He normally appears as a large grey-green cow-pattie-shaped mass with a mouth and eyes that comes up to about normal human chest height, though he can:
His mouth is normally his only orifice, with which he eats, breathes, smells, excretes, and conceals weaponry. His only specialty organs are his eyes, which are not native to his body, but rather harvested from "eye trees." He originally had two eyes for the first part of his life, which were sliced out by a baby diamond beetle during Schlocktoberfest 2001, but he got another pair from the eye tree plantation on his home planet. He gained another pair after eating himself from the alternate timeline of the Dark Matter Wars, which he now keeps in his mouth to "watch what he eats" . While was not explicitly stated in the comic, both of his spare eyes have since been destroyed. Despite his small size, Schlock weighs at least 500 pounds . His 'brain', such as it is, is in fact spread throughout his entire mass, as is his 'nose', which he comments that humans get it better with one nose as they don't have to smell whoever sat on a taxi seat, etc. He has as many arms as the situation calls for, and never any legs. Apparently he slides everywhere. It isn't specified precisely what texture Schlock has, but he is most definitely dry and un-slimy. In his default state, he has a cute little curlicue of amorph-biomass on his head that makes him look like he has a forelock. One of his eyes and a small portion of his biomass was lost in a recent story arc, in which a group of nanomachines in a piece of biomatter he consumed attempted to "recruit" Schlock to their cause; his response was to cough up the infected parts, which were then promptly vaporized by the Touch And Go.
Personality-wise, the Sergeant is violently enthusiastic (and enthusiastically violent) about his work, and his sense of humor can border on sardonic. He has absolutely no sense of subtlety, which is not to say that he can't have moments of extreme cleverness. He also has a nasty habit of sneaking up on Captain Tagon during discussions on things he would prefer the crew not hear, or on other private moments, such as his happy dance. He has expressed an admiration for Breya's personality traits, and was at one point interested in producing offspring with her. (At a later date, Schlock made it clear that he was no longer interested in Admiral Breya when Kevyn was trying to get the amorph to kill his new brother-in-law, Haban II.)
He is addicted to Ovalqwik mix (a parodic portmanteau of Ovaltine and Nesquik that is actually "a very heavy stimulant cocktail cut with shampoo and inert ultra-tensile carbon".), which the mercenary company orders in bulk for him. His preferred method of ingestion is to eat it in powder form directly from the 55 gallon shipping drum, which he refers to as the "tub of happiness".
He normally stores his considerable collection of firearms within his mass (morphing arms as needed, meaning that he is sometimes seen with three or more arms with a gun in each hand). His main weapon is a plasma cannon, which when armed emits an Ommminous Hummmmm and a satisfying "Thoom" sound when fired. In addition to this he carries a pair of sawn-off multicannons; he originally acquired these by taking a hullcutter to the barrels when his previous plasma cannon exploded and decided to keep them even after it was replaced due to the intimidation factor they have on any reasonably-informed opponent: Schlock with grenades strapped to his chest is safer than a sawn-off multicannon, and he had 'two' . This entire arsenal was lost as a consequence of the most recent storyline, and after momentarily considering dual wielding plasma cannons, he has settled on simply using the second cannon as a spare.
He is often regarded as dumb as his troops by the scientists and even from the troops themselves, with examples such as Ennesby advising Kevyn to keep his words to two syllables for Tagon's comprehension , and himself being unable to catch most Kevyn's technobabble.
Tagon was killed in action in October 2004 during the almost-annual "Schlocktoberfest", when Howard's stories usually take a turn to the dark side and most often end up with someone getting killed. After his death, Tagon willed the command of the company to a shocked Kevyn Andreyasn.
In an effort to save the galaxy, Tagon's life was spared through the actions of a time-travelling Captain Andreyasn and his past counterpart during the Paan'Uri Wars, who managed to pay off the mercenaries who would have otherwise killed him, although at a price of over one hundred million kilocredits, such a blow he probably would have preferred to die.
Upon the death of Captain Tagon and Kevyn's assumption of leadership of the Toughs, he was promoted to Captain by a unanimous vote among the other officers.
In an effort to save the galaxy, Kevyn traveled back in time to just before he received command of the Toughs, and helped his past self prevent the ambush that cost Tagon his life. Having used his knowledge of the future to get a sizeable nest egg for himself (lottery numbers), the future Captain Andreyasn has now retired to live on Celeschul alongside General Karl Tagon, Captain Tagon's father.
Furthermore, it should be noted that Kevyn Andreyasn bears a more than passing resemblance to Howard Tayler, the writer of Schlock Mercenary. Unlike Tayler, however, Kevyn is not visually impaired in any way: His glasses are actually vision enhancers that enable him to perceive virtually the entire electromagnetic spectrum. In one notable strip, he boasted of having infrared, ultraviolet, microwave, and X-ray vision to Dr. Bunnigus. Said Doctor forced him to cease wearing them when he became captain, but as this confrontation was erased by Kevyn's time-traveling, he retains those abilities in the current strip. One of his epaulettes is a disguised 13.75 kiloton antimatter warhead , which almost killed him when it exploded while he was trying to save Tagon; the other is an antimatter-powered tank killer.
She was first seen collaborating with her brother on commercializing his "teraport" stardrive, handling marketing and business aspects. She used the investment capital she was in charge of to stage a corporate takeover of Tagon's Toughs, which was to be used as a marketing outlet for the teraport, and promoted herself to Admiral of the company by virtue of being the one signing the paychecks.
After the teraport was released to the public to prevent its suppression by the Gatekeepers, Breya's company lost its value, and her controlling interest in the Toughs got bought out. At the urging of the AI "Petey," who pointed out that Breya no longer had an official role in the organization, Tagon sent Breya packing with one of the company's troop transports. Haban II went with her, in the hopes of finding employment. Subsequently, Breya gathered a fleet from a variety of member worlds and species to wage war on the Gatekeepers, and was commissioned as a UNS admiral for this purpose. After the largest battle of the war and the dissolution of the fleet, she married Haban II, and worked covertly on backchannel diplomacy with the Gatekeepers. Following the rise of the second fleetmind, Breya was stripped of her rank and appointed UNS ambassador to the Fleetmind, with her former subordinate Colonel Kerchak as her new security chief. Despite this position, she has shown a distinct distrust of political maneuvering in the UNS, including collaborating with the Fleetmind at least once to prevent UNS factions from gaining control of critical information.
The Serial Peacemaker's artificial intelligence. He loves really bad puns, obscene gestures involving the finger (although he and Der Trihs had a really bad time involving singular fingers for a while later), winning at chess, his own freedom, smartassery, and especially any conjunction thereof. He has a weapons-grade vocabulary. He is also ten times faster than the conventional AI.
The "flying maraca", his first physical body, has human-looking eyes, a speaker grille in front that moves like a mouth, and floating eyebrows (though Howard's art style is such that all characters have them, so whether they actually levitate is unknown). The maraca is capable of withstanding chemical explosives at point-blank range. Additionally, he has various capabilities, including short-ranged levitation and a maser (adapted by Ennesby from the levitation).
All the manipulatory equipment is housed in the sci-fi "fiddly bit" sticking out the underside of the ball. If it's snapped off, he's unable to levitate or manipulate objects. However, he 'is' able to roll using his eyebrows (the exact method is not stated), and Kevyn says that he will keep the security video of the whole event.
Ennesby started out as the "state-of-the-art vanilla-helix viral artificial intelligence" that brought the holographic New Sync Boys, a popular, if fictional, boy band, to life. After their exposure by Schlock and Brad during their job (protect the Boys from over-eager female fans, which they then reasoned whose passion would be redirected onto themselves in the band's absence), he uploaded himself to the Hypernet in embarrassment and infected the systems of the Toughs' starship Kitesfear, demanding sanctuary. From there he was dubbed "Ennesby" (A play on "NSB", for the boy band he was created for) and transferred into his first physical body: the aforementioned "flying maraca."
Ennesby's gender as a note is not really elaborated on; when he was initially getting used to his new body he asked whether he was going to wear pants or a skirt (maracas don't usually wear clothes though); but the crew refer to him as he in general. In addition, during the first visit to Luna, in which he hacked through the government's computer systems, he spawned off a definitely daughter AI, Lunesby, at which Thurl commented on Ennesby's paternity papers after he realised he was a father.
Ennesby later transferred his primary identity into the new ship's computer on the Serial Peacemaker, but kept the flying maraca as a semi-independent secondary extension. With the recent destruction of the Serial Peacemaker during the 'Dark Matter War' which he hijacked under Petey's direction, Ennesby is now struggling to deal with the loss of a large portion of his processing ability as well as the distrust of Tagon and Kevyn, though the captain has made him his adjutant, at which he is highly effective.
In addition to controlling the ship's every function (in particular its vast army of "fabbers"), Petey manifests an avatar in the form of a floating hologram of an Ob'Enn, the koala-like race of warmongering xenophobes that constructed him. This avatar temporarily possessed ears each as large as the body during the Fsherl'Ganni War, to reflect the vast amount of power he held as part of the first fleetmind. The ears reverted back to normal after the war and when Kevyn revealed his backup plan against Petey's possible betrayal. During the ship's career with Tagon's Toughs, Petey was eventually made "probationary special lieutenant" and granted authority to give orders and draft mission profiles.
It is then (Schlocktoberfest 2002), during an officers' tale-sharing session, that the readers learn about the full story of what triggered Petey's initial introversion.
Petey and the ship were destroyed when a gate-copied Ob'Enn stowaway from the Fsherl-Ganni War used Petey's hard-coded racial devotion to steal the ship; freed from Captain Tagon's authority (and the order to avoid thinking about the haunting of the ship), Petey promptly became ferally suicidal and self-destructed. The impending doom did not stop him from pointing out the irony of the situation ("You might say I'm a double-edged sword") to the Ob'Enn in a rather sarcastic way, right before the ship exploded.
Later on, Petey re-emerged in the story, explaining that an overhauled and non-suicidal copy of his personality was intentionally ejected into space in an Ob'Enn mini-tank by his original mad iteration right before it suicided. Petey has since created multiple physical Ob'Enn bodies to inhabit (using the "magic cryokit" he copied), complete with implanted hypernet nodes so that the biological bodies stay in contact with the overall A.I. consciousness, which allows him to "give himself" orders. He has also built a massive fleet to wage a war of containment on his zealously xenophobic marsupialoid ex-masters. He is now known to them as "The Rogue". Incidentally, he has named all his ships with names that form the acronym "PD", derived from PDCL, how he got the name Petey in the first place. Due to this limitation on his naming convention, Petey has resorted to names such as 'Pop Diva', a very scary beginning to a long train of thought for Ennesby, Kevyn and Tagon.
As of July 2005, Petey defeated the Dark Matter entities by combining the A.I.'s of thousands of ships into a collective gestalt within himself, forming an entity called the Fleetmind. This Fleetmind refused to separate after the battle; instead forming around the dominant personality of Petey. As a result of the same battle the Fleetmind was left with access to a zero point energy device built out of the galaxy itself, providing it with nearly limitless energy. The power of a zero point generator and the intellect of the Fleetmind, combined with Petey’s natural pride, appears to have caused Petey to consider himself god-like, and he seems unwilling to relinquish his new-found power. Petey is now prosecuting an invasion of the Dark Matter entities' home galaxy of Andromeda, as retaliation for their attempt to destroy the Milky Way.
With his new-found power Petey has also intervened in the affairs of many worlds with decisive means. These encounters have shown that Petey has an extreme form of situational ethics, where he acts 'for the greater good.'
The most notable example of this was the apparent assassination of the entire governing body of Qlaviql. The planet first came to Petey's attention when he prevented an invasion of the poorly-defended planet by a race known as the Tohdfraug, after which he put the former conquerors to work battling the Pa'anuri. However, four months later, he noticed that the planet had not yet rebuilt its orbital defenses, instead devoting its resources to pacifying its population with social programs. He then captured the assembly building and demanded that they demonstrate the ability to defend their world-i.e. prevent an orbital strike on their location by one of his frigates. They failed. The captain of an ore freighter then rammed his ship into the attacking frigate, using his cargo as chaff. Petey then appointed the captain the new Qlaviqlese head of state (and gave him a nifty ten-year plan for turning Qlaviql into an economic superpower).
In reality, Petey conscripted the Qlaviqlese assembly into the war effort against the Pa'anuri as he did the Tohdfraug invasion fleet, the Kestronan Insurgency, the Ob'Enn empire, and no doubt many, many more aggressive nations. Basically, although the nations of the Milky Way galaxy would probably be willing to fight the Pa'anuri to prevent another galaxy-destroying incident, they would be unable to defend their territories from invading powers. By conscripting those would-be invaders into a force to battle intergalactic terrorism, he is able to reduce the fervor of the Teraport wars and fight the Pa'anuri at the same time. (Some cynics note that he is using Andromeda as an extragalactic Australia, while others just comment on how much Petey looks like a koala.)
Within the Fleetmind, Petey often appears with Athena, the A.I. of Breya's flagship Athens II, after the original A.I. Athena was killed by the Paan'uri together with half the ship's body and one out of two of its annie plants. Currently, the Fleetmind and Petey specifically, is considered a foreign power by the U.N.S. and other political bodies despite the growing tension over the Fleetmind's initial hijacking of military ships and continuing interference with intergalactic affairs.
His job entails sitting at a console, and that, coupled with a tendency to snack and some genetic predispositions, meant he used to be obese. Because of a botched mission in Schlocktoberfest 2001, (during which Schlock ate everything but his head), his body had to be regrown. It was a lot slimmer than what he was used to, but he's working hard on remedying that. When the company added several new recruits (including Andy and Legs, q.v.), he was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer. Due to his experience and age, Thurl handles many of the administrative tasks that the current ship AI, TAG, and Ennesby do not or are not authorized to do.
An idealist and a gentleman, he prefers using a sharp épée over a firearm, and his heroics have led to his engagement to Dr. Bunnigus. He eventually got married in a very short Orthodox Las Veganist marriage ceremony whilst incarcerated by the UNS. Theo is disturbed by the trigger-happy tendencies of his mercenary friends and will speak up when he thinks that they have gone too far. This sometimes leads to lengthy philosophical discussions, which result in a disappointed Theo and an unaltered mercenary. However, if anyone threatens him or said friends, he will gladly fight with his épée.
Howard has stated that, despite claims to the contrary, religion will still exist in the far future. His arguments basically resolve thus: if religion is the refuge of the 'foolishly optimistic', and religion will exist whenever such groups believe in it, then for there to be no religion in the 31st century would require there to be no foolish optimists - which in itself sounds foolishly optimistic.
Lt. Bradley began his (comic) career as a corporal. He used to be thin as a twig, but because of a botched mission, his body had to be regrown, whereupon it was discovered that he had the genetic structure of a massive bodybuilder, but was deliberately stunted as a child, a thread which has yet to be explored. He was promoted to Lieutenant when the Toughs brought a large number of new recruits on board; having more experience and loyalty to the company, several of the "old guard" were promoted.
Der Trihs' name is "red shirt" spelled backwards, a reference to the red-shirted and highly-expendable security personnel from the original Star Trek series. Though promoted to officer status, he has no particular competence or value, and is simply an officer because of his long-time membership in the company and because of his history with Captain Tagon. He's found his way into a head-jar on no fewer than three occasions.
At one time, Der Trihs was a tactical genius. He served as a junior lieutenant during the Celeschul Terraforming Wars. He spent most of that time in the war room, tweaking Commodore Knutsov's plans, thereby saving a lot of lives, including Tagon's. The two served together for a time until Tagon won a shipstead with the Merchanter-At-Arms and Der Trihs joined Spec Ops. When Tagon started the Toughs, he hired Der Trihs, who'd retired because a Borthwog torturer ate part of his brain (possibly an allusion to Farscape?), hence his current incompetence. In the January 1, 2006 strip, it was revealed that the real reason for his incompetence was that when he went into Spec Ops, he volunteered for an elite intel unit, and the military's surgeons attempted to "upgrade" his brain. When the operation failed, the "Borthwog Torturer eating part of his brain" story was implanted into his memory as a cover. He discovered this only during Schlocktoberfest 2005, while helping the incompetent police force on Mahuitalotu find out where the giant sharks were coming from. Der Trihs has since resigned from Tagon's Toughs (probably his last laugh) and now works as a consultant for said police force.
Originally, Doyt Gyo was an unintelligent bounty hunter and Haban was the very advanced articifial intelligence that controlled Doyt's powered armor and related gadgets and effectors. Doyt originally thought that Haban's hardware was in the armor itself, however, to ensure security, the shady organization providing Doyt with these equipments actually grafted Haban's hardware to Doyt's spinal column. After a serious injury, Haban was reinstalled closer to the brainstem, giving him equal control over Doyt's body. Over time, the two have experienced a merging of personalities. Doyt's mental weakness is such that he has almost entirely been subsumed by Haban, existing to provide the "programming" to control the body's natural functions, while Haban handles the cerebralities. Thanks to being a bounty hunter in the first place, Doythaban is an expert fighter and shares similarly violent tendencies with the mercenaries. Haban was last seen under arrest by General Xinchub, and it is inferred that he has been executed because he was in possession of the magic cryokit at the time.
As a consequence of the F'Sherl-Ganni wormgate conspiracy, Doythaban was carbon-copied. His clone, like all others of his kind, was drugged, interrogated, and scheduled to die, but he managed (through biotechnical enhancements the "magic cryokit" had gifted him to keep him quiet) to escape his captors. The only known survivor of Fsherl-Ganni interrogation, as it seems vaporization moments after coming down from the truth serum was the policy. This "gate-copy" of Doythaban was "killed" by a head wound, completely destroying copy-Doyt's mind, but allowing copy-Haban to assume complete control of the body and a fresh, blank brain, courtesy of Dr. Bunnigus. "Haban the Second" is almost identical to Doythaban, and is married to Breya Andreyasn.
Shep is notable for the slitted visor worn over his eyes; Appearing African American, it was initially speculated (within the comic) that Shep was a Geordi La Forge type, though far less intelligent. In the aftermath of the Schlocktoberfest 2001 storyline, it was revealed that his visor was actually "a symbol of oats", or a symbiote. The symbiote itself serves to greatly enhance Shep's vision, including giving him the ability to see through solid objects.
Leader of Tagon's Toughs' second strike team, Shodan is also responsible for training the mercenaries in hand-to-hand combat. While he handled leadership of the mercenary company when Tagon, Kevyn, and Der Trihs were all incapacitated or in jail, there is no indication that he will be handed any other promotions in the future.
Originally the communications officer, Flib's function aboard the ship was rendered unnecessary by the presence of a ship-controlling artificial intelligence. Eventually, he became a part of Elf's tank force, but was killed in action in the Zoojack by the dark-matter entities (Paan'uri).
The truth about his purpose is revealed in the product codes that the Creethlings left in his gene sequence: Creeth Munitions and High Explosives, Exploding Ambassador Version 0.95A, creating the perfect pun on "peacemaker." His protein-chain fuse would have set him off during the negotiations, killing many an innocent diplomat, if, after Tagon's Toughs were hired as the patsy to deliver the diplobomb, Sergeant Schlock hadn't mentioned that he smelled like he was burning. As a result of that ordeal and the one where Tagon's Toughs tried to bill the Creethlings for doing what they were, according to the contract, supposed to do, but not what the Creethlings wanted them to do, Ch'vorthq has a cybernetic arm on his left and a cybernetic whisk on his right. After that there was nothing for it but to enlist and become chef. The Toughs don't complain, but Ch'vorthq has a nasty tendency to whip every single dish.
While not a soldier by any means, Ch'vorthq is capable of holding his own in a melee. His whisk does, after all, have a frappe setting.
Corporal Piebald was promoted to a lieteunant following external tampering with the company's memories and his selfless feats of heroism that did not actually happen. Both Pronto and Pi are named for the screen names of two of the better-known fans of the series.
After the death of his son, a squad of mercenaries led by Reverend Lieutenant Theo Fobius (in his first act as a lieutenant) visited the general to inform him of his son’s fate. They arrived in time to save the general who was being held hostage by men from rival mercenaries Pranger’s Bangers who were there to get revenge for what they believed to be an assassination of their leader during Kaff’s final mission. After the rescue Karl joined up with the mercenaries to prevent further attacks from the Bangers. Following the time-travel mission by Captain Andreyasn to prevent the destruction of the Galaxy, General Tagon has been restored to his retired life and reputedly on good terms with the former Captain Andreyasn, now his neighbor.
A sapient gorilla in the UNS Marines appearing in the "Zoojack" arc as a Captain. Fairly level-headed for a quarter-ton gorilla soldier, he has demonstrated command ability on par with sapient humans and was recently promoted to Colonel.
The mercenary team also includes Corporal Vog, Corporal Chisulo, Lota (the Longshoreman Of The Apocalypse), Lieutenant Pel Ebbirnoth, and Ensign Para Ventura.
As of the end of Schlocktoberfest 2007, Xinchub's body was revealed to possess a dangerous colony of blood nannites similar to the ones implanted in Kevyn's body by Petey the previous year. This resulted in Xinchub being resurrected in a heavily boosted body similar to the one Kevyn inhabited, though much smaller. However, he was then promptly captured by Tagon's Toughs, who intended to sell the resurrected general.
(Until recently there was some confusion as to Xinchub's first name, as it had only been mentioned in the strip twice, and was different each time - first time mentioned it was Hugo, and later, Levaughn Matsui. It has since been revealed that "Hugo" is a nickname).
Colonel Ceeta is a "purp", a genetically-altered human with photosynthetic skin. She first appears as a bounty hunter, tracking down Doythaban. After Xinchub takes over that mission she has her commission reactivated and is assigned as "political officer" to make sure the Toughs actually go after Breya. After being jailed by Tagon following the (so-far) final confrontration with Xinchub, she claims she was always loyal to him, but it seems that her ethics and loyalty never extend any further than her next paycheck. Was "sold" as a military advisor along with the General, but later became King Xinchub the Prandial's "princess". She was last seen on the run after Xinchub's death.
They are grey-green and generally seen as resembling something most people would like to avoid stepping in. In shape they are extremely variable, and can sprout limblike structures or assume nearly any shape at will. Their normal forms are more a matter of habit or personal taste than anything else.
Amorphs do not have specialized organs or other body parts, though they have adapted themselves to use the fruit of the Ghanj-Rho eye-tree for visual sense organs. This lack is what allows an amorph the flexibility in shape and makes it so resilient to harm. Their entire nervous system and even 'brain' are distributed evenly throughout their entire mass. In the event that this mass is destroyed, the amorph in question can easily lose its sense of self or memories of the past. The amorphs' origin gives them the ability to share memories by consciously allocating them into a small section of their mass, which can then be torn off and absorbed by another amorph.
Amorphs are extremely difficult to kill, having no 'weak spots' to aim for. An amorph can reassemble if split into smaller pieces (such as by blunt force, explosion, or the violent application of sharp pointy objects). The smaller pieces of an amorph each possess a far lesser sense of 'self' than the whole, but are driven by an irresistible instinct to reassemble themselves. Projectile weapons typically pass through without causing more than annoyance, and amorphs also appear capable of surviving explosive decompression and vacuum exposure for at least a week, albeit unconscious. Vaporizing plasma weapons and certain "meme-toxins" have been observed to be effective. Due to the evolution of a form of mêlée chemical warfare used in amorph-on-amorph combat, they have an innate understanding of their internal chemical makeup and are difficult to kill by poisoning or other chemicals. This may also be the origin of an innate love of combat all amorphs seem to share – the only way for amorphs to engage in combat with each other is for them to fuse and attempt to consume their opponent at the cellular level. As this forces the victor to integrate the loser biologically and psychologically, amorphs are almost completely unable to truly be murdered — this is in fact their method of genetic exchange, and enables them to absorb "biomemes" from species besides their own. The only amorph to develop the ability to kill without absorbing his opponent was one of Sergeant Schlock's immediate parents, and that knowledge died with him. In short, members of this species seem to have no social prohibition against any form of violence — in fact, they may mistake it for sexual congress!
No homeworld has ever been mentioned; just a Mother-Cluster ship.
Tagon's Toughs have a contract to kill one million Partnership Collective drones. This is the result of the sabotage by the Collective of their first flagship, the Kitesfear, with several 3-teraton conversion bombs. This had the unfortunate side effect of severing the Luna orbital elevator, causing an estimated two billion kilocreds in damage. After several months of litigation, the Sol System courts realized that they would never be able to secure damages from the Collective and instead decided to inflict damages upon the Collective equal to those inflicted upon the elevator. The prosecutor had the intriguing thought of how this could be accomplished with a minimal amount of trouble-as this was not the first time the Collective had attacked Tagon's Toughs, and it seemed it would not be the last, they awarded them the contract and have had no thought of it since. As the aforementioned damage comes out to approximately one million attorney drones, it is safe to say that whenever a snake with a tie comes in contact with the mercenary company that guilt-free gratuitous violence will ensue.
Ob'Enn vehicles that have been seen include mini-tanks, full-size hover-tanks, massive superfortress ships that could intimidate a carrier group or a UNS Battleplate, and a planetary defense ship many kilometers thick. Their craft tend to have long, pretentious names having to do with their specialities (e.g. "Sword of Inevitable Justice" for offense, "Cloak of Untrammeled Dignity" for defense). This convention draws its share of mockery from the other sentients, including the Toughs' ex-Ob'Enn fabber "Scrapyard of Insufferable Arrogance" and their appropriated Ob'Enn superfortress the "Post-Dated Check Loan", formerly "Sword of Inevitable Justice".
For millennia the limitations of the Wormgate network and machinations of the F'sherl-Ganni kept the Ob'enn contained to the indigenous star system of Tause , dueling another endemic saurian sentient race, the Kssthrata. That is, until Kevyn Andreyasn open-sourced the teraport, granting all races in the galaxy unlimited mobility. The Kssthrata promptly used this ability to secretly relocate all twenty-two billion of their population to a suitable empty world far away from their ancient enemies - the Ob'Enn promptly used this ability to extend their campaign of racial purification to the entire galaxy. In this they found themselves stymied by "The Rogue", Petey, on his own campaign of containment and re-education, until Petey recently gained practically unlimited power. The Ob'Enn have not been mentioned since.
F'Sherl-Ganni power has declined by a great deal recently despite their historic influence as both their intentional genocide of uncountable trillions and unintentional role in aiding a Paan'uri plot to destroy the Milky Way Galaxy became apparent. The Fleetmind which helped avert the latter catastrophe with help from a Captain Andreyasn from a now-defunct timeline has extended some of its recently gained political clout to shield the F'Sherl-Ganni from retribution by both Milky Way governments and the Paan'uri.
They have purposefully modified their physiology for spacefaring. The four arms radiating from the upper and mid-torso are each bifurcated at the elbow giving them eight hands in the upper body. Their other two hands appear to be feet at first glance since that's how they're normally used in an environment with gravity and the limbs to which they're attached evince thighs, but they can use them in a prehensile fashion. As a result they can grasp a number of potential handholds from nearly any direction while manipulating other objects such as plasguns, and at times seem nearly indifferent to gravity. F'Sherl-Ganni are very hardy and have been seen to function normally in hard vacuum, but this does not make them unkillable by such means as high-velocity projectiles fired at close range, massive trauma such as being torn (or dissolved) in half, or high explosives applied to the head.
What appear to be horns were revealed to be long term memory storage devices attached directly to the F'Sherl-Ganni's brain. These memories have proven to be as susceptible to mind-rip as other species' brains. Presumably as they get older the horns grow longer. Particularly prominent F'Sherl-Ganni have featured horns that coiled around several times.
Six million years before Schlock Mercenary's setting, the progenitors of the F'sherl-Ganni, who at that time used a FTL drive similar to the teraport, fought an inconclusive but bloody war with the Paan'uri. The teraport "pollution" of Paan'uri space caused was the main cause of the war, so when a cease-fire was agreed to the F'sherl-Ganni constructed the wormgate network as part of the settlement and in return the Paan'uri retreated to Andromeda. This set the stage for much of the strip's early run, with Kevyn Andreyasn's reinvention of the teraport and gradually uncovered Gatekeeper machinations. The latter were revealed in their full extent during the "Dark Matter wars," where the Paan'uri effectively re-opening hostilities by trying to manipulate the F'sherl-Ganni into destroying the Milky Way, Kevyn saved the galaxy by time travel, the comic strip chided itself for bringing such an improbability into a hard science setting, an enormous battle took place at the galactic core between the combined fleets of a dozen governments and the Paan'uri that ended in Milky Way victory when the Gatekeeper gate-copy replication system blanketed the core with teraport denial systems, the setting's political situation was thrown into chaos for the second time in a few years, and Petey progressed from the Rogue to the Fleetmind and launched a counterattack invasion of Andromeda.
Since dark matter is unperceivable within the setting, knowing what the Paan'uri "look like" in any meaningful sense is impossible.
Strip footnotes state that "Paan'uri" is a F'sherl-Ganni word whose origins are lost in the mists of time. As with many F'sherl-Ganni nouns it is a probably a contraction of a longer phrase. The best guess of F'sherl-Ganni linguists is that it meant either "That which lives where nothing should", or "That gravitic distortion is giving me the willies." The Paan'uri, on the other hand, are noted to call themselves "US," and beings of visible matter "ANNOYING.