Difference between revisions of "Dionaea"

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Some Dionae even offer the service of consuming the dearly departed to other species, the task being treated with reverence. Once completed, there may be an option where the Dionae offers to even part with a Nymph with the deceased's essence upon request, and will give it to those that were close to the deceased as a form of reincarnation. Especially with fresher Nymphs, the essence can be used to continue the deceased's life and impart wisdom or words unsaid, acting on the deceased's behalf. While controversial to many, there are those find this method a great comfort in the grieving process. When the Diona becomes a Gestalt, it may chose to remain with the family for however long it is allowed or continue it's journey. Currently, this practice is allowed in Tau Ceti and is designated as "Reincarnation by Dionae", and can be requested through last wishes, wills, or wishes of the family if neither of the latter were provided upon death. If it is not allowed in a system, there is an option to have the deceased transported to Epsilon Ursae Minoris for the process.
 
Some Dionae even offer the service of consuming the dearly departed to other species, the task being treated with reverence. Once completed, there may be an option where the Dionae offers to even part with a Nymph with the deceased's essence upon request, and will give it to those that were close to the deceased as a form of reincarnation. Especially with fresher Nymphs, the essence can be used to continue the deceased's life and impart wisdom or words unsaid, acting on the deceased's behalf. While controversial to many, there are those find this method a great comfort in the grieving process. When the Diona becomes a Gestalt, it may chose to remain with the family for however long it is allowed or continue it's journey. Currently, this practice is allowed in Tau Ceti and is designated as "Reincarnation by Dionae", and can be requested through last wishes, wills, or wishes of the family if neither of the latter were provided upon death. If it is not allowed in a system, there is an option to have the deceased transported to Epsilon Ursae Minoris for the process.
  
==History (UNDER REVIEW)==
+
==History==
 
The Dionae's history is highly debated - with no significant evidence, xenoarcheological or actual, towards an origin point - most notably due to the tendency of space-bound gestalt's seeds to travel immense distances. The species itself does not have concrete information on this subject - however many people of all species have linked them to mythological being, as it is thought that the species is old enough to have spread to a significant portion of the galaxy, including all of the currently colonized areas, some even being recorded in Vaurca histories, half-way across the galaxy.
 
The Dionae's history is highly debated - with no significant evidence, xenoarcheological or actual, towards an origin point - most notably due to the tendency of space-bound gestalt's seeds to travel immense distances. The species itself does not have concrete information on this subject - however many people of all species have linked them to mythological being, as it is thought that the species is old enough to have spread to a significant portion of the galaxy, including all of the currently colonized areas, some even being recorded in Vaurca histories, half-way across the galaxy.
  

Revision as of 09:52, 8 June 2019

Template:LoreDev

Dionae
D. Primo
Dionaea410x320.png
Home System: N/A
Homeworld: N/A
Language(s): Rootsong
Political Entitie(s): N/A

Overview

A rather strange, cryptic species in comparison to the rest, Dionae are actually a bipedal fusion of smaller, singular organisms working collectively to create a whole. The smaller organisms are wood-fleshed, cat-sized to large, dog-sized caterpillar-like creatures with a curious, childlike disposition. Nearly every aspect of the species is a mystery; their origins, their behavior, and functions. What is known is that they are capable of great intellectual and biological feats alike... for a price. Biologically, they are as much of an amalgam as their forms, similar to both plant and animal alike and yet not, surviving primarily off of the electromagnetic spectrum with a healthy diet of biological matter to supplement their growth. This has resulted in a weakness to lack of radiation and can lead to death if not exposed to at least proper lighting, and when fused with others can move incredibly slow due to a shared hivemind and the need to make decisions as a group than a single entity.


To become one of the strange, plant-like Dionaea, apply here

Heads of Staff

Dionaea can be the following Heads of Staff:

  • Research Director
  • Chief Engineer
  • Chief Medical Officer

Occupational

Dionae cannot be any of the following positions:

  • Security Officer
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Paramedic

Mechanics

  • Custom language accessible with ,q prefix
  • Feeds off of light and radiation
  • Completely unaffected by atmosphere (or lack thereof)
  • Completely immune to pressure (or lack thereof)
  • Heals brute damage when exposed to radiation
  • Walks/runs slowly
  • Can absorb nymphs through context menu
  • Can swallow mice and consume other animals such as carp through the context menu
  • Take damage from being cold, and will die if without heat
  • Can form partial Gestalts with less nymphs and enough biomass
  • Becomes poisoned when metabolizing teas, Hyronalin, and Arithrizine, the latter extremely deadly
  • Recovers from anti-radiation poisoning by metabolizing Radium, exposure to a radiation storm, or the Supermatter


Non-Mechanic Traits

  • Does not like wearing many layers of clothes, if any at all to allow them to feed better off of a lower-radiation environment like a station

Biology

The Dionae, by virtue of being an unique lifeform, feature an anatomy seen almost nowhere else.

Physiology

Ranging from a petit cat to growing as heavy as one-hundred pounds, the Nymph is a highly adaptable creature, capable living in terrestrial, aquatic, and atmosphere-less, weightless environments. The caterpillar-like shape that most are familiar with is actually a torpedo-shaped body covered in tough tendrils. These tendrils form a collar which fans out to great lengths just beneath the large, singular eye, near which two long, thinner tendrils act as delicate sensory organs. These tendrils tightly wrap themselves around the body to cocoon it in a thick, protective layer, using six thick, shorter tendrils for locomotion.

The typical Gestalt shape that is seen in a community of four-limbed bipeds, also known as a Cyclopes, is created out of a fusion of six Nymphs. Merging typically happens by fusing the body or most commonly an eye to another Nymph, sometimes even through tendrils while the rest of the appendages wrap around the other Nymphs and interlock with the other's tendrils to form a tight bond. As tendrils constrict, they harden enough to form a structure to support the rest of the Gestalt. For Tau Ceti Cyclops Gestalts, four Nymphs form appendages purely for locomotion and manipulation while a fifth handles visual, olfactory, and auditory sensory information. These all fuse to the sixth Nymph, a thought-hub for the Nymphs to communicate through and acts as a central processor for the rest, which is a necessity. While merged, each Nymph surprisingly manage to keep their sense of self and individuality as they share their thoughts and communicate between one another as separate entities while acting as one.

Metabolism

Dionae are capable of taking just about any matter from their surroundings and able to metabolize it into nutrition for themselves, being opportunistic feeders. Soil, fluids, biological matter, even particles from the air- biomatter being the most beneficial in the form of matter-to-energy conversion. If something is consumed and cannot be digested, the material is ejected through the process of regurgitation as the species appear to only have one orifice, their rather effective digestive system not producing waste unlike most other organics. However their main source of energy comes from the electromagnetic spectrum in the form of radiation, the most common being ultraviolet. While they can go without nutritious matter, being in the presence of radiation- ultraviolet being the minimum tolerated- is a necessity at all times. Without it Dionae are soon to wither, enter a comatose state, and shortly die within the span of a few hours. A powerful source of radiation is highly beneficial to the species, and when provided biomatter can heal themselves at an accelerated rate; reproduction and growth is also done in exponentially short periods of time in such perfect conditions.

Means of neutralizing energy found on the electromagnetic spectrum would be disorienting to Dionae, but because they have evolved with radiation as their primary form of sustenance and must be exposed to the energy source at all times, substances that neutralize it in particular are toxic to the species.

Reproduction

The Dionae follow a more plant-like reproduction cycle; they are asexual, and approximately once per year, a gestalt will release a large amount of seeds in it's surroundings (regardless of it's location), which will be carrying by whichever forces are applied upon them (the spores having a configuration that is even adequate to be spread by solar winds).

Once the seeds reach an adequate location, the seed anchors itself and starts developing into a Diona replicant pod - which is, in essence, a Diona egg. The pod absorbs the nutrient it needs - water, oxygen, carbon and other elements - from it's surroundings, when available, to grow and eventually hatch. Once hatched, a pod will produce an almost mature nymph.

Given proper conditions, a pod can fully grow a nymph within half an hour - however, should the pod run out, it will go into dormancy until proper conditions are met - and as such, in particularly barren conditions, it can take centuries for a pod to complete development.

Forms

The merging and separation of Nymphs takes much time and energy to complete, sometimes days or even weeks on much larger structures. For smaller collections such as Cyclopes, it typically only takes an hour or so before they are ready to function. This is due to the Nymph bodies fusing together and creating a sturdy body that will be able to reasonably support itself and move, adapting it to the current environment. Before preforming a change, Nymphs and Gestalts will gorge themselves on biomatter in preparation. Separation is only ever done in life-or-death emergencies or special situations such as growing a larger Gestalt as it can often be traumatic to Nymphs if done in a hurry, causing the knowledge gathered to be improperly stored in each individual or even lost without the correct precautions taken. With each change the new form will always take up a new name to represent the new information and experiences collaborated.

The Dionae, being by its very nature a compound creature, comes in several known and theoretical forms with several characteristics:

Nymph: The default form tackled above. Medium intelligence, extremely curious, extreme learning potential.

Cyclops: The most commonly seen form, this occurs when a minimum of three to six nymphs link together and grow a humanoid body. Highly intelligent.

Argus: A rare form, the Diona Argus is a large network - often upward of a dozen - of nymphs inter-connected, forming a veritable physical and information net. The Skrell are looking into inducing this form and using it as a controlled organic processor for facilities. Very high intelligence, low learning potential.

Colossus: An even rarer form, a Diona Colossus is a large-scale structure - the ones found were made of more than hundreds of nymphs - exhibiting advanced intelligence and isolationist tendencies. One particular example was found growing around a derelict space station - it is also believed that the "Organic Craft" that attached itself to the human cruiser reached at least this state. Extreme intelligence, assumed low learning potential.

Cetus: Only two such forms were ever observed (that being the gestalt above Mralakk, the second being the recent Venter's Cetus), a Diona Cetus is just that - a mass of Diona so immense, in the orders of a million nymphs, that it can be considered a stellar body. The specimen observed seems reluctant to communicate despite showing they are capable, and show a natural (but weak) magnetic field and radiation emission. Unknown capabilities - theorized to be more intelligent than most other forms of intelligence, organic or synthetic. It is suspected that the original Dionae gestalt, where it may be, is at least this form if not the form below.

Titan: A theoretical form of the Diona - a planet, or even star-sized diona form consisting of maybe more nymphs than is currently known to exist, may be the pinnacle of organic processing and thought. Uncharted intelligence. The Skrell has an order to destroy any Diona structure that could reach, or has reached, this size due to the inherent risk of intelligence singularity and other classified risks.

Social

Language

While they can understand all languages, if exposed to the genes of a speaker, their physical limitations only allow them to speak a handful; most Dionae that work aboard human facilities only know Common and their language - however they are capable, due to their biological flexibility, to emulate most other languages - Gutter and Tradeband are easily talked (if a little slow with certain subjects who use only one Nymph to communicate), while Sinta'Unathi is spoken perfectly. Their physical slowness, however, makes it difficult to talk Sik'Maas, the meaning sometimes being lost in the slowness of their "ear" and "tail" limbs when grown. And Skrellian is simply out of their range - the speed and pitch variance needed for it is simply impossible to match through regular means. Their speech, regardless of which language they speak (except Rootsong for obvious reasons) sounds airy, with various tones - quite often multiple ones, as a popular means of speaking is by "balancing" words between the various nymphs.

Their language, named "Rootsong" (as translated), uses various limbs and membranes to imitate what most would see as "natural" sounds - leaves whisking in the wind, branches rubbing - and even some instrumental sounds, at times (flute-like sounds and drumming being common). However, to those who can discern it - Rootsong is a true orchestra of language. Syntax and grammar are simply part of the song, reflected in tempo and beats, while emotions are conveyed through pitch and the imitation of weather effects, such as wind and moisture. Most interestingly - the sound itself is only a byproduct of their body structure, as some humans have successfully learned Rootsong (without the emotional intonations) through violin and calliope organs. Xenohistorians often use the Rootsong as evidence that the Dionae evolved in conditions involving an atmosphere.

Dionae can learn to speak Tau Ceti Basic relatively well, and remove their accent. It just takes time to fully remove 'We' for 'I', and learning to balance the words across all of their nymphs properly.

Foul Language and Slang: Despite being exposed to or raised in an environment that contains such behavior at a young age, Dionae typically do not use foul language as the words are more often than not used emotionally in other species and are simply accessories without much meaning. Certain slang is understood and used however as it is used to communicate ideas faster in most cases and does hold meaning, however offensive slang is heavily refrained from use as they are often used in emotional displays and are seen as unbecoming. Younger Nymphs and on rare occasions new, small Gestalt growths might be observed using foul slang without knowing any better, however the problem behavior is quickly corrected with proper education.

Emotion

All newly formed Nymphs are capable of feeling four core emotions: anger, fear, happiness, and sadness. On an individual level, a Diona does not have the filter of multiple minds to place logic above emotion, which is a learned behavior taught through merging with others. They act very much like animals in the beginning as a new growth, carefully observing everything with their eye first before going about to closer investigate an object or situation. Emotionally, their responses are rather raw; primitive and animalistic.Listless when sad, chirping and skittering about when happy, clicking and nipping when angry, and attempting to flee or blend in when fearful as a few examples. Later on in their growth they will display mimicry, oftentimes using echolalia (copying sounds and words without proper knowledge of use) as a form of pseudocommunication in much the same way as any developing child or intelligent animal would while socialized with a vocal species. Their best source of knowledge however come from the genetic analysis of biomatter and merging with other older, more experienced Dionae, shortening the process exponentially.

It is suspected that Dionae evolved in a competitive environment with other lifeforms based on the presence of emotion. Simpler lifeforms without much in the way of competition and living in rather ideal conditions all lack the ability to feel and display emotion, which serve as a survival tool via positive and negative reinforcement. This is backed up by the fact that far later in their development, Dionae are capable of developing more complex emotions using either more refined versions or a combination of their core emotions when exposed to other species, but it takes an extensive amount of time to learn the ability to emulate a single new emotion- anywhere from years to centuries depending on the age of the growth as younger Dionae have difficulties with such. This is another result of observational learning, and will more likely result in the species living in cohabitation with another to further their survival. However as previously mentioned, when merged Dionae are given an "emotional filter": with the minds of multiple individuals joined and each action thought out in a consensus, emotion is set aside in favor of logic. Whereas individual Nymphs act as animals, a Gestalt behaves similarly to synthetics and unfortunately gives them a rather eerie presentation. Despite this, the longer a Gestalt has been merged, the more likely the individuals are able to sympathize with one another and show logical emotional responses instead of raw displays over the years.

Culture

Due to their highly nomadic nature, Dionae do not experience a universal culture outside of certain behaviors that appear to be biologically ingrained and somehow hard-wired into their genetics. Information on individual group cultures can be found in their History.

Naming

Dionae names are typically a summary of experiences which are both unique and are routine in their lives, the length and style also holding meaning among Dionae, only ever changing when merging and agreed upon by a consensus or separating from a Gestalt and done by the individual itself. When a Nymph is first grown, they are often nameless until their curiosity is recognized in the form of their first interest, and is usually a singular word that references their first interest. Among Dionae, the length of a name reflects their age: short names are for younger Neophytes, while longer names are reserved for elderly Sages. If a Nymph cannot find an interest, a Sage will often give a new Nymph a name and it is not uncommon for other races to name a fresh Diona as well, especially if they were hand-raised by the one that planted them. Another way of identification is the complexity of the name- this usually refers to how literal a name is. Once more, simpler names are given to Neophytes while more abstract names are reserved for Sages, denoting their reserves of knowledge and helping to keep name length manageable, even among themselves. In the presence of other species, Dionae will take up a condensed version of their name in cultural assimilation, and hold no offense to others further shortening their assimilated names into nicknames.

Identification: Dionae see themselves in a different light than other sentients, using mainly gender-neutral pronouns such as "they/them/it/" due to their asexuality and interchangeable definitions of groups and self which may be confusing. A single Nymph is called a Diona, the base form of the species and is seen as an individual, identifying with "I/me". When merged into a combined form of a Gestalt, the group is called Dionae, the plural of Diona despite the fact that their physical appearance is that of an individual to other sentients and is seen as a group of individuals, even identifying as "we/us". Separate Gestalts in a gathering of one another is known as Dionaea, a plural of plurals.

Intra-Specific

Relationship specifics between one another of the species.

Identification: Dionae see themselves in a different light than other sentients, using mainly gender-neutral pronouns such as "they/them/it/" due to their asexuality and interchangeable definitions of groups and self which may be confusing. A single Nymph is called a Diona, the base form of the species and is seen as an individual, identifying with "I/me". When merged into a combined form of a Gestalt, the group is called Dionae, the plural of Diona despite the fact that their physical appearance is that of an individual to other sentients and is seen as a group of individuals, even identifying as "we/us". Separate Gestalts in a gathering of one another is known as Dionaea, a plural of plurals.

Neophyte and Sage: The only time when one Dionae is venerated above any other is when an older and therefore more knowledgeable Gestalt is present. This elder is referred to as a "Sage" while those younger than it are called "Neophytes". Sages are seen as more valuable due to their vaster stores of knowledge and therefore are protected over Neophhytes in a dangerous situation. However, a Sage will often take up the responsibility to educate a new Neophyte on their environment- including but not limited to the ways of local alien civilization. This is to simply get the Neophyte up to speed so they can be quicker on their way to learn more about their particular interests instead of being held up with the inconvenience of learning the hard way.

Art

While the species may make incredible artists in civilized space due to their longevity and capacity to learn, another form of visual art exists for Dionae that they practice as a recreational activity known simply as "Forma" and have two versions. Both utilize only their own bodies to make Gestalts in creative and practical ways alike. The first and most popular of the two is the Artem, or Art-Form. These are more for form than function and are used to display a Gestalt's creativity in strange and unique ways. Artem are typically observed being made in the void of space where they are free of the restrictions of gravity and require no rhyme nor reason to their design and exists purely as a hobby.

The second and perhaps most shocking of them is Vita, or Life-Form. Seen most often in some type of environment with gravity, there are two different forms: symbiotic which is done in the presence of other life forms, and competitive, preformed in areas where the concentration of Dionae are high. The symbiotic version is seen every day and is a form of passive mimicry to blend in with their extraterrestrial neighbors whereas the competitive version is a surprising display of violence. One is to increase their chance of survival in an alien landscape, the other used as a strange yet creative form of population control.

Competitive Vita is a theoretical evolution simulator where each Gestalt will merge, often as fantastical forms of creatures, which is then tested with the current environment they are in under different conditions. If present, they will then be tested against other non-sentient life forms before finally each other. Throughout the competition the losing Gestalts are either consumed or absorbed into their forms as additions, the final battle being the most dramatic display of a Gestalt's abilities. While most sapients would find this practice barbaric and contradictory to the species' desire to gain and preserve knowledge, the fallen and their knowledge simply become a part of the victorious.

Integration

With being a complex multi-formed and sometimes ever-changing organism such as a Diona, one can imagine that becoming a part of a society can be rather complex. Dionae can be found nearly everywhere except for the coldest and radioactive-free of places. With money meaning little to them, others see them as cheap labor and both seem to be content with this, as Dionae do not need much outside of proper radiation. A clever species, Dionae often take advantage of a solar system's sunlight during the daylight hours and bask before taking a night shift, and during day shifts they will often live together and collectively pay for housing, heating, and light. If others are willing, they will also become housemates with other species and assist in menial tasks and paying rent in exchange for safe shelter.

Citizenship

Like other species, Dionae must apply for citizenship to be allowed sanctuary in a system, or face removal. However, this does not apply to Nymphs, only Gestalts. Some tests are involved in the process and are somewhat similar to the ones an IPC would take, such as one to determine their personality, and another, their intelligence and learning potentials. Gestalts must resubmit for citizenship and defend it's education (if it has one) each time a merging is made, as the Gestalt is technically not the same entity it was before. Once the process is complete, the Gestalt will have it's nymphs microchipped to better keep track of where the nymphs end up, and is a one-time process. It is much like microchipping a pet cat or dog, and is not harmful or hinders the Nymph in any way, usually installed along the back in the middle for easy scanning. The chip itself contains a summary of information about the Nymph, such as it's age and origins, and previous Gestalts it was merged as. If a re-merged Gestalt has all Nymphs chipped, the process of re-registering is made simpler and therefore shorter, completing it in almost half the time.

Legality: In civilized space, Diona Nymphs are considered an animal and fall under the protection of laws that pertain to and protect animals. If a Nymph is harmed by an individual, it is considered animal abuse and they will be charged accordingly. A Gestalt of three or more Nymphs is considered a person and is therefore protected under laws that pertain to and protect people. If a Gestalt is harmed by an individual, it is considered assault and they will be charged accordingly.

Education

Although Dionae can contain vast amounts of knowledge and possess extreme intelligence, the species still have to obtain the appropriate degrees for the occupation they wish to pursue in their chosen location of residence. This can be accomplished after being registered for citizenship. All newly-registered Dionae must complete and pass the courses required for their field if their degrees from past planetary systems is not recognized in the new location, or they lack one all together. Their education must be defended one year following the awarding of a degree, and then every five years there on out. However, that timer is reset due to the fact that after each merging, Dionae are required to defend their education along with their re-registration for citizenship due to the possibility of accumulation of new knowledge, and possible loss of information depending on the nature of the new merging.

Philosophy

Dionaea do not have a religion that is comparable to others, but rather a unique philosophy that they all observe. Despite being more or less immortal, misfortune may befall their kind occasionally and it is known that other species are not as long-lived as they are. Amalgamated nomads by nature on their endless search for knowledge through the vastness of space, they cannot afford to feel lonely nor grieve or they would cease to function as a species. With that being said, they have a different approach to death than others as seen in the case of Weirun Tup on the Dionaea-colonized planet of Epsilon Ursae Minoris. Using the way of how they process biological matter, Dionae see the consumption of corpses as a sort of reincarnation or ascension for the deceased. As a body is consumed, the entirety of that individual's life, their "essence", is absorbed into the Dionae and becomes a part of them. To them it is not an end, but simply a way life continues and is not met with sadness but rather optimism. Only when a body of one of their own is not recovered that they become regretful for the knowledge lost and becoming depressed for a short time when a Sage's knowledge cannot be passed down this way.

Some Dionae even offer the service of consuming the dearly departed to other species, the task being treated with reverence. Once completed, there may be an option where the Dionae offers to even part with a Nymph with the deceased's essence upon request, and will give it to those that were close to the deceased as a form of reincarnation. Especially with fresher Nymphs, the essence can be used to continue the deceased's life and impart wisdom or words unsaid, acting on the deceased's behalf. While controversial to many, there are those find this method a great comfort in the grieving process. When the Diona becomes a Gestalt, it may chose to remain with the family for however long it is allowed or continue it's journey. Currently, this practice is allowed in Tau Ceti and is designated as "Reincarnation by Dionae", and can be requested through last wishes, wills, or wishes of the family if neither of the latter were provided upon death. If it is not allowed in a system, there is an option to have the deceased transported to Epsilon Ursae Minoris for the process.

History

The Dionae's history is highly debated - with no significant evidence, xenoarcheological or actual, towards an origin point - most notably due to the tendency of space-bound gestalt's seeds to travel immense distances. The species itself does not have concrete information on this subject - however many people of all species have linked them to mythological being, as it is thought that the species is old enough to have spread to a significant portion of the galaxy, including all of the currently colonized areas, some even being recorded in Vaurca histories, half-way across the galaxy.

Discovery, Part One - The Conglomerate

The first discovery - the one that proved their existence, in 2320 - was an immense pod-like gestalt. It is theorized to have contained upwards of a thousand nymphs, protected in a thick, haphazard organic shell that took the shape around whatever body it hit and integrated within itself. The entity was put into observation by its Skrell discoverers, being labeled as a simple organic anomaly - the lack of atmosphere and contact making communication not even a thought. Interaction did not happen until nine years later, 2329. Skrell scientists created a device to translate the chirping and popping of the pod, and exchanged greetings. This sent interest through Skrell society, as these Diona were the first sentient beings that the Skrell had met. The Skrell put forward more simple communications, and found out what this pod of life was. The two parties spoke in simple information exchanges, and this led to the Dionae pod explaining how to better communicate with each other - via blood samples.

With this new-found information, the large object - the Original Conglomerate - was finally officially contacted by ambassadors of the Skrell. The contact delivered a wealth of information - about star movement, physics behaviors, material properties, and so on. In the end, the "Original Conglomerate" was towed, with their glee, in orbit of Nralakk, where it remains to this day the main source of Dionae pods, cyclopes, nymphs, and seeds. Diona have gradually gained a better standing in Skrell society, and the Federation began slowly integrating Diona into their workforce in the late 2360's.

Discovery, Part Two - The Organic Craft - "DSS Ophion"

The Dionae were found, the second time, in 2426, almost a full hundred years after the first encounter. An anomalous reading tipped off a scout ship - part of a Human-Skrell joint practice operation. A low-intensity yet high-frequency energy signature in the middle of seemingly nowhere, far in deep space. Upon investigation, a large mass - now known to be the result of six hundred nymphs being overgrown - was present. It was definitely organic - yet it showed readings similar to a space craft, including a simple (and empty) supermatter reactor and some sort of rudimentary drive. It seemed inactive.

However, upon approach - the craft took life, quickly dashing towards one of the human frigates, shrugging off the firepower and attaching itself to a ship called the Ophion. It moved like nothing they had ever seen - a captain of the nearby frigate even provided this description: "Like a fish moving as if space was an ocean". It quickly infiltrated the Ophion, bending hull and causing breeches, eventually reaching the ship's own power plant, siphoning power off. The ship saw no further damage - however it was already done, all the engineering decks were breached and the ship no longer had enough power for the engines. Under the orders of the Skrell Fleet Admiral (at least the equivalent of it) and with the approval of the incapacitated ship's captain, the exercise was canceled and the ships returned home, requesting a few science vessels and a rescue shuttle to be sent to them. Unfortunately, when they did arrive roughly a week later, no life was found aboard. The ship was considered derelict - and the vessels returned home, with a warning being placed on both of their star maps about a possibly hostile lifeform there.

This event also caused a rigorous security increase in the observation of the first structure, causing the Dionae to be officially labeled as "potentially hostile to Humans and Skrell". The Fleet returned later with a science ship, and a Dionae ambassador. The ambassador communicated with the colossus surrounding the Ophion, and the Ophion responded, stating it was simply 'Growing'. Of course, with the current status, the question was asked: where is the crew? Correlated with the logs acquired later, the scenario became clear. The Diona's infiltration of the power plant not only caused the engines to fail, but life support. With all the breeches present, it did not take long for the crew to suffocate and die. And once that was done, the Diona (and it is quoted) "simply assimilated their form to learn about your species and conserve matter".

This information, while held "classified" for a long time, eventually were leaked to the public by disgruntled and scared sailors - on both human and skrell sides - earning them the nickname, among humans, of "Gravemind" in reference to a 21st century videogame. The Skrell were more keen in calling them "Saapimaa Rakhomm", or "Deathflower". In general, it made a lot of people quite wary of them.

Culture: Jokingly given the nickname "Dionae Space Station Ophion, Keeper of Life", the Ophion Cyclopes are regularly hauled between Ophion and Tau Ceti - as while they are seen as methodical and even cold, there is no denying their scientific methodology. However - all stations whom host one are instructed to keep an eye on them, should they become hostile for whichever reason.

Discovery, Part Three - The Planet of Eden

The final time the Dionae were found was in Epsilon Ursae Minoris (EUM) in 2430, discovered by Skrell Captain Weirun Tup who had been exploring stars on the behalf of the Jargon Federation in order to find new habitable planets for expansion. Upon passing through a particular sector, a planet was analyzed from afar to have possibly desirable conditions for life. But upon drawing closer, the planet itself seemed to be alive- the expedition team picked up strange sounds from their equipment, haunting songs being broadcasted on their radios when there should have been the white noise of static. Dumbfounded and excited, the team worked to understand the cause of this anomaly. Unfortunately their equipment was not up to the challenge, leaving the team no choice but to send out a few experimental signals in an attempt to copy and possibly communicate with whatever was creating the sounds, and send an exploratory team to the surface to see if they could locate the cause. Descending with the crew was Captain Weirun Tup, out of excitement and concern for his crew alike.

Upon landing, it was immediately noted that the planet was rich in untouched wilderness. The crew had touched down near a site with a strong signal of the strange sounds and cautiously pushed forth through the alien flora and fauna to happen upon something that was even more alien. It was a large structure made of a living creature, and one that was already a previously discovered oddity. It was a colony of Dionae Colossus, a massive tower constructed out of Nymphs that acted as a radio tower while a village of Argus and Cyclopes worked and moved around it. The team was warmly welcomed and after exchanging genetic samples, communications were established between the crew and a Cyclops that acted as their guide. It was explained that the planet's only sapient creatures were the Dionae that have colonized the entirety of the surface, the species themselves finding the low gravity and thinner ozone to be beneficial to their purposes. They had also deemed to leave the landscape otherwise untouched and leave the local wildlife alone while taking the more uninhabitable areas for themselves, stating that it was "their home", while the Dionae were merely "guests" to the visiting team.

The exploration crew had contacted their main vessel and sent a report back to Jargon of their find. The team members had decided to remain for the duration of their expedition to learn more about this colonized planet and it's inhabitants, finding that the Dionae present contained a vast wealth of information. Working together, the scientists and Dionae managed to create a device capable of deciphering long-distance Rootsong so crew aboard the main vessel may communicate with the Dionae as they studied the planet. A team of researchers were sent to the ground as well, with Captain Weirun Tup often accompanying them to engage in discussion with their hosts. After a short time of consideration, an agreement was made between the Jargon Federation and the Dionae. The colony would supply the Federation with what information they could as well as provide a workforce while the Federation would enrich the Dionae with opportunities to further their interests, supplying both materials (organic and otherwise) as well as the equipment to do so. There was another condition that was mutually agreed upon; the Dionae seemed rather protective of the planet, and while the visitors remained they were to follow the Dionae's example and were to leave the landscape undisturbed for the most part.

When the time came for the expedition to return back to the Jargon Federation, a permanent agent was requested to act as an ambassador between the two species. Having learned more about the Dionae and finding to have a fondness with them as well as wanting to learn more of what they knew, Captain Weirun Tup volunteered to step down from their position of Captain and remain behind. A few other expedition teams visited EUM and the planet the Dionae considered home, nicknaming it Eden for it's wealth in natural resources and wildlife. A small colony of Skrell were established upon Eden to assist the now esteemed researcher and ex-Captain Weirun Tup over the years, and all was well. After nine years however, now Director Weirun Tup had suddenly disappeared after walking off into the nearby forest at night, saying that they wanted a "clearer view of the stars before I sleep" according to his colleagues. By morning, Weirun's affects were returned to the researchers cryptically stating that the man was "well and a part of them, now". When further questioned, the Dionae stated that the man had been suffering a terminal illness and had decided to become a part of the collective. This had left the other Skrell skeptical, as their Director had not been showing signs of said illness.

Despite the mysterious disappearance of their beloved Director, the man was venerated by other Skrell as the first of their kind to have truly ascended and become a part of something greater, and it is said that one can still speak to the Director through a Gestalt that remains with the Skrellian settlement. Since then, Skrell from the Federation have often made pilgrimages to and from Eden as a spiritual journey- others choosing it as their final resting place through "reincarnation", following Director Weirun Tup's example and becoming a part of the Dionae residents. The process has never been observed before, but friends and families of the "ascended" hold fast in their beliefs that there is undisputed proof that such a thing is real.

Culture: The largest Dionae to have communicated with other sapients, Dionae from EUM have become highly focused on being efficient, having learned and adapted to Skrell culture. Most notably - the system has become notorious for being a checkpoint shipyard as the Dionae there within orbit most often specialize in engineering tasks while those planetside excel in the natural sciences. Of course - the exposition to the Skrell has made them wary of synthetic intelligence. Furthermore, they are the only known group with an unified creation theory - according to them, Dionae have been at home in "the Great Void" - as paraphrased - since the beginning of their existence, and their creation should have been nothing short of impossible.

Venter's Cetus, Reade's Argus, and Other Groups

A recent discovery, Venter's Cetus is one of the few known Cetus-class Dionaea. Rather reclusive, they seem to have an immense amount of knowledge in atmospheric systems, having designed a circulatory array within themselves. Slow and meticulous - this group has elected to provide the Sol Alliance with Cyclops bodies in exchange for large amounts of biomass from various species - with supplementary "credit" for sapient specimens. They do not seem to fear extinction at the phase they have found themselves to be in, with "shards" of the gestalt being of almost nil importance.

Discovered in orbit of Reade, there is also an isolated and small group that is sometimes seen on facilities across Tau Ceti. They are reported to be highly social, a Biesel bar even boasting an occasional Dionae bartending experience. This particular gestalt seems rather knowledgeable about the goings of supply and civilian departments- though they are often seen with distrust due to the rumors of Reade. Of course, these are the large known groups. Among these two more recent additions, there is a total of eighty-one known subgroups with various traits - and an unknown amount of yet undiscovered groups. More information will be added when available.

Integration in Society

Their value, however - along with general helpfulness, high curiosity and impressive intelligence, even to the Skrell (who have approved them onto titles as high as Representatives since 2432) - gave the Dionae enough going for them that they were not phased out, and are commonly seen aboard space stations and spacecraft, especially human-owned. The Skrell have, however, started a new program to find and appropriate any other Dionae groups to ensure proper incorporation - or destruction, should the group be too dangerous. This program has already uncovered four dozen gestalts.

Mythological associations

Bearing a wood-like appearance, a small bulbous nymph and with the tales of necrophagy, the Dionae have been said to actually have been the species behind several mythical creatures - such as the humans' Green Man and Leshy, and even the Mandragora and Man-Eating Tree. Most notably - it has been linked to a wise, ancient God of Life by some Skrell - the Oernabi (Tree-God), who was said to be benevolent to those seemed worthy. Such a belief spawned the Dienabi religion - the term literally meaning "tree child" - which stipulates that it is possible to ascend to the status of a noble Diona by protecting them with your life - after which they absorb and transform the martyr. Captain Weirun Tup is considered to be the first "ascended" of this kind, earning him almost as much veneration.

Beyond the Knowledge

As seen with reports of Ophion, this species is still mostly unknown - in capabilities, origins and intentions. Many scientific organizations are willing to pay a good price for any useful data on the Dionae.