Fauna of Yeellan

It is a Jump-2 to System 2634. The Encyclopedia Galactica suggests Yeellan as a name, tentatively accepted pending further information.

The system has 1 orange main sequence star, 3 rock planets (1 of which has 2 moons), 2 ice planets further out (both with 2 moons), a large Jovian planet with 4 large moons and 1 decent looking planet - Earth-like, but not much water, a thin atmosphere, probably needs a filter if not respirator.

We approach the Earth like planet. It has a hot, humid, atmosphere, not tainted but thin - will need a compressor to breath under any activity. There is some open water near the poles.

Dr Ntesh is looking for the following exo-fauna:

Of which, this planet is most likely to hold the worm and the centipede. The usually scornful Doc allows that a specimen of the centipede might be OK, as they are fast, viscous and poisonous. Coming in, the Salamander assigns names to geographical features. Black are major waterways, blue minor but still navigable, lighter shading high ground less densely vegetated. The Marquis sets us down on a sandy spit jutting out into a large lake, and removes himself to the sun deck where Bart serves cocktails. Corto and Sir Arthur set up a perimeter with electronics and ensure good fields of fire.

Yeellan

Armitage makes sure that he has ranges with the Gauss rifle out to the jungle edge about 500m away, clearly marked. Morle ribs him for worrying about the 3 types of fauna we’re going to encounter:

  1. Prey that is worried it’s meat to us
  2. Predators that want to make us meat
  3. Neither of the the above that just ignore us

Armitage points out that the bugs we just encountered organised themselves to protect their home and destroy us - they cut off our escape routes, shot down our vehicle, set ambushes and opened the doors. It’s that Type 4 that he’s worried about. Morle looks thoughtful, then begins getting the rocket launcher ready and ranging it.

Corto, Bart and Sir Arthur take the air raft into the lake. The top layer of water is cloudy with precipitate or algal bloom, and difficult to see through. There is abundant small scale fauna. Below about 10m, the water clears. There are shark sized predators feeding off other organisms, and some strange long necked four flippered fast moving creature that seems to be top off the food chain. Large, but not large enough to take on the air raft. The crew scout down to about 200m without incident and return - Dr Ntesh seems intrigued by the flippered creature but agress it is impractical to transport. Alive at least.

Late morning, the Marquis offers lead of the expedition to Dr Ntesh. She readily accepts, albeit deferring to others in security matters. She suggests a short foray today, to get the lay of the land. Drone recon shows that the jungle is very dense, and beyond about 10m from the edge, extremely thick. Armitage wants a very short trial - no further than 50m into the canopy, then parallel the edge of the open ground for a short way, then return to the promontory. Dr Ntesh rolls her eyes and asks the Marquid if he is always like this….

The 5 person away team sets off, the usual 4 of Sir Arthur, Corto, Morle and Armitage supplemented by Dr Ntesh, who has been kitted out in Cloth and Reflec. All are in Ghillie suits, apart from Armitage who has the chameleon suit on. He finds a hide about 25m in from the tree line, where he can watch the other 4 as they move through the forest. After a few minutes of the teams progress, he spots a metre high bat-feathered bird in a tree watching him. It appears to be calling, in amongst 4 or 5 others of the same type.

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Just as he figures out it’s probably an alarm, and they all take flight, a rustling and pounding of feet sounds, and a 2 metre tall flightless bird charges out of the jungle towards the away team…with 2 or 3 others following it an angle.

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