Uncle Jimbo's End of Time Blues
|"All that you see is not all that there is."|
So-called Hairy Dwarfs are biological constructs, designed for work purposes by an extra-Terran grouping of advanced beings. The cultural name for the ruling entities presents great problems in translation, in relation to human cultural history. This term has been rendered as Galactic Parliament, Federation of Worlds, and Star Empire. The ruling species all seem to enjoy great equality, independence, and personal power within a code of jurisdiction. The best accepted name for these rulers is Tribunes.
Hairy Dwarfs are humanoids about three feet tall, but very thick in the body. The creatures are generally covered in thick long hair, ranging from black to red-blond in colour, and with a curious stalky or straw-like appearance. However, when severely malnourished, they easily shed this hair. Their bare skin is pale chalky green, and in very decrepit units, begins to flake off as a yellowish-green dust. They wear silvery or black jumpsuits, sometimes including a mask with breathing tubes to contain the dust from badly maintained Dwarfs.
The face has two large green eyes of slanted oval shape, no visible nose, oddly wrinkled or folded skin, and a wide trapdoor-like mouth without teeth. (The creatures have no need to eat, but when armed for conflict with other extra-terrene foes, mount a laser-targeted render weapon inside this "mouth" cavity.) The eyes have two concentric iris rings of glassy triangular blades around an uncovered pinhole pupil.
The arms and legs are long and thin, ending in broad-palmed, stubby-fingered hands and disk-shaped feet. In some cases, Hairy Dwarfs have been observed in a knuckle-walking gait, or even walking on their hands, apparently for increased speed. Both hands and feet can apparently extrude multiple small spikes that dig into timber, stone or cement surfaces, allowing a Dwarf to walk up vertical walls (though not overhangs). These are also used to improve the creature's grip on human captives. Escaped would-be abductees often have scratched skin or torn clothing.
A Hairy Dwarf's body and limbs have a rock-hard consistency, easily noticed when a human is grasped by the creature or attempts a hand-to-hand attack on it. The creature's structure is actually composed of microscopic silicate layers acting as a substrate for protein- and TPA-based organic material. This structure is as hard and tough as reinforced concrete, except at the joints, which are a complex combination of solid members and flexible bundles of silicate fibres, with little organic material. Hairy Dwarfs have Good toughness against any LI or HI attack, though only Ordinary toughness against most Energy attacks. They are also extremely heavy (30kg per point of CON).
These creatures travel in vehicles of cylindrical or elliptical shape and quite small size. A captured specimen contains only hutches for the four Hairy Dwarf workers, and a large hollow frame surrounded by non-functional machinery. The craft's performance is believed to be quite limited, and it is certainly not capable of interplanetary flight. The hollow square device is believed to be a spatial transporter that conveys abductees to much larger examination chambers elsewhere.
Hairy Dwarfs are programmed for the tasks required, or can be controlled remotely by a Tribune (see below). Their basic programming, which dominates their behaviour unless overridden by specific controls, involves capture and examination of living creatures. Those with more advanced programs are capable of telepathic contact (broad skill only), human language, cunning tactics and complex technical manipulation. For example, two Hairy Dwarfs were reported to carry out a medical diagnosis and successful surgical procedure on a human subject suffering from cancer.
As well as guiding it for physical work and speech, a skilled Tribune can project his native psionic powers through a remote-controlled Hairy Dwarf. Only Telepathy and Telekinesis powers can be projected in this way, and the operator must make a successful Telepathy - datalink check to do so (note that datalink cannot be used untrained). Besides Telepathy - contact and illusion, Telekinesis - kinetic shield is often applied through this link, and may be amplified in some way, as some human attackers have reported a "force field" defense capacity.
When something goes wrong, the Dwarfs have some limited fuzzy-logic ability which allows them to escape from the immediate threat and seek further instructions from their Tribunes. Unfortunately, they are often confused by the slight resemblance between Tribunes (a long-haired, carnivorous quadrupedal species) and certain terrestrial fauna. Bluntly, Hairy Dwarfs abandoned on their own tend to seek advice from large shaggy dogs. (A human confronted by a Tribune may make an Awareness-perception check to notice the being's alien body structure, opposable foreleg digits, and head formation.)
When surveying terrestrial life, the Tribunes themselves show a strong bias towards their own body form, often ignoring humans in favour of studying quadruped mammals, such as dogs, cats and cattle.
Hairy Dwarfs are built to serve the Tribunes. When encountered, they may be engaged on autonomous missions, or may be controlled by Tribunes (giving much greater adaptability, personality, and psionic powers).
It appears that programming and maintenance of Hairy Dwarfs is a task too complex for most, or even all of the Tribunes assigned to Earth. Some researchers surmise that such mechanics' jobs are seen as demeaning and of little importance, or that the Tribunes found here are in fact cut off from high-tech supplies. Hairy Dwarfs are typically poorly programmed for their task, badly maintained, or both.
Hairy Dwarfs have been known to trade devices to humans in return for assistance in their activities, which would also suggest a low priority given to physical technology by their instructors.
There have been reports of armed conflict between Hairy Dwarfs and other alien beings, probably of the Pascagoula type, with the active involvement of at least one human.