Guide to Sigma Prime

Guide to Sigma Prime

The home world of the star of The Sinclair V-Logs, Samelan Sinclair-Vaylo, Sigma Prime is the second planet in the Sigma system. Sigma 3 is also habitable, but it is a very rocky and barren world with one small ocean so saline that nothing can live in its waters. There are four moons orbiting around Sigma Prime, two of which are no bigger than a single city block. One of the remaining two is used as a storage facility, a base for the Sigma Air Security Corps, and a deep space comms relay station.

Due to its politically neutral stance, and its position at the junction of eight major shipping lanes that makes it an important centre for trade and export, it was one of the first batch of planets to be afforded the designation Prime, when the Inter-Galactic Treaty was brought into effect. People from hundreds of different systems emigrate there to live and work and its cities are a veritable melting pot of humanoid races. Consequently, Sigma Prime is a financially rich world.

It was on the shores of one of Sigma’s large lakes, that a small interstellar craft crash landed four thousand years ago. On the outside surface of this craft was a disc, upon which were etched diagrams and other information that led the Sigma scientists of the day to realise for the first time, that races other than their own inhabited the greater universe. Studying the craft led the Sigma people to a small system far across the galaxy and a planet the inhabitants named Earth. The studies yielded much information and although the people that sent it assumed it was lost in the void, it had actually got caught in the gravitational pull of black hole 3859204/1A which brought it to the other side of the galaxy, where it eventually got caught in Sigma 2’s gravity field and crashed on the shore of Lake Abinashra. It lay there for seven months and was found by an off duty astrophysicist on holiday with his family. When eventually Sigma people met the inhabitants of Earth, they learned the craft was named Voyager 1.

The natural environment

There are three major landmasses on Sigma Prime and four hundred and twelve islands which make up thirty eight percent of the planet’s surface area. Forty percent of the remaining sixty two percent is made up of one large ocean, with the remaining twenty two percent being made up of seven large inland seas, three large lakes, and numerous small lakes. Due to the angle of the planet’s axis, the northern polar region always faces away from its star and is therefore permanently frozen. The southern pole melts by three quarters of its mass each summer. The oceans and lakes are a very distinct shade of green and the colour has been copied by manufacturers of artists paint. It is called, Sigma Green.

The three landmasses occupy a Southern, a North Western, and a North Eastern aspect and it is the Southernmost continent to which most people are drawn. The North Western continent, the second largest of the three, is largely untouched forest, a mountain range, and a large dry valley. Sigma Prime’s largest lake, Abinashra, is here and the area is a very popular holiday location. The North Eastern continent, the smallest of the three, is mostly industrialised. Sigma’s power stations are here, as are large manufacturing plants, mines, and the Solar dump facility.

There are four distinct seasons on Sigma Prime, Spring, Summer, and Autumn being of equal length while the winter is long and more wet than frozen. Snow does fall on Sigma, mainly on the North Western continent, due to its higher position on the planet’s surface. Summers are hot but not uncomfortably so. There is a strip of equatorial forest that stretches across the middle of the Southern Continent, just below the line of the equator which effectively cuts the continent in half. There is one eighteen lane major road running through the forest and linking the North with the South and tolls are payable in both directions. Alternatively, you can take one of the regularly scheduled twenty minute shuttle flights.

Sigma Prime is a very modern, rich world, full of people from all over the galaxy. It is eclectic, colourful, and energetic, and it’s indigenous people are friendly, welcoming, and open. You don’t come to Sigma once; you come and never go back, or you return regularly, for Sigma has a hold over you that you cannot ignore.

Animal life

The Sigma authorities have very strict rules concerning the immigration of animals from other planets. People immigrating are allowed to bring two household pets of no more than forty pounds in combined weight, and both must be certified de-sexed before immigration papers are issued. Other types of animal life are not allowed entry. A period of quarantine is required for household pets immigrating so any contagion does not find its way into the natural fauna of Sigma Prime. Animals found to be carrying or displaying symptoms of any disease, contagion, or otherwise transferable pathogen, are euthanised. Immigrants, both humanoid and animal, go through a long and complicated process of decontamination to ensure micro organisms, pathogens, insects, plants material etc are not inadvertently brought in. Immigrants do complain about this arduous and complicated process, but Sigma Prime has never had any kind of outbreak brought in by an immigrant, a trend the authorities are determined will continue.

Manitode – A fish that can breathe air as well as water. Growing to a maximum of seven centimetres or so, the Manitode looks like a fish that is in the process of evolving into a land creature. It can survive out of the water for several hours before needing to return, and will gulp air all the time it is on land. Manitodes lay their eggs in the moist muddy edges of lakes and rivers, and will clamber out of the water once a year, altogether on the same night in Winter when two of the moons are full, and mate, dig a hole, and lay eggs all in the one night. Reptiles and amphibians know when this mass egg laying is due, and will wait patiently in the long grass at the edges of the rivers and lakes, for the feast they know lies beneath a few inches of mud. Children love to catch Manitodes and keep them in glass jars and many grown Sigma men have fond memories of such exploits in their childhood.

Lilliquit – A small songbird found in the more rural inhabited areas, parks and gardens. Over time, the Lilliquit has learned that wherever people are, food is plentiful so they have become quite bold and unafraid of their humanoid neighbours. They eat mainly insects, but will also take seeds and nuts when available, for the fat content they provide. Their favourite food is a butterfly like insect that is only found in the vicinity of the Nihl Flower, a plant favoured by people for their garden borders and public parks. The insect won’t touch the wild version, only the hybridised version, so the Lilliquit learned to tolerate people. They are an unremarkable looking bird, small enough to fit into the palm of the hand and a rather dull shade of grey brown. They are fiercely territorial when nesting and will chase away all other birds and creatures getting too close to the nest. They are named after the sound of their shrill cry.

Pahonda – A giant snake that inhabits the forest areas, the Pahonda is a constrictor, squeezing its prey to death rather than biting. They are distinctive not only because of their huge size but because of the yellow line that runs all the way down it’s back from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. Most pahondas seen or caught are somewhere in the region of ten to fifteen feet long, with a girth the same as a grown man’s waist, but giants of over twenty feet have been documented, and the record is held by a thirty two foot monster whose carcass now attracts visitors to a large city centre museum. They are carnivorous ambush predators, their colouration affording them good camouflage in the dappled light of the forest canopy. They will eat anything that strays too close that will fit into its jaws, and this is sometimes unfortunate individuals who failed to ensure their taze unit was at hand. This small device, known colloquially as a ‘Pahonda Donda,’ gives a very painful burst of electricity when pressed to the skin and the trigger depressed. They are issued for free to all citizens and help ensure the number of deaths by Pahonda seldom reach more than ten to twelve per year.

Catmalone Mantis – Sigma Prime’s largest and most feared insect, the Catmalone Mantis is a fearsome foot long predator with pincers that are more than capable of biting a man’s finger down to the bone. A brightly rainbow coloured insect, they are predatory and very aggressive and their capability for inflicting great pain makes them a source of some fear. They will eat anything that moves that they can subdue, which includes fish, small rodents, small birds, and humanoid fingers. The males use their pincers to keep the female’s own ones out of the way while impregnating her with a sperm bundle, after which he will try valiantly to run away before she can grab him and make him her post coital meal. He will fail. Hear a scream coming from someone tending their garden and the chances are good that they’ve just encountered a Catmalone Mantis.

Desert Kareel – Sigma Prime’s only native cat, the Kareel lives in the dry desert valleys on the North Western continent. Covered in a double coat of grey tipped tan fur that keeps it warm during the Winter months, and cool during the heat of Summer, it patrols a large territory along the fringes of the desert valleys. They live in family groups in burrows dug into the sandy soil at the edge of the desert, where it meets forest and hunt in the early morning and late evening. They sleep during the heat of the day and during the dark hours of night when larger forest predators are up and about. They mate once a year, timing it so the two or three babies are born at the end of Summer. They have a varied omnivorous diet of carrion, fruit dropped from forest trees, and any desert reptiles they are able to catch. They have an oil gland under their chin which they use to coat the entrance to their burrows. The offensive and powerful smell keeps the Pahonda at bay. Consequently, they are often referred to as, The Desert Stinky. Archeologists have found numerous fossils that show several other types of Kareel once roamed Sigma Prime. One preferred the regions around the lakes and rivers, another was a tree climbing forest dweller, and yet another was found only in high mountain regions.

Biltid – This large herbivorous mammal is farmed for its meat and hide. Ripe males, as the alphas are known, can be seven feet at the shoulder, but their docile nature makes them easy to keep and care for. They have been hybridised into many differing forms, colours and sizes, some are favoured more for their meat, others for their milk, a third for its soft leather hide. The females have one baby per year, which she raises on the milk she produces from her single nipple, placed centrally on her underbelly. The meat is dark red and strong tasting from some of the breeds, lighter and more delicately flavoured from others. The meat is regarded as better tasting after the females have bred and while producing milk for her baby, so they are allowed to mate and reproduce as they wish. The huge Biltid farms are located on the industrial North Eastern Continent, where they are raised, slaughtered, and processed all in the same location. This avoids the necessity for transporting them and reduces the harm done to the environment by requiring large transportation vehicles. Their dung is processed into a very effective soil improver and is given away free to gardeners and agricultural farmers. A bio active additive is put into the grain they are given to supplement their diet of grass and vegetation, and this substance aids in the digestion of plant material in such a way as to prevent the production of the harmful gasses that can destroy the atmosphere.

The Sigma People

 Physical characteristics

The Sigmans are very much like Earth humanoids with few differences. They are solidly built and muscular, not prone to obesity as their bodies do not lay down excessive amounts of fat cells. They are of a similar height range to Earth humanoids, ranging in height between Five foot Six and Six foot Two or Three. Shorter and taller examples do happen but are rare. Their skin is finely textured and their faces have a network of nerves that work as a net rather than individually, and this allows them to enjoy good muscle tone and a wrinkle free appearance well into old age. This network of nerves working together, keeps the facial muscles held in place and doesn’t allow for much dropping as happens in many other races. The collagen is very much more advanced too.

Their eyes are rich brown, with no exceptions other than those of mixed race who may have other colours, but even then, the gene for Sigma brown eyes tends to be very dominant. The eyes are round in shape and bordered by thick eyelashes on both the top and bottom lids. They are of average size for the face, neither overly large or small, but their round shape makes them appear large. The whites of the eyes are exceptionally white, almost a blue white in some cases, which makes the brown of the iris stand out even more.

The hair ranges in colour from deep chestnut to black, is thick and wavy and protected by a very light oil secreted by the pores of the scalp which keep it extremely shiny. Facial hair can be grown and is the same colour as the head hair. Baldness doesn’t happen to Sigmans. You won’t see any bald men on Sigma Prime unless they choose to shave their heads. The hair goes grey as they age, but this doesn’t begin until well into their seventies.

The feet of Sigmans are small, smaller than seems normal, and this gives them a dainty appearance that other races tend to find attractive. Their hands are small too, but not so markedly small as their feet. The fingers are long and slender and the nails, creamy white all over. Sigmans enjoy a reputation of being a good looking race and always come in the top five most beautiful races when such polls are commissioned. They usually hold the second place, behind the Vendalans who always enjoy the top spot. For this reason, single unattached Sigmans are never lonely when travelling to other worlds. The average lifespan for males is around eighty two, with females being around the eighty five year mark.

The Sigman heart is big, with thick muscles that allow enough blood to be pumped to their bulkier muscle groups. It is placed centrally within the chest cavity.

The musculature of the torso is bulky but firm, giving them a natural six pack and a ‘body builder’ appearance. Those who do choose to work out or practice martial art can gain a very impressive abdominal musculature indeed. The men have a definite waist, unlike most males of other races, but this in no way makes them look odd or feminine. The females have a more defined waist, less bulky abdominal muscles, and rounder hips. The penis does not lengthen by much during arousal; the dimensions of the organ in its flaccid state being little less than in the erect state. Erection tends to have more impact in girth rather than length. The testicles are normal in appearance and function. Females have a small womb and a single ovary that serves both fallopian tubes. Babies are born after a ten month pregnancy and are usually four to five pounds in weight. Males have a high sex drive and remain potent throughout their lives. Females have a type of menopause during their fifties, but not one that sees all female hormones stop. Their menopause is simply the cessation of function of the ovary, which has no impact on their female hormones.

Pregnancies always result in a single baby. No multiple births have ever been recorded to full blooded Sigmans. The baby is born with a full head of hair, a full set of teeth, and bright sky blue eyes. The eyes change to the usual brown during the first year of life. The teeth, when lost, will always replace themselves naturally and Sigmans never have gaps in their teeth or a necessity for dentures. Children go through puberty between the ages of ten and fourteen.

Epidemiology

Being such a diverse world, Sigma Prime has unfortunately been invaded by a few pathogens from outside, but I shall limit my examples to those native to Sigma Prime.

Callypak Shivers – As the name suggests, Callypak Shivers is a fever. It results from an allergic reaction to contact with the Callypak Fly. All Sigmans will get it at some point, usually during childhood when playing outdoors, but once caught, the person is immune for life. Fever, sweating, seizures, sickness, and diarrhea are the usual symptoms. It is seldom fatal unless caught by newborn babies, the very elderly, or those with a compromised immune system. The main treatment is aimed at keeping the temperature down with cooling baths and plenty of cool liquids.

Flumatriquetosis – This is a genetic condition affecting the lungs, whereby the number of air sacs within the lungs is greatly enhanced. These extra air sacs give the sufferer a constant feeling of needing to breathe more but however much they try, they cannot ever seem to get enough air to satisfy the need. If extra air is given via a tank and mask, the resulting drop in carbon dioxide within the blood makes them feel dizzy and sick. The best treatment at the moment is removal of one of the lungs. The single lung, with so many extra air sacs, usually gives them enough air intake to live an entirely normal life, free of pain and the other debilitating symptons.

Halko’s disease – caused by a bacteria, this disease causes horrible effects upon the sufferer. The bacterium eats away at the flesh, causing it to turn black and rot. The fingers and toes are the usual first victims, then the nose, ears, penis, and testicles, anything that ‘projects’ from the body is the first to go. The rotting flesh causes further bacterial infections that, when combined with the bacterium of Halko’s disease, makes its way to the brain and causes death. It is highly contagious and thankfully, quite rare now since Halko units were set up to keep sufferers away from healthy individuals. It is not known where the bacteria is caught, but it is spread via coughs and sneezes and sharing air with sufferers. There is no cure at this time.

Liloma Syndrome – A genetic disorder caused by a missing chromosome. Affecting more females than males, babies born with Liloma Syndrome have no ears, a malformed brain with the frontal lobe being no more than half its proper size, tiny eyes or missing eyes altogether, and very limited ability for learning, communication, and regulation of mood. Such children can be very aggressive and difficult to deal with effectively. People are now screened for the missing chromosome before they reproduce, but cases do still occur spontaneously.

Chalma – One of the normal childhood diseases, Chalma is a bacterial infection that causes large itchy red spots all over the body, accompanied by high temperatures and sweating. Parents usually like their boys to catch it before puberty, as it can sometimes lead to male sterility. When a neighbourhood child has Chalma, word goes around and all little boys are sent to play with the sufferer. The sufferer’s clothes are not laundered but passed around the other little boys in the hope they catch it and become immune before puberty.

Jurdensis Mons – This is a malformation of the pubic bones and pelvis. Pregnant women are scanned for any signs that the fetus may have this condition and are offered a termination if they wish. Children born with Jurdensis Mons cannot walk, many cannot even sit up, depending on how seriously they are affected by the condition. Females cannot give birth and sex is usually impossible, due to the lack of movement afforded them by their pelvic and pubic area. Women known to be at a higher risk of bearing afflicted children are given a special supplement that aids in bone formation, but it has uncomfortable side effects which she must endure, and its efficacy is still not proven to be good enough.

Psychology

Sigmans are very much like us in many ways. The main exception being their high tolerance and acceptance of others different from themselves. They are very friendly, open, and honest and expect the same in return. Lies and deceit make them extremely angry, resulting in the loss of their trust, which is seldom regained. Sigmans in love, give their heart completely and fall very deeply when with the right partner. This is the only area of their life where they demonstrate emotions freely. In all other areas of their life, they keep emotions private. This bottling up of feelings, especially anger, resentment, and those darker emotions, can lead to sudden angry outbursts, after which they move on and forget it.

They work hard and are quite happy to work long hours and many choose to take less than their allocated time off, especially when in a job they enjoy. Their easy going nature makes them fair and friendly employers and reliable employees. They have an innate need to know, to gain as much information as possible and study is a normal part of life for even older Sigmans. They do sometimes display an arrogance that others may assume is an air of superiority, and it is, in a way but isn’t meant disrespectfully. When they know they’re right, they’re happy to let you know it.

They have the same propensity for mental illness and violence as Earth humanoids but they find it far easier not to act upon those violent urges than we do. They do commit crimes, in the same way that most other races do. Suicide does happen but it is relatively rare, as Sigmans value life highly, even when it is hard and they are suffering. For a Sigman to take his own life means he is suffering a monumental psychological burden. Their ability to endure hardship, whether it be physical or mental, is very high, so when they find they can no longer do so, it is a very serious matter.

Sigmans play as hard as they work and they make time every day to spend with friends. They don’t have a very high tolerance for large amounts of alcohol, so although they drink a lot, their alcoholic drinks are of low strength. Drug addiction is not common among indigenous Sigmans, they prefer to keep control of the senses while they have a good time. They have very active sex lives, having a high drive, and visit whorehouses often if they are single and unattached. Both genders enjoy sexual activity with each other freely, there is no legislation forbidding it, and no victimisation of same gender couples.

Spirituality

Sigmans have three deities, each representing one of the three aspects of their nature. The head, governed by a male deity called Pramast, the heart, governed by a female deity called Emalua, and the soul, governed by Geulle. Sigmans regard these three aspects as separate and unique beings in themselves, the three choosing to combine to make a whole Sigman. One of the three is believed to be in overall control, that is why some people are ruled by their heads, some by their hearts, and others are more spiritual in nature. Devout followers wear a garment called a Klashny, a simple length of cloth tied around the waist in men, and above the breasts in women. The colour of the Klashny displays the person’s position in the hierarchy of temple structure. It is traditional for the first born son to be named after their chosen deity’s first born son. These deities are not worshipped as such, but honoured for their role in aiding the spiritual well being of the person. Sigma has no churches, but temples devoted to the honouring of one of the three deities.

Sigmans believe in an afterlife and see it as a time first of resting from the physical life, then learning so that their soul can evolve further, then as a place of preparation for reincarnating into another physical life. They believe in karmic debt and are always aware of the need not to burden their soul with more karma by causing harm without making reparation.

They are accepting and tolerant of the beliefs of the many other races living and working on Sigma Prime, and many differing places of religious practice are to be found. The only religious practices they forbid, are any that demand violence and intolerance from their followers.

Sociology

Being such a diverse world, Sigmans are used to mixing with others of many races. This has made them tolerant and accepting of people’s differences. Sigma is governed by an elected head of state called a Reislan, which is very much like a President. The Reislan governs for five years before another election is held. The current Reislan is not allowed to govern for a further term, but the newly appointed Reislan can if they wish, make him one of their team of advisors. Matters concerning Sigma society as a whole, is decided by referendum, and all citizens over the age of twelve are expected to vote. Peaceful protests are allowed, but any violence at such events results in a swift and decisive response.

Being a member of the Inter-Galactic Union and a signee of the Inter-Galactic Treaty, means that law and order on Sigma are dealt with by the Inter-Galactic Law Enforcement Agency. Capital punishment is available when necessary but it is only used for the very worst of serial murderers.

Hard work is seen as a mark of an honourable person, and even if that work be mundane rather than a high flying career, workers are treated well, paid well, and give ample time off.  Unemployment is not too much of a problem on Sigma at this time, but those that cannot work, through illness lack of necessary skills or ability, are given financial help via a social care fund.

Sigman parents are loving and devoted to their children and women often choose to stay at home to raise them. If a child loses both its parents, it is cared for by relatives or in an orphanage if no other relatives are available or able to care for it. When adult, the child can choose to adopt another set of parents, if a family asks them to consider them as adoptive parents. Always it is the child who adopts the parents, not the other way around.

Sigmans are a friendly, tolerant, and honest people who will give you their friendship quickly and enjoy receiving yours in return. They are easy to love, fun to be around, truthful always, and will quickly become your best friends. They are beautiful, sexy, and loving when committed to you.

They are just like us, but better than us.

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