Monday, January 16, 2012
An Introduction to My Non-Termite Extraterrestrials, Part 3: The Pozú
The ILF known as the Pozú is from a planet called Pozúa, which circles a G2V star 88.2 ly from Earth which we call CD-315719 or HD 68978. The Pozú call their star "Ánseku" ("Skyswimmer"). It lies only 14 ly from Krisí’i’aid. Therefore, it makes sense that this was the ILF that the Bird people first contacted, in Earth year 2256, approximately 150 years after they first developed interstellar flight. The Pozú, however, had already been flying among the stars for 550 years, making them the longest-running interstellar species yet discovered.
The planet Pozúa has 80 percent of the circumference of Krisí’i’aid but its mass is greater, with more iron in the core and a strong magnetic field. Most of the lands, which include a lot of islands, are in the equatorial zone, so the climate is warm and the vegetation lush. The axis tilts only two degrees, so again seasons are barely discernible. The planet has five little moons – sometimes three are in the sky in the same time.
Pozúa has the same types of life found on Krisí’i’aid, with the addition of mammals. However, evolution never passed beyond the stage of monotremes -- egg-laying mammals like the platypus or the echidna. The Pozú developed from a variety of sea mammal that had to return to the shore to lay its eggs, a lifeform both different from and similar to species found on Earth. Here is a description of the Pozú taken from "The Termite Queen":
Gwidian said, “Asc. Kaitrin Oliva, may I present Dr. Trea Dol Amarezka – did I say that right, doctor? – and her, uh … ”
“‘Mate’ is preferred word in Inj,” replied Trea, with a little bobbing bow.
“Thank you. And her mate, Sev Dol Parozka.”
“We greet you, Asc. Kaitrin Oliva,” both Pozú responded almost in unison.
A fascinated Kaitrin gazed at the pair, who were between 100 and 120 centimeters tall, with compact, short-legged bodies covered by a dense, dark-brown pelt. Their rounded heads bore small high-set ears, bulging dark eyes, and nostrils that opened and closed like those of seals. Their faces, feet, lower arms, and four-digited hands were hairless. In Earth terms they resembled a cross between a sea otter and a capstan monkey, with hints of squirrel thrown in. Their wizened faces looked unassuageably sad.
They seemed so primitive, so shy and unassertive, that Kaitrin could understand why Gwidian, unconversant as he was with off-worlders, might feel reluctant to trust one of these creatures with the important role of Medical Officer for the expedition.
Don't forget Trea and Sev. They do become the medical officers for the expedition and play a very significant role in the story.
There is a reason for the sadness of the Pozú: They are a dying people. They utilized temporal quantum technology for interstellar flight for many centuries without realizing that without certain types of EM shielding on the ships, the exposure to TQ stresses could damage DNA. The Birds, on the other hand, grasped this concept within a hundred years and remedied the situation before they had suffered irreparable damage. After they contacted the Pozú, they educated them on the danger, but it was too late. The Pozú's reproductive DNA had been altered in such a way that the defective genes could not be excised from the population, even in later more advanced times of genetic science. Hence, the population began to decline. In Earth's 20th century there had been a billion Pozú; in the 30th there are only 30 million individuals alive.
Hence, they have a great interest in the biosciences and in medicine; their physicians are famous for their skill. They are a genuinely spiritual people and many of them are empaths, able to sense the inner feelings of others. This makes them skillful psychologists. They also have what they call zo-yevá, literally, "touch-soul therapy"; they are able to calm people with their touch and voice, another great asset for a physician.
They rarely fly their own ships far by the 30th century, mostly serving on the vessels of the other three interstellar-capable ILFs. However, in the early days, they flew flotillas of small, disk-shaped craft that roamed widely around the galaxy. They knew about the Birds of Krisí’i’aid long before the first contact happened, and they also visited Earth, sometimes taking specimens of the local ILF, which they treated well and released back into their native environment with their memories scrambled. They observed the dropping of the first radiant bombs in the 20th century and a few years later one of their ships crashed in a desert region near where the research on those bombs had been carried out. They were able to rescue most of their crew but were forced to leave some bodies of their dead behind. Imagine a meter-tall creature somewhat resembling a capuchin monkey or a sea otter with all its hair burned off, leaving a grayish, leathery skin.
The Pozú continued to overfly the planet called Earth until well into the 21st century, sometimes feeding their ships with power from the planet's magnetic field or even diving beneath the surface of the ocean to do research. During that time they observed the degradation of the planet's environment and the increasing bellicosity of its nations. Finally, realizing that Earthers were on a path to self-destruction and were not ready for a first contact, they flew away and never returned until after the Bird people had accidentally encountered a much changed humanity.