Mechmoss and Nanoalgae

Image from Steve Bowers

Mechmoss and nanoalgae are sessile or very slow moving bots that reproduce by sporetech or simple seedtech and that are primarily are dependent on light as a source of energy for their survival and reproduction. These small and simple versions of plantbots form a thin film, or may have somewhat more complex structures reminiscent of lichens or mosses, and may be of almost any colour. Black and grey are the most common, but some use a chlorophyll analogue and are green. They often cover the surfaces of buildings, and may also be found as part of the skin of some bots and vecs. Sometimes they provide structural support or supplemental power, or help protect the structure against nanorot, but in other cases they are purely decorative or are opportunistic growths. Unwanted and unplanned mechmoss or nanoalgae may be considered to be an infestation, or may be ignored, or may be a coveted sign that the structure (or person!) is venerable and unique.

Sometimes mechmoss and nanoalgae are released into natural environments, such as the surfaces of asteroids, moons, or planets. This may be part of an industrial process or a preliminary move in the establishment of a full mechosystem with a bot-friendly and vec-friendly habitat. Like agents of nano-rot, unplanned or poorly planned use of mechmoss or nanoalgae can be a significant problem for mechosystem managers. On the other hand, many sophonts, especially vecs, consider mechmoss and nanoalgae coatings to be an attractive feature, and choose particular varieties on aesthetic as well as practical grounds.

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Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 17 November 2006.