Talking Pet

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Ur-Quan Topics
Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah
Sentient Milieu
Slave Revolt
Slave War
The Words
Doctrinal Conflict
Second Doctrinal War
Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah
Path of Now and Forever
Ur-Quan Hierarchy • Battle Thrall • Fallow Slave • Oath of Fealty Doctrinal Conflict
Dreadnought • Marauder • Sa-Matra
Excruciator • Slave Shield • Talking Pet
This article refers to the Ur-Quan translator species of talking pets. For information about the specific Talking Pet who became Zelnick's neo-Dnyarri ally see: Talking Pet (device).

The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za and Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah share a cultural conviction that they are superior to all other species and that, alone among sentients, the Ur-Quan have the right to freedom; this is the basis for the Kzer-Za's pattern of conquest and the Kohr-Ah's pattern of genocide. One consequence of this belief is their extreme resistance to adopting any cultural practices from other species for their own use, especially language. To communicate with a life form in its own language is, to some degree, to see the world from its perspective and think on its level, and the Ur-Quan regard all such communication as a form of contamination by lower life forms that must be minimized.

Thus, after the Ur-Quan successfully defeated the Dnyarri in the Slave Revolt and all Dnyarri except those remaining on the surface of Glilandy had been exterminated, the orbiting Ur-Quan captains who held Glilandy under siege decided that extermination would be too kind for the Dnyarri. Instead, the Ur-Quan decided to use their former masters as slaves as a symbol of their own newfound dominance. With the Sentient Milieu gone the Ur-Quan might be forced to once more learn new languages and cultures to communicate with races in the future; their new Dnyarri slaves could help them minimize the contamination of such communication with their telepathic abilities.

Protected by Excruciators, Ur-Quan scientists were able to extract the last of the Dnyarri population and genetically alter them, devolving their intelligence and personality down to sub-sentient levels, leaving them little more than programmable biological machines. These genetically altered Dnyarri were able to allow the Ur-Quan to communicate simply by thinking in speech at them; their powerful telepathic abilities allowed them to automatically take such speech and render it in a receiver species' language in an appropriate format. For instance, in communcations with Humans the Dnyarri translators rendered Ur-Quan communications as speech in the English language, in a deep, booming male voice. The Humans of the SSRI named these devolved Dnyarri Talking Pets, the name by which the Alliance termed them throughout the First and Second Wars. The Ur-Quan's galaxy-spanning activities, especially the Kzer-Za's massive Hierarchy of Battle Thralls, would likely have been impossible without the Talking Pets, which provided them a means of effectively dealing with a huge variety of alien civilizations with very little effort to understand them on their own part.

Unfortunately, Ur-Quan genetic manipulation technology was not subtle enough to erase all traces of the Dnyarri's former intellectual capacity or to detect the traces that remained. When the Umgah, with their far superior gengineering abilities, managed to examine a Talking Pet recovered from a Dreadnought crash, they were able to augment its intelligence and racial memory far past its original abilities, turning it into a powerful neo-Dnyarri that played a crucial role in the Second War.