Goliaths

Homo gigantopithecus

Clade Goliath
Image from Arik
Three diverse members of Clade Goliath compared with a nearbaseline human (click for larger image)

History

The Goliaths are a human derived species that were first created around the 420s. They were mostly created in the Gengineer Republic, specifically in the Jovian moons and their respective orbitals. During the late Interplanetary period, there was an increasing amount of gambling and other rowdy cis-Jovian orbitals that were much akin to 19th century American West, 21st century Las Vegas and 24th century Titan (Old Earth calendars). The Goliath species was created because of direct response to the need for strongmen/bouncers for many shady and underground organizations or organized crime. The darker side was that many were held or hired for illegal gladiatorial battles.

After the Interplanetary Dark Ages, there were only a couple hundred Goliaths left, who were especially hard hit from the swarms, because of their large size and high energy consumption. With the help of slight genetic manipulation to maintain genetic diversity, and along with cloning and artificial wombs, they slowly rebuilt their population to pre-Dark Age numbers (around 530). During the Federation and later periods, Goliaths were increasingly persecuted because of their history of being strongmen for organized crime and their (unfounded) reputation of being dumb, clumsy oafs. This, and their historic mistrust of authority, drove many to become part of numerous Hider and Haloist groups.

Until the mid-7000s, they were a mainly Inner Sphere species, but recently they have spread far over colonized space. It is estimated that they currently number about twenty two billion throughout the Terragen Sphere, in hundreds of clades and 5 distinct subspecies.(Homo gigantopithecus maximus, Homo gigantopithecus semiterrestralis, Homo gigantopithecus cosmoi, Homo gigantopithecus pilosus, and Homo gigantopithecus tantillus)

Biology

Goliaths are a sexually dimorphic species with males usually ranging anywhere from 2.5 - 3.5 meters in height, while females are 2 - 2.5 meters in height. A newborn Goliath is only slightly larger than eir baseline counterpart. Growth in Goliaths is similar to baselines throughout childhood, up into adolescents. While as baselines become physically mature at 12-16 years of age, Goliaths usually do not become physically mature until their early to mid-twenties, their late maturity giving them extra time to grow. In addition to them being very physically tall, they are also very physically robust, and gain muscle mass very easily (which originally made them all that more intimidating.) Besides their size, Goliaths have many other interesting attributes, including an extra opposable thumb, extra coronary receptors to give them limited night vision, a very acute sense of smell (as a result they usually have an unusually large, bridged nose), and large, meaty hands, (more like a baseline gorilla's than an ordinary human's, but just as dexterous as the latter). Their natural life span is around 95 years, although almost always this is extended with available longevity tech

Inter-species Relationships

Most Goliaths live in interspecies communities and habitats, existing happily alongside a host of other species and races. But many, more isolationist, prefer ethnic enclaves, as a less extreme and more attractive alternative to Hiders. There are however also still a number of Goliaths in Hider communities.
 
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Development Notes
Text by D. David Barbeau

Initially published on 27 March 2001.