The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Sunday, February 19, 2012


One of the more insidious species to make their home in the Galapagos Mountains is the aptly named Zombifier. At first glance, this medium sized creature, not much larger than a coyote, does not seem overly dangerous. Unlike many other species identified, the zombifier does not even try to mask itself against the violet flora. Many red and orange stripes run down the back of both male and female of the species, indicating coloration is more a warning display.

When moving, they walk on the tips of their toes, not quite hoof-like but on its way in evolutionary terms. They have long snouts, tipped with a hundred sharp teeth. Each of the teeth has groves running down them, connecting to a master venom gland. The venom does not kill its prey, but rather lives it in a quasi-comatose state. Its name is derived from a drug produced millennia ago in the Caribbean region, and the venom does leave its victims in a state of living death. The purpose of the venom is not to kill, but to render the prey inert. Once inert, the zombifier either drags its prey to a safe location to eat, or to lay its eggs inside of it. The prey will live long enough for the eggs to hatch and the hatchlings to eat their way out.

There is little danger to any human observer, as the teeth cannot penetrate environmental suits, and if one was foolish enough to not wear one, and then a zombifier attack will be the least of their concerns. The zombifier can be found all over Attenborough, though the largest concentrations are in the heavily vegetated areas of the mountains. The species is an excellent rock climber and has the balance of a mountain goat.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Descended from one of the sloth species that climbed out of the desert millions of years ago, the aardsloth is a strange creature even for Hypnale. At first glance, they more resemble giraffes than anything else, with a long neck and long legs. Their claws had long since vanished and gave way for a hoof-like structure. Only samples of the animal’s DNA proved it relationship with the precursor sloth and the numerous species that had evolved from it.

It gets its name from its tongue. Like an aardvark, or a chameleon, the aardsloth has a long and powerful tongue. Unlike the Terran animals mentioned, the aardsloth is an herbivore. It uses its powerful tongue to evade the spine palm’s phosphorous spines. Its prehensile tip can grasp palms and sheer them from their branches. Just why such an adaptation evolved is still a mystery, as the aardsloth is the only animal that can tolerate the spines if tagged.

The species is by far the tallest to live on Attenborough. It is one of the fastest as well, able to outrun most predators out in the open. The aardsloth is surprisingly well at concealing itself despite its height. When lying down, the purple hide of the animal blends in with the purple and ultraviolet plants of the scrubland forests. Their eggs are similar to many desert species in that they mimic rocks. The aardsloth lays their eggs among the clonal communities of spine palms, offering superior protection against predation than camouflage alone.

New Web Page

I've created a webpage for Stardust: Towne. I'll be working on more from my other Stardust stories. Stardust: Mylo will be continuing now that I have my $300 laptop.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spine Palm

Spread across the Attenborough Plateau, the Spine Palm has proven a deadly plant. Its name is derived from the thousands of spines that are spread across the tree’s trunk. At the top of the tree, its leaves spread out in a similar pattern to Terran palms. The tree grows to heights of ten meters. It does not spread seeds like its name sake, but rather is a clonal plant. It propagates outwards in a radial pattern. The plant defends itself from herbivores with its thousands of spines. These narrow leaves are like pikes. Ay plant-eater that gets too close is tagged by the toxic plant. The spines do not invenomate, but inflict severe phosphorus burns on its victim. Though the palms might remind a visitor of home, it his highly advised to avoid the groves scattered across Attenborough. Only a few of the sloths have evolved defenses against the plant, keeping it from over running its plateau.

It Lives!

I bought my new laptops, so I should be updating here pretty soon again. Now all I need are reading glasses to see the dinky screen. I'll be returning to Hypnale.