Distant Fringe Sophont
|Homeworld location||Nyso (Hollow 0137)|
|Primary Star||M2 V|
|Reference||Adie Alegoric Stewart - Distant Fringe|
History & Background (Dossier)
The existence of this species was discovered by the Jannasta Expedition
The Froma of the Hidden Ocean
From the journals of Commander Sebastian Falcon Jannasta:
The frozen moon of a large gas giant far from its red giant star, circles in silence. The entire surface of the planet a thick layer of frozen compounds. The layer of life is within a vast ocean hidden and deep. Ammonia is the liquid of choice here. It is flammable in the presence of oxygen and hydrophobic. Planetary temperatures typically range from -78 to -33. Life here tends to have slower chemical reactions. The ammonia dissolves organics based on carbon and metals. It can be used by the native organisms to construct amine groups instead of hydroxyl groups. Because the planet is so very cold, certain chemicals on hand in the atmosphere and oceans include sulfuric acid, formamide, hydrocarbons (mostly ethane and methane), hydrofluoric acid, which under the high pressures of the underground world ocean can be used to make polylipids. The ammonia serves as a non-polar solvent for the chemistry of the local life forms. They reduce ethane and acetylene to methane. They have methanogenic catalysts that can function at 95K to form azotosome acrylonitrite. The surface ice layers create a high albedo factor. Water is incompatible with life here. Boranes and long chain polymers of sulfur compounds are more typical. These hydrocarbon dependent forms are highly flammable in the presence of free oxygen, which was thankfully rare there. A frozen planet with a deep subsurface ocean, layers of liquid between the frozen interior and the crust. The core of the planet is warmed and kept active by gravitational tidal forces from the large gas giant. High concentration of radioactive isotopes generate heat as well.
The intelligent form of life here were parasites originally. Massing 8.0 kg when full grown, they lived in a colonial existence with their massive hosts. The worms were massive consumers of the hidden oceans. The surface has pockets of hydrocarbon lakes and rivers. Pools of cold ethane and methane. Most of the life dwelt in the hidden ocean. The host worms were massive, several kilometers long. The parasites had no cities. They lived in and on there their mobile hosts. They were masters of chemistry and "genetics". They controlled their hosts completely. They adapted the host bodies to suit the parasites’ needs. The hosts produced the chemicals and materials they needed. As the parasites grew in their abilities they explored more of their world. They developed burrowing and tunneling host worms. They used these to tunnel to the surface of their world. They gradually colonized the surface and eventually used the hydrocarbons as fuels. The largest obstacle was synthesizing controlled amounts of oxygen. Oxygen is a deadly toxin to them. Using their living rocket hosts they learned to adapt to other low temperature Jovian moons. The colonized all the moons in their home star system.
The grafted host worms that they had adapted for space travel into clusters. Masses of host worms formed ever bigger colonies. Some functioned as space stations of sorts in stable orbits. Worms dispatched to travel to and from the tunnels and access colonies which granted passage into the life giving World Ocean. Provisions and supplies, raw building materials, mostly forms of life in their own right, formed the basis for their growth and expansion. The initial colonization of the all the home system’s gas giant moons took hundreds of thousands of years. This would be roughly equivalent to TL–7. The inner worlds closer to the star were of no interest as they were all too hot and had poisonous water and oxygen.
The last great migration lead to the creation of deep space colonies, capable of travel between stars. Closed loop ecosystems, which could be sustained at extremely low levels for obscene lengths of time. These living heralds set forth to colonize other systems. Systems that their sensors told them had conditions for suitable gas giants which could have nice cold moons for new homes. Hosts were mutable in that the parasites learned over evolutionary time to manipulate evert aspect of their living vessels to produce whatever materials they needed to grow and synthesize. They could catalyze, and accelerate or when needed inhibit and slow the rates.
The established a network of cold loving, hydrocarbon based, moon colonies. They sought out oceans of liquids typically gases on terrestrial worlds. Perfectly adapted to survive for centuries within their hosts, they modified their hosts to anaerobically cope with what each new moon had to offer. All well below the freezing point of water.
The homeworld of this race is: