The Creatures of ColPlat XI

When Colonial Plantation Ltd. terraformed and restocked Solana (as their brochures called it), they included the basic human compatible mix of plants and animals and soil bacteria, with a few odd additions such as wild boar. They also left several native species, something the surviving descendants of the original colonists would probably want to strangle the bureaucrats for, if they knew why they had to deal with dar dogs, and the great digging “cat” of the eastern plains. 

Some of the “new” plants and animals made sense. Domestic cattle, both meat and dairy varieties, along with sheep, shahma, goats, Angora rabbits, horses, and pigs, provided protein and satisfied some colonists needs for traction and fertilizer. Shahma, a chimera of llamas and sheep, did well on their own with minimal care and produced fleeces softer than those of sheep. But the wool doesn’t wear as well, and they cannot be milked (don’t try it. Lactating females are very touchy), so sheep remained in the package. The rabbits reverted after a century or so and became the annoying but tasty lagoms. Quinley, another hybrid, this time of quinoa and barley, grows well in dry, hot areas, provides a great deal of protein, is salt tolerant, and tastes good. Wheat, maize, domestic rice and the improved version of a local “wild rice” called water-wheat can be found in the storage bins and on tables around Colplatschki. Fruits and nuts round out the introduced edibles, along with a few fungi, mostly shelf fungi. Flax, cotton, and a type of silk worm originally from Sina Novi also did well.

However, the terraformers also included deer (mule deer), wild boar, and a back-bred auroch that seems not to have survived the Great Fires. The justification was that since according to the permits, Solana served as a primitive resort as well as a refugee colony (and dumping ground), the visiting hunters would enjoy getting to hunt challenging game species, along with the native dar dogs, pseudo-boar, pseudo-deer, and the plains digging “cat.” The wild boar throve and now pose a real hazard in some areas, since only humans and dar-dog packs prey on them.

A plant allergy sufferers loathe the Landers for is yellow-stick plant, what residents of Old Terra would have called golden rod. It blooms at the same time that a native tree produces pollen, and the residents of Colplatschki blame the flowers for their watery eyes, itchy noses, and stuffy heads in late summer. The terraforming committee included at least ten wildflower and meadow blends in the package, and the people of the Eastern Empire, Frankonia, and adjacent lands just happen to live where yellow-stick flowers and flutter-leaf trees coincide.

Humans can eat many of the native species, and do so with varying degrees of relish. The terraformers and ColPlat bureaucrats would be appalled to see what people are willing to do to survive on ColPlat XI, especially eating unapproved native plants and animals.

[NOTE: Comments Remain Closed Until September 23.]