Deathjungle of Kalii
jungle
Image from Anders Sandberg

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This naturally evolved, subsophont envome covers the entire planet of Kalii in the Arctar stellar system. In the early First Federation there were three separate attempts to colonize Kalii with seed pod colony ships, but every time contact was lost with the colony within a week of landing. When a military expedition with an attached scientific team was sent to the planet only a few traces where found of the seed pod's landing sites. Careful forensic studies showed that the jungle surrounding the landing sites had reacted violently to the colonists' attempts to clear the jungle for their habitations. In each case it had killed the colonists overnight in an explosion of plant growth and attacking animals.

The planet was studied extensively (and twenty scientists and two landing ships lost to accidents when the jungle was underestimated) over the following twenty years. On the basis of these studies it is believed that the planet may once have had as many as five separate meta-ecosystems that developed more or less independently of each other on separate continents. When tectonic plate movement brought the continents together later in geological time, each of the systems tried to spread. Through a ferocious contest of survival of the fittest (aided by the relatively short lifespan of most Kaliian species) more and more hostile creatures and plants were created, until, it appears, one of the ecosystems evolved into a limited form of sentience. The ecosystem does not have anything that might be described as sapient intelligence, unlike the being at Kemmerer, but it does possess a keen instinct for self-preservation, as shown by its reaction to stimuli such as the colonization attempts.

In 1780 a.t. the system was taken over by a Caretaker God which called itself Kalii. In 4323 a.t. the NoCoZo holoprogram producer RealLife Inc, somehow purchased the planet from Kalii. The price or any agreements concerning the protection of the ecosphere has not been released to the public. In 4325 at. RealLife Inc. started the holoshow Survivor in which twenty sophonts needs to build a self-sufficient colony and survive a year on the planet to win 250 billion New Puon energy credits. The first three shows required the contestants to land without tools, but unfortunately under those conditions not a single contestant survived the Kaliian night. Since then the contestants have been allowed to bring a prearranged packages of tools and weaponry. The longest survival time for a colony is three weeks. The longest survival time for an individual was seven months, for a clone of the empath and combat bioborg Garl Aulphonse Schnidt.
 
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Development Notes
Text by Thorbjørn Steen

Initially published on 01 June 2005.