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Diary from ROBIS, a visitor to Denglan....

"....where the species suffers from the disability of only four limbs and seems incapable of making progress on any more than two. Its lifespan is radically short but it also seems to try to compensate for this by hyperactive activity...."

Hello to all those back on the Planet Nasine. This is the first of my logs recording my end of year 600 graduation project on the study of interplanetary life. My random planet selector has brought me to a strange place which teems with biological life forms and is alive with varied chemical compounds and gasses. Unlike Nasine the life forms seem to have developed madly diversely. Some live only in water, some in the air and others are confined to the land. I have undertaken the usual preliminary analysis of the various species and it seems the dominant strain is also the most widespread across the surface of the planet. It suffers from the disability of only four limbs and seems incapable of making progress on any more than two. Its lifespan is radically short but it also seems to try to compensate for this by hyperactive activity. The species is incapable of the usual efficient absorption of the means of life through the surface of its body, and instead needs to take a variety of gasses and solids through an aperture in its upper half.  I observe that if deprived of these things for any length of time it stops being active and after a while it is often hidden under the extensive mineral covering of the dry parts of the planet by similar life forms.

The planet circles a dying star which lets out considerable heat.  As it is close to the star, the heat is felt at different intensities on different parts of the surface. This may explain why the life forms vary in shade from light to dark. If this is the case, I had expected the different shades of life form to be clustered in like groups. This is sometimes true, but on parts of the planet there is a noticeably greater mix of shades. This seems to be more true where there is greater evidence of the compounds the species needs to live.

As my observations of the species continue, I begin to observe that they have various behaviours which they repeat and that there seems to be a hierarchy within the species as well as more subtle differences in the behaviour of groups and of individuals within the groups. I have already noted that part of the dominance of the species over the others on the planet includes using the compounds contained in some of those species to sustain their own existence. This is indiscriminate between species that use the land, the water and the air as their natural habitat. Strangely many of the dominant species seems to be preoccupied with ending the short life spans of others of the same species. This is more obvious in places where the heat of the star is most intense and the shades of the species are darker. Even more oddly, the species seems to differentiate between its own and other species whose life it terminates. In one respect, it does not appear to consume the compounds in the creatures of its own kind that it deprives of life to sustain its own. This is a puzzling discrimination and seems a strange waste of an energy source once it has been made available.

Due to the very wide range of behavioural differences I observe on this planet it is my intention to concentrate on one particular sub species and record my observations on the way they while away the time between their coming into existence and rejoining the other compounds of the planet.

To start this process I have chosen to land near a community of this strange species. They have developed some skills in using primitive tools to construct hives in which they live. The particular community I am observing straddles an expanse of liquid which seems to be made up of a combination of oxygen and hydrogen. I note that they have only primitive communication skills and as a result need to scratch symbols on the surface of various materials which they use to pass on information. The community has many such signs and I note on the approaches to it the symbols LONDON appear. In order to pursue my research I have taken on the form of a common device I have observed on the carbon-based strips they lay down to ease their halting progress across the surface. It is a box shaped object of metal and carbon construction with a crude power plant which illuminates an orange box on its upper surface which for some reason bears the symbols IXAT. I note that there are numerous other similar devices and I see they generally have at least one of the primary species in them and sometimes others. There is no obvious reason for their clustering in this way.  I note that the absence of the species in my mode of travel appears to be interesting to them. Many wave their rudimentary limbs as if to attract my attention, although if I approach them they seem to regard the absence of any other of the species travelling in the box as cause for alarm. A number make gestures indicating a primitive attack motivation if I approach close and then move rapidly away, some even attempt to pursue me even though it is evident to even a primitive species that my escape velocity is much greater than theirs. I am trying to gain an insight into their communication. It seems they often feel the need for company as they frequently signal with two of the appendages at the end of their upper limbs, sometimes also waving with these appendages in a tight ball.

As I move further into the community I note that the structures they use for shelter are of many different sizes and shapes. This is difficult to explain. I also note that as the light from the circling star fades as the planet rotates.  The species move from one structure to another often spending the dark period in a different structure than they occupy in the light hours.  I intend to follow one of the specimens to observe more closely……










Liveryman Jeff Cant - Council Leader, Wyke Regis Ward, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council

NOTE: I reserve the copyright to this piece beyond its use in the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants house magazine.