The following article was written by Alexander Lindholm as an entry to the Alien August competition.
Home world: Nabrindor
Population: approximately 200,000
Bipedal with a slouched humanoid figure, the Astrins stand around 5ft tall and weigh on average 9 to 12 stone. Due to damage to their home world’s ozone layer, most live underground in huge structures that were first built as shelters against foreign invasion. Living underground, the Astrins are exposed to very small amounts of light (the poor are not permitted to see light and as a result are normally blind).
Their bodies are covered in thin layers of a white fur like material. Underneath the fur their skin is white. The Astrins have four eyes stacked in twos with the largest at the top and smallest at the bottom. Closely bellow their eyes is a koala-like flat nose, which is usually black (like their eyes) or a variant hue of grey or brown. Their mouths are very hard to see, as they are usually small and the lips are indistinct from the rest of their faces, and are similar to that of a human mouth. Being omnivores, Astrins have smaller pointed teeth to the front, and larger molar teeth at the back. Their tongues are relatively normal, albeit smaller than humans.
From the back of their heads, to the smalls of their backs, runs a ridge (almost a fin) that is used to detect chemical changes in water, as well as temperature.
Being most similar to amphibians, although not surviving long underwater, they are usually slimy and have webbed feet and hands. It is necessary for them to remain in shallow pools (for the poorer) or live with sprinkler systems (for the richer).
Unusually there are three genders. One acts as a male, fertilising an egg inside the female. The third acts as a surrogate. Gender type dubbed ‘surro’. The surros are then impregnated by the females and carry the child until birth. The surro evolved out of females and are a lot more suitable to give birth as they have more flexible pelvises and a higher resistance to pain. They have all but died off as they have been replaced by IVF (in vitro fertilisation). Due to government decree, all children must be born under strict control to regulate population. Only the upper classes are allowed to breed more than twice.
The Astrins are governed by a small oppressive regime, consisting of around 200 members. They are usually a lot richer and very corrupt, using genetically enhanced Astrin soldiers to keep the ‘middle wealth’ in check. They do not deal regularly with the poor, as most lower class Astrins are blind due to generations without light. The rich are considered those with the most offspring, water and food. There is a complete lack of money and services are exchanged for goods. The government allocates jobs to the poor (work is mandatory) whereas there is a little more freedom for the richer. Most lower class jobs include some form of waste disposal, cleaning or a form of farming. The upper class jobs include product selling and other secondary jobs. Tertiary jobs are almost non-existent, as the services are provided by the government.
Criminals are usually exiled to the ‘scorch zone’. This is the area above ground, where very little lives. There the criminals suffer from terrible burns from the sunlight that comes more concentrated through the holes in the ozone. Most survive 3 days before a gruesome death.
Televisions and radios exist, though they are no longer produced. Though the quality is terrible and there is only six channels, all government broadcasts and all are some form of propaganda. Most technology information regarding weaponry is undisclosed. But at an estimate the weapon technology level is considered more powerful if not equal to that of human weaponry. Any form of firearm is forbidden to the populous. Only soldiers carry lethal weaponry, however military service has only been limited to internal security as there has been no wars for over 200 years.
(Note that the year 1 began exactly 1 year after the Astrins retreated underground due to the destruction of the ozone layer. All records of before year 1 have been lost.)
1 – First year of isolated living
59 – Last contact with civilisations above ground
64 – Fighting begins known as ‘The Riot wars’
72 – The government finally exiles remaining insurgents
99 – Economy collapses
125 – Production of luxury goods ends
194 – Rich separated from poor
233 – Government attempts to establish a colony above ground
241 – Colony lost
250 – Expansion of living areas
270 – Population almost too much for the living space
273 – Government regulation of offspring begins
290 – Current year
The only legal language to be spoken or written is called Ditriic. It is most similar to Arabic in its vocabulary but there are a lot of words that do not resemble anything human. The alphabet is also constructed and bears a resemblance to runes.
Basic pronouns and conjugation is as follows
Ha, Ho and De- he, she and it
Wi- inclusive we (if you are unclear with why I am using two words for We, google search ‘clusivity’)
Para is a plural you
Det- they and refers to both masc and fem
Now the conjugation for the present tense (indicative)
The verbs all end in either al,ol or ul
Here are some proto verbs: Natol- to have
And the other essential verb is: aral- to be
To conjugate, one must remove the last two letters and add the appropriate ending
And so on.
These are the same as I am, you are and she/he/it is. Now you may have noticed to you cannot have two vowels next to eachother and instead of being Sa aray (I am) it just simply becomes s’aray.
(There’s more to the language, but I ran out of word count)
This article was written by Alexander Lindholm as an entry to the Alien August competition 2015.