Originally commissioned by The Empire of Daqin for first wave colonization, the Rat Form of Daqinese is a very common sight due to the affordability of its gene-mod set, making it easy to access for people wishing to cast away their humanity. Despite being smaller than most, normally ranging from three-and-a-half feet to four feet in height, the Rat Form is surprisingly hardy for its small size. Like all Daqinese individuals, they are mentally superior to all humans, and are surprisingly strong for their size. Perhaps just as importantly however, are the accommodations included for particularly hostile environments. They are highly resistant to chemical and biological agents, meanwhile, their heightened senses enable activity at off-peak hours while detecting potential dangers. Finally, should these features fail, the Rat Forms are able to reproduce at a rapid pace to combat attrition as first-wave colonists.
In sharp contrast to many other forms that the Daqinren can take, the Rat Form is relatively small and diminutive, with mature adults measuring roughly four to five feet in height. Most rats have physiques that are lithe and thin which only emphasizes their smaller statures. However, unlike most other Daqinese types, they can gain weight as a survival mechanism, first becoming thicker overall before picking up the majority of additional mass at the thighs and waist. Though useful in more dangerous environments where food can be scarce, its cosmetic desirability is low, prompting most Rat Forms to watch their weight as a result.
Another feature of the Rat Form, which is considered less than pleasing by many, would be their practically trademark tail. Relatively long and flexible, the hairless, scaled length is prehensile to add additional utility. In addition to being capable of wrapping around and grasping objects, these tails perform the vital role of sensory and electronic interface organs. Finally, rats feature distinctly rounded ears which may move about to better ascertain the direction of a noise source. These ears are typically a soft, peachy pink in color, and are also covered in soft peach fuzz.
Like all Daqinren, the Rats feature the basic genetic augmentations that give them enhanced physical characteristics, abilities and fitness. However, it is their survivability that sets them apart from the rest. Geared towards enduring and even thriving in apocalyptic conditions, the rats are highly resistant to disease, poison and toxins. Their white blood cell system is particularly adept at identifying and eliminating disease causing bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites while working from a lymph system with additional nodes to act as bases. These very same cells also assist in the elimination of dangerous compounds, gathering them up and shipping them to the kidneys to be removed, or if particularly dangerous, to the liver to be deactivated first. Due to its importance, their liver is also larger and divided into 12 segments in comparison to the average 8 found in typical Daqinren and the humans that made their predecessors.
Their senses are also improved for survivability as well, with their hearing being perhaps the first thing noticeable. Rats already have mobile ears which search out various sounds, but their ability to process auditory information is excellent, allowing them to cut through various forms of interference to use their audio recognition and ascertain if there is a threat in the vicinity. Meanwhile, their sense of touch extends to both vibrations in the ground as well as in the air itself, allowing them to physically feel movement around them. Notably, their sense of taste and smell is heightened and very fine tuned to details, allowing them to pick out or ignore certain notes or specifics. This aids them in determining if poisons, toxins or various forms of contamination are available, but just as importantly, also allows them to endure the stink of the apocalypse as well.
Perhaps most key and disturbing regarding the Rat Form is its reproductive features. During peacetime, this is regulated with food additives or supplements, but without this, such as during catastrophic scenarios, their bodies shift and no longer perform the same reproductively. During this time, they are capable of producing multiple offspring, which are less than half the size of normal human newborns. Despite the smaller size, these are much more physically capable, often drawing unsavory comments regarding their hunger driven bestial behavior. This is remedied by ample food however, bringing their behavior back to something resembling human baseline, but also stimulating rapid growth in the process.