South American Diving River Elephants
(This writeup is meant for use with the TimeWatch RPG.)
Stats: as per Mastodon (pg. 161), with the addition of Oracle (1) and Psychic (Mind-Reading) (2)
Well, of course you’ve never heard of them. They’re not just extinct; they never existed in the first place. When Timewatch came across these critters, they were already close to dying out on their own – seriously, who thought that a species of five-ton animals could be evolutionarily suited for diving into piranha-infested waters? – so naturally the organization grabbed all the Diving Elephants that they could, on the principle that it didn’t matter, right? And then they went back further in time, and grabbed all of those Diving Elephants, and then they did it again, and again, and eventually TimeWatch decided to eat the temporal instability and simply grabbed the species from the start, thus preventing Diving Elephants from meeting their dubious destiny with applied evolution at all.
As usual: you don’t have the math (or probably the brain) to analyze this rogue-temporal strategy properly.
So why did TimeWatch grab all the Diving Elephants? Because the same demented evolutionary process that gave the species the urge to dive off cliffs and into the Amazon also gave them the Oracle and Psychic (mind-reading) Special Abilities. ‘Elephants never forget,’ and all that; plus, they’re extremely placid beasts that don’t look remarkably different from either African or Indian elephants, so you can take one with you on any mission where having an elephant wouldn’t be out of place. Which is a surprising number of them.
One last note: Diving Elephants aren’t sentient, per se, but the species is being seriously considered for uplift. In the meantime, they have been carefully trained to provide full psychic access to their eidetic memory archives… but only if suitably rewarded, of course. Fortunately, Diving Elephants happily work for peanuts.