Ror Units (sometimes called The Ror or Rorrans), native to the planet D'Naevium in the Via Lacrimosa Galaxy. They are most common in the region of space known as the Alkan Intendancy. Rather than being made up of trillions of cells, they are made up of trillions of nano-machines or nanites working as one "organism." This causes scientists to debate over whether Ror Units are machines or a genuine natural species.
The Ror Units are theoretically immortal even without advanced medicine, as they have no telomeres to wear down, no DNA to become damaged. However, given enough time, even very unlikely deaths become likely. This limits their time to a little under ten thousand years with the help of modern technology. Their memory storage begins to run out after a little over two hundred years of life and new memories begin replacing old ones. Before technology which allowed them to expand their memory space existed, many of the Ror who lived beyond about 300 years were considered "reborn" as new individuals.
The Ror Units are composed of trillions of tiny robots, each with a different task much like organic life forms. For ease of movement, the inside of a Ror Unit is filled with a solution of water and anti-rust agents to prevent oxygen from rusting the iron in many of these constructs. Biologists call the nanomachines "nanites" to avoid confusion with artificial nano-technology that is also present in the body.
Ror Units have two to four legs and two to six arms (depending on the situation). This offers a wide-range of mobility and an increased ability to climb or to crawl if another limb is damaged. In a normal state, they will have two arms and two legs like any human. Mounted on their torsos are two large eyes and audio sensors. The eyes are 15 centimeters across and on opposite sides of each other, while the audio censors are in between them. This head can swivel 360 degrees and can angle up and down about 66 degrees.
Ror Units are technically hermaphrodites, but not in the traditional sense of the word. When mating, they simply exchange their genetic code through data ports. Both of them will average out their own and their partner's genetic code and then create a spore after several weeks. This roughly spherical spore is several centimeters across when ejected from the body. The parents will usually both care for these spores by giving them food, water, and keeping them warm.
Over the next year and a half, they will grow in diameter to a maximum of approximately 21 centimetres. After this they will begin metamorphosizing into a Ror Unit. This process takes seven months, over which they will be nurtured and fed by their parents. Two years after birth, they are able to walk, talk, and have learning abilities.
They have a skin made up of hexagonal "tiles" interlocked with each other. They are very small, between 1 to 2 millimetres in width, as to allow for easy movement. These tiles are tough, offering similar protection to reptilian scales. Their skin is filled with hydrophobic compounds to not only keep water in, but to keep potentially rust-causing agents off of the skin. Even so, these tiles periodically shed as they get damaged or inevitably rust.
The concept of organs is almost entirely absent from Ror Units. Rather than organs, there are trillions of cells floating in the aforementioned solution. Sometimes they form larger complexes and sometimes they don't. Either way, they usually have a myriad of tasks they perform. Digesting food, repairing others, ejecting waste and foreign materials, cleaning the solution, repairing wires, creating more of themselves, repairing motors, and signaling each other to better coordinate these tasks. When Ror Units sleep, this is when the cells recharge. The longest a Ror Unit can go without sleep is a little over 40 hours before they sustain serious internal damage.
Muscles in a Ror Unit are essentially just small electric motors. These motors evolved to be highly efficient and to generate little heat as they are covered in lubricants. Each one has a wire leading to it so they can move as the "brain" tells them to and so they have the electricity to work. The motors are mounted near joints. They range in size from several tenths of a millimetre across to over ten centimetres in the case of the arms and legs.
Every motor and sensor is connected to the "brain" with a wire. These wires, usually only 25 micrometres across, making them only slightly wider than human nerve cells. These wires are most often made up of pure copper or silver (depending on availability). They essentially are a filament attached to a cell. Along the length of the wire, hundreds of other cells hold it in place to prevent it from breaking.
In the center of the torso is the central processor, what is essentially their brain. Unlike computers, they transmit analog signals based on the intensity of the stream of current rather than simply using on and off. This computer is surrounded by a dense network of wires. When a Ror Unit is first developing, billions of cells will form into a roughly circular disc. This disc will be engraved with the billions of conduits, terminals, analog logic gates, and mathematical computation gates. Much like a human brain, it is hardly a computer, but a complex assembly of analog components that, all together, create consciousnesses.
An interesting property of this nervous system allows for incredibly simple procedures to connect the "brain" to external computers. Even so, mind-uploading does not behave any differently for a Ror Units than other species.
The language, called Rorran, is actually coded into the script of the Ror Unit itself, making only one dialect actually possible. While accents exist among races, all of the languages work basically the same way.
The language is very simple, however, it is impossible for humans to say anything except for the most basic words, and most humans can't even do that. Most species are also unable to make the sounds of the language. Because the language is unpronounceable, every territory of The Intendancy was given an arbitrary English name by human geographers.
The language works as such:
- There are 46 tones that a Ror unit can make. These tones sound like a basic pitch made by computers with pitches ranging from 0.9 Kilohertz to 3 Kilohertz, with each tone spaced at 40 hertz.
- These tones can be added together to create cords. The cords are combinations of notes that can mean any word. 1.6 million cords exist, with about 1.2 million actually having meaning. The language can also have sequences of chords meaning things (usually only for names).
- Things with a positive connotation are lower pitch, while things with a negative connotation of higher pitched.