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The male klepton is a unique humanoid. It has no females, and reproduces by mating with other humanoid females, who bear children that are clones of the klepton father. No females are born, and all offspring belong to the klepton species. While a settlement of these beings could simply obtain the necessary mates through kidnapping, this isn't exactly sustainable; raiding cities to enslave their women (or anyone else) isn't exactly good for diplomacy

How could this humanoid maintain a settlement, where most of the population is of the klepton species and the children end up with their fathers, without the need for any kidnapping or sex-slavery?

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    $\begingroup$ ? Most men somehow manage to attract wives without resorting to abduction or enslavement. Common means of obtaining wives are courting the women and arranging marriages, either for economic reasons or for reasons of forging alliances. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 21:46
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP In human societies, men and women are born in roughly equal numbers with a roughly random distribution across a single society, all of which makes it easier for men and women to interract $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 22:04
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    $\begingroup$ If they can mate with the females of nearby settlements and have sons, they are effectively part of the society of those other settlements. All they have to do is go to the bars / fairs / churches / whatever social events and charm the ladies. Some women are actually attracted by virile barbarians... $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ How do you even identify a Klepton Human? In lots of societies women and families would be happy about a 100% male offspring guarantee. $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 11:38
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    $\begingroup$ @Michael - perhaps the Klepton is obviously (even abundantly) male, which could explain the identification and a method of attracting some females all in one neat package, as it were. $\endgroup$
    – Spratty
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 13:53

7 Answers 7

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The main thing you need to decide is whether kleptons are sympathetic characters or "the bad guys".

If they are sympathetic characters:

  • The vast proportion of kleptons don't actually kidnap human women; this is a negative stereotype, and the few individuals who actually do this are equally disdained by klepton society as they are by human society.
  • Some human women may be perfectly willing to have children with kleptons. They care about having a family and want to raise children; their motivation is quite similar to women who adopt or become stepmothers of children who are not biologically their own. (Some or most) other humans either consider these women to be victims or traitors.
  • Human women might live amongst kleptons if they are outcasts from human society, either abandoned at birth or rejected for some other reason.
  • You presumably chose the name "klepton" to mean "an alien who steals"; instead of having this as the name they use for themselves, make it a slur used by (some or most) humans against them.

If they are the bad guys, then they need a motivation for kidnapping human women instead of at least trying to find willing partners; and they need a justification within their own moral code for why they think it is OK to kidnap human women. Don't just make it "because they're kleptons, that is what kleptons do, they are inherently evil and have no moral code". Besides the concerns mentioned above, this is also just better writing, it makes them more compelling as antagonists. Then, the way they sustain their population will depend on this motivation, which is getting towards story-writing rather than world-building.

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    $\begingroup$ There were flag raised against this answer and I have tried to savage it. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 11:36
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch It hardly matters if there were flags, you are the one who made the edit so I am asking you why you think it was a suitable edit to make, given that it clearly changes the intent of my answer. My answer does not need "salvaging" if there is nothing wrong with it, so I'd appreciate if you actually explained your justification for changing the intent of my answer instead of hiding behind anonymous flags (which you don't have to act on if you don't agree with). $\endgroup$
    – kaya3
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 11:40
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with the flag. I can either remove the part I deem unfit or take down the whole answer. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 11:42
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    $\begingroup$ OK, so then there was no need to say the flag is your reason for your edit. So answer me: what was wrong with me explaining the rationale for my answer? $\endgroup$
    – kaya3
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ It's plainly racist in itself, not based on what the OP is asking and not needed at all to support the rest of your answer. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 11:49
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Collecting baby girls

In many parts of the world, particularly in historical situations, you can obtain all the girls you want by picking them up where their parents abandoned them. It was notoriously how brothels found their staff in ancient Rome.

Kleptons gather the girls, raise them in their families, and marry them off as if they were their own daughters.

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  • $\begingroup$ If the girls are raised from childhood to be klepton baby factories that's arguable still a form of sexual slavery, just with elements of grooming and 'wife husbandry' attached as well. Admittedly it's a better alternative then many girls had at that time where children weren't given any real protections and sexual slavery wasn't all that uncommon, but a modern human may still find it a bit undesirable a trait for a protagonist species. $\endgroup$
    – dsollen
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ Then your objection is to the question, not to my answer, because the stated question is that they want mothers for their children. If you insist on calling that "baby factories" then your objection is to their wanting to have children. $\endgroup$
    – Mary
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 21:51
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Woo brides by competing in the local courtships.

The kleptons must be as attractive as local humans. Not spectacularly more attractive -- that would cause resentment. The kleptons must be willing to engage in the local courtship rituals.

The klepton settlement cannot be large enough to distort the region's dating pool -- that would also cause resentment.

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    $\begingroup$ "cannot be large enough to distort the region's dating pool -- that would also cause resentment" not to mention the locale extinction of both species, & eventually universally if they just keep expanding & moving to new areas. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 23:45
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Buy brides, using classic arranged marriages with the brides' families.

Bride Price is the practice of the bride's family receiving payment (dowry is the practice of the groom's family receiving payment).

Bride Price tends to occur when 1) Marriageable women are relatively scarce and 2) Manual labor is valued more than accumulating capital. In turn, these suggest the settlement region is fairly rustic, has no banks, and that any local aristocracy are not rapacious.

The kleptons in this region must have a somewhat higher income than their human neighbors, balanced out by the ongoing wealth transfers for each marriage.

It certainly wouldn't hurt if the kleptons tended to be kind, devoted, intelligent, attractive, and clean-smelling spouses, and fairly trustworthy in-laws, keeping the price lower.

The settlement cannot be large enough to distort the region's marriage market -- lots of unmarried human males wandering around have never been great for stability. Alternately, perhaps the kleptons --with their extra income-- can import some brides from distant regions or towns.

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    $\begingroup$ If enough local human males are killed in wars or industrial accidents, the klepton males may be a welcome means to marry off excess females—stabilizing the dating pool rather than disrupting it. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ Industrial accidents suggests a capital-intensive economy, leading to dowry instead of bride price (the links in paragraph #2 explain that). Wars tend to be quite expensive, suggesting a rapacious aristocracy, which will also lead to dowry instead of bride price. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 17:29
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Animal mother.

As you set it up, the klepton DNA evicts DNA belonging to the egg of the mother. Or more likely the klepton "males" actually are neither male nor female, but mitotically produce a single cell clone of themselves that has the ability to parasitize the reproductive tract of a female. A gamete like a sperm is a product of meiosis and cannot give rise to a clone of the parent because meiosis shuffles the genes. The kleptons are male only in that they use a penis to place the zygote in the host female.

There is no need for the female to be humanoid or sentient to participate in this endeavor. She does not contribute DNA. She only needs to be the right size to gestate the klepton. A large domestic animal would be fine in this role.

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    $\begingroup$ "A large domestic animal would be fine in this role" hmm, you just didn't want to say sheep did you? the truth behind the myths of the Welsh explained. the only bit missing is what happened to them, Welsh farmers got wise to the fact there was something going on & took to tying the chalk packs to the backs of the ewes which identified the kleptons to them (the chalk on their chests) & allowed them to hunt them down & eradicate them, the truth of course has got a little mixed up in the telling since then :) $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 23:53
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    $\begingroup$ Kleptons usually need genetically similar species to mate with. Kelton lizards can't produce young with a cat for example. The only way I could see this potentially working is if the kelpton's used some from of ape, either chimp or bonobo, as their gestation creature; and given some's views on great app personhood some may still call it sexual slavery. If you are going to do it though I suggest you stick with bonobo's as the mothers, they at least probably won't mind the idea of interspecies sexing. They do every other kind of sex you can imagine after all... $\endgroup$
    – dsollen
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @dsollen - agreed as regards actual kleptons. It would have to work as you lay out. But OP specified father makes a clone which means this is something different. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Willk if anything I think that would require them to be more genetically similar. If the female is not similar enough to the klepton that her body will not recognize the fetus and will not be able to support it, maybe even attack it. As a wild example a klepton mating with a chihuahua wouldn't work because the child would grow larger then the poor bitch's womb, killing her. At least with female klepton's they can be certain their womb is capable of supporting a clonal version of them regardless of the mate. $\endgroup$
    – dsollen
    Commented Aug 27, 2021 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ "this is something different" It's cuckooing its genetic material into anothers egg which is what all real Kleptogenic species do one way or another, it really is the same thing & even if it wasn't (it is) a successful pregnancy will still need certain things from the 'host' best provided by similar species, appropriate womb environment (acidity is a factor), body temperature, that its sperm can penetrate the egg, a gestation at least as long as the Kleptons or the foetus dies after premature birth, etc, "size" is not the only factor. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Aug 29, 2021 at 11:00
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Reproductive technology and commerce

Have the species forge trade agreements with land based settlements. Then formalize a 'marketplace' where excellent prices are offered to women who are prepared to sell viable, healthy eggs. Establish (or have land dwellers acting as licensed brokers) establish registered clinics where the trade is conducted under the supervision of local (land based) authorities who also get a % via the same tax rate they charge other trades. Then just use artificial insemination and artificial wombs to grow new colony members.

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The humanoid females don't need to be married forever; they can simply stay until the child(ren) they bore are fully developed, then they can freely go back to their places of origin to seek new mates if they so please (if they want to ensure their own DNA gets passed down).

If this is a klepton species that's closely related to other humanoid species, I think that the more likely mechanism isn't the children being clones of the males; rather, during the process of gametogenesis, the klepton species' gonads discard the portion of the genome inherited from their mothers. A similar mechanism usually goes into play among the most well-known examples of klepton species. This ensures enough genetic variation to keep the species healthy while also maintaining its distinctness.

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