The World of Serina





Serina
is an ongoing world-building exercise and speculative evolution project that explores the natural history of a fictional terraformed world populated by only a handful of organisms including grasses, sunflowers, ants, crickets, guppies, and -  most notably of all - a single land vertebrate: the domestic canary. Our journey to this strange world will take us from the very beginning and then progress steadily along though the eons as the world's newly introduced life adapts to and evolves to suit it's strange, new and ever-changing environment.

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An Introduction to The World of Birds

Light years away, far beyond our little blue gem in the cosmos, there exists another solar system almost identical to our own. Surrounding a yellow dwarf star that could have been a mirror image to that which we owe our own existence to, eleven planets spin about in an eternal loop. Remarkably alike our own, the system and its ring of planets soon became known as "The Twin" after its discovery, our cosmic doppelganger of the heavens. Some of these planets were very similar to our own, too, like the little red gem we'd come to call Ferna, a small body very alike mercury and equally near to the sun, its rocky crusts similarly molten and thousands of degrees above the humanly tolerable. Some planets, however, were giants. The third-most planet from the sun here was not a little rocky one but a gaseous giant. We called it Umbius, and at over one thousand times the size of Earth it gleaned quite a parallel to Jupiter, save for its brilliant turquoise color. But unlike Jupiter, Umbius was far closer to the center of its solar system, right within the hypothetical goldilocks zone. Unfortunately, it wasn't suitable for life, we determined, when we first discovered it in the looking glass of our telescopes in the 23rd century. Umbius was an eternally violent body where land could never be found. There were far better candidates for life in the cosmos. The "Twin" was charted, described, and soon forgotten. None of the planets in the system seemed at first glance to be what we had wanted in our own growing quest to explore the heavens, and in search of more promising new worlds, we passed them by.

But to another race in the heavens, the Twin held perfection.

They only called themselves the "Old Ones", and not until many generations after we had discovered the Twin universe would we even learn of their cosmic presence. They were an ancient and mysterious race who long ago had seemingly transcended the limits of evolution and become at one with the universe. Apparently quite benevolent but simply beyond worldly wants and needs, they found us unrelatable and boring, and though we hated to admit it, we found them so beyond us as to be nearly beyond comprehension. Their first contact left us humbled, but as soon as they made themselves known they vanished again, leaving far more questions than answers. They never remained in one place for long - and who would, free to roam without constraint through all of existence without worry of running out of time. With god-like ability, they apparently found great amusement in rearranging it as they saw fit, leaving their mark. In particular, living things amused them. While humans would paint, sculpt, or build great monuments to show his domination over nature and leave a trace of himself to posterity, the Old Ones terraformed celestial bodies, combining lifeforms together in bizzare combinations and under strange conditions. Watching the strange new biospheres take shape brought them reliable wonder. It's hard to estimate how many legacies the Old Ones carefully tended, incubated, and finally released when ready to flourish on their own before moving on and starting the process again; it would surely be impossible to gather and collect all of their exercises in evolution, and for every one we discovered by chance were likely countless more we'd never find. The Old Ones went from world to world throughout all of time and space, building and crafting, watching for a time, and moving on, in apparently endless cycle.

Serina was one of their projects. Like the humans, they too nearly passed by the Twin in their search for their next malleable world. Either too hot, too cold, or too gaseous, not one of this particular solar system's planets seemed perfect for their game... until one day, when they happened to cast a second glance at the majesty of Umbius, the green gas giant, and they took in for the first time each of its fifteen orbiting bodies, a tapestry of moons large and small. Most were small - so small in fact that we humans, hundreds of millions of light-years distant, hadn't even seen but a handful. It made little difference, since most were cold and all but useless, but one was different. It was just a little larger than the rest, rocky and Earth-like. Though dry and barren now it appeared to have at one point been rich in water before an apparent loss of atmosphere stripped it of all its promise. Slightly larger than Mars, it was somewhat denser, with a gravity about three-quarters that of Earth.

It was too perfect an opportunity to pass-up for the Old Ones, a beautiful rocky world close enough to the sun to support life. With nothing but time, they set to work repairing the little world gone awry. Seas were re-established upon the little moon and an atmosphere was re-constructed. To suit an introduction of Earth's creatures, a similar atmosphere was produced with just over 20% oxygen. A magnetic field was restored to the moon, ensuring the atmosphere would not again be stripped away. In producing Serina, they prepared but another stage for another chapter in their cosmic game that had gone on for countless eons. Slipping through all that exists and all that ever was or would be, they were ageless, and they were patient. Their past projects abounded in all of the farthest reaches of the universe - strange worlds home to even stranger creatures. Teleporting and slapping together life from all reaches of existence, they played a game of observation as their creatures adapted to their new worlds. Serina was to be no different.

When the environment seemed ready, they began to bring it to life. It would never again support its own native creatures - time had not been kind to them, if ever the little moon housed its own. But it would again hold a thriving, evolving biosphere. Borrowing a sampling of life from a relatively young world in the cosmos, our own Earth would be the source of its new colonists. They would be conservative here, in comparison to earlier works, but the end results would be no less interesting. After they determined their little biosphere to be healthy and functioning, the Old Ones would step back and admire their work from afar. Presumably, they watched its progress for a time, but we cannot be sure whether they eventually grew bored and moved on, or if they continue to check in. They may be watching us all, beyond our comprehension, like insects under the magnifying glass. We may believe ourselves, as humankind, to have reached the level of the gods, but to they we may well be little more than ants - a curiosity at best. We may well never know all that they can know.

It was so that there upon the little blue moon, left to its own devices for countless millennia, a magnificent new biosphere would take shape.
It was to be a world truly "for the birds" - but not in a bad way.

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© 2017 All material on this website, with the exception of some plant and animal photographs sourced from Wikimedia Commons, is the intellectual property of Dylan Bajda.
Do not use without permission.