ORIGINS OF THE SUPERS
The Homo Supremis and Homo Superior races (a.k.a. "Supers") are the result of genetic experiments on the human race conducted by the Galens - a powerful alien race. Better known as "The Ancient Ones," their motivations for conducting these experiments are not completely understood, but certainly included a desire for the creation of super-powered lovers capable of withstanding the attentions of "gods".
The first such supermen were created approximately four to five thousand years ago. During this period, there were a number of genetically advanced humans active on earth, exhibiting various super-powers such as invulnerability, extreme strength, and even unassisted flight. Most, but not all, of these mutants were unwitting participants in the Galens social and medical experiments. A murky but generally clear memory of some of these encounters still persists among various human groups. Some of these prototypical supermen were famous heroes, and others were themselves worshiped as gods. It is believed that beings such as Gilgamesh, Hercules, Thor, Vainamoinen, Hiawatha, and other such deities and demigods were either supermen or came from bloodlines that included mutant stock.
We know little about the Galens. A glimpse at their history, however, seems to indicate some of their goals. We know that they favor a highly organized and efficient, though somewhat regimented society, at least for humans. They do not shrink from battle or war, believing this to be the best way to put those sorts of social organizations to the test. Finally, they believe in enhancing physical attributes most useful for the kind of life they favor, and for that reason sought to move humans towards a goal of superior strength and stamina.
This hypothesis has naturally led researchers to posit the existence of a group of foes of the Ancient Ones. We have reason to believe that the Galens foes have also sought to intervene in human history - if not through genetic engineering , through other means. These strange creatures, the Diaboli, are known among other human groups as the "Elder Ones," though they were more generally thought of as spirits and demons.
As the Galens work to further orderly human societies through the enhancement of physical abilities, the Diaboli work to sow the seeds of individualism and social chaos through enhancement of mental powers such as psychic abilities. As such, the Elder Ones are believed to be somehow responsible for a group of different paranormal humans throughout human history. Their efforts may be the reason behind magical practitioners bearing familiar names such as Circe, Medea, Merlin, and Faustus. In each case it seems these alleged "sorcerers" did in fact possess incredible psychic powers which allowed them to harness magic.
The Diaboli are also believed to presently have an outpost in the Atlantic Ocean, along the Mid-Atlantic ridge not far from the Azorean Islands, where the "sea devils" confer powers on their followers that enable them to dwell underwater. While this outpost has had several names over the eons, the name most recognizable in this modern day would be Atlantis.
The presence of mutant elements in human societies seems to be easily detected and cyclical, given their fondness for battle, desire for leadership, and concern with shaping the cultures they encounter. From time to time the Galens intervened with groups of extraordinarily powered humans, and these interventions gave rise to legends and beliefs that united societies for some time to come thereafter, during which the Ancient Ones took a less active role in human society.
The presence of the Elder Ones and their followers are harder to detect, since by nature these people are secretive and individualistic, and their abilities are less dramatic (but no less powerful) than those of Homo Supremis. In fact, there is reason to believe that these beings have maintained a small but relatively constant presence throughout human history.
At the end of this first period of interaction, around the peak of the Roman Empire (c. AD 115), the Ancient and Elder Ones both decided to remove groups of their chief followers from the ordinary human population. It seems likely that the Galens had perfected their experiments on the human genome. The first group so removed were specimens from the Germanic tribes of northern Europe and were, of course, the ancestral Velorians, of which much is written in these chronicles.
For reasons known only to them, the Galen scientists transported this new race, "Homo Supremis," to an unusual sector of the galaxy, where their vast powers would be almost completely nullified by the presence of M-class (red) stars and planets laden with pure gold (unlike Earth, where gold is usually found combined with silver in electrum, a natural alloy). The Galens then withdrew, content to merely observe their creations and to allow them to develop as they saw fit.
The Ancient Ones also removed, under various pretexts and without full disclosure of their exact nature or the reason for their removal, groups of people who either had partial or imperfect Homo Supremis genes which made them "Homo Superior." The Galens did not wish these groups to reproduce and further spread uncontrolled throughout the human population, so they arranged for their segregation by sex. The males went to an extra-dimensional location that is known among humans as Valhalla. The females were taken to a place known as Beatorum, or "Paradise Island." Around this time also, the Elder Ones may have removed a group of their own followers to a place known as Atlantis.
Residents of these places are for all practical purposes immortal, and have no need of sexual reproduction. They are both in communication with the "gods," although perhaps in the dark about their true nature as an advanced alien race, and served as the chief liaisons between the "gods" and ordinary human cultures (particularly in the case of Valhallas Miracle Men and Beatorums Miracle Maidens).
Until very recently, when Homo Superior genes reasserted themselves in the human gene pool, some way of removing these extraordinary humans to Valhalla or Beatorum was usually arranged. Within the last few decades however, the number of super-powered villains and vigilantes has increased dramatically, which suggests Latents and Homo Superiors are being born and created at an alarming rate. Whether or not this is a naturally occurring phenomenon remains to be seen.
VELOR and DAXXAN
Although the origin of the name Velor is unclear, some historians think its based on the Latin word "velare," which means "to cover, veil, hide." This theory makes sense when one considers the names used in connection with the others planets of Homo Supremis, (which have also been derived from Earth languages), especially the "lost" third planet, whose names even hold similar meanings.
Velor is a beautiful world, with a lavender sky and an orange moon which reflects the rays of its red sun. Its twin planet, Daxxan, can be seen as a pale yellow orb in the night. The style of its private dwellings and public towers is mostly art deco with a touch of expressionism. Velorian architects do not treat buildings as purely functional, but also as exciting sculptures in their own right. Everywhere one looks, they can see bright colors and warm pastels, from the clothes people are wearing to the blinking lights which dot their rounded vehicles.
The Velorians themselves are 'artificial' beings in the sense that they do not reproduce via natural means. Their genetic structure is the result of nearly 2000 years of advanced genetic manipulation and reproduction is carefully controlled via a large computer system, the Maternity Engine, that spans Velor and Daxxan. The genetic makeup of each fertilized egg is carefully controlled and the resulting embryo is raised in an artificial 'womb', a Birthing Matrix, whose environment is carefully controlled by that same computer system.
The initial procreation process on Velor consists of married couples selecting their children's characteristics very carefully, making many of the genetic choices for their offspring. The needs of society and the skills and backgrounds of the parents are then considered and the system selects the remaining attributes, including the child's aptitudes and personality. The child, 'born' after very long 11 month gestation period, is then taken home by the parents approximately two days after birth and raised much as a Terran child would be raised. Despite the seemingly rigid nature of the system, in actual practice the children are free to choose whatever role in society they wish once they mature. The exception being Shield Maidens, who are raised by their "parents" like any other Velorian child, but undergo training from a young age to prepare them for their lives on distant worlds.
Shield Maidens, better known today as "Planetary Protectors", are possibly named after the Miracle Maidens of the Amazons. Like them, they are always female and are the most powerful and physically adept of the Velorians. Their genes are selected for quiet (but not deep) intelligence, strength, endurance and profound resistance to injury. This affords them nearly total invulnerability to all known physical hazards when off their homeworlds. They are also chosen for bravery and a willingness to engage in combat, the later trait having been nearly bred out of the rest of the Velorian race.
For reference purposes, a Protectors strength can be as great as 5000 times that of a Terran woman and about 5 times greater than that of a Velorian male while on their home planet. However, any Velorian who leaves their home planets would still have at least 1000 times the strength of a Terran, so Protectors are much stronger than the ordinary members of their race once removed from their home planet.
As befits an engineered race, Velorian biologists are always seeking to make improvements on the existing model, but previous attempts have met with mixed results. Occasionally "Best Protectors" spontaneously occur among the normal Shield Maidens, but efforts to reproduce this transformation in the laboratory have been unsuccessful.
For centuries now, females have been selected to be Protectors as it is possible to make them stronger and more energetic than males, their having extended abilities to store the energy that is essential to a superbeing. Given the prodigious appetite that their super-human physiques have energy to power their muscles, the female breast has been modified to serve primarily as an energy storage organ instead of a lactating organ. This allows well-endowed females to store hundreds of times as much energy as a male and permits them to make unaided interstellar flights. By contrast, a male Messenger requires the energy stores of a Starship for such a flight. In fact, it appears all Homo Supremis and Homo Superior females have such decidedly different physical and psychological characteristics than the males of the species that they are sometimes classified as a separate subspecies: Homo Supremis (or Superior) Virago, while the males are merely considered Homo Supremis (or Superior) Sapiens. On patriarchal worlds such as Velor however, this classification has long been kept from the public.
Shield Maidens typically leave the Velorian system at the age of 17 or 18 (full physical maturity equivalent to a Terran female of 21 or 22 years is reached at this age) and are 'assigned' to protect one or more planets. Once a Protector leaves Velor, she is barred from ever returning, her only contact with home being the occasional visit by a member of a special cadre of Messengers or Scribes.
Messenger and Scribes
The Messengers are usually male Velorians of unusual power, their near-Protector-level powers a rarity among the Velorian race. They are sent out to convey news and provide comfort to the far-flung female Protectors.
The other group of ex-pat Velorians are the Scribes. Invariably female and having only the physical powers and mental conditioning of an ordinary Velorian, they are sent to worlds where pivotal battles are being fought between the Protectors and the Arion or Kintzi races. Forbidden under punishment of death to intervene in the affairs of the Protector who they are recording, their job is solely to record and report, their ultimate goal being that of maintaining the central archives on Velor. Unlike the Protectors, the Messengers and Scribes are allowed to return to the Velorian system, although they are forbidden to re-enter normal society and are isolated on a remote continent of Daxxan, Velors sister planet. Because of this, an open rebellion in recent years among Scribes has led to many of them refusing to return to Velor once their assignments are complete. Most of them have become roving journalists, moving from one world to another. A few of them have gone rogue, most recently the Scribe stationed on Earth, and are now behaving like Protectors, fighting side-by-side with their far stronger sisters. Unfortunately, due to their limited powers and an inbred distaste for physical confrontation, they are fairly easy prey for Arion and Kintzi warriors.
Overall, Protectors are isolated from their homeworld, their infrequent contacts with their own race occurring at intervals that are decades apart. Given their long natural life-span, ranging from 300 to a 1000 Earth years depending on the type of sun they live under, they often stray from the paths that have been proscribed for the Shield Maidens. It is this isolation, along with the extreme physical requirements for an appropriate mate, that leads many Protectors to commit the abhorrent act (in the eyes of a homeworld Velorian) of becoming pregnant and giving birth naturally, generally by seducing one of the Messengers. Over time, these incidents have led to the term Shield Maiden becoming rather outdated, with only the Supremis Shield emblem serving as a reminder of the archaic term. Regardless, due to their robust physiques and the near-epileptic spasms of the Supremis orgasm, their strength becoming even greater than normal during sexual intercourse, a Velorian can only be impregnated by a male Homo Supremis. However, there are several unconfirmed rumors of successful matings that might have occurred between a Homo Supremis female and a lesser Homo Superior, perhaps following an enhancement. Whether these rumors will ever be confirmed is problematical as such rogue Protectors tend to avoid the inquiries of the Scribes.
Protectors traditionally wear a blue uniform which incorporates the red and yellow colors of the Supremis Shield. The blue represents orgone energy - the energy of orgasm (according to the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich, the universal and fundamental power source orgone is found especially in things colored blue, such as the sea and the sky), while the red and yellow colors match those of type M and type G suns. The stylized "S" that generally adorns their costumes stands, of course, for the word Supremis.
Although there always are a number of Protectors spread out across the galaxy at any given time, few have ever become Best Protectors, or "Paladins" - the highest rank the Velorian Republic can possibly bestow on a Shield Maiden. A Paladin ("an outstanding protagonist of a cause") wears a white uniform instead of blue, but the red and yellow trim remain the same. Also, only a paladin has the right to wear her personal shield, which bears her own initial in addition to the letter "S", in place of the Supremis Shield. Typically, a Velorian Paladin has powers which exceed those of other Protectors; abilities which she has discovered during a traumatic second origin known among Protectors as a "rebirth." (E.g.: a Protector is seemingly killed by an enemy, only to rise up and be reborn with even greater powers than before.)
Despite the longstanding taboo against natural reproduction, the ability to reproduce naturally has, perhaps wisely, never been genetically engineered out of the Velorian race. Both sexes remain perfectly fertile, and females undergo a monthly menstrual cycle. They do not, however, actually ovulate unless they consciously wish to do so, the usual result of their monthly cycle is merely a weakening of their powers that lasts for several days each month. During this time, they have less than half of their normal strength, although their response to sexual arousal during this period is more extreme than normal. Most Velorians, in fact, frequently engage in sex for recreational purposes, but a significant minority have formed factions that remain celibate, viewing the sex act as distasteful and unnecessary. Because of the lack of reproductive consequences, (and the fact that "parents" and "siblings" don't necessarily share the same genes), Velorians dont view incest as taboo as in most human societies, although it is generally discouraged when there is a large disparity in age. Exclusively homosexual relationships are even more discouraged than incest, particularly among women, primarily as that type of union is believed by the male leadership of Velor to increase the power of women, to encourage them to bond together as sisters and become politically powerful. While this is clearly just another ill-conceived male reaction to the physical superiority of the female Protectors, it has nonetheless become a significant taboo on Velor and Daxxan. Bisexuality, on the other hand, is wide-spread on Velor and is rapidly becoming the norm.
To make matters even worse, at least in the eyes of male Supremis, it seems that the female Viragos are actually sexually excited by violence. Even in normal humans, a womans sexual arousal can only be differentiated from anger by four bodily functions, but in the case of Supremis women, it seems the two states are biologically indistinguishable! While this can lead to an increase in a Viragos physical power during combat, it can also be a fatal distraction, one that their enemies have long exploited during the heat of battle.
Velorians are universally blond (though the exact shade can vary), and their skin appears to have a permanent golden tan. Their eyes are almost always brilliantly blue, almost glowing with their own light, athough green eyes can occur in rare circumstances. Velorian males are rarely less than six feet tall, and the females average 5'10" and never less than 5'6". Any Velorian would be considered extraordinarily attractive on Earth as well as wildly athletic, but they could be easily confused with any other member of his or her race, as they all appear very similar - at least to non-Velorians. Their ability to blend in with members from the modern-day Nordic races, particularly the Swedes, encourages them to live in places were their type of physical appearance is common, Los Angeles and Stockholm being the most likely locations to find a Velorian ex-pat on Earth.
Males are physically more powerful than females on their homeplanets (Protectors excluded), but lack the energy storage capabilities provided by the females' generally large breasts. As a result, male Velorians have significantly less endurance and would certainly be defeated in a fair fight by the female's use of the stored powers in her breasts, were she either to project energy beams directly from her eyes or simply by the use of that energy to fuel her muscles for a longer period of time. This has led to a prohibition against any female from entering an athletic competition and an assault by a female on a male is considered a capital offense. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true.
Government and Social Conventions
Velorian society is extremely patriarchal, with the males controlling all positions of authority in government and business. Women are largely treated as second-class citizens, and are expected to look pretty and do as they're told. Behavior that would be considered the worst kind of sexual abuse on Earth is commonplace in Velorian business and government, a female subordinate being expected to serve a male superior whenever he wishes it. It is this aspect of Velorian society, more than any other, that has the potential to cause its own downfall, particularly as women band together to increase their power base.
Unfortunately, their genetically-programmed nature encourages Viragos to be exhibitionists at heart, and looking good isnt all that difficult when you have Velorian genetics. This isnt to say that Velorian women normally walk the streets while naked. Rather, like all Supers, they are no more ashamed to be seen naked than if they were wearing clothing (and often enjoy any excuse to show off their bodies.)
In fact, because there are no taboos against nudity on their homeworld, a naked Velorian visiting Earth, whether Scribe or Protector, might be just as irritated if asked to clothe themselves as an American woman visiting a Muslim nation would be if the locals demanded she keep her face covered up. At best shed think it was a demeaning custom, and at worst she might be insulted by the unspoken suggestion that her body was unpleasant to look at. Still, the original Shield Maiden uniforms have been altered quite a bit over the centuries, and it seems with each successive change the Protector costumes are getting even tighter and more revealing.
(Unproven theories abound that Viragos do not consider any part of their bodies to be private unless they have covered it, and that therefore a naked Super might not be any more offended by someone touching her breast as she would if they were touching her elbow! Understandably, there are very few psychologists brave enough to test this theory. Being tossed into orbit by an angry Super would unfortunately ruin anyones day.)
In the end, this in-bred conflict between exhibitionism and a desire to be respected as first-class citizens has become a source of friction between men and women on Velor.
Yet Velorian society was not always as sexist as it is today, and in the early years both genders were more or less equal (several females were even considered to be great leaders - a fact now unknown to most of the population). This aspect of their culture is mainly the result of the mens obsession with physical strength and muscular development. It may also be the mens reaction to their inferiority when facing the amazingly powerful Shield Maidens.
Because the nature of the homeworlds partially negates the females' energy storage advantages, male Velorians are invariably stronger than normal Velorian woman, other than in endurance, and have used that to achieve dominance. The long centuries have left this sexism so ingrained in the Velorian mind set that few females question their inferior status, and those that do rarely speak of it publicly. The scientific community (the least muscle-obsessed portion of Velorian society) treats females with greater equality than the general population, and is the only area where women can rise to positions of any prominence. Keeping most women from realizing exactly how powerful they would become away from the homeworlds is largely the reason behind the ban on Protectors ever returning home. It is a virtual certainty that a repatriated Protector would never put up with second-class status after living for years as a goddess among ordinary beings.
Despite the fact that they become super-powered when on any planet other than their own, most normal Velorians never leave their homeworlds as there is no need for trade with other races, the twin planets being completely self-sufficient. The Velorian Republic does, however, possess a small military force that engages in operations in regions not under the protection of a Protector. Since they cannot fly when in the proximity to their own planets, the warriors depend on space ships or Dimensional Transport Devices to leave Velor and Daxxan. The use of those craft are very tightly controlled so as to keep the social misfits of their society from running amok through the galaxy.
While the Republic's centuries-long conflict with the Arion Empire (see below) has never flared into full-scale open warfare, they have fought an endless series of smaller battles on far flung alien worlds, usually between infiltrators and Protectors. Other races who are openly under the Velorian protection are aware that a homeworld for the Protectors exists, but most are completely unaware of its location. The homeworlds are, in fact, slightly shifted into a pocket dimension, and cannot be reached, or even seen, without the knowledge of how to breach the dimensional barrier, either with special devices or through a singularity in space positioned between the two dimensions.
Of the two Velorian home worlds, Velor is considered the more important, for it is the seat of the republic and the location of most institutions of research and higher learning. Velorian society continues to be highly structured and formal, much like a gigantic university campus filled with ivory towers. On Daxxan life more closely resembles that on Earth, with its citizens free to conduct business and go about their lives mostly as they see fit. Overall, the Velorian Senate could be described as "benignly authoritative," mostly staying out of the way, encouraging scientific advancements and commerce, but willing and able to make its presence strongly felt if it wishes. Its closest Terran analog is the present day government of Singapore.
One other distinction exists between Velor and Daxxan, involving naming conventions. On Velor, children are given a single name, followed by a number that indicates the particular "batch" of genetic material they were "birthed" from. However, on Daxxan a more Earth-like system is used, complete with first, middle and last names. As befitting a patriarchy, surnames are passed down through the fathers.
Velorian religion per se does not exist. They do acknowledge, and on rare occasions still communicate with, the Ancient Ones who created them. They also know of an even older race that created life on Earth, but they do not worship them either. Rather the Velorians are attempting to discover the secrets of life used by that mysterious race. It would be most accurate to portray the Velorians as biologists who can manipulate genetics to their own ends, but are still incapable of the creative act that initiated life itself.
Despite their long separation from it, the Velorians view the Earth very fondly, almost reverently, almost as if it was their Mecca. After all, Earth was the origin of their race their initial genes coming from the wild tribes of northern Germany. Much is said of Earth on the Public News Monitors, and the Scribes reports of the Protectors activities on that planet are discussed more than on any other planet. The publicly released information is, of course, carefully censored and often distorted by the Velorian Record Bureau to downplay just how powerful Velorian females really are when off-planet. Psychologically, Earth forms the core of their own identities as 'artificial beings' as it binds them back to their origins as natural beings. They maintain a very high regard for the wild uncontrollable genetic stock of the Earth.
It is also a paradox that Earth has the least visible of all Protectors, at least among the local inhabitants. The Senates First Directive with regards to Earth was to not interfere in the normal affairs of humans. This contrasts sharply with many other planets where Protector females have become either Goddesses or the leaders of government, the choice depending mostly on their degree of vanity. Yet on Earth, they are only allowed to help where Terran systems and abilities break down, and mostly in response to interference from other superhuman races. At all other times, they are expected to hide themselves among the indigenous population and live ordinary lives.
The superhuman powers of the Velorians are entirely physiological and primarily muscular, the result of genetic engineering on the basic Terran humanoid form.
Their primary abilities are those of vast strength and invulnerability to injury. A normal Velorian, even one who is not particularly athletically inclined, is easily 1000 times as strong as a normal human and capable of effortlessly lifting fifty metric tons or more underneath a yellow or blue sun.
Velorian Protectors, such as Fairchild or Kara on Earth, can be many times that strong, and the expansion of their muscles from resting to fully flexed states can transform their appearances from that of that of a Terran fitness model to physiques that would be the envy of any human bodybuilder. And while their bodies are barely on the upper end of normal in terms of muscular tone when they are relaxed (at least as compared to very fit Terran women), their flexed muscles are far harder than steel or any other manmade substance, the specific hardness rivaling that of diamond!
Despite their invulnerability, their skin remains very soft and flexible, a Velorians skin tone and texture much like that of a very fit Terran girl in her mid-teens. While the specific hardness of their bones and flexed muscles is diamond-like, their flesh does not have a crystalline structure and therefore cannot be 'broken' by an impact, no matter how strong. In addition, their overwhelming strength and gymnast-level flexibility allows them to move with a gracefulness that startles most Terrans, giving their movements a lithe and sinuous appearance even if they are not using any of their super powers.
Velorians can fly at speeds of up to Mach 5 in the dense atmospheres of humanoid planets, and can even maintain a ground running speed of Mach 1.5 without using their flying powers. They are also capable of exerting themselves at near maximum capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to seriously impair their performance, and the females may draw stored energy from their bodies to extend their endurance well beyond that of the males.
In addition, they possess super vision which allows them to see great distances clearly and to see through solid objects (with the exception of lead and the densest of Uranium alloys). The technique for seeing through objects is not yet fully understood by Terrans, but is believed by them to take advantage of free Tachyon particles that make up an invisible background radiation throughout the universe. The invulnerable Tachyon detectors in their retinas are capable of stopping and decoding the complex resonance of a Tachyon particle, a resonance that carries with it a memory of the materials it has passed through immediately prior to entering the eye.
Velorians and related races are also capable of projecting immense energy from their eyes, the energy beams from each eye having the equivalent power of a 20-50 megawatt laser at full power. This unique power, derived by grafting genes from the eyes of the indigenous FlameBird of Velor, is a devastating weapon when used against nearly any form of matter. The emitted spectrum of the energy is generally in the violet range when used as a weapon and barely visible to Terran eyes, although a Supremis can move the spectrum all the way down into the deep red and infrared range when using it melt metallic objects. Unfortunately, the use of their heat vision depletes them of energy very quickly, and only the most endowed female Velorians have the energy stores for prolonged use. Fortunately, one of the key genetic characteristics of Protectors is their very large energy storage abilities. Unfortunately, that characteristic has a less desirable effect in that it makes them more visible to their enemies, their figures such that they would rank among the top .01% of human females in terms of their measurements. A characteristic that has made it relatively hard for Protectors to blend in with normal humans on the many worlds they live upon.
Velorian hearing is also highly enhanced, enabling them to hear sounds at a great distance and to distinguish specific sound sources from any background noise.
Velorians also possess slightly greater mental acuity than humans, their average IQ being 140, their mental abilities tuned toward quick learning and adaptiveness, the characteristics of a warrior.
Other Powers, Abilities and Effects:
Limited portions (a maximum of half their own strength level although generally far less) of their physical powers can be transmitted physiologically to other humanoid races via hormonal excretions released when they are sexually aroused. The hormones have a mutagenic effect which somehow harnesses orgone energy, causing permanent changes in the genetic structure of the person who ingests them. Driven by a retro-virus that enters each cell and modifies the DNA, these changes can begin the moment a person is exposed to a significant quantity of hormones. However, the actual gaining of superhuman abilities happens in a final transformation, occurring anywhere from several hours to three full days after the initial exposure.
The actual extent of the powers gained (and the timing of the final transformation) is determined not only by the amount of hormonal exposure during the "incubation period", but also an unknown factor in the genetic structure of the individual exposed. Generally speaking: the greater the exposure, the greater the level of power obtained, but some of those exposed will undergo very small changes, and others will have wide disparities in their powers (i.e. great invulnerability, but only limited enhanced strength). Because of their orgasmic nature, suffused in orgone energy as they are, female vaginal secretions and male seminal fluid are the most potent sources of the mutagen, but smaller amounts are also released in an aroused Velorian's saliva and sweat. A single prolonged kiss from a Velorian female has been demonstrated to permanently increase the physical strength of an ordinary human by more than 10%, whereas an evening of unrestrained lovemaking might result in a strength increase measured in the thousands of percent! Based on their stunningly beautiful looks and their open and frank sexuality, not to mention the strength-enhancing aspects of contact with their bodily fluids, Velorians are highly sought-after as sexual partners by most humanoid races, both male and female. Unfortunately, without prior enhancement, a Terran would be lucky to survive the realization of his or her fantasy, the lovemaking style of a Supremis tending to be very athletic. Having the arms and legs of a beautiful Velorian wrapped about ones body when she orgasms, her suddenly unrestrained strength thousands of times the human norm, not to mention the internal effects on any penetrative organ, makes such fantasy matings less attractive in the flesh than in the imagination.
Fortunately, a Supremis can perform such an enhancement in advance of such a needful time, a long period of foreplay often providing enough time for the retrovirus to work. While it is not unheard of for a Supremis to use his or her unrestrained sexual powers as a weapon, a sport that is relatively common in fact among the Arion Prime when they walk among normal humans, it is rare for a Velorian to do such a thing, except perhaps as a ploy to defeat an enemy of equal power. In those special cases, the increase in strength that comes during the moment of orgasm tends to allow a less powerful Velorian to momentarily attain Protector-level strength, often to a sufficient degree to overcome an Arion Prime warrior.
In terms of enhancement, greater strength and near invulnerability are always transferred, but the powers of flight, vision and hearing are rarely passed down (and not always all three). The exact powers gained are determined by the unknown genetic factor possessed by the exposed individual. It is believed by some Velorian scientists that rogue super genes have propagated through Terran individuals they call "Latents." These Latents are generally more muscular and attractive than other humans, but at best may have only slightly enhanced strength levels. However, not only are they capable of bearing Latent children and even Homo Superiors, but Latents themselves will react very dramatically to even small quantities of the mutagenic hormones. In some rare cases, usually involving something that might otherwise have killed them a Latent may even undergo an origin without any help from an existing super, and the circumstances of the origin usually dictate the powers gained. (E.g.: rather then dying, a Latent struck by lightning suddenly has an orgasm and gains electrical powers.)
Regardless how the resulting mutation has occurred, any subsequent exposure to hormones will have no effect. Other Supers are immune to the effects of the hormones, but Beta Arions can be very strongly affected, because their Latent genetic structure contains many recessive Arion Prime genes.
When aroused, female Velorians also emit powerful pheromones (said to resemble the scent of wild flowers and honey) that can greatly increase the arousal of other super-beings and even normal humans. Unlike most pheromones, which only attract the opposite sex, other females are also affected, sometimes even more strongly than males. The actual effect of the pheromones varies widely from individual to individual, ranging from having virtually no effect, to driving the recipient completely mad with lust.
Energy discharges can also be absorbed and stored in the body by females, primarily in their breasts, to be discharged later as a weapon or used to support their physiological needs when they are using their strength or flight powers. The female breast is no longer a reproductive organ for Supers - its now primarily an energy storage organ. The size of their breasts sometimes changes significantly depending on the amount of energy that is stored as chemical energy within them. Extremely high stored charges can lead to loss of control over discharge, but such discharges can also have an extremely erotic effect on a female, often rendering her beyond control until her passion has been athletically, and sometimes violently, satisfied.
They can also transfer this energy to other members of their own race, and during the rare times a pair of male and female Velorians travel together, her body is used as an energy store during protracted space flight or combat. The transfer of energy between the two of them is usually an intimate act involving a great deal of wetted skin exposure, both penetrative and oral. (The reason for this, again, is that all Supers are powered by orgone energy.) Most couples have found very pleasant ways to perform this type of intimate contact, an act that is often called 'recharging', although it has become popular for Protectors to simply refer to it by the various terms they have learned from the Terrans, some of which are considered vulgar.
Their power of flight makes the Velorians and their splinter race, the Geheimites, unique in the galaxy. A males single flight organ, a "volatus", is located in the center of his chest cavity. It is relatively small and is further diminished by the limited energy reserves that males have.
Females have redundant volatae, one in each breast where it has optimal access to the vast energy reserves that females can store. A well-endowed female can store several hundred million watt-hours of energy in each breast, more than enough for prolonged spaceflight, the size of their breasts changing by as much as two cup sizes between being mostly diminished and fully 'charged'. The energy itself is stored as orgone energy, that energy being possible to transfer between two individuals via either orgasmic activity or by direct energy discharges.
Drugs/Poisons -- Vulnerable to a few drugs that can neutralize aspects of Velorian physiology needed for powers. Gold also has a serious weakening and intoxicating effect on them if an unbroken link is placed around their bodies. How this interferes with their strength and invulnerability is unknown at this time, but is clearly a deliberate part of their genetic structure, imposed by the Galens to provide a way to control them. One theory suggests that gold is one of the most dangerous substances in a group of so-called "toxic metals" which can prevent the accumulation of orgone energy.
Surrounding a Supremiss body with a link of purest gold reduces his or her strength dramatically and also leaves them in a partially drugged state. The sensations are very pleasant initially, rather like getting "high" on the weed-like drugs that grow on a number of humanoid worlds. Their senses become amplified and they feel pain much as a human would, yet they retain most of their invulnerability. They also become very sensitive to normal drugs at such times, most particularly to the effects of alcohol.
Whatever the reason, if gold is worn for a prolonged period, the intoxicating effects will eventually fade; the weakness, however, will remain until the gold is removed. The removal of the gold causes a dramatic energy discharge, usually from the female's breasts, as her orgone energy spreads back through their bodies to energize them.
Disease/Infection -- Immune to all known natural illness. But they can be affected by some specifically engineered genetic retro-viruses, including the infamous Virus X, which can kill a Super in less than thirty days.
Electricity -- Generally harmless, even invigorating and exciting. Electrical discharges can be physically stored as chemical energy by females to provide energy for their super metabolism or for later discharges.
Fire/Heat -- Generally harmless unless greater than 5000 C, at which point it becomes very uncomfortable for them, the exposed tissues of their bodies becoming painfully dry, the skin often cracking. Temperatures above 10,000C are generally fatal if exposure is prolonged.
Extreme Cold -- Slowed slightly at -50 F and below. Increased vulnerability to physical attack at temperatures approaching absolute zero, yet they are able to survive extended exposure to temperatures only a few degrees above absolute zero, at least until their stored energy reserves are depleted.
Orgone Energy/Viridium -- Because Supers act as natural orgone accumulators, they are extremely vulnerable to overdoses - especially the females whose bodies store energy. Velorians of either sex can be totally incapacitated by the extreme sexual excitement/pleasure, with the effect of the energy directly proportional to the strength and vitality of the person who absorbs it. Otherwise, excess orgone energy can be stored like any form of energy and discharged, but usually with extremely strong, often uncontrollable, accompanying physical sensations.
By contrast, devices such as "cloudbusters" which can siphon orgone energy out of an object represent an even bigger threat. Even more dangerous is the radioactive substance "viridium," which in its natural green form acts in the same manner, only much more powerfully. While toxic metals such as gold merely prevent Supers from accumulating more energy, green viridium actually draws orgone energy out of their bodies and induces lassitude and inertia. Exposure to a sufficiently powerful piece of viridium is invariably fatal.
Viridium comes in various forms: stonelike, metallic, and crystalline. Not all of it is green - other varieties include red viridium, which temporarily scrambles a Supers genetic construction and can induce bizarre and unpredictable new forms which only last for approximately 48 hours (E.g.: splitting a Protector into two beings, changing her into an insubstantial ghost, making her into the exact duplicate of someone else, etc.); blue viridium, which has no effect upon Supers but is just as deadly to normal humans as green V is to them; and yellow viridium, which can rob a Super of his or her powers for an extended period. Appropriately enough, yellow V is also known as "gold viridium."
Magic -- Because of the purely physical nature of a Velorian's powers, they are vulnerable to magical effects and have reduced resistance against physical attacks that are magical in origin.
Psionic/Mental Attack -- As with magic, their purely physical powers leave them with only limited capacity to defend against mental attacks.
Possession/Mental Domination -- Perhaps one their greatest weakness, next to gold and viridium, Velorians have proven to be extremely vulnerable to possession of their bodies by other minds; and to the manipulation of their thought processes by brainwashing techniques or mind control devices. The only good things to come out of this weakness include the Drill Helmets which Velorians sometimes use for implanting skills and knowledge, and the Mind Probe, which may be used for therapeutic purposes by psychologists.
Class M Red Stars -- Close (in an astronomical sense) proximity to a red star will weaken a Velorian by as much as one-third. Extremely close contact, perhaps within its outer corona, would likely weaken their invulnerability sufficiently to allow the star's energies to incinerate them. Generally, the brighter the star (from class G yellow stars all the way through to class O blue stars), the more powerful the Velorian becomes, but it seems although class K orange stars are slightly brighter than red ones, theyre still too dark to offer any real improvement. Instead, Velorians notice little difference, if any, in their power levels until theyre under a yellow sun.
Fertility Cycle -- Female Velorians are weakened significantly (50% or more), and can experience significant hormone-induced behavioral changes.
Can be Captured/Subdued By -- Wrapping a pure gold (24 carat) chain around their bodies. The gold must contain no impurities whatsoever. Being in the close vicinity of very large quantities of pure gold (multiple tons) can have a related affect for reasons stated above.
Other Vulnerabilities -- If a Velorian's energy levels are sufficiently reduced, she can experience a complete loss of superhuman abilities until "recharged" with a massive infusion of energy. Their resistance to injury remains significant even when their powers are lost, but total amnesia is often an unfortunate side effect. The restoration of these energies and their resulting superhuman abilities also generally restores their memories. Velorian children are particularly vulnerable to these effects, often running out of energy and becoming forgetful.
In addition, a continuous energy attack directly on the storage organs can overload a females capacity to absorb and store energy, and can cause sufficient pain to seriously impair her.
Because of their intended nature as sexual playthings for the Galens as well as Protectors of the Galaxy, Velorians are genetically programmed to be unable to resist a sexual advance by another being possessing vast superhuman strength. Indeed, due to their unique psychological makeup, Supers are no more traumatized by sexual assault than they are by any other form of violence. As a result, they are also often guilty of molesting others (particularly those they have defeated in combat) because in their minds the act is no worse than roughhousing. To make matters even worse, remember that Viragos find violence sexually stimulating.
NOTE: All of the above applies to normal Velorians. Planetary Protectors and Messengers possess the same powers, but at significantly stronger levels, their genetics being selected for strength, endurance and fighting abilities, their endowments suitably sized for their roles.