The next while was spent reviewing information that Darrian already knew but most of the counsel members had only briefly covered. The old judge went over the hellish conditions of the planet. Of the energy storms and contaminated water and poisonous atmosphere. He listened with a renewed sense of nervousness when they revealed that more oddities had been found including a recurring tendency towards cyclones.
Little did he know, the best was yet to come.
"And so that brings us to the so-called, 'Humans' that inhabit this planet." the old judge said.
"I still don't know how anything can live there." one of Tulgucks muttered.
"That's a great question." The old judge retorted. "Which brings us to surprising fact number one. They seem to have a heightened ability towards survival and regeneration."
"Them, and many species on the planet, seem to have an incredible ability to heal and survive extreme injury. So much so that an entire facet of their 'medical' sciences rely upon it."
"Even in our short observances of the planet, we've seen a multitude of species, not even limited to these 'humans', survive injuries that are too graphic to even consider. Creatures have had their limbs torn asunder. They've been impaled, gored, ripped, shredded, crushed, and more...yet many can simply get back up and heal these injuries."
An eerie silence fell over the table. How could something lose an appendage and just keep on living? Darrian suddenly found himself thinking about a monster story his parents had told him when he was younger about a horrible insectoid creature from 'Planet P' that could lose a limb and still be 86% effective.
"That's...horrible." Darrian finally said.
"And you said some of their medicines are based on this very idea?"
"Indeed." continued the judge. "This species is so confident in their ability to regenerate from damage that they have an entire 'medical' specialty that they refer to as 'Surgery'."
"What's surgery?" asked the massive Jigger near the back of the table.
"Put bluntly, it's a form of 'medicine' where humans cut into themselves with sharp instruments and actively manipulate their own internal organs."
Darrian could hear someone get sick off to his right and flee the table. He didn't look. His eyes were glued to the robotic form of the judge.
"You heard me." he said with just a hint of mocking. "Rather than developing a medicine to combat certain ailments, they'd rather stick their hands into the entrails of another and riggle them around a bit. Strangely enough, it seems to work. Many of these creatures recuperate without issue."
"R-r-recuperate?" Stammered the Cadrax across from Darrian. "AFTER being cut up and played with?"
"That is correct."
"With regenerative abilities like this, these creatures must live for generations." Darrian said thoughtfully and doing all he could to force the image of someone rooting around inside him from his mind.
"Actually, that brings us nicely to the next point I was going to bring up. They're incredibly short lived."
"Not surprising with how their medicine works." Uu'lassna grumbled.
This merited a good chuckle around the table but Darrian couldn't help to notice that it sounded strained. No one in the Consortium would be resting easy tonight with thoughts of these monsters floating about.
"Perhaps." The old judge said with a nod. "But I believe it has more to do with the fact that they are naturally a short lived species."
"How short are we talking?"
"One twentieth to one tenth of a rotation. The oldest we heard of was barely over a tenth."
"A tenth? These things are damned insects!" scoffed a Yool.
The Cadrax, still looking sick, replied. "Right. Right... We could probably just wait for them to die out on their own."
"I don't think that will happen." denied the judge.
"Why not?" the Jigger asked from the back.
"Because their short life spans are to their benefit. Not their fault."
"What could be the benefit of a short life span? You have no time to accomplish anything." Darrian retorted more out of confusion than anything else.
"You're right. Yet they do. Review of our archives show that this species has risen from the dirt to a semi-space faring species in a maybe a dozen rotations."
Whatever merriment there was again slipped away. It normally took at least a dozen rotations to make any scientific discoveries of merit. How any species could literally come into existence to being on the brink of deep space travel within that same period seemed impossible.
"On top of that, they use their short lives to their advantage when it comes to disease. What's it matter if one drops off early if another can be born with immunity at the same time? The parent might die just in time for the child to live. Disease simply can't stick to them. They're not unlike bacteria themselves. They simply adapt too fast to be conquered. There have been several instances where massive populations were decimated only to be reborn immune and healthy within a twentieth of a rotation."
The thought of the insects from 'Planet P' drifted into his thoughts once again. If anything ever matched such a description, he thought these 'humans' didn't seem too far off.
"So, these things are ridiculously short lived, have incredible regeneration abilities, and live on an all together hostile planet." stated the Yool. "I think I need to ask the question that's on all of our minds: Are they a hostile species? Are they a threat?"
The old judge stared long and hard at the Yool. Darrian didn't think a robot could look scared, but something about his expression said it all.
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