Gorloth

Gorloth was a large terrestrial planet in the Arbeth sector. It was a well-regarded planet as far as planets are regarded, not a thriving galactic thoroughfare or economic powerhouse, but well-regarded nonetheless. It was a grey planet. At least so it looked from space. This was due to its sprawling grey mountains, which jilted like irregular concrete slabs stacked on top of each other horizontally as though leaning against an invisible wall, forming jagged teeth that snapped at the purple sky. Fully half the planet was covered in mountainous incisors which seemed to suggest the planet would take a bite out of the solar system if it could. However it was also home to some sprawling forests, several sprawling deserts, and a couple sprawling metropolises. Most things on Gorloth tended to sprawl, the planet did have the space for it. And like most things on Gorloth, the Gorlothin people liked to sprawl too. Their cities were large. Impossibly large. While only one or two were considered metropolises, that was by Gorlothin standards which were a bit different to most people who weren’t Gorlothin. The smallest village on Gorloth needed to be home to at least a couple million people or it was barely considered more than a tiny hamlet. Due to the considerable population size of a typical Gorloth city, their architecture stressed cohesiveness and making the most of shared space in the most impressive and efficient way. Everything flowed into everything else. Walk-ways joined seamlessly into and through buildings, connecting each individual piece of the block into one unified whole. Their buildings were perfect bulbous domes of rich creamy white where it was often difficult to determine where one ended and another began as their walls often ran into each other without clear division. However, there was no sense of confinement due to the ceaseless fluidity of the architecture and their buildings felt at ease, if that could be a word to describe a building. Whereas a square home pressed up against another square home causes an unavoidable feeling of claustrophobia, the accommodating bulbous shaped homes of Gorloth had an innate fluidity to them that felt expansive instead of constricting.

 

The flowing unity innate to Gorlothin architecture was a perfect reflection of the people of Gorloth. As a species the Gorlothin were a rather homogenous. They all had perfect flawless skin which scorned the very idea of a blemish. They all the same hue of rich violet that was drawn tight reflecting their taut muscles. All Gorlothins were muscular since Gorlothins are muscular. For another species this description would be an example of tautology but not for the Gorlothin. This is because all Gorlothins look the same and sound the same. Most travellers who first come to Gorloth have trouble telling Gorlothins apart, not due to any subliminal racism or anything like that but because all Gorlothins are so physically similar that it is nigh impossible to tell them apart, even for other Gorlothins. They all were humanoid in stature with rich violet skin, rippling muscles, long pointed ears attached to regal oval heads, and serious faces ready to break into friendly smiles. They were also gender-less, or so it appeared to non-Gorlothins although it would have been more correct to say they were androgynous. The differences between their sexes were too subtle to be noticed by an outsider, even if they were as clear as day to a Gorlothin. Their physical uniformity in itself would have been enough if it wasn’t for the defining quirk of the Gorlothin race that made it near impossible to differentiate individual members of their species from one another. All Gorlothins think exactly the same way. This isn’t to suggest they have a hive mind or shared telepathy. Again, only the Rulthians of the planet Gnostoc had developed telepathy as their form of communication. No, rather each and every single Gorlothin individually thinks exactly the same as every other Gorlothin due to the all-encompassing homogenisation of their culture. They are all individuals in the sense they have awareness of their own subjectivity and think their own thoughts, it just so happens that the thoughts they all individually think are the same thoughts as everyone else. In most species, when new thoughts form they fire up certain pathways in their brain as the synapses connect in new patterns so they learn and use the same pathway for that thought in the future. This is why it can be so hard to change a strongly held opinion since the neural pathway is burnt so deeply in the brain that it can be difficult to change the pattern it follows without considerable effort. However, the neural pathways in a Gorlothin’s brain are uniform. They don’t form unique patterns specific to that individual but use the same pattern as every other member of their species. This doesn’t mean that a Gorlothin who is put in a new situation unfamiliar to them would be incapable of adapting. Instead the most extraordinary thing happens. The new neural pathway which forms as the Gorlothin faces this new situation follows the exact same pattern of synapses that any Gorlothin would have formed if they instead had been faced with the same situation. It is although each Gorlothin shares the same brain wiring even though they are all individuals. On Gorloth, an opinion held by one Gorloth is shared by the rest of the species.

 

As could be expected, with this shared mindset, Gorlothins enjoyed a superb tactic advantage over the other primitive species which had emerged at the same time millions of years ago, like the single-minded Cogniticans. The Cogniticans shared most of their genetic makeup with Gorlothins but instead of thinking the same thoughts individually, they thought individually thoughts single-mindedly, convinced the rest of their species thought the same. They didn’t, which meant that the Cogniticans were terrible at coordinating anything since they would all run off in different directions thinking that the rest of their group would follow although they never did. Since the Gorlothins all thought the same, they would able to mobilise as single cohesive whole with little to no communication, individually developing the same strategy that would be employed by all. Needless to say, there is a reason the planet is called Gorloth and not Cognit. And so the Gorlothin peoples survived and thrived, their numbers multiplying exponentially with each successive generation. Each one of their species an individual. Each one of their species sharing the exact same mindset. But there are however exceptions that prove the rule.


There was one Gorlothin who thought with no sense of individuality or his own agency. Whereas the rest of his species made their own decisions which just so happened to be the same as everyone else’s, his decisions were not his own but theirs. While they had a shared mindset, he was merely a vessel for that mindset. The Gorlothin neural pathways personified. A genetic anomaly who had caused much concern and harmonious debate among the Gorlothin Egalitarian Ministry - Gorlothin debates are more like spirited agreements than arguments. The existential questions raised by his existence had thrown their philosophers into despair. So when an open transparition channel for a passing ship’s teleporter was detected, it was unanimously decided by the High Council that the anomaly would be beamed on board the passing ship. He could be their problem.