Jun. 24th, 2015

aliaspseudonym: (Default)
Fairies appear to be chimeric creatures with both humanoid and insectile traits. They range between two and four feet tall and can very rarely be as tall as five. They have at least two eyes but usually have 4-6, a mixture of human and insect-like eyes. Fairies with only human eyes behave as if they were blind.

Fairy behavior is erratic and unpredictable compared to normal animals. Most hunt in small packs (4-7 individuals usually) and will attack humans and other large animals with little heed for the danger. Their social behavior is very rudimentary. Their reproduction is something of a mystery, as is the fact that they refuse to die out despite active attempts by various governments to exterminate them and their relative lack of survival instinct. They have been believed extinct at various times but the population always rebounds to its usual low but stable numbers after a year or so.

Fairy physiology is a well-known mystery: routine disections confirm that the creatures are in fact chimeric. They have an internal skeleton as well as an incomplete insect-like carapace. The non-insectile portions of their bodies appear to be human or at least closely related to human tissue -- these portions are also often non- or minimally-functional and are prone to dying and becoming necrotic, which seems to be the cause of the fairy’s short natural lifespan. Most of a fairy’s body is made up of insect tissue bound to a basically humanoid internal skeleton. Upon genetic analysis this tissue is most closely related to the Legion Ants from the ant woods to the northwest of here, although that relationship is many degrees more distant than the correlation between the ‘human’ tissue of these bugs and actual human tissue.

Now, moving from the realm of direct observation to mere speculation -- there are among the human population of this region a significant number of individuals with very small amount of chimeric insectile tissue. The scientific and medical experts here seem loath to acknowledge it but I am confident that there must be some connection here. There is also the local myth of fully sentient chimeric creatures called Greater Faeries, which are supposedly capable of interbreeding with humans and thereby creating these ‘fairy’ bloodlines among our human populations. I have been unable to obtain samples of chimeric tissue from affected humans for analysis and local experts are growing increasingly hostile toward me -- apparently these lines of study are frowned upon for reasons I do not really understand.

Also of interest: my partner reports that in her investigation of local history she has come across many oral stories about the lesser fairies that seem to describe creatures with a complex social structure and the intelligence to create communal shelters and simple tools, although not to develop or understand language. Modern scholars typically dismiss these accounts as anthropomorphizing fables, but she says that the oral traditions for mythic stories and recent historical accounts are very distinct and these descriptions of the fairies much more closely resemble the latter. The colonials written records only describe fairies as we know them now -- perhaps the species degenerated somehow before they arrived, or perhaps the degeneration occurred later and the records were somehow modified? There is a tradition of secrecy and deception in this place that makes our work difficult and sometimes I fear for our safety, yet how can I abandon the work when there is so much yet to learn?

- Dakarai, Notes on the Unnatural
aliaspseudonym: (Default)
The species called Legion Ants occupies a large area of land to the northwest, an area called the ant woods after the creatures. It is the solider insects, about half a foot long with small vestigial wings and vicious mandibles, which most resemble ants. Workers are smaller and have large body cavities which they use to store and partially digest food before bringing them back to the hive nexus. Attempts to exterminate these creatures or even to penetrate very vary into their territory have been thwarted by the surprisingly advanced tactics of the insects and the staggering variety of natural weapons they have access to. Human soliders in full containment armed with poison and flamethrowers have fallen to insect soliders that use a hydrolic launch system in their legs to suicidally propel themselves at invaders, melt through protective armour with potent acid and deliver a fatal dose of neurotoxin. Armoured vehicles sink into ground underminded by tunnelling insects. Shelling suspected nest areas from a distance has had little effect and the remaining option -- carpet-bombing the entire area with poison -- would leave it unfit for any particular use even if it did clear out the bugs. Therefore, the local government has given up on exterminating the bugs and instead established a perimeter to prevent any further expansion. This has proven a very popular make-work program and many young people from surrounding cities spend a few years on the bug-ring killing insect scouts.

Most of what we know about these insects comes from dissections of the drones and soliders. Unsettlingly, on a genetic level they are very closely related to claw ants, a relatively harmless social insect that forms small hives in rotten stumps and wood. They may actually be the same species. I have been trying to obtain access to remote monitoring drones to investigate the hive nexi in the depths of ant territory in hopes of better understanding what causes the complex behavior of these ants but have found little cooperation.

As a side note, native legends describe the insects as the embodiment of the wrath of some kind of mindless war-god. I don’t read very much into that, though -- it’s not hard to see how they would arrive at that conclusion after facing these things.

- Dakarai, Notes on the Unnatural
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