COMPOSITE SYMBIOTIC ENTITIES

Jupiterians are not like us, they tell us, and say that they are "composite symbiotic entities", which is when a
colony or cluster of different creatures join as a Common Being. Much like a city.

In fact, to find nominology for the different degrees of cluster- entities, the Jupiterians have described themselves as we do governmental units: smallest and least organized entities are a "Colony", moving up to a "Community", "Town", a "City", a "State", and the epitome of intelligent complexity and size, a "Nation".

"Sender" is a Nation--what we would define as a Superpower Nation, among perhaps 25 others. "He" is neither the largest or the most powerful of them, he tells us, but simply the one who took it upon himself to contact us.
But what IS a composite symbiotic entity? How does it work? Imagine if we humans were composed of loose parts and could simply change arms and legs and heads as we wished. Imagine further that those parts were in fact separately conscious beings that could also jump ship if they so wished. Imagine that all the cells in our bodies were interchangeable with other bodies, just as we move to another city where there are better jobs. Then imagine that even your brain cells were able to come and go- -with your ability to think and your memories as baggage--or that you could upgrade your brain by putting in more RAM and ROM from the brain cells of someone else. Getting the picture?

Now imagine a creature so vast that it is like a planet, and start plugging in billions and billions of tiny other creatures with specialized functions, and wiring it all together with a neural-plexus creature so that it functions as one intelligent entity, with one Mind, and you have a Jupiterian.

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They have no war, but with that kind of love, who needs it? Their matings can fulfill the same function: kill and destroy.
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The Nations do, however, have an enemy: parasitic carnivores we shall call Lokust--relatively tiny (about the size of one of our larger Space Liners) which attack in swarms as do Earth locusts, gluttonously consuming everything in their path. They fly into the very innards of the victim Nation and eat the symbiotes working there, which can be disasterous for the Entity configuration. Nations have defense systems against larger predators, but the Lokusts are too small too fast and too many to be stopped.
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Common Being

Although the concept of apparently individual creatures being composed of colonies seems quite alien, they do exist on Earth as well: several forms of Jellyfish, specifically the Portuguese Man-of-War, are exactly that. In fact, Jupiterian life forms quite resemble the phylum Coelenterata: Jellyfish, Corals and Anemones; many of which live in the deepest parts of Earth's ocean where physical conditions resemble somewhat those in Jupiter's AtmoSea.
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