The Stuff, alternately called Ichor, Ether, Smilonite, et al, is a genetic plasma, possibly of degenerated divine origins, from which all life in the Smilocide universe may arise. It seldom remains in its plasmic state long as it has the unusual tendency to develop itself quickly into individualized, cohesive, and often sentient beings. In the Smilean planetary system, it is believed that it generated life from the degraded remains of divine beings after the fall of the rebel angels. Though if left be, it can generate new life over the course of many years, it is more commonly used as a building material while in its maleable state and then rendered inert with strong acid, causing it to grow very rigid. On earth and in space, an often purer variant of the Stuff exists, occasionally falling to earth where, via horizontal gene tranfers, new organisms are developed, often called toons. On earth, toons can either be generated incidentally, crawling out of the soup as it were, as typified in the genetic toon explosion in Toxic Tampa Bay, or deliberately generated via the Cohl process, which may have been based on extraterrestrial technology. Entities generated from the stuff tend to be particularly resilient to physical trauma and possess remarkable elasticity and control over their physical bodies, and occasionally their surroundings. Both are often a function of the quantity of ambient stuff in their environment, hence, Chanterelle and May's near deity-like power in the Bay, but relative helplessness elsewhere where ambient Stuff concentrations are much lower. Extensive research on the properties of the Stuff was conducted by the corporation SUR, who may have precipitated the spills in Tampa Bay to generate an ideal study environment, in which their primary researcher was a toon mouse known as Joanne.
Professor Emile McCay has devoted his career to studying the Stuff scienticially, anthropologically, sociologically, and culturally.