January 29th, 2004

OMAKE FOOTNOTES:  Rational Pastelograpic is a popular and respected high-quality magazine that specializes in magnificent photography of the continents, and of the universe. A traditional favorite, Rational Pastelograpic has been around a long time.

The native life on uncolonized continents is diverse, but there are no large animals. Bulldog-sized Blooboks crawl carefully over the constantly windswept Greenmat. Elf-Ears angle into the wind, sharing the moisture captured by the symbiotic Merkinblades at their base. Most plant life, such as as the large two-meter high Cloud Harps is partly, or entirely epiphytic, taking almost everything they need to live from the atmosphere. The Cloud Harps channel water from clouds that engulf the landscape as the continent passes through them. The Cloud Harps catch the moisture on their filament-covered strings, and pool it into the sponge-like Mons at their base. The Mons of Cloud Harps, and other epiphytic plants, serve as watering-holes for the various crawling animals of Pastel.

Another water source are the bluish, rounded Azurematoas. Looking a bit like oversized blue radishes, the Azurematoas store moisture they parasitize from the continent-spanning filamentary Greenmat.  They are a favorite juicy food of the crawling Blooboks.

The Blooboks are not insects, despite appearing somewhat like such earthly creatures. The Blooboks have plastic-like bones inside their rubbery, tough flesh, and it is believed that their color is a form of camouflage against predators. Blooboks are harmless, and travel in family groups, and have a sort of social bonding. For this reason they can become pets, and some humans train and show these easily domesticated native animals. Blooboks breath through nostrils located on their backs, and use an array of raspy toothpick-like mouth spines to feed with. They have very flexible and finger-like toes that are very good at clinging and grasping. In homes, as pets, they must be watched as they display great curiosity, and can manipulate objects surprisingly well. The closest earthly equivalent of a Blooboks would probably be a monkey crossed with a bulldog and a goat. 

By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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