Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Microstory 678: Conflux Swarm

Not long after arriving in this galaxy, scientists began spreading out and studying the new worlds. They were looking for which ones would be ready to support human life, and which ones would be dangerous. They were also just scientifically curious, as some people have a stronger thirst for knowledge than others. One planet in particular, later named Perihodos, presented them with an interesting case study. They discovered that it was covered with insects. Most of these insects were extremely large from having evolved on a world with a higher concentration of oxygen than ones where humans evolved. It’s not terribly uncommon; with trillions of stars that have been studied so far, it’s only natural that a percentage of them will have the right chemical composition. These insects, in fact, weren’t the only ones of their kind. They are what is known as periodic, in that they live most of their lives underground, only surfacing every once in awhile to propagate the species. There are many completely separate species of these creatures, each with their own period, and developmental processes. Some go into hibernation before emerging, others are active in their tunnels, and others do some mixture of both. Each species, and even subspecies, is on its own periodical cycle, which means that though each one will come up infrequently, there is always at least one species present at any one time. While some have doubted that the taikon have truly been happening, others were relieved that they started when they did. This is a special year for Perihodos, for it is what is known as the Conflux Swarm. As stated, each subspecies of each species operates on its own period, but this year is the mathematical consequence of all of them; the ultimate swarm. Each major species’ period has led it to rise from the ground at the same time as all the others. The world will be teeming with this life. They will fight for space, trying to signal potential mates through the cacophony of others attempting the same. They said that anyone caught on the planet would be killed by being bludgeoned by the flying varieties, from being choked out of resources, or by being rendered deaf by their songs. The taikon could only have happened now, or in another 1092 years. Though confluxa happen more often than that, only now is the time that brings nearly all of them together. It will be no more exciting than this. And it occurred just in time, because one of these insects is a delicacy that can only be seen every 364 years. It pairs well with the fruit of dedication.

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