SRYY 45-B Guide

Welcome to the crash course for SRYY 45-B, the Mite and Utini homeworld.

Mite and Utini populations are in decline all over the galaxy, and it is suspected that soon they will be entirely extinct. But before their planet's ecosystem becomes but a distant memory, let's examine what we do know of it.

>> Where Is SRYY 45-B?
SRYY 45-B is the second planet out from a blue dwarf star in the SRYY 45 star system. The inhabitants were unable to agree upon a name for their native sun, native world or nearby celestial bodies and so the system and planet go by their agreed upon scientific designation.


system map

The SRYY 45 star is located at quite a distance relative to Earth, with its nearest neighbor being Rojeria. Due to its nearest alien neighbors being quite xenophobic, SRYY 45 B remained isolated for longer than the average, and her natives were able to develop their own moderate space travel in the interim.

>> What Does It Look Like?
The planet is largely liquid H20, similar to Earth. With one major land mass and six slightly smaller continents, it is easy to see from space that seismic activity is a major player in the formation of SRYY 45 B. Mountains dot every landmass and new islands are in constant formation.


hemispheres map

Indigenous plant life and soil are high in iron content, resulting in a reddish hue visible from space. However, much of the time the surface is obscured by the cloudy hazes of numerous active volcanoes.

SRYY 45 B is orbited in the most liberal sense by five moons. The reality is that its largest moon, B-luna 1, is a large enough satellite in its own rite that the smaller moons (B-luna 2 through 4) are captured in its own gravitational pull.

These micro-moons have an intense impact on the tectonic activity of the planet surface below. When in their orbit around Luna-1 the smaller moons enter the area of space between SRYY45 B and their primary gravitational influence, the volcanic activity below reaches a wild and brilliant state.

Perhaps because of these strange lunar forces in play, it is not only volcanoes but constant rifts which shape the surface of SRYY45 B. Great chasms open in the crust of the planet, allowing the brilliant blue lava to spill below the surface and pool. These rifts eventually erode away, leaving massive basins and plane lands at the bases of mountains.

>> What Kind of Life is On SRYY 45-B?
Because of the unique circumstances surrounding the ecosystem collapse of SRYY 45 B, this article will cover the ecosystem as it was recorded prior to the introduction of a highly mutable virus.

Life in Cities

The two sentient species indigenous to SRYY 45 B, the Utini and the Mites, have been perpetually at odds with one another as long as either's civilization has recorded history. While biologically similar enough to be considered of the same taxonomical family, they evolved in direct competition for resources and as two species attempting to occupy the same ecological niche. As such, their modern lifestyles are substantially different.

-Mites
The glider species of Mites typically find themselves occupying the sides of young mountains and inactive or dormant volcanic ridges. Because they are not truly an aviatic species, their architecture is largely centered around the basics - one enters at the ground level and then may take off at a glide from platforms located higher up on large towers. Factories and research locations resemble large seashells, spiraled and segmented.

Proximity to volcanoes is key, as Mites glide on the updrafts from volcanic heat. A great deal of elaborate planning and design has gone into support beams which can hold the volcanic rifts open, allowing the heat to waft upwards. It is postulated that this research into extreme heat and force resistance engineering is part of what allowed Mites to eventually pioneer their own spacecrafts.

A common site in Mite cities are flocks of fladoes. These gliding mammals may be the the closest living relative of both Utini and Mites, and they subsist on an omnivorous diet. Capable of flight and found on every land mass of the planet, fladoe species are one of the most wide spread species on SRYY 45 B. It is this prevalence which contributed directly to the collapse of the ecosystem.

-Utini
Utini cities are commonly found on shorelines, and the general architecture of an Utini home is a building on stilts. Because of the Utini wing structure, their homes are rather Spartan and usually consist of wide, open spaces. Utini tend not to build doors, preferring instead for curtains which can be swept aside with their relatively delicate wing structures.

In spite of the fact that Utini are better suited for distance flying and not gliding, the species have several times attempted to invade Mite settlements for easier access to the fertile grasslands found below volcanoes.

Life on the Planes

The planes found at the base of volcanoes appear serene at first, having little in the way of large scale vegetation apart from the occasional cado plants growing from shallow collection pools. The majority of the planes are covered in low-lying vegetation, such as the distinctive iron-rich grasses of the system.

It is upon this grass that the kelet herds feed. Skittish, but easily herded and hunted, it is this animal which most likely contributed to the Mites settling nearby. As with much of the life on SRYY 45 B, the kelet has no place in Earth taxonomy. It gives birth to live young, but does not nurse them. It has no body hair, but does not appear burdened by temperature change. The kelet has no visible mouth, and so instead feeds by use of several long absorption tendrils. These tendrils wrap around a plant and then crush it until the moisture within can be absorbed. The tendrils, however, are not strong enough to crush anything outside of grasses, and so the kelet is a prey animal. Its enormous eye and long legs are its best defenses against the top predator of the grasslands: the eboa.

The eboa is not strictly a mammal, nor is it a reptile, nor is it an insect. It defies classic Earth classification, exhibiting characteristics of all three. A stealth predator, its mane allows it to blend in with the flora of the grasslands. Its mammalian facial structure allows it superior vision and senses for the hunt, and its insectoid legs ensure that it will not lose its footing should it need to creep upon its prey near a rift.

When the eboa attacks its prey, it behaves as an Earth constrictor. It strikes with the speed of a snake, bringing down both full grown kelets and -more commonly- nabbing adult fladoe in mid-air before wrapping its body around the target. However, once its target has been asphyxiated, it proceeds to chew its food with powerful jaws instead of swallowing it whole. Eboas were occasionally exported as pets prior to the collapse of the ecosystem, though they are a highly dangerous exotic and only the most foolhardy or experienced collectors should attempt to house them. The Mite and Utini both have long since given up any attempts to domesticate or train the eboa, and do their best to avoid remaining in the grasslands where it resides.


Collection Pools

The cornerstone of the SRYY45b environment is the collection pool. Flowing fresh water on the surface of the planet is extremely uncommon, and that which falls in the form of precipitation is typically filled with contaminants from the volcanic explosions. This is where the collection pool plays its vital role.

As the precipitation falls, it makes its way down the iron-rich rock into the collection pool. It is here the cado plants grow, their roots submerged in several inches of thick volcanic ash underwater. The plants absorb both the runoff and air around themselves, forming a filtration system essential to the planet's air and water.

A source of fresh water attracts many other species, including the kelet and eboa. The primary animal found in almost every collection pool, however, is the korat. The korat resembles an Earth turtle, though differs in that it is not a true reptile nor can it withdraw any portion of its body into its shell. Its shell is purely a form of camouflage, resembling a large rock from above. It feeds exclusively on cado plants, using its front pinchers to hold the thick stalk while its strong beak bites through. Like Earth turtles it is oviparous, and must lay its eggs on land. The fladoe is the largest predator of korat young, commonly found digging up and consuming eggs.

A second creature found almost exclusively around the collection pools is the ye beetle, an insectoid herbivore. Ye beetles feed on the waxy blossoms at the top of cado plants and drink the filtered water in collection pools. They were once considered vital to keeping the population of cado plants in check, as their diet of blossoms prevented the plants from spreading at too great a rate.

The final creature found near the collection pools of SRYY 45 B is the orob. it is unknown what to classify the orob as, though some claim it could be considered an ambulatory form of plant life. Its soft and spongey surface area absorbs the toxic chemicals spewn forth from volcanoes as nutrients, and so it is often found clinging to the sides of volcanic rock in great numbers. It reproduces by laying eggs in the water of collection pools, and is considered a fairly simple organism.

>> Ecosystem collapse
SRYY 45 B is currently under a planetary quarantine following what appears to be an ecosystem collapse. This is unfortunate and a true travesty to both of her indigenous intelligent species. What few specimens of SRYY 45B biology survive off-world are not large enough to replenish a gene pool without assistance of genetic engineers and modification, but it is forbidden for the safety of others to return to the planet's surface in anything less than level 5 containment gear at the present time.

It is difficult to track down sufficient data which can conclusively explain the ecosystem collapse. There are, however, some hard facts. It is known that the outbreak was initially recorded in the fladoe population of Koish, a major Mite city in an area of strategic political contention which sits very near a major Utini population zone. It is also known that before the Mites had discovered the virus to be carried by fladoes, the Utini were capturing fladoe and exporting them off-world for an unknown purpose.

The outbreak spread from the fladoe population of Koish to its Mite population, resulting in a pneumonia pandemic which was referred to simply as 'the plague.' Conventional treatment failed to combat what appeared to be a mutated viral strain. Additionally, no initial attempts were made to contain the infected fladoe population - it was not long before the virus spread beyond the city of Koish.

Once outside the confines of the city, the virus carried by the fladoe appeared to mutate again. It infected Utini after several months of devastating the numbers of Mites, and the Utini reacted with shock. Completely unprepared to defend against the virus, it appears that they did not believe they could ever be susceptible to the plague.

The fladoe population plunged as the species died off in great numbers. The eboa subsequently began to decline in population as well. It is not known if this is because the eboa too was infected or simply if the eboa's primary food source became too scarce to support its population.

The result was a loss of both apex predators and population control species. The kelet and korat populations exploded. While the eventually effect for the kelet will be a stripping of grazing land and mass starvation, the impact of a sudden increase in the number of surviving korat was much more dire.

Too many korat meant too many cado plants were being cut down and consumed. The lack of this filtration flora caused the air of SRYY 45B to reach dangerous levels of toxicity for most mammalians. This began to lead to a run away greenhouse effect and poisoning of the soil as volcanic ash built up with no plants (grass having been destroyed by kelet overpopulation and cado being destroyed by korat). The ground became impossible to farm.

Low food supplies, poor air quality and mass illness of numerous species - the only species which remained seemingly unaffected was the unassuming orob. The increase of toxins in the air lead to an increase in the size of the orob, but otherwise the collapse of the SRYY 45 B ecosystem seems to have left them largely unaffected.

It is not expected that SRYY 45 B will recover from this ecological collapse, at least not within enough time to save either of her indigenous intelligent species. It is hoped that if proof can be found connecting the virus with a laboratory or specific creator, a cure can be found and the remaining Mite and Utini can be evacuated from the surface.

This, however, is unlikely to occur. Due to the animosity between the two species, it is almost impossible to tell who is truly responsible. So much finger pointing goes on and so many years of bad blood flow beneath the surface that even when faced with their own imminent demise, the two species would rather attack each other than work towards a solution for survival.

2014

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