The Whisperer is a parasitic virus which exclusively infect the Sianat species during early childhood (those infected being known as Sianat Pairs). The virus forms a vast part of Sianat culture, and Sianats celebrate it as opposed to trying to cure it. It's most well known (and valuable) side effect is giving the host the ability to understand and navigate subspace, more commonly called the 'sub-layer'.
Side effects Edit
The virus appears to have neurological effects on the infected, changing their behaviour. One such example of this is it's tendency to make the host detest the notion of removing the infection, despite a cure being available. This belief is almost taken religiously by the infected, however some are able to resist.
Sianat Pairs file down their naturally-sharp teeth to become flat, though the reason for this is unknown. They are also known to shave their fur close, and create intricate patterns of fractals and holy patterns showing what are believed to be universal truths by the Sianats.
The diet of infected Sianat pairs notoriously composes of a nutrient paste, although this is more likely to be cultural rather than as a direct cause of The Whisperer.
The Whisperer has a major effect on the average lifespan of a Sianat Pair. While a Solitary is said to be able to live "well over a hundred" standards, no Sianat Pair is known to have lived beyond thirty. This is because of what is called the Wane; an inevitable degradation of the nervous system of a Sianat Pair. If a Waning Sianat is cured, their normal lifespan will return.
While The Whisperer makes most Sianat Pairs resist 'breaking' from the virus, some are able to resist. The only known place to have a cure is a fringe planet called Arun.
While almost all of the side effects go once a Sianat Pair is cured, Solitary Sianats retain the ability to 'Navigate'. This ability, combined with the focus the Sianat regains from being cured, gives them the ability to use their understanding for invention. This has allowed the colony on Arun to build complex tech, such as harvesters able to collect ambi from nebulae and space-elevators that are much more compact.
The cure itself comes as a green fluid and is injected using a syringe.