Fatimas of the Five Star Stories
In the battles that rage across the worlds of the Joker Star Cluster few weapons are as crucial as the fatima. Although they appear human at first glance, fatimas are humanoid creatures genetically engineered for a life of service on the battlefield. Fatimas are necessary copilots for mortar headds and mentally merge with the computer systems of these devastating machines to control weapons, communications and other vital processes. The mental merging is so complete that shock or strain experienced by the mortar headd during combat can be damaging to a fatima. Some fatimas have died after extended or particularly brutal battles. Fatimas are designed to have computational skills rivaling any computer.
Fatimas are thinner than humans with longer limbs and necks. Their chest cavities are smaller resulting in protruding joints. Although they appear to be frail they are markedly stronger and more resilient than normal humans. They are able to move as fast as most headdliners and can be deadly in personal combat. Most fatimas seen in the Five Star Stories are women but male fatimas are also produced as are child types that never reach physical maturity. Fatimas are not capable of producing children, perspire less than humans and require less food.
It is virtually unheard of for a fatima not to be paired with a headdliner. They call their partner "master" and serve with devotion until their master’s death. It is said the best partnerships result when the headdliner and fatima are of opposite sexes. Although some powerful headdliners have more than one fatima, fatimas serve only one master. Upon the master’s death, fatimas seek out a new partner. Fatimas pledge loyalty to their master and not to a nation or leader. A fatima’s new master can be of any allegiance.
Those with the skills required to create fatimas are called fatima meights. They rank from one to five based on skill with five being the highest. Talented fatima meights are eagerly sought after by national leaders in order to give their own headdliners the opportunity to partner with the best fatimas. Most fatimas are produced in factories or workshops supervised by fatimas meights. They are expensive to produce and roughly half of them have to be destroyed due to defects that show after manufacture or during training. Those created by skilled meights are called masterpiece fatimas. These are created one at a time in a process that more closely resembles an artisan’s workshop than a factory. Skilled meights are also artists who express their talents through the appearance and capabilities of the masterpiece fatimas they create. Four fatima meights who have been recorded in the pages of history for their superior skill are Drs. Chrome Ballanche, Morard Carbyte, Prisen Corks and Steel Koop.
Fatimas go through eight stages of development before they are ready to enter military service. A ranking system has been devised to rate fatima quality. Fatimas begin life in a liquid vat and usually remain there after the stage of development where humans are born. Training is conducted by computers while in the vat to ensure they are well-versed in engineering, physics and biology. After emerging, fatimas receive further training and have a memory crystal surgically implanted in their head. This crystal is used for merging with mortar headd computer systems. They then remain in their creator’s house for 2 to 3 months before choosing a master (this is not the case with factory produced fatimas).
By galaxy law, fatimas must be subjected to strict mind control during their development. This mind control subdues their emotions and enforces several conditions:
- Only a headdliner may be chosen as master
- They may not harm humans unless ordered to by their master
- They obey only the orders of their master
- They must respect humans as better than themselves
- A new master must be found after the current one dies
- They may not attempt to pass themselves off as humans
Galactic law places further limitations on fatimas. They must wear colored contact lenses to obscure their eyes when in public. They may not reveal their flesh (some are concerned they will bewitch men with their beauty). Fatimas have no legal rights and cannot testify in court or enter public offices. When appearing in public they must wear capes that completely cover their bodies and mark them as fatimas (see image below). When fatimas are not accompanied by their masters it is legal to kidnap or kill them. Common citizens’ reactions to fatimas usually range from distrust to outright disgust. When headdliners travel they keep their fatimas in their mortar headd dorreys and other places where they can remain out of sight.
Despite the fact that they are artificial life forms fatimas have personalities and feelings of their own. Many dream of being normal human women and leaving the battlefield behind forever. Perhaps because of their forced exclusion from society they develop deeper relationships when they can with headdliners and other fatimas. Unfortunately, many headdliners share the general view of fatimas as little better than animals and force their partners to endure a life of loneliness.
- Period of Maturation:
- 8-15 years
- Production Cost:
- Around US$ 46 million but a black market exists as do private transactions
- Life Span:
- 300-500 years, depending on quality
- Necessary Caloric Intake:
- Minimum 200 kcal. per day in battle situations
- MH Control/Data Processing Capabilities:
- Equivalent to a 128 bit computer, however memory is only a little better than Homo sapiens
- Physical Strength:
- 200kg single arm clean and jerk, 500kg deadlift
- 200 or more
- Reaction Speed:
- 85% of the average headdliner’s speed
- Blood Type:
- Similar to Homo sapiens (MN, RH, ABO). The best meights develop superior types. The double epsilon model’s (Lachesis) blood type is by far the finest to date.
A public-use fatima outfit designed for the AKD’s FEMC fatimas JC 3159.