Saturday, June 30, 2012

Life on Thor

Life on Thor is dramatically different than life on Earth and the early colonists were ill-prepared for the nature of the planet. Over time, they were able to adapt and build a society around the natural habitat on the planet and not only survive but thrive, but before they could reach that summit they had to adapt to the alien wildlife.

While Earth developed as a carbon-based planet relying on solar power to trigger energy production in plants, the staple for Thor's bio-sphere is actually biologically generated electricity. The large size of the planet is attributed to the dense central core, and the incredibly powerful electromagnetic fields it has produced over time. Pulling in several asteroids and other small debris during its formation gave the rocky sphere a greater circumference than your average mineral-based crust (and thus a heavier gravitational field). Metals and sodium were the primary elements in the soil pre-volcanic eruption, priming the whole world as a super-conductor. Due to the powerful forces beneath the surface, huge volcanoes released tons of ash and smoke into the developing atmosphere early on in the planets life, causing an extensive cloud cover and cutting off nearly 70% of the possible heat and light energy that might reach the planet from the star Chiron. Life would not be deterred however, and the early proto-plants and proto-animals adapted to the most readily available energy source: electricity.

The plants developed specialty cells and glands designed to absorb the ambient electricity from the air and soil and covert it to food via photosynthesis. These unique features developed in the root structure and leaves of the various plants, they absorbed salt to better conduct the electricity and emit oxygen to better assist the electrical currents traveling through the atmosphere. Over time many plants would develop signature vessels within it that would store the electricity (much like a plant on Earth might store water), to better "harvest" the natural electromagnetic field provided by the planet. Because of the natural electromagnetic field of the planet, the plant life has bloomed and taken over almost every surface of the planet.

The animal life adapted to the electrical nature of their world by developing organs and nerve structures to consume the bio-electromagnetism created by the plant life. The nerve endings on the carnivorousness animal life became highly specialized, able to channel and ignore the pain of most forms of electricity and store and absorb the electrical currents in glands and other specialty cells in the body. This stored electricity could then be used as a weapon, to increase muscle reflex and speed, mating rituals, regulate body temperature, etc. Herbivore life forms have specially adapted glands and organs which they use to produce their own bio-electrical charge, although this is a very weak form and not enough for the animal to survive on. They use the excess electricity they take from the plant-life as defensive structures, for mating rituals and the like. But they also use them to feed the plant life, to speed up blooming and growth of fruits and leaves, to charge the plant with extra energy for it to grow food faster. Thus, every life form on Thor is interconnected via the electrical field generated in the very core of the planet.

Those that survived the crash landing were faced with a difficult challenge. They did not have the technical skills, nor did they have much of the supplies and technological advancements that Apollo was granted. The remaining crew had to make do with what could be salvaged from the ship and simple survival training in the hostile new world. Due to the lack of knowledge and supplies available to the crew, their technological progress was behind that of Apollo. However, they did learn early on how to harness the various plants and animals on Thor for electricity, agriculture, farming and, later on, technological advancements.

The people of Thor split into 5 distinct sub-cultures. There are more than 20 various city-states along the super continent of Thor and its great Ocean, though several city-states share the same cultural lines (just different governing beliefs) amongst each other. The first group is the Thorians, they are the majority group represented on Thor. They feel they have escaped from bondage and the past of Earth and have a fresh start here on Thor and are determined to create a society with liberty and justice for all, free of the prejudices from Earth and free to start anew with clean slates. The next are those of the Natives, most of this group live in the woodlands and mostly untouched nature of Thor. These people believe that it is best to forget their old ways of technology and learn to live with the land. They use and adapt technologies that are eco-friendly and least impactful on the planet, the tree city of Eden is the model image of blending science with nature to create a home for both. The New Earthers stay primarily in the mountain ranges and great plains on Thor, they wish to bring everything that was Earth to this new planet. They subjugate and cage the powers of Thor, using them to fuel machines and (thanks to Apolloian traders) specialty bio-domes designed to replicate Earth's natural environment. The Fish Mongers are next, they spend most of their lives on floating cities and vessels along the great ocean of Thor. They are a free-spirited people, believing that each has a right to fulfill their own destiny and should be hampered by minimal laws. The only city on land claimed by them, Freeport, rests in the caverns of the great island Loki (the only other landmass on Thor and roughly the size of Texas). Last are the Walkers of the Way, a people who claim no city as their own. Traveling primarily along the deserts and plains of Thor, they are a Nomadic people who preach the religion of Spirit (that every planet has a spirit that is its guide and protector, and deserves respect and assistance in helping the planet). They travel between all the cities, healing both the land and people with their medical sciences.

A recent sub-culture has sprung up within the last 75 years and is beginning to spread rapidly along the planet. Known as the Connectors, they are viewed with an air of distrust and apprehension by those of Thor (hatred and violence by those from Apollo) due to factors beyond their control. Genetic drift is bound to happen, and those known as the Connectors are seen as the first steps in an evolutionary jump for humanity on Thor. Born among any of the cultures, they have triggered a genome in their body that allows them to store and manipulate bio-electric fields much like the native creatures to Thor. Using a hyperactive chemical stimulant to increase the electric currant and voltage in their bodies, they have unlocked a limited telekinesis in which they can project their own living bio-electrical field, or draw upon the fields of other life forms around them. Rare, as they only have a 50% chance of passing on the genetic trait, they are a growing situation that one day Thor will need to address.