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Re: FT: Sa'Vasku for the FB -- REALLY LONG

From: Thomas Anderson <thomas.anderson@u...>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 20:18:02 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Re: FT: Sa'Vasku for the FB -- REALLY LONG

On Thu, 19 Nov 1998, Imre A. Szabo wrote:
> Here are a few ideas for the Sa'Vasku...

good ones, too. here are a few ramblings to add, mostly by way of bioPSB
justification. i have done it as an extract from a textbook, to
a recent thread :-)

>From 'Molecular Biology of the Sa'Vasku', Alberts, Brown, Halkett &
Oxford University Press 2170.

--- begin extract ---

For a long time, the Sa'Vasku were poorly understood, but the research
carried out on the expeditions organised by the UNSC following the
Understanding led to a rapid increase in our knowledge of their anatomy
and ethology, although their biochemistry remained elusive. More
the nature of their molecular organisation has begun to be unravelled.
However, it is important that the context within which exists be

The Sa'Vasku are a trioecious (three-sexed) race, although one of them
regarded as a pseudogender. The sexes are separate, but individuals
progess through the two true sexes in a strict order over their

When a newborn Sa'Vasku emerges from the egg, it is male (note that the
terms 'male' and 'female' have been assigned arbitrarily; they bear
resemblance to terrestrial sexes). The individual typically has a mass
the order of a few hundred tonnes, and spends the first centuries of its
life alongside its mother, feeding on organic matter in local comets,
and growing rapidly. Soon the juveniles mature and develop the
characteristic Halkett bodies (the energy-manipulating organs) of the 
adult Sa'Vasku. It is these male forms that were first encountered by 
humanity, as they are the only sex capable of jump travel, and fulfil
role of explorers, scavengers and warriors in Sa'Vasku society.

On reaching a certain age or mass (the exact cause is not known), a male
Sa'Vasku undergoes a change known as the saltopause (the 'stopping of
jumping'), where many of its Halkett bodies break down and the materials
used for other purposes. Specifically, the bodies required for movement
and hyperspace travel break down; those able to generate beams and
usually remain. The individual grows rapidly once more, feeding on local
materials, and develops a hard outer shell. the individual has now
a female. aside from their reproductive role, Sa'Vasku females fulfil
role of stores and information repositories, as they are very long-lived
and, being immobile, easy to find for a male Sa'Vasku, even after
thousands of years have passed.

the third sex is the macrogamete. for a long time, the Sa'vasku were
thought to reproduce by direct copulation, and numerous expeditions were
launched by all the major broadcast networks to try and film such an
event. however, it was only when Harrison studied the behaviour of the
Sa'Vasku 'drones' (as they were known) that it was realised that this is
not the case. In fact, Sa'Vasku reproduce by indirect fertilisation. A
male periodically enters 'andrus', a state where most of its body's
resources are dedicated to reproduction. from the germinal tissues are
derived gametes, which contain a subset of the male genetic information
(this mechanism is common to all known life); these grow and mature
the male, and develop into macrogametes. as macrogametes are genetically
totally derived from one individual, and exist only for one purpose,
are classified as a pseudogender.

macrogametes have masses of twenty to forty tonnes, and are fully
of independent space travel, having organs and tissues in common with
male. they also have certain specialised structures, such as the
capsids, which are important for their reproductive function. when a
encounters a female, it releases a cluster of the macrogametes, which
swarm to the female and, using the powerful energy bursts stored in the
ectolytic capsids, penetrate her thick shell. they then enter and fuse
with the female tissue. a complex series of transformations leads to the
production of an egg, which the female then expels by muscle contraction
into a warmer  orbit nearer a star, where the egg develops and hatches.
thus, the lifecycle begins anew.

it appears that macrogametes, if produced by a male which enters andrus
a time of stress, such as when on an exploration voyage, may be used for
purposes other than reproduction. Higher levels of certain signalling
chemicals in the gametogenic organs cause the produced macrogametes to
have altered behaviour, furiously attacking anything which they detect
be 'non-self', such as vessels of other races. this leads to their
to the Sa'Vasku as weapons in space combat.

--- end extract ---

right, on to the rules effects.

> Ships:


>  Drones


> capability, 25% of a bioship's power factors can be
> replaced with drone storage.

the male is in andrus, and much of its energy is devoted to macrogamete

> In campaign games, bioships regenerate damage at a rate of one box per
> current power factors per strategic turn.  Bioships never need supply.

> Bio ships are "grown."  Bioship grow at a rate of 10 mass per
> turn.

i imply that the timescales for growth are far, far longer than this,
i admit that your way is better in game terms. otoh, a Sa'Vasku player
was unable to grow new ships over the length of the campaign but who had
the option of withdrawing for a century or two would have to learn to
think in a suitably alien way :-).

>  Bioships with drone storage can carry cargo.

not really, under my description. unless the macrogametes double as
troops ...

> BioSpaceStations:


> upto 50% of thier power factors in drone storage.

ah ... with my biology, sapce stations are females and cannot produce
drones at all. hmm. perhaps the swarms of juveniles count as heavy

also, i imply that Sa'Vasku are purely space-dwelling, and so they do
have planetary colonists as such. or perhaps there is another, as yet
undiscovered, life stage which lives dirtside; any xenobiologists out
there who wish to publish some cutting-edge research?

just my 2 umol.


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