Mongoosetiger (race)

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"The motto of all the mongoose family is "Run and find out.""
Kipling


Mongoosetiger%2B%2528race%2529.jpg
A somewhat generic impression of a mongoosetiger

With Mongoosetiger acquiring siblings of his species, eventually an entire race of mongoosetigers may exist. Below is a piece of an article from sometime in the 31st Century. Questions of where, exactly, it came from or why it is allowed to remain are invariably met with shrugs of "I dunno, wasn't me..." from any of the time actives queried.

Mongoosetigers are a species bred from a combination of the tiger, mongoose, and Human DNA. As such, they have many physical abilities and great strength and endurance, as well as keen intellects.

Canon Keeper's Note: Please apply to the canon keeper to play a Mongoosetiger.

Species Data

...data from Mizunomics Research Database 10.0 recovered...

Average Height: Between 3 and 4 meters
Growth: Roughly 4 ft. at birth, doubling in the first year (typically an inch a week, or a foot every three months). Growth spurts around age 5 or 6 (adding around 2 feet), and a second at puberty (12 or 13) adding a final 2 or so feet. Occasional further growth around age 18 or 20 (usually making up missed growth during the first two spurts).
Average Weight: 1200 lbs.
Diet: Carnivorous, with omnivorous tendencies. They require upwards of 10,000 calories a day with particularly active specimens requiring twice that. A mongoosetiger in the wild requires a very large hunting range, but most find standard Human foods to meet their requirements.
Fur: Similar to a tiger, base color runs from black, through blue-gray, gray, blonde, orange and into red, with black stripes. There are often white spots behind the ears, and patches on the belly. Wholly white base coats are rare and only found in certain families. Calico females are even rarer than white coats, but there is at least one family line which produces such individuals on a rare recurrent basis.
Eyes: Usually yellow, brown or blue. Quite sensitive and have five cone types (IR, Red, Green, Blue, UV).
Population: Unknown, but believed in excess of 100,000.

Background

Not a lot is known of the origin of this race, but it is assumed to have been created, as their legends speak of "Granvater" and his first son, "The Mongoosetiger." The species appears to be mildly polygamous, but monogamous couples are known. Mongoosetigers (the proper plural, although the species itself prefers mongeesetigers for some reason) are known to live 750 to 800 years without major medical intervention. Individuals are known to be extremely friendly with others, sometimes overly so, and have very upbeat personalities (depression is under-diagnosed in the population, simply due to their naturally high base state).

Mongoosetigers are widely known for their superb senses. They have very sensitive noses, superb night vision, excellent color vision (extending into the near infrared and ultraviolet ranges) and a sensitive sense for air currents.

Currently, most mongoosetigers are seen employed as bodyguards, their most visible role, where their strength, speed and size make them fierce defenders of their charges. In addition, many mongoosetigers are employed in wilderness areas as park rangers and guides. A mongoosetiger might be found in almost any profession or location; however, despite their obvious advantages, none serve in regular military forces. One general famously remarked, "We haven't found a Drill Sergeant who can get the concept through to them."

Populations may be found in almost any location in the Sol System, from Mercury to Quinox, although there is evidence of an unknown population of large size.

Development

From a few longitudinal studies, a basic picture of mongoosetiger development has emerged. When born, they tend to have extremely, soft and fluffy coats which keep the infant warm, but doesn't protect well against water. By the time they're a year old this has become a dense inner coat and an outer coat has developed as well, making them much more water resistant. It isn't until their fifth or sixth birthday that they'll develop their "tigerstripes".

A mongoosetiger will be able to walk on all fours within a day of their birth, but it will usually be after they're a year old that they'll be able to operate on two legs. Initially they will sleep 18 - 20 hours a day, by the time they are five they'll transition to sleeping about 12 hours a day. It won't be until they are 18 or twenty they will finally get down to 10 hours a night of sleep. A mongoosetiger is born with a set of milk teeth, and they will stick to liquid diets with some soft foods for the first six months of life. They'll move on to more solid foods shortly thereafter, wearing down their initial teeth. Replacement teeth will start growing in around their second year, and these "adult" teeth will replace themselves every 20-30 years thereafter.

A baby mongoosetiger starts out with a strength equivalent to an adult chimpanzee. By the time they're through their first year they compare favorably with a gorilla or full grown tiger. Once through their first growth spurt around age 5 they are easily able to lift loads of a couple tons. By the time a mongoosetiger is fully grown they have an amazing musculature that keeps them level with cybernetically enhanced humans, able to lift several tons without complaint. The strongest examples on record are around 25 tons.

A mongoosetiger has what a human would consider an odd brain development. From birth, they're assaulted by their magnificent senses, and it will usually take them a while to sort everything out there. At the same time they're mastering basic walking and jumping. By a year in age they are perfectly capable hunters, but this is also when their brains really start developing their higher cognitive functions. About two years of age they'll begin speaking, with grammar and syntax not becoming normative until they're 6 or 7 and even then, due to physiology, they'll often have pronunciation difficulties into their teens. In any case, once a mongoosetiger does begin speaking they become a sponge for information and will, for the rest of their lives, pick up all sorts of knowledge. They tend to pick up skills with the same speed and competence. Mongoosetigers given tests designed for humans are usually able to score in the top percentiles, except when it comes to specific questions relying on color.

Culture

Most aspects of mongoosetiger culture are superficially similar to whatever community they reside in, but there are some uniquely mongoosetiger aspects that seem to show up in every group.

One of the first things that is noticed, is that mongoosetigers are very tactile in their interactions; they will hug each other, friends, and strangers at the least opportunity. As part of this tactile interaction, young mongoosetigers of both genders appear to enjoy wrestling and similar martial arts as athletic outlets. Another favorite, for some youngsters, is the Mongoosetiger Bow; a formidable weapon in the hands of a full grown mongoosetiger.

Second, mongoosetigers seem to greatly enjoy digging and climbing. Personal architecture tends to support these habits; where mongoosetigers are allowed to build for themselves they seem to prefer high towers where they can climb to great heights, as well as subterranean labyrinths connecting said towers. It has been noted as well, that where human children prefer "treehouses" a mongoosetiger cub will prefer a "mongoosetigerhole". These "mongoosetigerholes" seem to share many similarities to a military Defensive Fighting Hole [aka foxhole], but often include a napping cavern that shares similarities to a bunker in trench warfare; these holes are usually lined in some type of branches or woven wickerwork to prevent cave-ins.

Family

Females go into heat for a couple weeks each year, except for the year after they give birth. This means a female will give birth to one or two cubs every second year, potentially. In practice a mother will have one or two cubs within a few years of each other every few decades. This works out as a cub potentially having 35 siblings spread over 7 centuries of ages.

The concept of family is a bit nebulous compared to humans. Several generations will often share the same household, usually all related by blood or marriage to the eldest mated pair. Cubs are raised by the entire household as a group. Mongoosetigers also have no taboos about pre-marital sex, with any cubs raised by the maternal family (although typically the paternal family also takes a role). It should be noted that females out of heat can still have sexual intercourse with males, but they will not be able to conceive, so "social sex" has no stigma attached to it.

Solitary Mongoosetigers

In some sense there are always those who go out and explore, and may go out alone but they are always ready to come back home to the group (sometimes a small group of 2 or four or even just a mate/spouse). But "Solitary" means someone who actively prefers being alone... the hermit, the trapper who can't live with others, the solitary loner... in MGT society they are extremely rare and they are DANGEROUS. They will hurt those who try to keep them company, and they often end up paranoid and will show extreme "animal cunning" in setting traps and other such things to remain alone. An MGT who prefers being alone is considered unnatural, as it were, by the others.

Long range explorers and others travelling quite far from civilization will often travel in pairs or more of like-minded individuals. If one of a pair dies, the survivor after an extended period may have similar behaviours to a "natural" solitary, although treatment can be of assistance in curing the condition (as opposed to the "natural" type who need continuing treatment).

Interactions with Human Society

Mongoosetigers have long suffered from negative perceptions brought on by the fact that they legitimately ARE Apex Predators. This combined with the relative rarity of exposure to mongoosetigers has led to something of a second class status for many mongoosetigers. There are a small number of ghettos around the Sol system where larger numbers of mongoosetigers have settled, usually with a status much like the "chinatowns" of old. The most famous "Tigertowns" are associated with Mumbai (10,000), Beijing (8,000), Bradbury City, Mars (5,000) and Mysn-Ku, Quinox (2,000). There is also a small on on Xcheamo beginning in the 2180s.

Most observers seem to agree that, with the exception of an occasional "solitary," mongoosetigers only pose a danger to those who are actively threatening them or those they care about. There are numerous anecdotes reported of the mongoosetiger who scales a burning building to rescue someone before the fire department has time to show up, for example.

Mongoosetigers in Popular Culture

  • The most famous case is the attempted assassination of #removed by administrator# where the mongoosetiger bodyguard took fifteen bullets and dismembered the attempted assassin on live TV.
  • The popular police procedural Tiger Sweat was set in a police district straddling the Tigertown and a large selection of immigrant neighborhoods in a somewhat fictionalized Beijing.
  • The Queen of Quinox is known to employ at least 2 mongoosetigers as bodyguards in her personal retinue.
  • The collective noun for mongoosetigers is a "pounce".