The Chronicles of Local Space

A fictional exploration of nearby star systems
Alien life isn’t that much different to terrestrial life. You still need a good microscope and surgical gloves.
Brennus Grady O’Hara, Hed Resercher at the Humus Xenobiolojical Laboratory, interview, 2981

Alien Life

Some worlds have alien life on them. Some life is very primitive, and other life is relatively advanced.


Humus is home to a wide variety of microbial life and a few phyla of multicellular life. The microbes swim free in the waters of the world, and have also colonised the land. In the water, some species of microbes form streamers and mats. Like terrestrial life, Humian life is based on protein and a nucleic acid resembling DNA, but with some important differences.

The most common form of microbial life are subrufa (Latin for “reddish”, singular subrufum). These are reddish single-celled plants that occupy the same ecological niche on Humus as algae do on Earth. The reddish colour of these organisms is due to the dark reddish photosynthetic pigment that these organisms use instead of chlorophyll. Subrufa are built to a different body plan to terrestrial algae. They lack cell walls and the organelles that perform photosynthesis lack DNA. Many species of subrufa possess flagella and are able to swim freely. Freeswimming subrufa have been shown to possess the ability to swim towards a light source. Some scientists believe that some freeswimming subrufa are also able to evade predators and other dangers, but this has not been demonstrated conclusively in the laboratory.

Another common form of microbial life are the cimecula (Latin for “little bugs”, singular cimeculum) which closely resemble terrestrial bacteria. These vary in complexity. Some are relatively simple creatures with few distinguishable organelles, and others are more complex with flagella, cilia, eyespots and other complex organelles. These consume other creatures for their food. Many cimecula are omnivorous, but some consume carrion, some consume other organic material or waste products, and some feed on live prey.

Humus also bears primitive multicellular life. These multicellular lifeforms are broadly grouped into five groups:

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