Armor is abundant in the natural world. Taking a good long look around you can provide plentiful ideas for building alien and futuristic personal protection.
Nearly two-hundred years ago a riverboat was traveling along the Mississippi. Some sleepless soul was out on deck, looking up at the sky and noted in a log a brilliant phenomenon. Thousands of bright falling stars raced across the sky. It happened again the next year, and the next. Eventually this would be named the Geminid Meteor Shower and it would be expectantly looked forward to with unchanging expectation as the humans who watched it grew from horse drawn carriages, to Model-Ts, to powered flight, into the space age. Tonight the crew of the International Space Station will batten down their hatches as they watch the rain of sparks from above, just as the crew of the riverboat marveled from below hundreds of years ago. Just as we can expect to marvel for generations to come.
So tonight find a friend, dress WARMLY, find a nice seat with a clear view of the sky, and enjoy a fleeting connection with the past, the present, and the future.
Humans have a knack for communicating with other species. With some, like dogs and horses it is fairly easy. With others, like snakes and fish it is more difficult but we are even scratching away at the communication of sea cucumbers. This would be handy when dealing with other species, but would they reciprocate the need to communicate?
What if humans are they younger sibling, tagging along after the more experienced species, pinging their ships with experimental communication.
Here is a story in a picture. Something is about to land here, either from above or from elsewhere. It will be something beautiful, something wherein the divine that shows in every aspect of creation is blindingly obvious.
Will it have wings?
Will it have the strongest of legs?
Will it be white and near invisible against the snow?
Will it be ebony and stand boldly in the light?
Will it scatter the light in a thousand fractal patterns, dazzling the viewer?
Something is going to land here, just watch.
Now I dare you, I artistically dare you, to not start singing "Stary stary night"
Cloudy, cloudy sky.....
When world building don't forget to include all of the critical little annoyances that crop up in any ecosystem. Remember, mosquitoes kill more humans each year than all the other creatures combined. That is a major part of any culture and yet it is rarely talked about. That is one weird dynamic when you think about it.
What kind of mystic being would live on this island? A Dragon? A pixy colony? Trolls?
The water is supposedly inhabited by giant crayfish minions. But what dwells above?
Humans Are Weird Warm Spot
The main community hall at Rough End Base was never really clean or orderly. The attempt to provide furniture fit to the needs of roughly a dozen species had been successful from a practical point of view. The various relaxing devices that surrounded the one long couch provided texture and density comforting to the respective bodies that they had been designed for, but a general ignorance of color theory and the cluttered appearance made the space look more like a disordered maintenance hanger than a lounge of any sort. Though the various lounging humans and Undulates didn’t seem to mind as they read, ate, or napped.
The breadbox sized aliens that looked more or less a cross between a wet mop and a loaf of bread, were perhaps the main frequenters of the community hall. They were a very social species and enjoyed inter-species interactions even more than humans. They also found the frigid, arid nature of the desert base fatal for extended periods, making evening strolls inadvisable. So it was no surprise to Dr. Sharon when three of them approached him with their gripping appendages raised in greeting. He set his book aside and smiled widely at them, showing his less than perfect teeth.
“Hey there my moppy friends, what gives?” He greeted them. He had long ago given up on identifying individuals among the earth-toned Undulates and thankfully they didn’t seem to mind.
“Greetings Dr. Sharon,” the one at the front of the three said, its soft, mouthless voice seeming to come from the center of the mass of drooping appendages. “There was a strange sound outside the rear safety exit.”
Dr. Sharon nodded and closed his book. “And you wanted the big bad human to go take a looksee.” He said. “Sure thing, probably a rock-rat. I’ll go chase it off.”
He got up off the couch and ambled across the large room. He passed the storage lockers that lined the walls and ducked under the low (for a human) emergency exit at the rear. Even in the airlock chamber it was chilly and Sharon shuddered as he stepped out the final door into the bitter desert night. He glanced around but didn’t see any fist sized arthropods. He shrugged and went back inside.
“They must have run off,” Dr. Sharon called out as he came back to his seat on the couch. . “I didn’t see any-“ He stopped talking and narrowed his eyes.
He glanced around the community room. It looked like every Undulate in the place was now grouped on the couch, their appendages pulled tight and pressing against one another. The mass was grouped where he had been sitting. Some clung to the back of the couch. Some were sitting primly on the seat. Some of these were tucked against the arm rest. Some clung to where his legs had rested. In fact they almost formed a near perfect map of where his body heat would have warmed the cushions.
“You heard a noise outside…” he said.
“That we did,” one of the Undulates said cheerfully. A gripping appendage raised out of the mass and gestured to the spot beside them. “Thank you for reassuring us. Please sit back down.”
“Sure,” Dr. Sharon snorted and shook his head.
He eased back down onto the couch and the mass of undulates seemed to flex and expand to press against his side from his ankles to his shoulder. A contented, sigh-like sound came from the earth tone mass. His book was produced by an appendage and he accepted it with a wry grin.
“Must have been a quick rock rat,” he said.
The last bit of color in the garden is the red berries
The rest is brown, or that dark, sleeping green.
The forest is a muddle of colors, a vessel for nature to clean the paintbrushes of Spring, Summer, and Fall.
Both Leo Tolstoy and George Elliot are about equally addictive in their best works and such long books give great delight.
Betty Adams is an up and coming author with a bent for science and Sci-fi.