Magacephallus (Space Whales)

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Davi
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:53 pm

Magacephallus (Space Whales)

Postby Davi » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:36 am

I've got a treatment for a space whale plot in The Orville game that involves space pirates.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1slk ... sp=sharing

Megacephalus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3DiYspY1Q4

What’s in a name?
Moby Dick was a sperm whale, or “physeter macrocephalus” in Latin. The original Dr. Who space whale was named “Megaptera” But those together you get Megacephalus.Similar enough to both “phallus” and “syphilis” for some easy jokes.

Union Opening
Reports from the edge of Union Space (62kly) claim there have been sightings of a “Megacephalus”, Space whales thought to be extinct, or even mythical.
The Union has a hands off policy, considering them both hypothetical and endangered.
Rumor: Skewers of Megacephalus meat are served in Calivon Zoos (DIS: Gormagander)
The Orville receives orders to pursue and apprehend the pirate ship Precariat, and take her crew of outlaws into custody for trial on their respective home worlds.
An intelligence report filled with unsubstantiated accusations. Crimes the pirates are suspected of, but not proven.
An intercepted communication from Captain Marque of the pirate ship Precariat to his quartermaster Reprisal de Plume expressing his intent to hunt the Magacephalus.
The relatively minor “hunting an endangered species” charge is presented as justification to apprehend pirates suspected of higher crimes the Union cannot prove.
Orders are to apprehend the pirates, but protect the Megacephalus at all costs.
Note: I think this would work for a mission. This could be an message alert or a form of incoming trnansmission from th Panetary Union headquarters.

Pirate Opening
Captain Marque intercepts a Kaylon communication describing a Megacephalus sighting and rallies his crew to go on a hunt to harvest it’s meat.
Megacephalus meat is a priceless delicacy thought to have age reversing properties.
Kaylon reports multiple encounters but consistently fail to exterminate them because the Megacephalus simply “ceases to exist.” Or disappears in a poof of tachyons. (Dr. Who)
Captain Marque degradingly nicknamed the creature the “Cash Cow.”
Captain Marque is fanatical like Ahab, but the crew is ambivalent about the mission. Some are also eager to pursue the profitable venture, but many, including Reprisal, disagree.
Quartermaster Reprisal believes the Union should be abolished, as do all pirates, but she agrees with the Union’s hands off policy, and would rather protect the Megacephalus.
Many believe the Megacephalus is mythical anyway, and they don’t want to waste the ship’s time and energy chasing the Loch Ness Monster of Kaylon space.
The Precariat negotiates safe passage in Kaylon space, because pirates have been anti-slavery since the golden age of piracy on Earth. Kaylon are persuaded pirates are a fringe psychoclass of biologicals that poses no threat. (5LM: First Contact Protocol)
Note: I see this as being two things either a cutscene maybe before getting the mission order. Or possible a animation including youtube. I feel like this needs to be before the mission invite or intro.

Calivon Zoo
Either crew can revisit the Calivon Zoo (Orville: Command Performance) to learn about Megacephalus they claim to have on display.
The Orville should have no problem accessing the planet, because they’ll be remembered.
Pirates might be treated as hostile strangers at first, until the Calivon consult Earth’s cultural archives.
The Magacephalus could not be caged on the planet, but resides in a vast “vacuarum” near the system’s sun which can be visited by small observatory craft.
This Megacephalus is a grey, and covered in glowing green barnacles. It’s head is easily visible and resembles a sperm whale with no obvious eyes or other sensory organs. Not even a mouth. It’s fins or tale or whatever are always partially obscured by visually apparent tachyon distortions that resemble a watery wake.
The Calivon couldn’t successfully capture the Megacephalus, but thousands of years ago they lured it to their system by cultivating its food source. A bioluminescent, spaceborne bacteria (DIS: Species GS54) called Clouzon.
Any vessels traveling in Clouzon infested space will begin to accumulate it on their hull like glowing barnacles. If it’s not scraped off it will drain ship systems over time.
The Clouzon can feed off alpha particles in solar winds, so a colony of them were deposited in the corona of the Calivon sun. They have flagella much like protozoa.
The Magacephalus scoop them up like krill or plankton, but without a mouth. The space whale has a porous outer skin which adsorbs microscopic particles from space. (VOY:Elogium)
Calivon xenologists say the bacteria aren’t digested, but enter an internal self-sustaining ecosystem on the interior of the whale, where matter and energy are transmuted at will.
Sensors have difficulty penetrating the interior of the whale, but it’s in constant flux.
The voice of the Magacephalus is too high pitched for humanoid ears, but it broadcasts a low frequency low tech radio signal of whale song. (Sound sample ST:IV)
The Calivon couldn’t capture the Magacephalus because it has some powerful defense mechanisms
It can emit a high frequency song as a protective field of subspace noise that is toxic to humanoid life like radiation poisoning.
It’s capable of powering down ships, stations and even planets in its vicinity if it feels threatened.
If necessary it will hold a ship in an energy dampening field and raise the sonic field to lethal levels, but it prefers to retreat rather than harm anyone.
It’s final defense is to literally dive into time. They inhale stores of the Clouzon bacteria and disappear in a flurry of bioluminescet patterns, drifting in the temporal stream and only surfacing again once danger has passed. (This is how they befuddled the Kaylon).
Calivon vessels prevent any larger vessel from approaching or threatening the Magacephalus. They are very protective of it, and consider it’s continued willingness to stay in their system highly fragile.
The meat skewers they sell at the zoo are painstakingly sheared from the space whale without harming it, like sloughed cells. They look like flat grey marshmallows on sticks.
Calivon are almost worshipful of the space whale, and tell stories of how it protected early Calivon space travellers, sensing their distress psychically, and coming to their aid.
There’s a myth of the first Calivon crew that was sucked into the Megacephalus’s tachyon wake and entered the time stream. Their ship was completely destroyed and the space whale swallowed the crew for their own protection. By the time Megacephalus returned to regular time to return the crew to Calivon, multiple generations had passed inside the whale.
Note: This might be cool for exploration.

The Dirge of the Megacephalus
Turns out the space whale is telepathic over extremely large distances, especially to gelatinous lifeforms like Yaffit, who feel it like a spooky resonate vibration. And it’s calling to the player.
It’s an ancient benevolent creature that’s been alone for so long it’s decided to die by orbiting a dying star (TNG:TinMan). This confuses the moral obligation to protect it.
It’s death song reaches into deep space, and players will be able to navigate to it once they realize what the signal is.
Any ship that comes close to the space whale will be caught in it’s tachyon wake, and suffer power loss as it fights off the space bacteria on it’s hull.
Exposure to the electrophoretic waves created by the Megacephalus could cause gelatinous lifeforms like Yaffit to trigger their mitosis process. (VOY:Elogium) Probably something it does to encourage the bacteria to procreate.
Any successful weapon strike, even on minimum power will be lethal to the space whale, and trigger the ending.
Whether it’s the pirates hunting the Megacephalus, or the Union hunting the pirates we all end up finding the wild Megacephalus eventually. This space whale is a bright pearl white reflective color that is blinding to look at in the sunlight.
For pirates it’s a question of whether or not to mutiny and overthrow the captain. Perhaps even turning him over to the Union in exchange for clean record.
If the player sides with Reprisal over Marque there could be a treaty with the Union where the Precariat adopts the Union’s endangered species policy in her Pirate Code.
The Union player pursues the Precariat, but learns that everything they know of pirates is propaganda. So, they’ve got to decide whether or not to arrest the pirates or let them go.
Duty says arrest them, but honor among captains says let them go. If the player lets them go they’ll have a gentlemen’s agreement with the captain of the Orville, but not the Union.
In the end, whether they’ve attacked the Magacephalus, or the star begins to go supernova and the corona of the star changes color the Magacephalus will die, and the player will receive a psychic song of it’s willingness, and even gratitude about moving on, but once the consciousness is gone the body begins to ungulate in great waves, and spin, at which point we learn that Magacephalus reproduces by macro cell division, similar to Yaffit’s species, and while the ancient white whale was preparing for it’s death, and has died, that’s because the two black whales it left behind are now infants, playing the glowing bacteria for the first time. Any attempt to communicate or foster them in any way is pointless. They both hear a distant whale song and disappear into the time stream.
Note: This sounds like it could be a mission

References to Other Sci-Fi

Star Trek

DIS: “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad": Gormagander
On the Federation’s Endangered Species List, and a target for hunting.
Feeding off alpha particles in solar winds
Skewers of gormagander meat were available at the Orion embassy on Qo'noS.
Klingons breed them in some intergalactic zoo

DIS: "Context Is for Kings": Species GS54
A small, bioluminescent, swarming, spaceborne lifeform that fed on electricity.
These would make good krill or plankton for the space whales to eat.
This species could drain power from ships. An infestation could disable a ship.

TOS: “The Immunity Syndrome”: Giant Space Amoeba
Created a field of negative energy that was toxic to humanoid life.
The organism reproduced by cell division

Star Trek IV: Voyage Home: Whale Probe
The alien probe speaks whale song (sound sampling of whale song in space)
Capable of powering down ships, stations and even planets in its vicinity.
Capable of absorbing whole oceans from orbit.

TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint": Cnidarian (Star-Jelly)
Able to shapeshift by transmuting matter and energy at will
Capable of destructive disruptor style blasts

TNG: “Tin Man”: Gomtuu
A massive, dark-colored sunflower seed shaped shell.
Interior chambers, corridors, gravity and atmosphere to support humanoid crew.
Warp drive, transporter capability, and defended itself with a protective force field.
Telepathic over an extremely large distance.
Alone, it decided to commit suicide by orbiting a star going supernova.

TNG: "Galaxy's Child": Junior
A spacefaring whale or fish. Gray skin. No obvious eyes or other sensory organs.
Pregnant and far away from others of its race.
Sensors had difficulty penetrating the interior.
Holds ship in energy dampening field and raises radiation levels to lethal levels.
Even a single phaser strike on minimum power proved to be lethal to the creature

VOY: "Elogium": Unnamed species
Small space-dwelling lifeforms attaching to a larger one
Propelled through space via flagellation much like protozoa
Traveled in lightly dense swarms around one dominant ship-sized organism.
No digestive system. A porous outer cover which absorbed particles from space.
Capable of generating their own magnetic wake, which ships get caught in.
Electrophoretic levels created by the swarm cause Kes to begin early puberty.

Star Wars

Purrgil
Massive creatures that live in deep space. A cross between whale, squid, and stingray.
Natural ability to fly through hyperspace if they inhale stores of Clouzon-36 gas.
Habit of wandering into hyperspace lanes, crashing into starships near their flight paths
They had four large hind tentacles, a single dorsal fin, and two side fins.
Whale-ships: Equipped with inhabitable armor, made into a base, and a fleet of ships.

Dr. Who

Star Whale: Galeen
An ancient and benevolent species that often rescued spacecraft in distress.
Many flippers and tentacles down their stomach. Smaller, spiked tendrils on their back.
More intelligent than humans, and they could live for thousands of years

AUDIO: The Song of Megaptera
The Sixth Doctor sought to end the whaling of these creatures by the Toothons
Galeens transmitted their song as radio waves, and used solar sails.
Got nourishment from its own internal self-sustaining ecosystem.
The Sixth Doctor described a Galeen as "basically a micro-planet".
Digested time particles in dark matter so internal organs were "eternal organs"
Survivors of crashed ships could live inside them for generations

TV: The Beast Below
To lose a pursuer, a star whale could dive in time which left a trail of tachyons.
Their voices were too high-pitched for humans to hear.
They were capable of bioluminescence and had glowing patterns.
They fed on solar power from the stars they passed.
Legend: Guided early space travelers through dangers on their journeys.

PROSE: Pack Animals
Degradingly nicknamed Cash Cow
Kept as a re-growing source of meat.

AUDIO: The Widow's Assassin
The royal hall on planet Hurn was constructed from the skeleton of a star whale.
Psychically sensed the terror of children and could not bear to hear them cry.
They built a ship on its back and carve open its brain to torture it into moving.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This features a whale in space... although only briefly.

The Avengers
Chitauri ships in are huge weaponized cyborg Space Whales.

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