Emperor Mollusk Month!! continues…
Last post, I wrote about how much I want people to take Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain seriously. And I’m not going to repeat myself too often on that, but I am going to remind you, my loyal fans. I realize I have a reputation as a funny writer, and I’m okay with that. But if you could do me a tiny favor and refrain from mentioning that as the first adjective you attach to my work, it’d sure be appreciated. You can still put “funny” on the list. Just maybe second or third. Basically, it’d be nice if someone picked up my book without assuming, even accidentally, that I am a goofy writer. Sure, they’ll probably come to that conclusion on their own, but I’d like them to go in at least a little unbiased.
I know that’s a little obnoxious to ask that of my fans. But I’m asking it anyway because it’d sure mean a heck of a lot to me. Though if you buy and / or talk about my books to your friends, I can’t complain. So feel free to ignore me, if you wish.
Today, we’re going to talk about Emperor Mollusk’s universe.
Emperor calls the Sol System home. It’s the same basic system of nine planets. (Yes, Pluto is still a planet in this story because its natives refuse to be reclassified.) The big difference is that EVERY planet is inhabited. As is the sun itself. Here’s a brief rundown on the planets and their natives:
Mercury: Mercury is home to a race of metallic beings. Due to their proximity to Sol, they have adapted to an environment of great heat. Without it, Mercurial life forms begin to freeze. Outside of their own world, the Mercurials would be unmistakable from modern art sculptures. In an environment like our earth, they would quickly become brittle and shatter. The Mercurial environment is so inhospitable to other life forms and the Mercurials are so unsuited to other worlds, they remained isolated through most of their history. When they were technologically able to finally leave their world, they discovered themselves to be the latecomers. Rather than attempt to become part of the system, they decided to withdraw to Mercury. They still have limited interactions with the rest of the system, but for the most part, they remain ignored and ignore the other civilizations in return.
Mercurials communicate via high frequency vibration. These vibrations can have psychedelic and unpredictable results on other life forms unless precautions are taken. Experiments have shown that the effect varies not just by species, but by individual. It can trigger anything from docility to rage and anything and everything in-between. It’s another reason the Mercurials don’t have much to do with the other civilizations.
Emperor Mollusk stole some Mercurial communications technology, which he adapted and used as part of his conquest of Terra. The technology proved not quite as helpful as Emperor originally hoped, but the Mercurials have never forgiven him. He is currently Mercury’s most wanted criminal.
Venus: The Venusians are a race of humanoid reptilians. They have feathers that run from the top of their head down their spines. And they are the only intelligent race in the system that still has tails. The bulk of Venusian society is built on honor codes and martial prowess. They are not an innately matriarchal society, but because females live generally twice as long as males, power tends to rest in the hands of a few long-lived females. The Venusian Queen is a hereditary and government role, though she is something of a figurehead at this point. Though Venusians enjoy combat and honor, they aren’t especially aggressive with the other races of the system. (Unlike the Saturnites.)
Venus is noteworthy for having thirteen gods, all of whom actually exist. Whether they are powerful alien entities or actual gods is up for debate, but their existence is a fact. Though these beings have incredible power (perhaps supernatural, perhaps psychic or of unmatched technological development), they aren’t prone to helping the Venusians in their struggles. In fact, the only life forms the gods of Venus seem to bother smiting and attacking are the Venusians themselves. The Venusians seem not to mind this. They’ve gotten used to it.
Emperor Mollusk briefly controlled a few continents on Venus. They eventually drove him off, but not until after he’d accidentally fed their queen to giant beetles. Though he apologized, he remains Venus’s most wanted criminal.
Terra: Though you know it as Earth, the inhabitants of Emperor’s universe call it Terra. It is a diverse world of many different civilizations, some old, some new, and has a long and renowned history of improbably repelling alien invaders. Because it is the setting of the story, it deserves its own entry and will be getting one later.
Oh, and they really like Emperor Mollusk here. A whole heck of a lot.
Mars: Home to the most ancient civilization, the Martians aren’t really important to our story. Sufficient to say that, for reasons to complicated to get into, Emperor Mollusk is Mar’s fourth most wanted criminal. Which he actually considers a hopeful sign.
Jupiter: A big planet with a diverse biosphere, the Jupitorns that call it home are a race of highly evolved insectoids. They are most renown for their adaptability and rapid evolution. During their brief war with the Saturnites, Jupiter had several advanced radioactive weapons dropped on the planet. Instead of killing them, the Jupitorn gift for adaptation went into overdrive. They are a constantly changing race and within the space of a few generations, they can end up looking radically different. Recently, they have begun intentionally taking advantage of this diversity to specifically breed certain characteristics among different castes. This is not liked by all Jupitorns and will most likely lead to civil war eventually.
Currently, the “average” Jupitorn stands between six and nine feet tall, has two to four arms. Wings are a new development, though only the political class is allowed to breed for them. Jupitorns are notriously strong, coming from a high gravity world. They are a peaceful people, more or less, though the warrior caste breeding program has begun favoring bold aggression, which will probably cause that civil war thing mentioned previously.
Saturn: Hands down, the most aggressive civilization of the Sol System, the Saturnites are a race of rock creatures. They have waged wars among themselves since recorded time and continue to do so. They really only put aside their differences when going to war against other worlds or defending themselves. Though they could be a major threat to the peace of the system, the other races have spies, saboteurs, and other agents who make sure to sow conflict whenever it looks like the Saturnites are getting too organized. It’s not hard to do.
Shortly after Emperor Mollusk conqured Terra, the Saturnites launched their own invasion on what they thought would be a vulnerable world. The war was brief but brutal. And in the end, Emperor committed his worst crime against the system to end it. He doesn’t like to talk about it.
Yes, the Saturnites want Emperor dead. No, they don’t do anything about it because they are that afraid of him.
Uranus: A forest world, Uranus has no none flora life forms. The Uranacs are a highly evolved form of creeping vine. They have little use for space travel, though they do have open trade with the rest of the system. The Uranacs are intelligent, contemplative, and very peaceful. Though they are technically vulnerable to invasion from the more advanced and war-like species of the system, they have cultivated enough allies that no one wants to risk attacking them.
The Uranacs are a forgiving and graceful race, and they don’t like to bring up past slights. But if Emperor Mollusk was brought to them in chains, they wouldn’t mind feeding him to one of their indigenous carnivores. They usually won’t say more than that.
Neptune: The Neptunons are a race of superintelligent cepholapods that call this planet home. Their brains evolved very quickly, so they are decades and centuries ahead in terms of technology compared to the other races of the system. Neptunons spend much of their time plugged into robotic exoskeletons to allow them to overcome their small, squishy bodies. Neptunon society values learning and science above all. However, they are less interested in practical application of that science than in discovery so while they are the most advanced race in the system, most of these advances are on paper and never actually been put to any practical use. The entire planet is sealed behind a worldwide forcefield to discourage visitors while the Neptunons explore the secrets of the universe.
Emperor Mollusk found this disconcerting at a very young age. It isn’t unusual for youthful Neptunons to indulge their passions for superscience in unseemly ways, but Emperor never outgrew it. When he was old enough, he attempted to conquer the planet. Interestingly enough, crime is virtually unheard of on Neptune, but what little crime there is tends to be of the world-conquering variety. His attempt failed and was chalked up to youthful exuberance. However, after his second attempt, the authorities were less forgiving. On his third attempt, it became clear that Emperor was going to be a problem, so they banished him, sending him out in the universe to be someone else’s problem. Actually, everyone else’s problem.
He is very much NOT wanted on Neptune, thank you very much.
Pluto: Pluvians. Nice. Polite. Pretty dull. They do make a good pizza though. (What? You didn’t think that was a terrestrial recipe, did you?)
Luna: Terra’s moon is home to an odd race of creates known as the Lunans. Diplomacy between Terra and Luna was strained for many years, after the Lunans accidentally ate Neil Armstrong. Emperor smoothed out that misunderstanding and helped Luna become the terrestrial suburb world it has grown into.
Sol: The sun is home to a civilization of sentient helium clouds. The most alien life forms, they communicate via light flashes and the color spectrum. Sol is unique in that Emperor Mollusk hasn’t done anything to get the natives mad at him yet. But give him time.
There you have it. Just some background. Most if it is actually irrelevant to Emperor Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain, but serious writers build worlds. So I can do that too. Plus, now when the story mentions the Sol Collective, you’ll know what it’s talking about. And won’t that be keen?
Thanks for reading. Next time, we’ll discuss Terra itself, a world of boundless mysteries and lost civilizations and current home to the system’s number one retired supervillain.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,