Author Topic: [NC] The Skirin  (Read 3001 times)

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Offline Neoadept

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[NC] The Skirin
« on: July 01, 2009, 06:43:40 pm »
The Skirin


Skirin Mother
Skirin Male

Biology

The Skirin have a heavily differentiated anatomy between males and females, and as such will be described separately.

Females
Skirin females are a heavy minority, a single Mother to colonies which can number in the thousands.  They are several time larger than the males and, after a brief juvenile period, are nearly entirely immobile.  Even during this juvenile phase, they are entirely water bound, and will remain so from birth to death.

Mature Mothers are capable of holding thousands of embryos in biologically suspended animation, in which they take up almost no resources to maintain indefinitely and may be selectively grown as needed.  The Mother possesses full control over which of these embryos is brought to maturity and when, selecting for genes which have proven favorable or have proven useful in a certain area which has become pertinent.  When the colony, which the Mother grows to match what resources it judges to be available, has reached a size too large for one Mother to maintain, a new mother will be produced and take approximately one third of the population found another colony.

When gestating males, the Mother uses a "blank" egg which can take material from two separate males, while females are produced asexually through a process similar to cloning.  It has been speculated that due to this complete separation, the two are technically different species at this point.

While their brains are many times larger than the males, they are entirely non-sapient according to most reasonable tests, what little is not dedicated to long term memory operating according to a complex set of instincts which allow for decision making which appears sapient, but playing host to no actual reasoning abilities.  This is because the brain is dedicated to storing the memories and thought patterns of the males, which are recorded through regular conferences with the colony Mother by way of the exposed nerve clusters on the ends of it's tentacles.

Males
The Skirin males are significantly smaller than females, though this size may vary according to the genes the Mother has selected for.  While technically amphibious, most modern colonies produce males which can function on land for days at a time with comparatively small amounts of water.  Beyond these traits, the strength, intellect, and most other physical traits have a wide range of possible expressions outside of various fixed traits such as number of limbs and organ types and arrangement.

Male Skirin are birthed live and will spend between two and seven weeks with the Mother, depending on the amount of knowledge it must take in and the amount of growth it's traits require, with those required to take in the memories and thought patterns of highly intellectual Skirin taking the longest.  After this time they are mature enough to join the rest of the colony, though it may be up to a year before they are entirely adult and have completely integrated the thought patterns and memories passed along to them.

While every tentacle belonging to a Mother ends in a nerve cluster, males only have four such clusters which are held under the body when not in use due to being extremely vulnerable.  These nerve clusters are used to pass memories to and from the Mother, as well as for comunicating between themselves.

Due to the high density of information which can be passed along this way, many Skirin can network themselves together into a very powerful mind, some such clusters made up of over a hundred and equivalent to a powerful, if slow, supercomputer.  While the intellect presented by such a network is impressive, most individuals are slow and dimwitted as compared to other sapient species, raising the question of whether an individual is technically sapient, only capable of reasoning when working with a larger group.  The tendency of a Skirin, isolated from others for more than a few hours, to lose initiative and eventually fall into a despondent stupor certainly supports this view.  The smallest functioning group of Skirin varies according to expressed traits of the group, but tends to be over six, with most communicating with at least one other group member every few minutes.

It should be noted that due to limited storage in a Mother's brain, most memories are not actually stored, being similar enough to memories previously taken in for them to be considered the same.  Thought patterns share this limitation.  As such, it is believed that there are fewer than one hundred thousand mentally differentiated individuals in the species, though there are over one hundred billion Skirin currently alive.  This does, however, depend on the definition of an individual.  Some choose to select groups of Skirin as the baseline, the combination of various patterns allowing for more differentiated individuals.  Others take entire colonies as a single individual, making each one almost certainly unique.


History

The Skirin began as a species of simple group predators in the waters of the planet Proteus, using electricity storing organs in their tentacles and simple tactics to corner and kill prey in their native marine environment.  During this period, females were comparatively plentiful, making up nearly a fifth of the population.

An asteroid impact at this point destroyed two thirds of the species living on land and dropped water temperatures by several degrees worldwide, leading to a long term depletion of the Skirin food supply.  In response to the periods of near starvation punctuated by irregular intervals of plenty, Skirin females evolved the ability to hold their embryos in suspended animation.  This allowed them to gestate only during times of plenty, avoiding unnecessary burden during the more frequent periods of hardship.

Eventually the temperatures normalized, but the Skirin were only one among many who had been forced to adapt by the disaster.  The prey they hunted now were stronger, faster, and more cunning than it had been before the crisis, and the Skirin's own predators were more formidable in turn.  A simple form of communication arose through pulses of electricity, the females, acting as coordinators, undergoing an increase in intellect in turn.

Over time, as tactics became more important, the size of a pack of Skirin grew from the half dozen it had been to numbers in the hundreds.  The complexity and subtlety of the language increased over time, gradually decreasing the strength of their electrical shocks in exchange for more control and more sensitivity in the skin around receivers.  Eventually, nerve clusters moved to the skin's surface, safe guarded by the prehensile sub-tentacles curling around them, allowing for unparalleled  levels of communication through physical contact.

By this time, Mothers had become entirely sedentary, coordinating colonies that numbered in the thousands from afar, the intelligence of groups of males growing to compensate for the loss of their decision making skills in the field.  Eventually, their unique communication would allow for the transfer of more than mere messages and the Mothers would become non-sapient memory storage.

As their evolution progressed, they eventually became undisputed rulers of the oceans of Proteus, stumbling upon the concepts of animal farming and shelter building in the process.  However, the habitable  land near the ocean's rims were growing crowded, the ever replicating colonies moving against each other for living space.  After a time, Mothers of colonies which couldn't compete began guiding their evolution either to survive deeper areas, or eventually leave the water entirely.

After a long period of short raids to the surface, modern Skirin emerged onto land still recovering from the asteroid impact, ready to be molded to their liking.  Mothers were still limited to water, but plentiful rivers and swamp land, and the eventual invention of water tight containers, meant that they could move inland.  Given the inevitable nature of Skirin expansion, the same conflict arose on land, with the same solution.  Those who could not survive there moved elsewhere.

Some would use technology developed on land to retake the sea, destroying colonies which had not improved.  Others would once again seek territory never used before.  The hottest deserts, the coldest tundra, the highest mountains.  Eventually, they would look to the sky.

Presently, over twenty billion Skirin live permanently off world in structures ranging from orbiting habitats to lunar bases to hollowed out asteroids.  Over eighty billion live on planet, using high density hydroponic farming to feed the massive numbers.


Notable Alliances


While Skirin are instinctuallly distrustful of other colonies, some have in the course of history banded together to take together what they cannot alone.

The Proteus Alliance
The Proteus Alliance, despite the name, only controls ten percent of the home world.  They are an alliance that has lasted since the first land wars, and the name of the planet was actually taken from them rather than the other way around.

The largest alliance in the system, their power base stemming from their alliance with orbiting stations, who guarantee their air supremacy in exchange for continuous supply lifts via the word's only functioning space elevator.

The Founders
The Founder Alliance is a collection of colonies on and around the sister world to Proteus who seek to proteform the world and flourish in unclaimed space.

The Far Shot Alliance
Formed by a set of struggling colonies at the system's rim, the Far Shots seek to modify preexisting trans-cannon technology, which accelerates matter to faster than light speeds through spatial distortion to produce a high precision nearly undeflectable weapon, into a device which can send them to another system entirely.  Once again, the ever expanding species has run out of room and the Far Shots intend to be the first to take advantage of a new domain.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 07:42:00 pm by Neoadept »


Nefarious?  Nearly.  Ne’er-do-well?  Never!  Neither nearly names this narrator.  Naive and knowledgeable, notorious and inscrutable, this nascent Nero is known naturally as Neoadept.

Offline UFO King

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Re: [NC] The Skirin
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2009, 07:08:03 pm »
This creation is incredibly well thought out and creative. I love it, but I assume Proteus is large than earth due to the high population, right? Anyway, I'm looking forward to more in hope of RPing with them.
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Offline Kitkat

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Re: [NC] The Skirin
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2009, 07:09:25 pm »
I like this. It's definitely the most original and interesting I've seen. :)
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Offline Neoadept

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Re: [NC] The Skirin
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 07:39:39 pm »
This creation is incredibly well thought out and creative. I love it, but I assume Proteus is large than earth due to the high population, right?

Thanks! :)

As for the planet size, it might be a little larger, and their not as large as humans, but mostly the high population is down to the fact that they're crammed in wall to wall.  They rely entirely on tower farms for sustenance, using fusion power to light it 24/7 for maximum yield.  If there's untouched land on the planet, it's because it's unstable enough that only colonies with nowhere else to go would take up residence, and then they couldn't cut it there.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to more in hope of RPing with them.

Likewise, though some of the other new guys are getting together to make another NG like area called the Novus Cluster.  We plan on it being a star cluster orbiting the main galaxy so the two can interact, but honestly the continuity you guys have set up over the years is a little scary to dive into, so we'll be sticking to the cluster for awhile.

We'll get a central thread for it up soon and can discuss it there.
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Offline MNIDJM

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Re: [NC] The Skirin
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2009, 03:48:04 am »
It's great, just that from my experience, earth plants need a break from sunlight. They use the night in order to do other processes.

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Offline Flisch

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Re: [NC] The Skirin
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2009, 04:06:39 pm »
Are they actually amphibic or have some of the Skirins become entirely terrestrial due to the females' selecting of genes?
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Offline Neoadept

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Re: [NC] The Skirin
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2009, 06:34:39 pm »
Well, they all have to spend long periods of time in water after birth to get imprinted by the Mother, so they're technically amphibians.  But if you mean after that, there are many, especially in the space colonies, who only need water to drink.  Even so, they like to have the humidity pretty high on their ships.

There are, however, still many colonies in the ocean who are entirely aquatic.  These are either colonies that never left and have managed to hold off the surface dwellers, or some who returned once life on land got too tough and readapted to the water.
Nefarious?  Nearly.  Ne’er-do-well?  Never!  Neither nearly names this narrator.  Naive and knowledgeable, notorious and inscrutable, this nascent Nero is known naturally as Neoadept.