A race of barbaric interstellar tribal nomads bent on galactic domination by mind control, the Plushies originated on Plushworld, a planet near the galactic core. Forced to leave Plushworld nearly 120,000 Earth-years ago when increasing radiation from their red giant star made it uninhabitable, the Plushies built a fleet of spaceships and set out to invade, colonize, funkify, show precious little respect for, and if necessary, obliterate other habitable planets and all intelligent life found to exist on them.
The Plushies are unusually small and lightweight for a spacefaring species. Resembling a small trilobite but with a pliable, rubbery skin, Plushies do not breathe, eat, drink, or sleep, and can remain completely motionless for extremely long periods of time. Their genderless bodies are highly resistant to natural aging and deterioration, resulting in lifespans of several thousand Plushie-years. All of these characteristics make them physiologically ideal for space travel. They communicate through mental telepathy which can operate at a range of several thousand kilometers. Mature Plushies also possess telekinetic powers, and can even operate electronic devices such as VCR's and televisions without the need for remote control devices.
Despite these advantages, the Plushies are susceptible to radiation, extreme temperatures, damp or wet atmospheric conditions, and drowning. Heavy-gravity planets (such as Earth) are also physically challenging for them. To overcome these problems during colonization, they generally wrap themselves in a soft insulating material known as zabrotek, which in turn is usually camouflaged by locally-produced fabrics arranged to look like harmless native animals and figures of popular culture.
It is strongly believed that the Plushies require almost no food, and are able to survive simply by consuming local microbes and bacteria by osmosis. More alarmingly, they also consume the brain energy of nearby life-forms in a process known as teiveivyuuang. This same process is also used to influence, if not totally control, the more mentally-susceptible individuals among species about to be subjugated.
At the top of the Plushie social hierarchy is the Winniadepoubair, a terrifyingly powerful creature capable of unimaginable cruelty and violence when thwarted. This entity governs the Plushie Empire in conjunction with a group of several hundred tribal elders known as the Stouftoi. Plushies rarely form tribes based on genetic ties, preferring to operate as corporate entities called Mykrosahfts; each tribe usually claims at least one solar system as its base territory and expands outward once that system is under their control. Conflicts between tribes are rare, but not unheard of. The most recent known intertribal war pitted the Hanabahrberriana tribe against the Eiznurian Confederacy (an often-uneasy alliance between the Dihzneikaraktir and Siddenmartikrofft tribes). It is believed that this war may still be going on.
Within each tribe, Plushie social structure is highly egalitarian. With virtually no distinction between warrior, worker, and intellectual classes, as well as no significant physical differences, internecine aggression is practically non-existent, except for occasional violent video games. Older and more telekinetically-gifted Plushies usually occupy the most protected (and therefore desirable) positions in the hierarchy as operators of massive zabrotek factories and camouflage-application plants known as kathilleiz facilities. These are usually established in poor, undeveloped areas of the soon-to-be-conquered world, often employing native laborers working in appalling conditions, both to increase production and to provide "cover" for the operation in general.
Once camouflaged, the Plushies are then distributed, or in cases of especially-gullible species even sold, to unsuspecting about-to-be-enslaved natives in a process known as walmahrtaizaashon. This process has the dual effect of both strategically placing the Plushies all over the doomed planet and crippling the planet's consumer economy, in order to eliminate any chance of an effective response once full-blown subjugation begins. Once put into effect, this strategy has never been known to fail.
The Plushie calendar is divided into the Pre-Plushworld Era (PPE) and the Post-Plushworld Era (also PPE, leading to considerable confusion among Plushie historians). Almost nothing is known about the Pre-Plushworld Era, however. (Note: A Plushie year is roughly equal to 0.62 Earth years.)
- PPE 0: Plushworld is abandoned, and 131 Plushie tribes leave in spaceships, never to return.
- PPE 2: A 132nd tribe returns to Plushworld for a short period, having forgotten its toothbrush.
- PPE 61: First conflict with another intelligent species, the Liberal Terrorists of planet Dimokratznia. Plushies win!
- PPE 2728: After successfully colonizing 213 planets, Plushies suffer their first significant defeat when the unwitting inhabitants of Fizhpohndia immerse all Plushie operatives in their vast subterranean ocean in an effort to ritually wash them.
- PPE 3201: The 18th Winniadepoubair, Attyorcervixis IV, declares itself the First Pan-Galactic Plushie Emperor. When Lottabairabotta, one of his concubines, tries to have itself named Empress, she is immediately eaten.
- PPE 15854: The Trehkigeikzia become the first Plushie tribe to reach the outer galactic rim, only to turn back after finding no habitable planets. The event becomes known throughout the Plushie Empire as "The Great Waste of Time and Effort."
- PPE 32890: The anti-Plushie "Quintilian Union of Interstellar Freedom Fighters" (QUIFF) forms when the biped inhabitants of planet Kshimpahnzea steal Plushie lightspeed engine technology and encounter the Hoktopai, a highly intelligent water-dwelling race native to planet Likkwiti 6. Despite several defeats at the hands of a series of Plushie fleets and armadas, the alliance continues to grow in both size and power, and within only a thousand Plushie-years encompasses 27 solar systems, 46 intelligent species, and 14 bags of potato chips.
- PPE 43874: QUIFF scientists develop khatnippe, a hybrid plant substance that emits an odor capable of paralyzing the Plushie neurovascular system. QUIFF agents then secretly cultivate the organism on several Plushie-dominated worlds, and also breed a variety of animal species for which the substance has a stimulating effect. The breeding programs produce species that are largely immune to Plushie mind control, and over several thousand years are instilled with ingrained behaviors that cause them to first bring the substance into close proximity to Plushie operatives, rendering them helpless, and then use their claws and teeth to tear away the Plushies' protective outer camouflage before killing them.
- PPE 51922: Plushie scientists develop the Grue, a hyper-violent subspecies capable of great strength and agility, each of which carries a Plushie internally as its controlling symbiote. Unleashed on hundreds of worlds, the Grues are capable of operating independently to become psychotic killing machines, burning or vaporizing khatnippe plants and storehouses, even when close proximity to them causes the Plushie symbiote to lapse into a carrot-like state.
- PPE 55191: The Plushie Empire suffers its worst-ever setback when a race known as the Ayohellian Mind-Hive invades from another galaxy, wiping out as many as 1,200 Plushie worlds in only a few (Plushie) years of fierce fighting. However, the challenge is dealt with almost as quickly when Plushie strategists discover that the Mind-Hivers, a humanoid species, can be easily neutralized by exposure to a largely-forgotten ancient Plushie weapon, the pr0n. Deploying newly-modernized pr0n technology throughout the Empire, the Mind-Hive is completely destroyed within minutes.
- PPE 62584: Plushies first land on Earth, then in a pre-industrial state, and begin the walmahrtaizaashon process. However, they meet with surprisingly stiff resistance from several of Earth's fractional subcultures, including the "Goths," "Punks," "Metalheads," "Hipsters," and "Muslim Fundamentalist Extremists." This challenge forces the Plushies to unleash their most terrible weapon yet, the RIAA.
Known Agents and Allies
- The Alliance of Selfish, Ignorant Pricks
- The United Pissyface Society
- Oprah Winfrey
- The Disneyland Confederation
- George W. Bush
- Jennifer Lopez
- SNIFF (Supersecret Network of Interstellar Fuzzy Ferrets)
- The Ottoman Empire
- The Cephalopodean Confederation