If you haven’t yet seen the Sandworm Rodeo cover, here you go. While there is a giant sandworm, the focus of the art is, of course, the cute tentacle things on its back. Meet the brac’tai,(pronounced Brack-Thai) the “cute furry mascots” of the K23 Universe. These creatures are not exactly easy to miss, as Dave 237, the main brac’tai character, is introduced third in A Clear and Feathered Danger, after Eluna and Quintanelle.
Brac’tai are round balls covered in a dozen tentacles, six arms, four feet and two eye tentacles. In the center of their body is a large gaping mouth. Brac’tai are sponges, soaking up water through their mouths and permeable skin. They suck out the nutrients and then expel the water in the form of slime, which keeps them from drying out and move on land. They breath air which can also be absorbed through their skin. A brac’tai has very special eyes which allow them to see normal light, UV and Infrared spectrums at the same time. This helps them spot predators in all conditions.
It’s worth noting that brac’tai do not grow old. Still, all brac’tai will eventually die due to predators, disease or injury.
Brac’tai are highly intelligent and curious creatures who love to explore. They cannot speak naturally, though they can be highly expressive. As long as they have nutrient rich water, they got up to twenty hours before needing to rest, which is just quietly floating and relaxing. They don’t sleep like others do since they have to be on alert at all times, especially when out on the open ocean. There theyare quite vulnerable, especially to Mer and giant sharks. To non-predators, however, brac’tai are kind and friendly to them.
Brac’tai reproduction is odd is certain respects. They reproduce sexually, but nothing gets inserted into anything. Male and female Brac’tai are identical and nearly impossible to tell apart except when mating. A pair will float a few feet apart. A male will spit white goop, a female will spit grey goop. The goop will merge and congeal into a tiny brac’tai in five minutes. On that’s done, everyone floats off, the tiny brac’tai is completely self-sufficient. While the brac’tai mate endless in the waterways of their native Elemchi, the numbers of kept in check by a myriad of aquatic predators, some of whom have evolved specifically to eat little brac’tai.
As far as tentacle sex goes, I deal with it through an organization I introduce in Sandworm Rodeo called the Deltan Adult Female Brac’tai Love Association, or DAFBLA for short. They believe that love between an adult hominid female and a brac’tai is natural and should be explored. Parallels to a certain sick and twisted organization in our world are intentional….
Brac’tai and Ashram-Uriah
All brac’tai in New Delta are handled by Ashram-Uriah, who employs them in large numbers for data entry positions. The megacorps assigns all brac’tai in New Delta designations, which are generic American names followed by a number: Dave 237, Jill 485, Bill 299 ect. If a brac’tai signs an employment contract – and the vast majority do – they become property of Ashram-Uriah, who reserves the right to dispose of them if they become sick or injured in any way. Still, being an employee of Ashram-Uriah is something brac’tai flock too as they are otherwise taken care of very well, with a resting tank to use, unlimited nutritional fluid, a monthly stipend and even a moist work environment.
Brac’tai can only leave Ashram-Uriah employment only if they have another job to go to. The reason for this is Ashram can make money by selling the employment contracts to the second party. What the new employers does with brac’tai after that is left to their discretion.
Want to meet Dave 237? Pick up the books.