Smootrat is a term now commonly used for persons who ignore the legal and moral values of their culture for the benefit of their family, friends, or themselves.

The name comes from the alien race native to Smootratia, an Earth-like world discovered by Taupoians.

Smootratian RuinsThe Taupoian adventurers found the uninhabited ruins of a technological, though not spacefaring, civilization. No signs of warfare were found. The cities and villages around the planet just seemed to have been abandoned.

Further exploration revealed humanoid, rodent-like people scattered around the planet. They were only occasionally seen among the ruins, and then they seemed to be looking to scavenge anything that they could use. However, by the time of the Taupoians' discovery, few useful tools and little fuel remained.

Anything analogous to books or newspapers was long gone, but, based on brass statues found in the cities, the Taupoians assumed that these people were the descendants of the Smootratians whose civilization was now in ruins. No records could be found to indicate what had happened.

Once the Taupoians had satisfied themselves that the Smootratian civilization had not been the victim of some plague, they made contact with the humanoids. Individuals of this race generally lived alone, with little or no family structure beyond the nuclear family and with no visible social order. Each had a "me-first" attitude. Individuals would trade or interact with the Taupoians when it seemed to be to their benefit but they resisted all attempts to become "civilized." Common legends indicated that these people were indeed descendants of the ancient Smootratians, but they gave no indication of what had happened to their civilization. It was as if the people had all become Republicans at about the same time.

Because some individuals in most societies show varying degrees of this type of behavior, the Taupoians began to study the extinct civilization and the smootrats, as they became known. The research did not last long. It ended abruptly when The Great Dying on Taupoi brought an end to space travel. When space travel was resumed about 850 years later, there was little interest in the smootrats. The Taupoians never learned why the smootrats, or individuals of other societies, showed this greedy, antisocial behavior when it was obviously to the detriment of the species as a whole.


Page updated: 16 May 2024
Page created: 25 October 2012