The BioDome (storyline)
The Biological Preserve or "BioDome" is one of the last remaining zones on Delta V that retain its original natural beauty. Before Baelius' corporation, Interstellar Benchmarks, finally established an industrial presence on the planet's surface, Delta V was a lush, densely forested planet with several indigenous species who lived in harmony within the diverse ecosystem and worked to maintain and preserve the beauty of their green world.
The operation to claim Delta V was devastating to the native cultures inhabiting the Varium rich planet. Most were wiped out; others went into hiding but were quickly flushed out and exterminated. This was genocide on a global scale.
After the initial purge, some of Baelius’ constituents asked, out of guilt, that they preserve some of Delta V’s forested regions in case reconstitution of the ecology of the planet was made difficult because of strip-mining. In an attempt to appease the board members of Interstellar Benchmarks, Baelius cordoned off three zones on different continents to be kept intact with as little mining as possible. He even went so far as to erect enormous domes to protect specific areas within these preserved zones.
The domes were known as Biological Preserves and were heavily guarded to prevent independent strip-mining operations from and stripping them of life. On the surface, it would appear that Baelius’ intentions were benevolent and environmentally conscious. In truth, the purpose for these domes was much more devious.
One of the strange occurrences during the initial scouting and invasion of Delta V could only be described as a bizarre form of mind control which turned many of Baelius’ soldiers and researchers into zealots whose new agenda was to defend the planet at all costs. Questions arose as to how these human men and women were being turned against Baelius and his organization but no one of merit uncovered any reasonable answers. The final decision was to bombard the key hubs of insurrection from space. The damage was catastrophic but it appeared to wipe out the turncoat conspirators and whatever force was controlling their minds.
After the incident, Baelius became very interested in discovering what had caused his people to turn against him. Convinced that some species of plant or animal secreted a spore or bacteria that caused some type of bizarre cerebral mutation, he went to great lengths to reproduce the spectrum of life that grew in the areas he had previously bombarded. He even went so far as to place some of the last remaining intelligent, indigenous species in charge of maintaining the Biological Preserves where his research would be done.
Over time, the Preserves became overrun with nature and the guards he had posted there started to exhibit the same symptoms of mind control that Baelius had witnessed during the invasion of Delta V. They became aggressive and untrusting, protecting the Preserves with vigorous tenacity against anyone, no matter their reasoning for approaching. It was clear that these secret research locations had been retaken by the bizarre forces of life bound to the planet.
Eventually, Bealius lost all interest in organic life and gave up on the Biological Preserves. When he began the first phases of his “Efficiency Solution” it was his intent to destroy the Preserves. Then the War broke out and Baelius’ forces had to be focused on defending the Citadel, but not before he managed to demolish two of the three Preserves with charges similar to those used during the bombardment of the planet.
Still, the final Preserve in the south remained. Dubbed “The BioDome”, it stood all through the War and appeared to suffer no ill effects as a result of the fighting. In fact, life in and around that zone has spread almost out of control since no one dares to disturb the forest out of fear. Strange creatures now live there, possibly the result of Baelius’ research and the BioGuards who protect the dome are less aggressive now than they were before the War. They appear to be more concerned with maintaining the ecological balance within the BioDome than with any travelers who wish to sate their curiosity by visiting the lush forests there.
One of the last living indigenous inhabitants of Delta V resides there, as well. Xraal, an unusual quadruped, still operates in the BioDome, working with the BioGuards to maintain the natural order of Delta V’s best chance for renewal. It is said that Xraal is more than just a custodian but also something of an archivist. Some travelers have spun stories about a stairwell in the forest that leads down beneath the fern covered ground into dark hollows pulsing with dull blue light. Whether or not this is a drunken rumor is up for discussion, but if there is such a stairwell then one must wonder what secrets are beneath the BioDome and is Xraal the last living being with the answers to these mysteries?
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