Friday, January 20, 2012

Advanced Environmental Design

From here on I will be posting weekly assignments for the Advanced Environmental Design class with David Bentley. The first homework was to create an identity for the two alien races described in the prompt and develop the story. I've written out a rough outline around which I will build the characters and environments. Read it after the jump.

Alien Race

In the distant future…
                                Humans left Earth a long time ago, a bunch of different groups that have traveled the galaxy in search of new living space after the old planet became overpopulated. They lived a nomadic life on various planets, trying to find one that most resembles Earth. Three of these groups came across the Jaari system, where they discovered an alien species that were friendly enough to welcome them on their station.
Haji’Ascha are a race of bipedal humanoids from a nearby system. They destroyed their own planet in a civil war, and the survivors fled. They had a strict caste system of workers, warriors, and the high leaders. The body types of these three differ according to their caste- warriors are large and bulky, workers small and nimble, and leaders are tall, lean, and very smart. After a century or so of living on the station, the roles have blurred a bit. They built the station to fit all their needs because they do not want to ruin the planets of the system by taking them over and living on them.
The station, called “or’Rsa” by the aliens and “The Rock” by the humans, is a hollowed-out asteroid placed in perfect orbit around the fifth planet from the sun, a gas giant, with its own atmosphere and gravity. Since the haji’Ascha are similar to humans in their composition, the inside is compatible to both races, though it is a bit hot for humans and a bit cold for the aliens. The asteroid life is governed by a group of supercomputers that dictate the ultimate law and control almost all elements of day to day life.
The Jaari system is comprised of a yellow sun, and twelve planets. The Rock is stationed around the fifth planet, which is also accompanied by eight moons, one of which is an all-water world. The other ones are uninhabitable, but provide necessary minerals to support life on the Rock. There is an asteroid belt between the sixth and seventh planets. The fourth and sixth planets and also inhabitable. The fourth planet is a very warm jungle-covered world, and the sixth one is a cool, almost desert-like planet with very little water. Both of these have native life-forms, including intelligent species that have reached a development level comparable to Earth’s Stone Age. Other planets are uninhabitable.
The humans arrived at the Rock with their resources exhausted, ready to colonize the other planets of the system, but were greeted with strong opposition by the haji’Ascha, who refused to mess with any other worlds since they destroyed their own. They were forced to live on the outskirts of the Rock’s worse areas, barely scraping together a living, and began to be considered a lower caste. They got almost no resources, and after a decade or so were in a poor state, doing the dirtiest jobs. Racial tension escalated. They were afraid to speak out for fears of being booted off the Rock and becoming refugees again. Finally, a group of humans banded together and challenged the haji’Ascha to a race across the star system. Should they win, they would be allowed equal rights to the resources. The haji’Ascha tried to squash this rebellion, but to their surprise the supercomputers decreed that the race was vitally important to the survival of both races.
Thus the teams were chosen, and the race set up to include navigating through the asteroid belt to retrieve an extremely rare mineral, surviving a race around the surface of the jungle planet, and diving deep under the waters of the water moon to find a mythical sea creature and retrieve its egg. The winners of this race would be granted their choice of natural resources from the system. The humans’ ultimate goal is to terraform one of the planets or moons and establish their own new homeworld. The future of the race is depending on the outcome of the games.

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