The Morphic Adaption Unit or MAU for short is an alien machine, designed for sale to less advanced races as an entertainment device. Developed centuries ago by the Trevekians as part of their plan to spread greed and commerce throughout the galaxy, these machines were never meant to be released on a low level technology planet like ours. Never the less, at least a couple of shipments of the devices started to show up in random locations on the U.S. West coast around 10 years ago.
These devices when shipped; pack down into a plain aluminum box about the size of a large Ice chest, and are light enough that most people can carry them without difficulty. They do however have strange engraved markings on them in no alphabet known on earth.
When first opened and activated, the device has a trial period key which allows it to function normally; however after what appears to be a random number of uses, the machine shuts down and requires some kind of maintenance / purchase key that’s beyond earth skill to provide.
During normal operation, a MAU folds out to the size of a phone booth and mentally interacts with the mind of the person who activates it. That person can modify / transform any person, including themselves who steps into the device into any other humanoid form.
MAU’s cannot be used to give persons super- powers beyond human norms, however they can be used to enhance human abilities beyond normal limits. They can also be used to give users physic powers which can be considered on the edge of human norms. (.i.e. telepathy, telekinesis, etc.)
MAU’s can also be used to copy / transfer / delete memories and mannerisms from one person to another; permitting one human to assume the life of another relatively easily.
They cannot be used to raise I.Q. beyond human norms, though they have been used to lower the I.Q. of subjects. They can also be used to create cravings and desires in subjects such as sexual addiction, food addiction, etc.
MAU’s in which the temporary activation key has expired, or which have failed due to extreme use flash and give unusual warning messages and cease to function.
There is rumored to be a partially working MAU unit in one of the developmental labs somewhere in Northern California, but it supposedly has side affects which they haven’t resolved yet.