The Midnight Planet
|The Alpha Isles
The "Midnight" Planet
The "Midnight" planet is an uninhabited but life-rich planet that orbits a star with large and unusual energy output. The planet is notable for its extraordinarily long, yet finite, night time, which lasts 3.1 standard weeks. The planet's magnetosphere is particularly strong, capturing highly-energized microscopic dilithium dust in layers which cause serious problems for navigation and flight control of starships and shuttles alike. Despite these features, the planet surface remains comfortably warm throughout the night, and supports a vast jungle ecosystem covering 85% of the planet's surface. Surface water is available, but limited. Much of the ground water is stagnate, and significant water is deposited in bromeliad analogues and other air plants. Some streams and rivers exist, but are scarce in most areas with only a few rocky outcrops of high ground. Most water is held in plants or the atmosphere.
Class M Planets
Class M planets are typically about the mass of Earth and are in their sun's habitable zone. Their atmospheres contain significant oxygen, liquid water is a significant surface feature, and lifeforms are generally abundant. With more water they would be class N.
- Type: Terrestrial (Minshara Class)
- Age: 3 - 10 billion years
- Diameter: 10,000 - 15,000 km
- Location: Ecosphere
- Surface: Surface water abundant; if water or ice covers more than 80% of surface, planet is considered Class O or Class P
- Atmosphere: Nitrogen, oxygen, trace elements
- Evolution: n.a.
- Life-Forms: Extensive vegetation, animal life, humanoids
- Examples: Earth, Vulcan, Cardassia Prime
Flora and Fauna
The midnight planet plays host to a massive quantity and diversity of flora and fauna. The midnight planet is also notable for the evolution of bioluminescence on a massive scale. Even during the darkest part of night, the vast majority of the jungle is filled with a dazzling variety of different colors and intensity of light - ranging from near infrared into the ultraviolet. Many creatures apparently use these lights to communicate, though no sophisticated language has been observed in any of the animals.
With the long day and night cycles, daytime and nighttime are more akin to entire seasons on other planets, rather than the usual cycle of life.
The primary emitter of light appears to be various species of fungus. During the day, most traditional trees and shrubs grow incredibly quickly with the all-day sun, but then die at night. Within hours, different species of fungus have taken over and begun the decomposition of the dead plant material, creating a rich bed of dirt for the next generation of plant life to grow in. There are many different species of fungus, feeding off of different kinds of plants and dead animals or growing in wetter or dryer regions of the jungle. The fungus spreads quite aggressively, and can easily infect wounds.
Some plants don't die during the night time, analogous to Earth perennials and conifers, and are resistant to the fungus. These play host to myriad other plants like orchids, bromeliads, and much more - often sporting their own intricate coloration and light patterns.
The Zelph are a highly intelligent non-sentient bipedal species. They appear to have a particularly sophisticated use of lights for communication, and are also capable of making themselves completely invisible to the naked eye.
The Fungaluffagus is a large, segmented insectoid creature in appearance, with soft claw-like appendages. Its wings buzz like a dragonfly's rather than flap like a bird's. Instead of a head, the fungaluffagus posses a large, fungous mass, pulsing violet and ultraviolet. It doesn't seem to have eyes, but can apparently still see, and has antennae-like appendages sprouted from where the creature’s neck should be, used for echolocation and/or tasting. The fungaluffagus is a symbiotic fungaloid-arthropod species, using a special enzyme to allow its animal and fungus parts to cooperate.
The Fungaluffagus does not live densely packed, and must rely on light-based signals to broadcast messages to other individuals over long distances. The fungaluffagus appears to have a particularly strong mating instinct that apparently overrides many other concerns, and is especially drawn to the lights of a tricorder when place in diagnostic mode. The fungaluffagus deposits a large chrysalis containing many young - likely the babies stay safe in this structure and develop during the long day, the spawn at night to feed and mate again.
There's a distantly related species to the Fungaluffagus whose body composition is much less fungus, and light coloration is primarily blue/cerulean. This species flocks together, rather than living solitary lives, and emits a wave-like light pattern through the flock as a warning/danger signal.
- Crocodilian analogue
- Wolf analogue
- Carnivorous vines