SAIS Galactic Guidebook
Chapter Three: It's Life But Not As We Know It
We're talking about life. Life in the galaxy. It is no longer an assumption, or a guess. Proof is fact, and as we explore the Purple Void, we encounter so many new species all the time that it is unimaginable yet startling that life could possibly be so diverse. And, we are given pause to remind ourselves that we are not the zoo keepers but monkeys in the zoo.
In this section of the Galactic Guidebook we examine two particularly weird creatures often neglected when describing the ecologies of the myriad planets of Sector Prime. Why? People say they don't believe in monsters. They say they don't exist. But we've been out there and we know better. So, presented here are two creepy space critters to tickle your nightmare gland.
Common Name: Dream Snake
Scientific Name: Vermis Psychedelicus
Size: Length 14cm-24cm
Habitat: Jungles and tropical forests
Location: Sector Prime temperate and hot planets
Natural Enemies: Keek Bird
Description: This tiny gold and brown ringed serpent has a venomous bite which can induce intense dreams and nightmares, psychotic episodes and insanity.
Senses: A dream snake's entire body is photosensitive. Its two slender "eye stalks" are actually far more versatile organs than eyes, each being a hypersensitive multifiltered receptor growth specifically tuned to brain waves, subtle chemical and electrolytic functions, ectoplasmic aura and molecular displacement. Simply put, a dream snake is attracted to happy and healthy lifeforms which project good vibrations.
Feeding Habits: A nocturnal predator. A dream snake will hide by day in the boles of trees, or under stones or fallen wood until nightfall when it becomes active.
When it attacks, a dream snake will use its rings of tiny sharp teeth, and a kind of constricted body suction, to attach itself to its prey like a Bandurian sand leech. Its venom, which contains a potent psychoactive alkaloid, rapidly confuses the creature which will be too distressed to dislodge it. Meanwhile, the dream snake feasts upon the convulsing creature's nutritive bodily juices until sated.
Disgusting, isn't it? Fortunately, dream snakes only need to feed once a month or so, and their species is fairly rare in the galaxy, so most likely you'll never have to witness this particular miracle of nature.
Reproduction: Dream snakes are hermaphroditic and lay beer keg shaped cocoons on unsuspecting creatures while feeding.
The dream snake larvae eventually hatch and burrow into the creature. As the larvae thrive, and toxin levels increase, the creature is slowly driven insane. When the creature finally expires the snakes emerge as fully grown adults.
Life Span: 5-10 years.
Purple People Eater
Common Name: Purple People Eater
Scientific Name: Anthropophagus Purpura
Size: Height 1.2m-1.5m
Habitat: Terran outpost colonies, starship cargo holds
and understaffed space stations
Location: Typically, Sector Prime temperate planets
Natural Enemies: Many
Description: This small voracious purple creature has
wings, a singular horn growing from its head and one eye.
It walks pigeon-toed, sneaks up on people and eats
Feeding Habits: Ed. note: Obviously purple people eaters did not always eat people. What they ate, or what it was that allowed itself to be eaten, remains a mystery but it certainly wasn't space crullers.
The purple people eater is perhaps the most devious, paranoid, and yet shy, semi-sentient species found in the whole of Sector Prime. Consider a people eater's diminutive size, two-dimensional vision and flimsy wings as important elements of an evolutionary explanation for this psychology. Small, ridiculously-colored, clumsy and only capable of hopping flight, the people eater was easy prey. Hence, the species was in decline and, until recently, perilously close to extinction.
However, evolution can be whimsical. Their instinctive deviousness may have saved them as the last of the purple people eaters managed to survive long enough to meet, and eat, people.
Hiding. Sneaking. Creeping. Pouncing. Bread and butter for the people eater, who hunts only by night, lurking in the shadows until some naive and unsuspecting (and preferably unarmed) humanoid walks by. When it can stand it no longer, and its stomach is growling too loudly, it hops out of its hiding place and gives its victim the hairy eyeball, a devastating psychic attack that immediately paralyzes the central nervous system.
Once its prey is immobilized, the people eater engages in a violent feeding frenzy, a visceral scene best left for after dinner conversation.
Reproduction: We honestly have no idea. If you have observations or theories, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life Span: Up against hand lasers they don't last too long.