Name: Kleimanter Jex
Age: As an identity, he's several centuries old. His current body is only a few months old, however.
Gender: Male (Technically ungendered)
Coloration: Silver-grey skin, yellow eyes.
Description: Ked are a heavily genetically engineered race, and it is difficult for other races to distinguish individuals. Like all Ked, Jex is tall and fit, with silver-grey skin like that of a terrestrial dolphin. Jex is completely hairless, lacking even eyelashes. He has a long, thin mouth, a heavy jaw, no nose, and only a pair of small holes for ears. Ked have a ruffle of gills around the front of their necks. Jex's gills consist of six layered ruffs, pale in colour compared to the rest of his skin. He has six webbed fingers on each hand, and sleek shark-like fins run up his arms from wrist to elbow.
Clothing/Armor: Jex wears a comfortable blue jump suit most of the time. The sleeves end at his elbows to accommodate the fins on his arms, and the neck line is cut low to accommodate his gills. He also wears black boots and a black equipment belt around his waist. The jump suit is made of technologically advanced materials. It's resistant to a wide range of acids and other damaging materials, and offers some protection against radiation. A polarizing current can make it instantly vacuum-proof. The addition of a pair of rigid finger-to-elbow gloves and a rigid helmet converts it quickly into an EVA suit.
Ship: The Tantalus is, for lack of a better term, a flying saucer. A round disk about twenty-five meters across, its exterior is silver and featureless, though sections of it can light up in a variety of colours. The ship can change colour, and even vanish entirely, both from regular sight and from most active and passive sensor systems. It is fully capable of faster-than-light interstellar travel and can navigate atmospheres with physics-defying ease. It has force-fields for defence, but it is not a warship, and its only armament is a laser array intended for asteroid mining.
Equipment: In pouches hung from his belt, Jex carries a variety of equipment used for gathering and testing organic and inorganic samples. Sterile swabs, needles, scrapers and scalpels, and a wide range of containers. He will sometimes carry a black courier bag over his shoulder, when he feels he will need more equipment. Jex also carries a slick hand-held computer with a holographic projection screen. Besides being the typical day-planner and reference device, it is capable of rudimentary genetic analysis (such as basic blood-typing).
Abilities: The Ked are an extremely technologically advanced race, with medical and genetic technology well beyond the capacities of most civilizations. There are no weak or unfit Ked, and they are immune to most ordinary diseases. Ked heal astonishingly fast, and bleed very little when injured. They are surprisingly resistant to physical harm, thermal and chemical burns, and changes in pressure. In the event of serious injury, Ked technology is sufficiently advanced to replace organs with cloned copies. At the extreme, a Ked's mind can be transferred to an adult clone body.
Ked breathe through gills that absorb oxygen and filter out most other substances. So long as there is a sufficient quantity of oxygen, Ked can breathe easily in almost any environment, including under water or heavily air-polluted and otherwise hostile environments. Very few non-corrosive poison gases will have any effect on Ked. They are also excellent swimmers.
Weaknesses: Jex has recently transferred his consciousness to a new clone body which suffers from a genetic defect due to clone degeneration. He suffers from a condition much like atrial fibrillation in humans, in which his heart beats irregularly. While not immediately life-threatening, an a-fib attack is debilitating and physically exhausting.
The entire Ked race is sterile, completely incapable of normal genetic reproduction. For many generations they have perpetuated their race through cloning and brain-tapes, but in recent centuries the clones have become increasingly unstable. The Ked are rapidly dying out, the entire race now consisting of less than five hundred individuals.
Ked in general are vulnerable to electricity. A small shock for a human can be debilitating to a Ked, and a bad shock can be lethal. Worse, the brain of a Ked killed by electricity cannot be copied onto a brain-tape and placed in a new body.
Skills: Jex is, by the standards of most races, a genius geneticist and biologist. He has spent his entire centuries-long life devoted to collecting and studying the DNA of alien species. This single-minded devotion has left him rather lacking in unrelated skills.
Personality: Jex comes off most often as cold and callous. It is not so much that he doesn't care as it is that he desperately hides his emotions. Recent discoveries (such as the Ked xenocide) have left him more depressed and exhausted about his mission than ever. He is suffering a crisis of conscience, no longer sure whether the Ked SHOULD be saved from extinction.
Kleimanter Jex came into existence several centuries ago, when the adolescent brain-tape of the Ked who discovered the Ked genetic instability (Visander Jex) was copied into a blank clone. Kleimanter completed his education in genetics by accompanying another Ked (also based originally off Visander Jex's brain-tape) in his interstellar search.
When he graduated his thirty year apprenticeship, Kleimanter was full of hope and excitement, convinced that the solution to the Ked Problem was just beyond the next star. Centuries of searching have discouraged his enthusiasm, and left him with scars both physical and mental.
Most recently, Jex has uncovered evidence that before the problem of Ked genetic instability was discovered, the Ked performed genocide against a race they had genetically engineered from their own DNA. He has taken the xenocide itself quite personally, especially considering the feelings and circumstances of several of the friends he has recently made. In addition, the slaughtered race in question would have been a solution to the Ked Problem if the Ked had not so short-sightedly wiped them out. His mission now seems more hopeless than ever, and Jex has begun to doubt the morality of it regardless.
Jex eventually found himself deprived of his ship, and forced to get a job driving taxis. Around the same time he discovered his current body was suffering from a heart condition, the result of clone degeneration. Jex's ship was eventually recovered, but only after Jex was forced to confront a truly heartless double who threatened the lives of those Jex has come to call friends.
Determined not to become like his dark double, Jex decided he must stay in close contact with his friends to prevent his bitterness from getting out of hand. While living in the camp of his friend Erica Rire-Hyene, Jex stumbled upon the solution to the Ked genetic problem, creating a viable hybrid race from the DNA of Ked, Humans, and Whatkin. Jex loaded his mind into a hybrid body only to be confronted with a variety of new stimuli and emotions he was not prepared for, including very strong feelings for Erica.
Jex chose duty over friendship and love, and prepared to leave the planet to return to the Ked and begin work on rebuilding his fallen race. However, as he was preparing to leave, he received a delayed message from the distant Ked homeworld. The Ked Administrative Council, facing rapid clone degeneration, had declared the mission a failure and initiated steps to assure no Ked technology (which could be dangerous if discovered by less advanced peoples) would be left behind. Long before Jex had discovered the hybrid solution, the Ked artificially triggered a supernova in their home star, destroying all trace they had ever existed.
Shortly after, Jex returned his mind to his original body, placing the hybrid in storage, as it was no longer needed.