Sunday, 20 January 2013

Mini Starships series #8

Continuing the display of my boardgame's small-and-fast ship designs, here are the Axolotl ships.

The Axolotl would be a cross between Van Vogt's Silkies and well...axolotls: they are a unique species capable of withstanding hard vacuum and at the same time aggregate themselves to construct ships, like giant cells that differentiate to perform given tasks.

 The basic, atmospheric form of axolotl is a soft-bodied cephalopod -quite similar to squids. Once exposed to hard radiation or vacuum, it radically transforms itself into a hard-shelled grey mass, with spiky sensors and plug-holes on its surface. It may then grip and partially fuse with other individuals to form larger structures.

The result is organic ships that may disassemble themselves at will, releasing thousands or millions of troopers ready to fight. Sometimes, a pseudo-skeleton is required for the assembly of complex structures, such as a nano-carbon spine of some sort -but that structure might be secreted and modeled by the axolotl themselves.

Needless to say that the axolotl are an engineered species -no evolutionary path would be tortuous enough to give rise to such living creatures. But, engineered by who ?

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