The assignment was to create two creatures (prey and predator) that’s native to a given environment. I, by the luck of the draw (and slightly by choice), got Tokyo… How do I create a prey and a predator creature that are native to a one of the most advanced and densely populated city?!?! After some thinking and research, I concocted a following story. Here is the gist of it:
Setting: Slightly dystopian
Problem: Aging population of Japan (i.e. people are not having enough kids and younger population is shrinking) creates shortage in labor force and Japan’s social/economic structure is at the verge of collapse.
Solution: A bio genetic company has created a creature that’s a hybrid between a primate and a sea slug (Elysia chlorotica). One of the unique properties of the sea slug is that after consuming algae, they can perform photosynthesis and survive on sunlight alone for months at a time. By genetically fusing and modifying the genes, people were able to mass produce a new spicy, “Man’s new best friend”, that can support and sustain the collapsing culture.
+The new spicy needed very little to sustain. They just needed to be fed every few months and the rest of the nutrients were supplied by sunlight.
+Their similarity in anatomical structure with humans allowed them to integrate with human easily.
+ They were modified to suppress any aggression and showed natural affinity towards human. They became man’s new best friend. They were like an obedient pet dog except smarter and more useful to human.
The picture above is the imagined progression of the merging process. The first 3 are proto types and the generation 4 is the production version.
The prey animal:
The 4th production version is the prey in this story. They were fully integrated in the society. They served as cheap labor at farms. They performed simple household duties (cleaning, feeding babies, helping disabled or elderly, etc.) And some cases, they were served as fire fighter helpers. They are called Himawari (sunflower in Japanese) since they can move their leaf-like membrane tissue on their head to maximize the sun energy.
The predators are non other then 3rd generation of Himawaris. They are much more aggressive, unruly and stronger then 4th generation. Also their ability to utilize the sunlight was inefficient. The company felt that they are not safe to be released to public. However, animal rights activists (deceived by a competing robotic company) helped 50 of 3rd generation Himawaris to escape the facility. They eventually grew in number. Since their ability to process the sunlight was not optimal, they started to kidnap, attack and consume 4th generation of Himawaris for survival…
Now, all I have to do is convince a movie studio that this is the best creature design ever and have them make this into a movie…