Hypothetical Biochemistry question...

FaranguFarangu I am a beardy manWith a beardy planRegistered User regular
So I'm creating a scenario for my RL RPG group using the Night's Black Agents rules, which for those who haven't heard of it before, pits the player group of secret agents against a vampire conspiracy. My vampires, I've decided, are alien in nature - the original aliens briefly visited Earth a few decades ago and infected a number of humans with vampirism, and then ordered them to construct a habitat on Earth from which they can conquer the planet.

My issue comes from the fact that I don't really have much clues on how to build out the conspiracy so that it can get the materials they need, considering that non-carbon based life forms will operate almost completely differently on Earth! A quick perusal of le Google says that a leading hypothetical alternative to carbon is a silicon based lifeform, Crystalline Entity-style, which interests me because apparently Earth has relatively high amounts of silicon compared to carbon. But then the discussion breaks down into molecule variety and lack of solvents and other things that are over my head.

So what I'm looking for: If silicon-based life forms wanted to set up shop here on Earth, what kind of materials would they need to have their cat's paws appropriate? Is there a cooler, more out-there alternative than silicon-based life, and if so what would THEY need? This is just for a game, so pseudo-science and conjecture are totally fine here!

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  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    Aliens of any kind need a couple of things: One sustenance and Two a habitat able to sustain them, which includes mainly atmosphere and climate.

    and then there's the issue of pathogens - are aliens of a different life-form susceptible to our virii and fungi and bacteria - because they have no anti-bodies, or not? (generally the theory is that a carbon-based virus shouldn't be able to attack silicon-based lifeforms, since everything is different, atleast until something mutates.)

    so your question is: What do your aliens need from earth.

    The general idea for vampires though is cattle - They need food, so you could have the vampires inject some kind of alien fungi or bacterua - into the blood stream of people, so that it can mutate enough to gestate in humans, and make them suitable as a source of food. because obviously it is also a cure for cancer, but when successful also turns them into drones of alien spores - ready to be harvested.

    Why go difficult when there's the easy conspiracy - (Why would a cure for cancer be bad?)

    ArbitraryDescriptor
  • Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    Well one of the ways to make soluble silicon polymers involves low temperatures so you could have the aliens nicking industrial cooling equipment and helium to keep the habitat at a pleasant temperature.

    Or you could have them be borane based - explain the vampirism by saying they/their young/their technology need to occupy the anaerobic interior of humans due to the rich of exploding in the oxygen rich atmosphere of earth. Boron is rare so they'd need to steal it to construct a biosphere habitat (including odd things like industrial catalysts and jet fuel initiators). Would also explain why vampires would die and explode when staked - you're introducing oxygen into the explosive polyborane 'things' inside them.

    ArbitraryDescriptor
  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    @Dis' I like the boron angle - the progenitor aliens are creating hybrid creatures to serve them, which happen to act just like vampires.

    Thanks for the idea!

  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    Farangu wrote: »
    So I'm creating a scenario for my RL RPG group using the Night's Black Agents rules, which for those who haven't heard of it before, pits the player group of secret agents against a vampire conspiracy. My vampires, I've decided, are alien in nature - the original aliens briefly visited Earth a few decades ago and infected a number of humans with vampirism, and then ordered them to construct a habitat on Earth from which they can conquer the planet.

    My issue comes from the fact that I don't really have much clues on how to build out the conspiracy so that it can get the materials they need, considering that non-carbon based life forms will operate almost completely differently on Earth! A quick perusal of le Google says that a leading hypothetical alternative to carbon is a silicon based lifeform, Crystalline Entity-style, which interests me because apparently Earth has relatively high amounts of silicon compared to carbon. But then the discussion breaks down into molecule variety and lack of solvents and other things that are over my head.

    So what I'm looking for: If silicon-based life forms wanted to set up shop here on Earth, what kind of materials would they need to have their cat's paws appropriate? Is there a cooler, more out-there alternative than silicon-based life, and if so what would THEY need? This is just for a game, so pseudo-science and conjecture are totally fine here!

    Just curious...why do they have to be non-carbon based? Your making your science more muddy by saying you basically have a silicon based parasite infesting a carbon based lifeform.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
  • FaranguFarangu I am a beardy man With a beardy planRegistered User regular
    I wasn't thinking so much that the aliens infested human bodies, more that they transmogrified them to be better servants, and the closest analogue humanity has to what they are now is vampires. Messing with their carbon-based makeup gives the vampires more incentive to get a habitat up and running.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    The Mimics from All You Need Is Kill are basically the sort of concept you're thinking of.
    The back story is that an alien terraformation probe lands on Earth, and modifies starfish into biological terraformers. In addition to being tough as nails and hard to kill, their biological processes have been worked to process the environment to something the aliens would be comfortable in (and which is incredibly toxic to humans.)

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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