The following is in character. The art was provided by RacieB.
Hello everyone, my name is Meilo Thench and I am a researcher for Galactipedia, one of the most widely respected sources of information on the GIN. As a researcher I generally create new entries for the ever expanding database, but lately people have been asking me for my own personal take on the content on our servers. Normally editorial is against this kind of thing, but they’re going to give it a try based on consumer interest. As such one of our interns sent out some posts to find out what you, the reader, wants to know. These are rough drafts and scraps or articles before editorial gets to them, and as you can see I have a tendency to, well… share my feelings on the subject at hand.
As such, this is a rather bold experiment from editorial and they have insisted on a hands off approach and what you shall see is for the lack of a better term… raw. I may very well convince some of my fellow researchers to participate as well.
Well, for now I suppose I should start. Our first installment concerns a pest we are ALL familiar with, the nettlesome Nudrik:
Silver Spiral Field Notes: #001 The Nudrik
No species quite represents the downside of space travel quite like the simple Nudrik. Small, voracious, and extremely territorial, the Nudrik species has spread from planet to planet throughout the known galaxy.
A Nudrik is a small, flightless avioid that resembles a bird’s head with small bird’s feet, a pronounced beak, and long clawed forearms that extend out from the side of the body. The average Nudrik measures from about 6 to 8 inches tall and weighs between 15 to 20 pounds. Nudriks are omnivorous and hearty survivors as their rounded bodies provide layers of muscle, fat, and feathers to protect their compact array of organs. The Nudrik body-plan seems to have enabled the species to survive space travel and adapt to a myriad of environments with some instances of Nudriks stowing away in a vacuum for a number of hours. Additionally, a Nudrik seems capable of eating just about anything as their stomach acids are highly effective at breaking down materials at a molecular level. Their beaks are strong with an ability to crush bone and strip away at metal and plasteel with minimal effort. Their claws are comprised of a similar chitinous makeup as their beaks, and as such are capable of embedding into most metals and plastics used in colonies. Naturally these claws can be dangerous, and many an unfortunate traveller has been ambushed by pecking, clawing Nudriks who crawl all over perceived invaders in an attempt to scare them off.
Additionally, their feathers cover oil glands in the skin that allow Nudriks to eliminate waste constantly. Though they feature a cloacal vent, Nudriks secret waste constantly for insulation as well as a defensive measure. In instances of travel where the cloacal vent becomes a liability the species will stick strictly to secreting through their glands. Naturally, a Nudriks does not have a pleasant odor. Interestingly, the makeup of their excrement, including their secretions, is inflammable and many colonists have found entertainment in a game known as “Tindriks” where these pests are fired upon with low powered blaster-bolts in an attempt to light them on fire. Federation colonial law has made this practice illegal due to a number of colonies catching fire due to a rogue “Tindrik” fleeing toward a nest. However, many frontier colonies have begun to harvest the oils of Nudriks for cheap fuels. One would think that even a lowly pest such as a Nudrik can find supporters, but nobody has ever wanted to keep one as a pet, or ever will.
The spread of the Nudrik can generally be attributed to lax cargo-inspection standards in the early era of colonization, and over the course of at least 1000 years of constant travel between worlds the Nudrik have made a presence for themselves on thousands and thousands of planets. A single pair of Nudriks of any gender can lay the foundations for an entire population as the species seems to be able to store genetic materials in a cloacal sack. During twice-yearly seasons Nudriks will gather to breed, and excess genetic material is stored for usage later by females. Interestingly, Nundriks of both genders will collect genetic material to be stored, but only the female of the species can lay a clutch of eggs.
Despite the species being so spread out, there has not been much in the way of differences in population which leads some researchers, much to their chagrin, to suggest that the Nudrik is a pinnacle of evolution in their self-sustaining nature. Most spacers would disagree as Nudriks are widely considered to be annoying stowaways alongside the Crattlers, quite possible exceeding them in pure disruption of day to day life. Many spacers engage in regular Nudrik sweeps, but the species has, over time, adapted to these measures though efficient hiding in spaces normally seen as inhospitable. Spacers often tell tales of chaos sewn by these pests, and there have been rumors of gigantic Nudriks being sighted in the wilderness of early colonies.