Item Seed: Shog-Milk.


You’d have to be a scholar in Ancient American — or else six to twelve standard Terran years, and a devotee of the Aunt Asenath’s Fun-Time Beanstalk television* show to boot — to know that ‘Shog’ means ‘shoggoth.’  Yes, the future has those, now. Somebody in the 24th Century came across the concept during one of that era’s neo-archaic craze, and they thought that it’d be cool to genetically engineer actual shoggoths out of slime molds, or something.  Just between you and me, people in the Gory-Twenty-Foury could get really, really weird. At least, it seems that way to their descendants, two centuries later.

Where was I? Oh, right, Shog-Milk.  Milk from shoggoths. Amazing stuff; tastes like smooth cream mixed with sweet fruit, mixes perfectly with chocolate, and you can ferment it into something that kicks like a friendly mule. No hangover, too.  It’s a major export for humanity at this point. At least three species find it intoxicating, straight up, and there’s one ecosystem where Shog-Milk is an illegal euphoric hallucinogenic.

Naturally, this makes it valuable, which is why there’s ten thousand gallons of it in the hold (almost thirty thousand liters, if you’re a philo-Galactic).  Actually getting it to that planet is going to be interesting, given that while it’s legal to own, sell, purchase, and even declare in customs on the planet in question — it’s illegal to actually move the stuff around, on-planet.  But that’s why companies hire quick-witted sophonts of action and decisiveness, right?

Oh, and yes, some of the other species of the Galaxy do have odd legends about Shog-Milk, or rather, the fictional creatures that modern shoggoths were modeled after.  Or, perhap, certain oddly specific xeno-cultural analogues to the fictional creatures that modern shoggoths were modeled after.  But that’s just… coincidence. It’s a big Galaxy. It surely doesn’t really mean anything.

*Yes, they call it ‘television’ in the 26th Century, too.  ‘Television,’ ‘movies,’ ‘books,’ ‘cars,’ ‘representative democracy,’ ‘Parcheesi’ — the list goes on.  Turns out that modern human cultures have locked in a lot of concepts, thanks to reliable recording media.  A lot of people in the 26th speak a remarkably close version of 21st Century English, too. This actually happens a lot.

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