divided into precise groups, but with one common ideal, their code of honour. Further articles are unlikely to be forthcoming until new facts emerge.
-Necanthrope Jekyll, IA investigator for Dark Lament.