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Description

The G’L-Doses are a powerful, mysterious alien race of beings ruled largely by whim. “G’L-Doses” is the singular and plural term, and is sometimes abbreviated G.D. It is unknown how many G’L-Doses there are, but at least scores, perhaps many, many more. They do whatever they feel like doing, to the frustration, wonder, and confusion of lesser races.

They appear as glowing balls of light with enormous smiley faces. Occasionally they may have other attributes like top hats or cigars. When they teleport into a location, and when they use their powers, the sounds “Pop! Poof! Ping!” (and the occasional “Pong!”) are heard, even in the vacuum of space.

The main way they are known is for their abductions of other beings. They appear on a planet and randomly abduct an individual or two, who always laugh uncontrollably in seeming ecstasy as they are captured. The abductees are sent to the Zoo, where they will live forever. However, once they have sent the abductees there, the G’L-Doses ignore them.

A G'L-Doses eats a random ship
A G'L-Doses eats a random ship

Sometimes they interfere directly with a planet’s history, once again apparently on a whim. Sometimes this means they help the people of the planet, and sometimes the opposite. For instance, sometimes they appear out of nowhere and eat space ships. On the war-torn planet of Bazoom, they created instant peace. On the peaceful planet of Kvell, they spread a horrible plague. The random actions of the G’L-Doses have inspired various religious texts and arguments to grow up around them, specially Ragstone Phillit’s We Are All Ants in a Meaningless Cosmos. The G’L Doses abducted Phillit soon after his book about them became popular.

Major Story Arcs

Moonshadow

A G'L-Doses marries Sunflower
A G'L-Doses marries Sunflower

Sunflower and her cat Frodo were abducted by the G’L-Doses from a commune on Earth in the 1968. They lived in the Zoo like thousands of others until one day, a unique event occurred: one of the G’L-Doses married Sunflower in a traditional Jewish ceremony, impregnated her (giving her her first satisfactory sexual experience in her life), and then left her.

Sunflower had a boy, who she named Moonshadow. Moon, due to his unique parentage, continued to attract the attention of his father and the other G’L-Doses throughout his life. Moon grew up in the Zoo, but when he was almost 15, the G’L-Doses sent him out into the universe to have adventures, along with Sunflower, Frodo, and their surly Zoo companion Ira, giving them a ship, the Decrepit.

Moonshadow's father tells him he's going to leave the Zoo
Moonshadow's father tells him he's going to leave the Zoo

Soon after, Sunflower was killed by an alien. Moon’s father G’L-Doses appeared to him at her deathbed, smiled, and disappeared, to Moon’s confusion and pain. Moon was later confined to an insane asylum, and his father once again appeared, smiled, and poofed away, letting Moon know that he was being watched, but not being helped.

Around this period, Moon starts having visitations from the spirits of the dead, including his insane Aunt Ettie (whose blue eyes, clues to her madness, she shared with both Moon and his mother), Sunflower, and Moon's namesake, a San Franciscan poet named Moonshadow. In some ways the elder Moonshadow is Moon’s spiritual father, as he represents his mother’s true love. These spirits usually give Moon some kind of advice. It is unclear whether some or all of these appearances are actually G-L-Doses in disguise. Sometimes their visitations coincide with the appearances of G’L-Doses.

Moon is later wounded on a war planet, Tsuris. As he lays in a near-catatonic state, he sees his father again, watching and smiling. Moon is eventually able to get up, at which point he sees the elder Moonshadow and his mother, who lead him to find the lost and also-wounded Ira. His father again appears and transports Moon and Ira into the hands of some enemy soldiers, who take them to a concentration camp—saving them, even if they are now imprisoned.

Moon's father appears on Tsuris
Moon's father appears on Tsuris

After some time in the camp, Moon and his friends cross the camp leader, Darkmeister Ebann, and are sentenced to be executed by being lowered into boiling vats. The spirit of Moonshadow the Elder appears to Moon again, speaks to him about death, and disappears in a classic G’L-Doses “poof.” Moon’s physical father, the G’L-Doses, seems to be taking on the form of his spiritual father, the elder Moonshadow, here—unless the elder Moonshadow became this G’L-Doses after death.

Ira is dropped into a vat, but is launched out by one of his signature tremendous farts—except that immediately preceeding the fart is the sound of a classic G.D. "Pop! Poof! Ping!" The others escape, and they all see a host of several G’L-Doses appear above them. They heal all the prisoners and put the guards in chains. Moon realizes that Darkmeister Ebann had released the rest of them in repentance, but is now dying as the G.D.s watch. As he dies, Moon once again hears the Pop! Poof! Ping!, and they leave. Both good and tragedy have accompanied their visitation.

Sometime later, after the evil Pobidiah Unkshuss manipulates the distressed Lady Shady (an object of Moon’s desire) into suicide, a G’L-Doses appears over his carriage, seemingly mimicking his evil grin.

Moon retreats to the tranquil planet Pillbox, living with an adopted Uncle, Lord Gaylord. However, a G’L-Doses, first appearing as the actual moon, as they sometimes do, interrupts his peace and shows him a vision of Ira, who left Moon to pursue fame and riches, behind bars. Moon leaves, and eventually rescues, marking another time that the G.D.s help him, although perhaps out of whim.

As Moon and Ira continue their journeys, a host of numerous G’L-Doses, more than they have ever seen, appear to them in space. They stick out their tongues in response to his queries, and disappear. Moon interprets this as a harbinger of doom, and indeed he comes home to Pillbox to find his home destroyed and Gaylord apparently dead.

Moon and Ira are eventually caught by their antagonists, the Unkshuss family, and put in Pobadiah’s dungeon. Moon once again sees the spirits of his mother, his mad Aunt Ettie, and the elder Moonshadow, all of whom he rejects in anger. Moon’s G’L-Doses father appears immediately thereafter, and Moon harangues him as well. His father laughs at the idea that he owes Moon anything—the closest a G.D. comes to actual communication with a lesser being—and leaves.

Moon and Ira eventually escape and travel to the planet of Hump-T, the supposed World of Mists and possible home of Shree Quack-Quack H’onnka, a well-known mystic. They received a letter from Gaylord, apparently not dead after all, telling them that he found H’onnka there. After they arrive and wander the planet, a G.D watches over Ira’s shoulder as he studies H’onnka’s book and converts to the H’onnka faith. Ira dies soon after. Moon takes this as further proof of the random meaninglessness of the universe, and thinks that their search is pointless, and that the letter may have come from a G.D., not Gaylord, after all. He rails against the G’L-Doses’ cruel whims.

However, when he is finally left all alone, bereft of all his friends and family, he wanders into a misty cave, where he has a mystical experience he calls his Awakening. A G’L-Doses is there, among other images of his past, and the familiar Pop! Poof! Ping! is heard as Moon reaches his spiritual awakening, and he comes to terms, at least to some degree, with the madness of both sides of his family.

Farewell Moonshadow

Much later, when Moonshadow is a young adult, he travels back to Pillbox to live an anonymous life as a tinker. He marries the long-lost love of his youth, Bettina, and raises a family of four children. However, they die in a capricious storm, the kind of random event that often followed a G’L-Doses appearance, although none were seen at the time. Once again bereft of all worldy love and friendship, he devolves into a depressed, angry state for a long time, perhaps many years.

Then one night the moon turns into a G’L-Doses, and heals his mind, filling him with peace and love and joy, making him laugh as the G’L-Doses abductees do. It also gives him his flute back. This flute originally belonged to his mad Aunt Ettie and his mother, and he had often played it as a youth to remind him of the joys and pleasures of life. Now he takes the flute and pipes through the town, bringing peace to all who heard him. He has been re-Awakened.

Moonshadow, now a G'L-Doses, and Frodo rise up into the sky
Moonshadow, now a G'L-Doses, and Frodo rise up into the sky

Many more years after that, Moonshadow is a very old man. At his birthday party, he remembers his earlier life. He blows out his birthday candle and dies, Frodo still on his shoulder. Then, in front of everyone, he transforms into a G’L-Doses and rises into the sky (Frodo sitting on top), smiling, and finally merging with the moon.

It is unclear whether Moonshadow is unique, and is the only mortal being to turn into a G’L-Doses upon death, presumably because his father is a G.D. and Moon is thus half-G’L-Doses himself. Another possibility is that some other beings, such as his Aunt Ettie, Sunflower, and the elder Moonshadow, were also transformed into G.D.s themselves. This would explain their appearances to Moon, which were often immediately followed by appearances of G.D.s. There are other explanations for their appearances, however: it may be that the G.D.s simply brought the spirits to see Moon, or created illusions of the spirits. Or it could be that the visions were just hallucinations, or were real spirits that simply happened to show up at the same time as the G.D.s. As with most facts surrounding the G’L-Doses, it is a mystery.

Powers and Abilities

The G’L-Doses are able to teleport themselves and others across interstellar space. They can also fly through space at great speeds, at least equal to interstellar spacecraft.

They have extensive reality warping and/or matter manipulation powers. For instance they are capable of creating large structures such as the Zoo, presumably through their powers since they don’t appear to have technology or other ways of building things. More specifically they were able to instantly create a library of Earth books for Sunflower and Moonshadow within the Zoo. They are able to control the minds and feelings of creatures on a planet-wide scale, as when they created instant peace on Bazoom. They are able to create physical manifestations on a planet-wide scale as well, as when they created a plague on Kvell. They were able to do various other smaller acts, such as eating a space ship or making Ira's fart capable of launching him a great distance away.

They are capable of extending the lives of others, perhaps making them nearly immortal, as they did to the Zoo inhabitants.

They may be able to channel the spirits of the dead, or may be examples of the spirits of the dead returned to existence, as seen in their relationship to Moon’s visions of his dead family members, and in Moon’s eventual apotheosis as a G’L-Doses himself.

They can show images of what is happening great distances away. They can also presumably see the future, as implied when they show up as a harbinger of some future event.

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