Categories:Fictional Worlds and Universes|
Created by: Elrod W
The Morphic Adaptation Unit (MAU)
Usually one of many demonstration units, lost centuries ago from a
fleeing and damaged alien freighter. The little alien device can
impart nearly any change or alteration to a lifeform that the
imagination can dream up, with certain exceptions.
Open for new stories: yes
RESTRICTED Permissions: Danni and her band of MAU-created Trekkies are ABSOLUTELY and
TOTALLY off-limits to any author who wishes to write in my MAU
Retrieved from BigCloset:
Formatted for easier reading here by cj on 2015 Aug 12
Revised Rules for the Morphic Adaptation Unit, Mark 5
Some may consider these rules and notes to be extreme. Some may
them offensive. I have been told that I should write "minimal"
let people play, like has happened in other universes. I tried
even with reasonable guidelines, my universes have been radically
by adventurous authors. If the story universe is to stay open, it
with some stronger guidelines to help keep things in line with my
original creation. So if you consider these notes and guidelines to
extreme, invent your own universe and don't muck up mine. Thank
Below is the background story on the units, the rules, some
information in the form of the MAU Company's FAQs, and my final
characters I've created.
First Tm'skor was having a bad day. This had started as a very
day on another routine freight run on just one more routine
freight ship. He was looking forward to a peaceful retirement after
cycles of dutiful, if boring, service on the Fwirthian merchant
including the past 12 cycles as First, commander of a vessel. Of
as a member of the merchant caste of Fwirthi, he lacked the
to see how dull and boring his job really was.
Dull, that was, until this morning, when his ship was suddenly
by warp holes, each one spitting forth a M'Platwiri attack cruiser.
as the bells rang the alarm of the pirate attack, bolts of energy
splashed against his hull plates. The ship groaned in protest as
pitiful crew, soft and helpless, shrieked their terror, dashing
confusion and abandoning their duty stations. Even Tm'skor was
frightened and confused. Fwirthian merchant ships were not crewed
military caste; as such, they were easy prey for the M'Platwiri
Rather, they should have been. The fates stepped in, and spared
the fate of being captured by the pirates. As he stumbled about his
bridge, confused and frightened like the other Fwirthian
collided with his navigator, and the pair smashed into the
controls. Of the buttons depressed randomly by the flailing
commanded the engines to engage and the warp generator to activate.
ship, still drawing fire, vanished into a warp hole.
Wounded, spewing freight containers from the ugly gashes in the
ship popped out of its warp hole in a backwater of the galaxy, an
uninteresting, backward system with one nondescript yellow star and
one reasonably habitable planet. First Tm'skor and his crew ignored
system. It wasn't on their route, and as such it held no interest
their unimaginative minds. And because their orders said nothing
recovering cargo lost from battle damage (such conditions couldn't
been imagined by the traders commissioning the cargo!), they
countless canisters trailing their ship like a ribbon of confetti,
carrying nearly three thousand cubic meters of cargo . As soon as
essential systems had been repaired, they swung around the sun, set
course, and dropped into another artificial warp hole. Behind the
a trail of cargo canisters, not having a warp hole as a
the tug and pull of the tiny sun and its tiny planets. Many fell
immediately into the sun. Others were smashed against moons or
For centuries to come, though, most of the cargo canisters would
through the system, lost forever to the shipping company and its
customers. Occasionally, one would end up falling into the sun.
times, a rare collision with other astral debris would rip open a
canister, freeing more cargo items to join the lengthening trail of
flotsam and jetsam in a cometary orbit around the small star.
Eventually, bits and pieces of the cargo and canisters, some still
bearing the legend of the Gamalfi Company, skimmed the atmosphere
third planet. Most of the debris broke up quickly, disintegrating
awful heat, but some of the smaller pieces of cargo was made of
General information about the MAU
The unit comes packaged for shipping in a seamless metal box, about
inches by 15 inches by four inches thick. It is incredibly light,
also resistant to virtually anything a normal person could find to
it. (This includes blowtorches, hammers, pick-axes, drills, being
over, etc. You get the picture. This is one tough little box!) The
only thing visible on the box are some alien symbols, which if
translated, would read:
Morphic Adaptation Unit, Mark 5
To activate evaluation unit, press HERE
HERE happens to be anywhere on the symbols. When activated, it
itself to a box about the size of a telephone booth. (For those
readers who have never encountered such a strange contraption, a
booth is about 1 meter x 1 meter, with a height of 2.1 meters.) The
device will self-right, and move itself to a stable and level
complete opening. Three sides are bare; the fourth is covered by a
on half, with controls on the other half. The door has a purplish
crystal, which causes the door to be opened. When the door 'opens',
of the side simply disappears, and reappears to 'close'.
The controls are the picture of perfection in a user interface.
a ruby control plate looking like a 3-fingered hand (or bird- or
dinosaur-paw print), and above it, a rectangular display surface.
Touching the ruby control plate causes it to read the mind of the
thereafter, the system displays the form as directed by the user's
thought patterns. After thinking about a body or change, the
shows the effects. When a user removes his or her hand, the display
freezes in the last configuration.
On first use, the display will scroll through alien characters;
the Gamalfi Corp's standard disclosure, license agreement, and
from damage. It also says, very clearly, in perfect Fwirthian
that the unit has been activated for a 4-day evaluation period, and
changes subsequent to that period would require electronic payment
Gamalfi corporation. Pressing on the crystal plate indicates that
user accepts the terms of the license agreement, including the time
Note - despite advanced technologies in the galaxy (many of which
Earth-bound humans look like neolithic cavemen in comparison),
been successful in decoding the extremely eccentric Fwirthian
let alone the wacky script writing. It is impossible for a human-
manufactured computer to decode the script.
Changes are limited only by the imagination of the user, but with a
couple of safeguards. Intelligence cannot be reduced, nor can the
alter a body to a less-fit state. In other words, it can't
inflict damage or harm to a user. An MAU can easily be used for
surgery, sex change, and with thought, to repair damage (such as
or missing limbs, damaged heart, or even mental damage). This fits
perfectly with the purpose of the MAU to enhance the user.
The change is limited by rules of physics, chemistry, etc. If a
thinks of a magic-using Merlin, for example, the device will create
costume perfectly, but cannot alter physics to make 'magic'
The more detail a user knows about a complex or advanced
greater the accuracy of the changes. For example, if a user is an
in nanotechnology, a reasonable facsimile of a Borg could be
If, however, the user knows diddly-squat about nanotechnology, the
would be cosmetic appearance only. The device is able to accurately
with genomes; altering sex is a simple genetic manipulation. The
will be genetically accurate - if two users were to transform into
male/female pair of centaurs, for example, any offspring would be
centaurs. Attempting to make money would result in copier-quality
unless the user was an expert in currency technology and details of
currency. An average user attempting to create diamonds would
get rhinestones, whereas someone who knows that a diamond is a pure
carbon crystal would get pure diamonds. To restate the principle,
advanced technologies or materials, one has to know something of
desired item in order to get accurate results.
The MAU will 'scavenge' materials from the neighboring region if
to make the changes; making diamonds, for example, would scavenge
from CO2, etc. The scavenging function will not harm a nearby
creature. The device will attempt to use materials from an
source. In other words, if someone were to create a Mr. T with lots
gold chains and jewelry, the device would attempt to find unrefined
within the operating radius rather than pulling the gold from
jewelry, coins, etc. Taking refined materials from someone else
permission would be a major ethical violation to the Fwirthians,
such, they provided protection against the device engaging in
The MAU contains a quantum computer which cannot only perform
(by human standards) feats of genetic manipulation, but has a
library of Fwirthian technology. Some of these technologies include
gravity manipulation (e.g. artificial gravity in spacecraft,
neutralizing units such as would be used in a 'Back to the Future'
DeLorean), warp-hole creation for FTL travel, advanced spacecraft
propulsion, etc. The user has to, however, have some idea of what
for in order to achieve the accurate results in a transformation.
to create a flying superhero (e.g. Superman) would result in a
change, whereas trying to create a hero with an 'Iron Man' suit
anti-grav propulsion and strength-enhancing mechanics would
result in the desired transformation - especially if the user knew
details about the expected result and if the expected results
Fwirthian technology. Some weapons may be created, provided source
material is available. Again, the results need to be consistent
physics. A 2.2 TW laser that runs on a pair of rechargable AAA
batteries, for example, would be impossible, and thus not created.
would, however, probably get a good Hollywood stage-prop mockup of
futuristic, if impossible, laser.)
When the evaluation period expires, any and all changes are
permanent unless and until either payment is made or an unexpired
The unit will NOT work on a pregnant woman, even for a cosmetic
After the time expires, the following message is displayed, albeit
We are sorry, but your thirty-eight Febulon evaluation license has
expired. To continue using the Mark 5 Morphic Adaptation Unit,
remit 52,495 Fwirthi Rakburs to the Gemalfi Corporation within
Febulons. Thank you for trying the Mark 5 Morphic Adaptation Unit.
The message continues for about 20 hours (8 Febulons), after which
box restows itself. It will be capable of being reactivated if 3
conditions occur: 1)
the device must have moved at least 300 miles from
the point of its activation, 2)
at least 3 months of time must have
passed, and 3)
it can never be reactivated by the original user.
MAUs are rare. Repeat, MAUs are RARE! One might consider that
hundreds of shipping containers were lost, but if one considers the
of the solar system, the density of MAUs is infinitesimally small.
highly unlikely that a person would encounter one in a lifetime.
Encountering more than one is quadrillions-to-one odds.
No one really knows when the MAUs began to fall to Earth. Some of
past date suggests some of the enigmas of history could be
MAUs. Current estimates place the first reliable MAU use
the giant Goliath of biblical history.
The US Government has a secret agency which is attempting to solve
riddle of the MAUs. The agency has not directly figured out how the
devices work, but through interviews with victims, have deduced the
operating parameters. The agency has recovered many expired MAUs,
far, has either not moved them far enough, or has not allowed
time to be able to reactivate the devices, or quit fiddling with
devices before the requisite time has passed. The government's
concern is to attempt to understand the MAUs so that they can
attempt by a hostile power to use them as weapons. Scientists are
attempting to decipher the Fwirthian script. Users of the MAU may
contacted by a special set of secret agents who investigate
sounds like MAU use. The government agency is NOT an evil
The agency as it exists now was founded in the early 1980s. The
Director was named Chuck Danielson or CD. He's the only named
the agency. Everyone by a code name, somewhat like the MIB series.
CD's first encounter with the MAUs was during the Vietnam War, and
further Cold War incident with the MAUs led to the creation of the
agency. Its work, of course, is classified at the highest level
possible. Not even the President or the National Security Advisor
details of the MAUs or the Agency.
Of course, the government had some 'prior knowledge' of the MAUs
the 80's. Much of this 'lore' was lost due to the extremely high
classification level of the data, which has never been
Some past secrets have probably been lost.
The agency strongly suspects that other governments (both friendly
hostile) are aware of the MAUs, and have reason to believe that
plots by foreign hostiles center around finding an active MAU. This
a driving factor for the agency's obsession with finding a working
and unraveling all of its secrets - to understand how the MAU could
used against the US. The agency has
headquarters in DC and a secret lab in an undisclosed location that
studying the MAUs. To date, it is not confirmed that the agency has
able to reactivate a unit, despite the passage of both time and (in
cases) distance. It is strongly suspected that the agency has so
collected units that they simply study the new ones, leaving the
potentially reactivatable) units in their storage facility.
FAQ from the Gamalfi Customer Service Department:
How many units were lost?
Hundreds of freight containers were lost; only a few of these
up in the sun or smashed into planets or moons. Most are left
the sun in cometary orbits. A dozen or so containers burned up in
Earth's atmosphere, spewing the units all across the Earth.
How many units were in each container?
Given the shipping size and the volume of a container, it is
that each container held over twenty thousand MAUs. Some of the
containers were mixed-cargo, so the total number is much smaller.
Why does the unit leave changes permanent?
It takes energy to make a change, along with massive computer
direct and focus that energy. A 'temporary' change would imply that
MAU would instill the user with sufficient energy and computer
undo the changes without the aid of the MAU. Containing this much
energy would be harmful to the end user. Besides, for how long
need an enhancement to perform a basic task before using the MAU to
How much can the MAU alter thought processes?
The MAU can alter the thought processes only to the extent
to make the user comfortable with the change and to behave in
with what is expected. For example, if a creature were changed from
to female, the MAU couldn't change his mind to that of a bimbo. It
could, however, make his libido high - assuming that was what his
pattern directed. It cannot make the male comfortable mentally
female, nor change sexual orientation.
Can an MAU cause damaging changes?
Can a person reuse a MAU after a suitable wait?
No. The MAU recognizes the brain waves of repeat users, and will
open, let alone function. Anti-theft protection for the Gamalfi
intellectual property, you know.
How long is an MAU dormant after a use?
At least three months. It also has to be moved, although that part
hasn't been figured out by anyone yet. The minimum distance is
Small Keflecs, which is roughly four hundred miles. (Remember, this
Small Keflecs, not Great Keflecs. Otherwise, the unit would have to
transported interplanetary distances to reactivate!)
When you say that the unit deactivates in 4 days, does that mean
the transformation wears off in 4 days, or that the unit's ability
work deactivates, leaving the character stuck in a transformed
The device deactivates, precluding further use. The user is stuck
with the last transformation. We _do_ provide a warning that the
license is about to expire!
Can the booths be used an unlimited number of times or with
The booth can be used an unlimited number of times within the
time span. Other people can use the booth as well, so long as the
from first use to last use is no longer than 4-days. As an example,
Bob find the booth on day 1. He does some transforms, and on day 2,
shows Phil. Day 3, he shows Rita. On day 4, they show Brad. All 4
using the MAU, but at the end of day 4, it doesn't work anymore for
of them, since the unit was activated by Bob, and his license has
How could a user possibly figure out how to decipher the symbols,
they are truly alien symbols?
The symbols aren't deciphered by the people. That's the conundrum
they use the device, despite lack of directions, because of
and the lack of directions ensures that they get stuck because they
Does it have a countdown sequence like in Independence Day that
like it's counting down - even though the symbols are unreadable to
protagonists. Or maybe when they get altered, they remember bits
pieces of the information, translated to their language, from what
have been the ingrained instruction manual? And as the story
they have to piece it together, and see if they can figure it out
the deadline is met, whenever that is.
Good suggestions. Maybe in the Mark 6. Gamalfi Customer Service
appreciates your suggestions for improving the Morphic Adaptation
As a way of thanking our customers, you are entitled to use a
Adapation Unit, Mark 5, for twice the standard demonstration period
no additional fees. Please enter the supplied key code in the user
interface when you first activate your MAU demonstration unit.
Isn't the idea of the unit is to let a potential customer try
something in the hopes that they'll buy it. Isn't it more likely
at the end of the demonstration period, the customer would change
Remember that this is a limited-time demo shareware. Everything
just fine - until the time expires. Then one has to pay to continue
using it, especially to undo changes which are currently in place.
Please note that it is not practical to change a user to be self-
correcting without great risk to the user (see question above). We
Fwirthians use the MAU as a tool to adapt to a task, and no more.
Borrowing a tool allows the user to see how useful it is, with the
that the user will be convinced to purchase the device. It has
be a very successful marketing strategy.
Maybe this could be what happens. The system has failsafes so the
users don't mess things up when they initially transform. But if
system isn't paid in that alien currency, the failsafes deactivate,
A human turns into a furry.
Intelligence decreases by 50%
36 C-cups go to 48 EE
A woman in her early 20s reverts to a 12-year old.
Does the subject get a warning of what will happen?
The Gamalfi Company appreciates your suggestions. This was tried
the Mark 2 and 3 MAUs. Negative feedback from the customers,
with an extremely high rate of purchase of demo units, has caused
delete this feature. (The numerous lawsuits were also persuasive.)
to warnings, the unit clearly displays the End User License
the time the unit is unpacked, and an additional warning is given
first time the unit is used with less than 24 hours remaining on
license. What more do you want?
What is meant by 'less-fit-state'?
The device uses the mind and genome of the user to extract
parameters of how the bodies of user's species normally operate.
information is then used to 'bound' the alterations. Age cannot be
significantly increased or decreased, as age-related issues might
the subject harm. The normal parameters allow a + or - 30% change
age, again bounded. An 80 year old person would not be permitted to
years, as the initial age is frail. The 80 year-old would, however,
able to reduce the physical age. Repeated use would allow an
enterprising 80 year-old to reduce his or her age to around 20
Pregnancy cannot be either created or destroyed by the unit. The
unit will not work on a pregnant woman, even for cosmetic changes,
risk to the unborn.
The mental image being used as a model for the new form generally
conforms to some purpose, e.g. lingerie model or linebacker. That
purpose defines some limits to the system to assist in deciding
and is not suitable for transformation.
It might be less of a bother to just refine that to say the MAU
introduce disease or decrease intellectual capability. It can,
be curative; a person with serious illness or injury could be
that affliction through the MAU.
Is it the case that the device designs the new form at the genetic
level for fitness of design, e.g. it doesn't allow a form that
genetic disease or malfunctioning organs.
A. This is correct. The device, by scanning the user, can interpret
normal parameters of bodily function, and will not allow changes
outside the normal functioning.
What about things like breasts?
What about them? The unit knows, from the user's knowledge and
decoding the genome, that breasts are mostly ornamental, and
breast size are merely decorative, unless the user wishes the
be lactating, in which case the device will comply. If too large an
increase is sought, the MAU will make corresponding changes in
structures, such as muscles and skeleton, to accommodate the extra
Are there any other restrictions?
The device will scan the mind for moral restrictions inherent in
user's species. These moral restrictions will be adhered to
Say, for example, a user wished to turn a pre-teen girl into a
major age for the purposes of copulation. Such changes are not
the bounds of moral behavior and would (attempt to be) screened.
that if the user is psychopathic, morally deficient, or amoral,
limitations would be difficult to apply. As a safeguard, all MAU
within 2.5 Great Keflecs communicate via a proprietary data
thus allowing sharing of basic parameters of a species and
This safety feature was added after the disastrous lawsuits that
when the MAU Mark 4 device was introduced to the YYthrillio race
few deviants used the devices to violate many significant taboos.
Nothing that Gamalfi Customer Service can think of right now.
Danni is the ONE and ONLY person to have ever re-used an MAU. This
accomplished after she accidentally turned herself into a very
replica of the Borg Seven of Nine (from Star Trek: Voyager),
down to highly-detailed Borg nanoprobes and human-machine
interfaces. This was possible through Danni's PhD-level knowledge
nanotechnology as well as the vast Star Trek lore which had been
The Borg interfaces, coupled with massive work on the part of the
Borg hive (which she also accidentally started), allowed her to
the MAU binary programming language.
Danni and her band of MAU-created Trekkies are ABSOLUTELY and
off-limits to any author who wishes to write in my MAU universe.
C & D
are the most common investigators of the agency. Others may be
but the authors should treat them as MIB, but without the fancy
They are investigators only; they are not X-files sinister agents.
originally posted by cj on 2015-08-02, 3 edits, entryid=9286