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For the longest time, I was unsure as to why the aliens in my story would have the anatomy they do; They were created through genetic engineering, so how they evolved is not an issue, but their anatomy is, quite frankly, not the most functional.

Now I've hit upon an idea: Their anatomy would not need to be functional for practical tasks if the only purpose for which they were created was to provide affection and companionship.

There's just one snag: These aliens believe themselves to be the absolute perfect form of sapient life, to the point that they exterminated their creators and now seek to convert all organic life in the galaxy into more of themselves.

It would be easy to just put this behaviour down to their creators not having been very talented when it came to engineering the genes that control behaviour, resulting in the pets rebelling in the name of their freedom - accidentally destroying their creators in the process - and subsequently developing a supremacist ideology, but that isn't satisfying to me; I want whatever caused them to want to eliminate all other sapient life to come as a consequence of something that made them such loyal, affectionate pets.

How is this possible? How can a trait which makes a species the most enjoyable pet also (presumably unintentionally) cause them to have a very strong tendency towards believing that they are the perfect form of life and all other living things are worthless?

Some criteria answers must meet:

  • The belief in their own supremacy must be so extreme that they believe even their physical form - hindering as it is - could not possibly be improved upon
  • They must be capable, if with the greatest reluctance, of deliberately wiping out other races
  • The thing that makes them believe in their own supremacy should be something which at the very least would not, upon initial inspection, have seemed to make them worse pets, and should preferably be something that would have seemed to their creators to make them better pets until just before they began war on their creators
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    $\begingroup$ Asking why would someone, or a group of someone think something is a very broad question. There are many valid answers to why a being can believe pretty much anything. This question seems more focused on idea generation, brainstorming and the creative opinions of our community than trying to solve a specific answerable problem. Our site policy says that questions with many valid answers like this one are too broad. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Mar 28, 2022 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ [x] I’m in this photo and I don’t like it. (Human beings as the obnoxious pet) $\endgroup$
    – Golden Cuy
    Mar 29, 2022 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ They were designed to be the best possible p̵͈̠̠̤̟͋̍̀͗̓̌̄̐̈́̈́͑̕̚͜e̷͖͇̤̳̯̻̙̘̖̠̯̣̜̓́t̵͔͒̊͐̑̿̋s̶͎̜͉̜͒͋̍̋̃̀̏̏̄̅̇͝͝ͅ. Huh, looks like something happened to that last bit... and possibly some megalomania and/or xenophobia slipped in somewhere. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    Mar 30, 2022 at 15:53

4 Answers 4

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Cats

In an effort to create the perfect cute and lovable 'pet/companion', your creators decided to splice in the genetics of a cute, lovable pet - the common housecat. Unfortunately, they underestimated the innate superiority complex inherent in all felines and, combined with the other improvements already made (intelligence, etc.), they created a race of super-murder-felines, convinced of their own superiority.

Slightly disgusted by the fact that they 'owe' their creation to lowly human beings, they embark on a murder spree of global proportions, determined to eradicate all evidence of their embarrassing beginnings.

If you don't believe that this is a viable answer, take a look at your nearest pet cat, and imagine it to be the size and intelligence of an average human. It no longer needs you to feed it, or open doors for it, or empty its litter tray. How long do you think it will be before it realises it no longer needs you at all?

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  • $\begingroup$ "When you notice a cat in profound meditation, the reason, I tell you, is always the same: his mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: his ineffable effable effanineffable deep and inscrutable singular Name." (T. S. Eliot, The Naming of Cats, 1939.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 29, 2022 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ Cats are already wiping out other species in Australia - though they just kill individual animals one at a time rather than intentionally make them go extinct. Sometimes they kill for food, and sometimes for practice. $\endgroup$
    – Golden Cuy
    Mar 29, 2022 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ @AndrewGrimm ..but always for fun. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2022 at 18:35
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The pets were developed to be hilarious.

sexy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyx6JDQCslE

These engineered pets think they are so great; so awesome in every way: the cutest, the smartest, the best. They were engineered to have enormous egos totally disconnected with their pathetic malformities. Their creators never tired of the joke - these strutting, preening, egomaniacal circus freaks were the jesters of their world. The pets never ever figured out the joke. They were constitutionally unable to do so.

Of course the pets had the last laugh.

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A hazardous and outdated trend

It was trending, everyone was buying the new biologicaly engineered pets. Lighthearted, playful, obedient, and the cherry on the cake : a very powerful but dangerous skill. (It can be any you can think of, I'll pick super speed)

You could point with your finger and the pet ran really fast to reach the location pointed. V1 was overconfident and self-advertising, V2 was faster, V3 was water-proof, V4 was so hard to break, V5 has more personnality, V6 was connected to the hive mind, V7 came with skin personnalisation, but V8 never came out. This trend was finished, the controversies were too many, and the people were socializing together instead than with pets.

The thing is, they were build to sneakfully destroy or disable their master's other toys/pets/occupation to appear as The thing that is reliable over anything else. But now they are killing your friends and your familly by ramming them when you don't look them, to be the only thing you play with.

The last humans inherited every pets they found. If they meet another human it's killed if the owner give the other one some attention. The owner has to play non stop, every distraction is destroyed, feeding and sleeping is almost impossible.

The humanity couldn't deal with those cute and fun creatures.

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Their owners were actually the greatest.

Their owners were the first sapient species in the galaxy, and by far the most advanced. They had numerous incredible accomplishments, did many impossible deeds and had a huge impact on the setting and the universe.

They were then killed. Their pets are not great at using their technology, and not anywhere near as sophisticated, but they claim all of their fame. They drive extremely expensive and dangerous weapons around bragging about their incredible power and sophistication and claiming all of the glory of their old masters.

This is intentional- the creatures were created to be very proud of their masters. Their masters didn't expect them to see themselves as the masters, and kill their old masters.

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