Fabrication: Biocrystal Life Cycle

So I’ve had some time to reflect on my last post, and some responses to it.

One of my commentors mentioned that they liked the idea of parasites, and suggested that a compound naturally fatal to biocrystal might also be a good weakness.

Another commentor brought up the idea that, if biocrystal is supporting itself on local sand/stone and expelling a waste product back into the environment, some of that waste might end up in the biocrystal itself, building up and making the biocrystal less efficient, until the waste eventually just kills off the biocrystal.

Personally, I find I really like the latter idea, as it gives a definitive lifetime to biocrystal. It also allows for some interesting interactions.

That’s not to say there wouldn’t be parasites and other creatures that feed off of biocrystal — that’s definitely something that would be present, whether it be bacteria or viruses or integrated biocrystal beings that feed on biocrystal as an herbivore would on a plant. But these wouldn’t be the primary means of culling biocrystal.

So a slow atrophy is probably the best way for biocrystal to die. The speed at which this happens will probably depend on the size of the sample, with larger subjects dying off more slowly than smaller subjects (all else being equal).

Furthermore, this atrophy would begin in the core of a sample and spread outward. That way, new pieces budding off of a structure are unaffected and the surface from which the buds form would also be unaffected — at least until the end.

Dead biocrystal would then quickly fall to the elements, no longer able to sustain or repair itself. Any buds it had produced by the time of its death would break off then and start the cycle all over again. Either that or they would consume their dead progenitor in lieu of standard material.

But I also think that the matieral biocrystal consumes would affect the speed at which it atrophies and decays. Material rich in carbon (such as diamond) or silicon would be the most efficient, while materials with naturally radioactive elements would be the least efficient. That being said, it feels like a totally decayed piece of biocrystal should be bad for living biocrystal, or at least not optimally efficient, but it also feels like this would be an excellent way for the biocrystal ecosystem to recycle itself. But maybe it would be better for scavengers to consume dead pieces and turn them into something else?

To those who responded last time, thanks! Having someone to bounce ideas off of has been helpful. If you have further thoughts or want more clarification or such, please comment.

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Fabrication: Animal Life

So sentient biocrystal.

I plan on there being two varieties: pure biocrystal sentients, and integrated biocrystal sentients. The latter of these two varieties would be far more common, if only because most biocrystal creatures wouldn’t need to move around much and thus would be better categorized as plants, and because the cerulite networks necessary to create sentience would be far more complicated than the biological neural networks necessary.

Pure biocrystal sentients (purists) would only really exist in environments where the nutrients necessary to persist and produce offspring were hard to come by. And seeing as biocrystal creatures feed off of sand and rocks, I can’t imagine many places where such creatures would exist. Perhaps in the depths of the ocean, or in particularly dense vegetation. Though, given biocrystal is supposed to also be able to somewhat feed off of organic matter, they might not even appear in some of these areas.

These purists would be composed primarily of large portions of rosete, and probably they would be generally snake-like in form, or perhaps even lizard-like.

Integrated biocrystal sentients (integrationists) would be far more common, and probably far more interesting. After all, technically these would be composite beings, a symbiotic relationship in a single form; the host would have to find some way to pass on the biocrystal symbiotes on to their children.

Probably all animal kingdoms would contain integrationists, though my primary conception of such creatures are generally reptilian — or more accurately, dinosaurish.

I imagine kinds of stegasaurs or dimetrodons with white albate sails along their spine, or large tortoises covered in black melanite, possibly pattered with albate as well.

I could probably come up with some other kinds of these creatures, but it’s getting late and I have to save *something* for my next post(s).

Questions? Want more details? Comment! Maybe I’ll come up with some answers or something cool in this system!

Fabrication: Manifestations 1

So after a hiatus of like a month or more, I should probably get around to considering devices and creatures that would integrate biocrystal, or else be made more or less entirely of biocrystal.

So I suppose I’ll be giving a few literary sketches of what these constructs would look like. I’ve already considered some such constructs in previous posts, and I’ll probably bring those in as we continue.

The first construct I’d like to go over is a literal power plant. I’ve primarily envisoned this as a tree, though it needn’t necessarily be in that shape, rather than, say, a bush. The central trunk would probably have an exterior of stone or incolorite — really, whatever the plant could get its metaphorical hands on — in order to provide protection from predators and the elements. Further up, where the trunk splits into branches, however, this covering would become less frequent or even nonexistant, the inner strands of ianthite blooming out in fractal threads. At the end of these strands, then, would be small melanite flowers, like a fruit tree in the early spring — only if all the flowers were black, rather than some bright/warm color.

I suppose it would be a rather strange sight, black flowers blossoming from violet branches bursting out of a translucent or stoney trunk.

Within the trunk, then, would lay the heart of this creature, a knot of cerulite at the intersection of all the ianthite radiating through the tree.

I initially imagined this tree being built by people for people, but I don’t think I’d be surprised to see it in the wild. Honestly, for that it would only need a few modifications.

In the wild, then, the cerulite core would be wrapped in a coccoon of viridite — not entirely, at least not usually. On regular intervals, probably about once a year or so, or when the tree’s roots bring up more material than usual, rosete tendrils would close the coccoon and another adjacent coccoon (or, more likely, three or more adjacent coccoons), activating the viridite.

Actually, now that I think about it, the regular intervals would probably be however long it took to begin this reproductive process after the completion of the last one.

But anyway, using sand or stone collected in these extra coccoons, probably transformed by some aurantite further below the core into incolorite, the tree would construct fetal copies of its cerulite core. Rosete tendrils would then carry these out of the trunk onto the branches where, probably in a strong breeze, the natal cores would fall away into the wide world.

Of course, using that template, you could probably get a huge variety of biocrystal plants, all varying in their cerulite programming to form different flower shapes, different flower numbers, different heights and widths and volumes, different numbers of branches, different trunk compositions, and different methods of spreading their seeds.

On the one hand I don’t think they’d compete with plants much, since they wouldn’t benefit so much from soil, since they’d receive their “nutrients” from sand and stone, where normal plants wouldn’t grow. It would certainly make deserts and mountains more interesting on worlds with biocrystal, transforming these voids into crystal forests, to complement the biological forests in more welcoming environments. On the other hand, I’m not sure how these biocrystal plants would flourish underwater, though at least the biggest issue for any potential beings of this nature would be the lack of light at lower depths — places that would otherwise be perfect for them, wide plains teeming with silt and sand and stone. At the bare minimum, any biocrystal growing at the lowest depths would have to exchange their standard photosynthetic charge for some other force, or perhaps rely solely on heat charge.

Thoughts? Queries? Ideas?

Hopefully next week I’ll be writing about animals made of biocrystal or integrating biocrystal.

Fabrication: History #11

For the final installation of the histories, I’ll be considering the last biocrystal, ianthite.

This is the biocrystal of communication, or rather of sending signals — whether they be visual, audial, or by other means (the exact means would be determined by cerulite attached).

The best use I can think of for this would be as a kind of wire between different biocrystals, allowing for circuitry and some programming for coordinating biocrystals. Though the first uses that people would find for it would be for signals, like flashlights or smoke signals — not exactly smoke signals, that is, but probably beacons of some kind that could be used in about the same way as smoke signals — or alarms.

Potentially, the medium of the signal could be modified and concentrated into a weapon, or for uses other than communication. Ianthite that emits light could be modified to shoot a laser; ianthite that emits sound could shoot rays; perhaps even ianthite could be made into guns or other projectile weapons.

Thoughts?

Fabrication: History #6

And we’re back! Finally not sick or over-busy.

Previously in the History sequence we’ve discussed albate, the biocrystal of appearance, rosete, about autokinesis and movement, rubrite, about allokinesis and moving other things, melanite, about sensation and perception, and aurantition, about modifying solids. This week I’d like to consider flavition, the biocrystal of hydromorphosis — that is, transforming liquids.

The primary usage I would consider, and probably one of the first applications, owing to the high practicality of it, would be water filtration. By placing clean water in an essence container input of a flavite machine, one would easily be able to create more clean water and filter out bad materials. Similarly, waste water could be transformed into clean water and detritus that could then be more efficiently be rid of, or which perhaps would itself be transformed into clean water.

Other uses would probably be the dissemination of liquid medicines, and perhaps also disseminating various drinks — though that at least would be more difficult, owing to the organic nature of many of the kinds of liquids people are wont to intake, such as alcohols and juices.

Are there any applications that you would try, were you to have a biocrystal machine that could transform one liquid into another?

Fabrication: History #5

This week I’ll be discussing rubrition, the magic system tied to the circulatory system. The system effects allokinesis, that is, the movement of things other than itself.

I’m still not entirely sure how the rubrite biocyrstal is supposed to work, save that I think it would have a magnetic or agglutinative property — that is, other things stick to it. But it also seems clear to me that, in a similar manner to rosete, it would be able to move, and perhaps would be compelled to move constantly.

One idea is that rosete is semi-liquid, like mercury. But even if it isn’t, it would certainly constantly carry whatever is attached to it. Probably it would develop some kind of grain (as in wood grain) that would designate the direction in which objects attached to it.

This kind of conveyor system and magnetism would certainly not escape the notice of early civilizations, enabling some basic mechanization even in early agricultural cultures. And in addition to this, small portions of rubrite could also function as simple glues or pins, like wall tacky.

Other uses would be transportation, particularly public transportation, as wires of rubrite could be strung along streets for trams or buses.

Any other ideas? Please comment, share your thoughts.

Fabrication: History #4

This week we’ll be looking at albate, the white biocrystal.

A reminder that I switched the white and black functions in the last post, so all the discussion that applied to albate now applies to melanite, and now albate has the role that melanite previously had.

Albate, then, is the biocrystal of appearance. It would probably form itself into the most complex and interesting shapes, and take on a variety of colors even while it keeps a white rim. Certainly the first use of this would be to make art out of it, multicolored sculptures. And with that people would learn how to create different colors on command, so that either the hues and shades become more particular, and combinations with other biocrystals are discovered.

The primary combination on my mind is one with albate (and cerulite). Using this, observing the color and texture of the surrounding environments, it would be possible to make albate that automatically camoflagued. Perhaps this would even occur in nature, making it possible to make armor out of biocrystal creatures directly rather than needing to develop sufficient knowledge and technology for it.

Furthermore, possibly this could be used to create an invisibility effect, though this would be a real-life invisibility, which has severe drawbacks that camoflague doesn’t possess.

It occurs to me that albate and melanite are more similar than I initially assumed, with the primary difference that the former distinguishes itself by what it reflects and the latter is distinguished by what it absorbs. Albate, like melanite, could potentially absorb more than just light, but also sound or vibration or other kinds of energy, or rather repel these kinds of energies, so that other uses might be things like soundproofing or particularly effective armor, but I’m not quite sure about this point.

But as the integumentary system, upon which this is based, not only covers the appearance of a creature, but also the first line of defense, it may be reasonable to expand albate’s functions from just light to other forms of energy. Though it would require particular programming to specify what kind of energy a piece of albate is coded to repel, and it would absorb others (such as heat, for example) in order to give it the power to resist and repel energies, especially in times of high stress.

Certainly albate armor would be good against melee weapons, but I’m less sure about missiles, especially firearms, which would probably have too great a velocity for albate armor to significantly stop. But, then again, this armor would ideally be better than steel, perhaps in good hands as good as kevlar or better.

Do you have any thoughts on the matter?