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October 30, 2008, 6:08 am

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Minaurans

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Inhabitants of a Kuiper-orbit station around Acheron, the Minaurans worry about patterns of the past and future crippling their survival.

Description
Kuiper-Orbit Station MNTR-7 is, at first examination, a fairly typical example of one of these distant orbital research and mining facilities; manufactured artifacts gleaming in the distant light of Acheron, buried in the strata of the primordial iceball it uses as insulation and fuel. Here and there lights glow, marking docking stations for the occasional speedship carrying supplies or carting off production, and tiny beacons whirl in close orbit, broadcasting identification signals to nearby vessels.

Come closer, however, and differences become apparent; odd strctures buried under the ice, with hints of unusual colors for a place so far from Acheron’s life-sustaining glow. Delve inside, and the halls of MNTR-7, or Minotaur Seven, as the inhabitants call it, prove to be a riot of greenery and burgeoning life, far from the normally sterile environment found in the first six MNTR stations. The inhabitants call themselves Minaurans, and more than a few are amateur historians, students of both the earlier periods of the Acheron system, and of the remnants of history that still remain about the long-vanished homeworld of humanity.

While theoretically a monitor station scanning the depths of space for signs of other intelligent life - preferably human, but any potential sign at all being welcome - the Minaurans are, in truth, fairly perfunctory in their duties, instead using most of their time and computer processing power to model their theories about humanity. According to them, a new ‘Age of Darkness’ is due to fall upon the worlds, with a collapse of social order and the probable deaths of colonies and stations ill-prepared to fend for themselves.



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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp


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