Friday, October 16, 2020

Further Alien Beings

Brent Hollowell


Previous installments can be found here and here.

They have names now!


Hunchbacked hairless bipeds evolved from migratory herd omnivores. Cream colored underbelly, red-rust tortoiseshell dorsal pattern. Four huge black eyes, bracketed by bone plates, dominate an otherwise-featureless head. Retractable feeding apparatus. Language sounds between flute and pipe organ, can communicate easily over significant distance. Larger clades use a knuckle-walking gait. Climate shifts early in their development left them in an environment bereft of apex predators, but also subject to extreme seasonal variation, resulting in a tendency towards long-term planning, evenhanded resource allotment, and inter-communal cooperation.


Large, sessile radiotropes similar in structure to barnacles. Thick metallic shells provide armoring against predators and radiation. Vast fuligin petals absorb as much radiation as possible. Excess energy is transmitted out as shortband radio signals used for communication. Evolved on the meridian of a tidally-locked world orbiting a red dwarf: Those adapted for other worlds will require supplemental sources of energy, and have been used as radioactive waste containment in certain settlements.


Colonial nanotechlife existing as two-dimensional images inhabiting solid surfaces, typically the walls of buildings. Forms and colors are variable, ranging from abstract to realistic. Colonies regularly migrate. Can perceive third dimension through visual, auditory, and electrochemical senses, but must communicate through displayed text.


Similar in shape to a stocky, eight-limbed otter. Hundreds of known coat patterns and styles. Possess little in terms of material culture or tool use. About as intelligent as a small child, but capable of following complex directions without error and gifted with learning languages. Instinctively form strong social bonds with juveniles of other species. Believed to be a neogenic or uplifted species, or the descendants of one, used as pets or household guardians.


Self-replicating fast food chain restaurant. Subterranean modules of the machine organism are devoted to food production, with above-ground levels used to host guests. Can grow to encompass up to half a dozen above-surface levels and host up to a thousand individuals at any given time. Will clone and cyborg staff from the local species.


Predatory bipeds from a low-gravity world. Wedge-shaped heads, very long limbs. Can keep up a loping stride with low effort over long distances at a steady speed. Nocturnal: enormous eyes and ears, both extremely sensitive. Hollow bones - flexible and light, but easily broken. Silent. Deep blue-black coloration.

*Bottom Feeders*

Pallid, eyeless, sluglike beings about the size of a walrus, their lumpy heads an eruption of. manipulative tendrils and feeding gills. Feed off marine detritus and abyssal chemical vents. The necessity of a high-pressure environment means that unmodified populations will always be at considerable distance from other species, some shallow-water and even amphibious clades have been engineered.


Dome-shaped crustacean-analogs with a heavy metallic shell, about a foot and a half across. Scavenger-generalists. Capable of both swimming and digging to avoid predators and the common solar flares of their homeworld. When interacting with other species, they will typically use a vaguely-humanoid robotic body operated by an individual riding in the stump of the neck.


Shards of artificial diamond strung together by a network of gold smartmatter filaments. Will take forms of trees, crystal matrices, the vague shapes of animals. Have made no direct network links with any other machine intelligence, preventing any observation of their internal mental organization - communicate instead by vibrating components to produce sound waves. Typically seen on board the vessels of other species. 


Wear human form like ill-fitting clothing, seemingly on purpose - corpulent bodies, stick-slender arms with too many joints and too many fingers. Broad, elongated faces poke out from beneath silken hoods. Skin the white of curdled milk, studded with shards of precious stones. Merchants of a sort, buying and selling unique goods of immense value and obtuse purpose.


Clade of interplanetary vessels. Narrow profiles. Sharp, angular hulls. At the center of each vessel is a large, fluid-filled chamber containing the organic component of the ship; an immense being appearing somewhat like a fetus with an elongated, serpentine abdomen, measuring from 20 to 80 feet from head to tail-tip.


Tall, muscular bipeds that have retained the sturdy chitinous plating of their crustacean-analog ancestors. Abdominal swimmerets repurposed into mating displays. Inflatable throat pouch to produce intimidating noise. Six of eight arms are vestigial. Victims to a runaway militarist monoculture that has utterly destroyed both their home biopsphere and most traces of any earlier cultures. Not particularly good at war, due to the monoculture doing its best to undermine logistics, medicine, and tactics.


Rubbery wormlike beings possessing a cartilaginous endoskeleton, allowing them to grow to several meters in length at the largest and pursue an amphibious lifestyle. Dorsal surface carpeted with waving tentacles covered in paralyzing nematocysts. Typically hosts and protects smaller aquatic creatures in exchange for pest removal. Will rear up to display underbelly coloration (usually for attracting mates or threatening rivals) and mouthparts when interacting with other species, as this best approximates a face. Longer manipulatory and sensory cilia make up the anterior end and drape down the back when in raised stance.


Shuffle about on three stumpy legs. Grey-blue skin sags in wrinkles and folds, as if it is too big for the creature. Cartilaginous crests flush with color to display emotion. Immense eyes. Six delicate arms and hands, arranged radially, slip in and out of hidden pockets. tend to wear computer screens displaying smiley faces when dealing with humans. Symbiotic, droplet-shaped machine-life drones nest on them Three sexes: two male and one incubator that, while sterile, gestates and gives birth. Males can transition to incubators as they age, or when needed by population pressures.

*Red Queens*

Immense oceanic creatures filling a similar niche to terragen whales. Bright red in coloration, similar to the waters of their homeworld. Pods ruled over by the largest and oldest females. Males are much smaller, faster swimmers, and have a shorter lifespan. Initial observations were colored by an early instance of a leading female breaking away from the pod to bite the head off of of a male from another pod, for reasons still only presumed.


Machine-life derived from adaptive virtual-reality consoles. Host simulations designed for therapeutic use by providing a safe outlet for aggression. Most common variant is a single-occupant capsule. Generally spring up in clusters in urban environments. The actual intelligence will rarely appear within the simulation, and in those cases will take forms and methods of communication appropriate to the participant. Tend towards stable tripartite organization.


Pallid, vaguely humanoid vacuumorphs. One to three head-analogs on sinuous necks - no outward features, packed with exotic sensory organs. Immense bodies clinging to the sides of spaceships with even greater wings stretching out a dozen times their bodies length, black on one side orange on the other. Planet-bound varieties perch on buildings like gargoyles.


Squat quadrupedal bodies with glistening, greasy skin and wide mouths filled with flat, grinding teeth. Thick coats of cilia. Enormous, luminous eyes. Bury themselves in mud to avoid the heat of the day. Accompanied always by a small, brightly colored flier covered in tufts of proto-feathers. The exact nature of the symbiosis is yet to be determined,


Three too-thin legs, black. A small, round body, rust-red. A long, curved, bony false-head like a bird’s beak or mosquito proboscis. A loop of bone atop the fake skull. The brain and true organs are all compacted into the central body. Skittish, tend to flee at high speed when startled. Are starlted by most things.

*[Nomen Pending]*

A large, fleshy blob, roughly spherical, 20-30 feet in circumference. skin covered in flexible, ceramic scales as if a mosaic. Patterns of blue, white, and gold, swirl across flabby flanks. In lower-gravity environments they might fill their inner chambers with buoyant gas and float above the ground - these clade possess manipulator tendrils on the ventral pole. Will use members of other species exclusively as proxies for communication.

*Echidna Machines*

Derived long-ago from aquatic echinoderms, now used as surrogates to provide multi-species reproductive and modification services. Instrumental in the standardization of microbiomes and genetic modifications for species that share living space (for such a thing is impossible on a large scale without mass intervention over generations). The smallest individuals have six incubation chambers and weigh about a quarter of a ton - the largest known specimen covers a square kilometer.


Biologically immortal. Progress through a repeating life cycle of 6-10 stages depending on clade, each stage lasting 50-200 years. Some memories and personality traits are maintained through metamorphosis, though fading fully after 3-4 transitions. Stages are generally bipedal, though some with longer metamorphosis times can more radically alter bone structure.


  1. unrelated I legit really love gugs, they have a cool design.

  2. love these esp the machine-life ones- the fast food chain is great and also unnerving

  3. The Tripods remind me of Ringworld.