The Shil’Q are a bipedal mammalian species that walk and swing around using their arms rather than legs.
I love my wife. Every day I wake up next to her, her beautiful nostrils flaring at me. I roll out of our hang mat, get into the shower. I get my uniform out, I iron it. Every morning. I like looking pristine before I get to work. I take in the glorious smells of the city, staring out the window with my cup of coffee in hand. My two children dart around me.
“Daddy, daddy! Bring us back something nice today!”
I always tell them I will try. I love my children. I’m paid well, the Coalition takes care of us. My wife comes down the spiral, ready to help me with their lunches. I love my wife. I love my children.
I eat my breakfast, I glance across our city level again. Cars fly by, the lights trailing like neon signs. We don’t get natural sunlight, but that’s okay. I love my city. I love my level. I grab my backpack, put on my glasses. The commercials jump into view, but I usually play a game on my way to the pillar. I exit our apartment and make my way down. Benny is there, every day. He holds the door for me and I thank him with a credit or two. Down the sidewalk I go. I prefer walking to the pillar, as it’s cheaper than taking a cab. And I get to see my city better. I love my city. I pass all sorts of people on the street. Sometimes I sling myself over a crowd or twist around a street light post, I do have a schedule to keep to. Can’t be late for work, after all. I always pop in at the local market, get myself some nice lunch for later. I play my game, bouncing a ball on traffic signs for as long as I can keep it up. My high score is pretty good. Garbla is quite jealous of it. I work with Garbla. Everyone knows what I do, my uniform shows it. My uniform demands respect and I receive it. I feel I do. People nod and smile at me. Some people turn their tiny noses up at me. I think humans think I’m smelly. I disagree. My wife disagrees. My children disagree. I love them. Whenever I get to the pillar, there’s always a mass of people, just waiting. Everyone is bustling, everyone is trying to get somewhere. Doesn’t matter what time of day, or if they are working, or going to a friend. Everyone is always going somewhere in this city. I stand and I wait. I nod and smile at my fellow Shil’Q. I love my city. I get in the elevators and I make my way down to SubLevel Nine. Not a lot of people go to SubLevel Nine, so after going down a few levels, it’s only me and my colleagues in the elevator. Garbla and I discuss our evening, make jokes. As we near the sub-level, my work list comes in, every day. As does Garbla’s. We exit and I make my way to my first operation. Wrench in hand, toolkit on my back. I love my job.
Today I’m cleaning the remnants out of sewer drain forty-two. It’s a big one, it smells really good. I love my job. I love my city. I love my children. I love my wife.
A little under four millennia ago the Coalition discovered Maymunodam, a fairly old, yet geologically active, planet ravished by large ion storms. Initially, the planet was dismissed as uninhabitable, due to the destructive nature of the storms and an abundance of poisonous gasses in the atmosphere. After a closer study, several gasses were discovered in the atmosphere that could only come from industrial production, indicating a civilization.
This turned out to be the subterranean Shil’Q (pronounced as SHEE-leck), living in vast structures beneath the surface. The Shil’Q are a bipedal mammalian species that walk and swing around using their arms rather than legs. These gigantic arms rotate around the shoulder socket completely, allowing them superbly fast movement climbing through their tunnels, swinging from grip to grip. Their “legs” function like arms and are located at their pelvis.
They spent centuries underground, evolving to suit their surroundings. The flora and fauna of Maymunodam contain many chemical building blocks. This results in the Shil’Q digestive system producing highly acidic excrement capable of dissolving certain kinds of stone. Thanks to the placement of their arms they can manipulate these excrements to aid them in tunneling as well as construction. Using their burrowing abilities and their acidic excretions they developed large caverns within which they build impressive stone structures. A vast network of tunnels connects their large cities.
When the Coalition realized there was life on Maymunodam they sent a group of Huarangi volunteers down to research. They quickly ran into the Shil’Q, who had no idea that anything could live topside, let alone there being an entire galaxy out there. When faced with the possibilities of joining the Coalition, seeing new worlds and being part of a supporting greater collective, they jumped at the chance. The Shil’Q found they had to adapt a lot of their ways, as their standards for what was filthy and what was clean were radically different from most other species in the Coalition. As the Coalition has plenty of trash and other waste materials flowing through their cities and spaceships, the Shil’Q quickly found places they could appreciate and could work in.
Nowadays, the Shil’Q fulfil all sorts of jobs within the Coalition that most others wouldn’t want to do. From coroners to waste management to certain raw material production management, the Shil’Q love their work environments and rarely understand other people’s standards for cleanliness.