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Lagrush Town

“You know these guys have two assholes?”
“Yeah, they do take the whole bilateral symmetry thing to an extreme.”
“Like this giant warrior spearman-caste guy here?”
“Lancer is more accurate. But they’re way more specialized than that. There’s escort lancers – like this guy – guard lancers, warrior lancers, climbing lancers. And the same goes for fusiliers, artillerists – there’s... I don’t know how many castes.”
“And that’s just the military.”
“Right. Then we’ve got the little guys: the industrialists, agriculturists, servicers.”
“Not like that, cretin. You know: cleaners and cooks and stuff.”
“So like, do they have specialty cooks that just make one meal? The same stew for their entire lives?”
“Worse than that. There’s cutters for each type of ingredient, loaders, stirrers – temperature regulators – that’s a leadership caste – and ladlers.”
“God. Stirring the same stew for a whole lifetime. Good thing they only last thirty years or so before they bite it and get fed to the furnaces. No wonder they have tiny brains.”
“Yeah, not much smarter than a dog. Leadership castes are smarter, though; more like an ape. They’ve been at this for at least sixty thousand years; speciation is starting to take place between the castes.”
“Jeeze. Somewhere back in their past, they must have gone overboard with the specialization thing. The whole society’s like an assembly line. So, how do these guys even count as sapient? Just because they’ve got industrial tech?”
“Yeah, I guess. That’s up to the ape-brains back at headquarters to decide. I’m just here to study them.”
“Hey, do you know they’ve got two assholes?”
“You gotta get rid of that fixation, man.”

[Artist’s note: Until 2226, the Human colony of Atlantis had a monopoly on interstellar travel. With a population of only a hundred thousand to support a growing fleet of starships, crew selection criteria were often a little lax.]

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