Zebra Fry

A holo-vid personality known for her documentaries, where she explores Jørn’s surface and studies the wildlife. She is particularly known for her series where she lived on the planet’s surface for over two months, surviving with little to no outside assistance.

Some of her documentaries have come under heavy criticism, with many experts saying that her vids glorify the realities of life on Jørn’s surface and encourage people to take unnecessary risks.

Fry is a staunch proponent of human expansion on Jørn’s surface.


The psionic ability to communicate ideas and thoughts mind-to-mind.

Before the colonisation of Jørn, human scientists could only theorise about the ability. The study of Jørn fauna, and certain Earth-Jørn hybrids such as the ruc-pard, has allowed them to make great strides in their understanding of telepathy.

Current theories suggest that the telepathic abilities of native fauna are directly linked to their immunity to the Pollen.

Although accepted that telepathy is common amongst Jørn fauna, no evidence of it has been found in humans, and even the possibility is derided in scientific circles.


Fink flipped his thick, hairless tail, letting it land with a solid thwack on the deck not two feet from the tips of the woman’s shoes.

The Lamb stopped, her gaze locked on Fink.

It was hard to tell which characteristic people found most intimidating about him. It could have been the teeth, the claws, his sheer six-legged bulk or it could have been the reputation, the stigma of a species mixed in a lab by not just a crackpot but The Crackpot, by Woolsey.

…No one else would have thought to mix a little bit of rat with a little bit of leopard and a whole lot of rucnart to create something big and strong and scary enough to walk the surface with impunity.


Classification: Heavy strider.
Specialisation(s): Exploration.
Breeding Status: Retired from the program. Breeding successfully in the wild.

Weight: 600-800kg
Height (at shoulder): 1.4-1.9m
Length (nose to tip): 2.8-3.9m
Genetic combination: Rat (Terran), leopard (Terran), rucnart (Jørn)

More info

Arguably the most famous of Dr Augusta Woolsey’s creations, ruc-pards (‘pards) are among the more distinctive Earth–Jørn hybrids, with six legs, a leopard-like body and rat-like forequarters, head and tail. Although huge in comparison to other companions (with the exceptions of the roomal and slale-bear) fully-grown ‘pards still cannot match the size of their native Jøran cousins, the rucnarts.

Known for the ferocity and hardiness, ‘pards are capable of taking on all but the largest of Jørn’s indigenous species.
Today, the ferocity and intelligence that made them so valuable to early explorers has become a liability in the closer environments of the cities. Coupled with a fearsome reputation and the stigma attached to all of Dr Woolsey’s creations, their popularity as companions has declined and they are rarely seen outside of the Farm.

Ruc-pards are one of the few Earth–Jørn hybrids that thrive in the wild, and the Farm keeps track of over thirty-eight packs scattered across the globe.



Classification: Avian (large-size).
Gene Bank Status: Limited genetic samples available.

Weight: 4-6kg
Height (at shoulder): 23-42cm
Length (nose to tip): 66-102cm
Wingspan: 1.8-2.3m

More info

A large avian, native to Jørn.

Commonly found in areas inhabited by a group of rucnarts, with whom they appear to have established a mutually beneficial relationship. Much of the habits and lifecycle of qwans remains a mystery, as they continue to elude the efforts of scientists and enthusiasts alike, to study them.

The Pollen

Angus, the boy on the other side of Hero, interrupted. “How did the colonists know the cities would be safe?”

“They performed tests, which showed that the Pollen was confined to the lower levels of the atmosphere.” Mr Lee’s brows rose and fell with each word and his grin almost split his face when he pointed to Tis. “Yes, Ms Wolfe?”

“Is it true that it rots your brain?”

“Not exactly. Although it has a similar effect, the Pollen colonises the brain, to what end our scientists haven’t been able to tell, but they do suspect that it gives the native wildlife their telepathic abilities.”

The Pollen is an airborne microbe that permeates Jørn’s atmosphere. The atmosphere becomes more saturated the deeper in you travel. At the height the human cities are maintained, microbe saturation is minimal and poses no immediate danger to humans.


Although research suggests the Pollen is what gives the Jørn wildlife their telepathic abilities, the exact mechanics are not understood.

Old Terra

She wished she could be like that, big and strong and scary instead of just strange and small and “special”. Old Terra, how she hated being “special”.

‘Old Terra’ is not commonly used is polite conversation, but is an accepted expression of either frustration or gratitude, depending upon the context.

The use of ‘Old Terra’ as an oath/curse stems from nostalgia among the first generation colonists, who often missed the comforts and familiarity of Earth. After the discovery of the Pollen, and its toxic effect on Earth-born flora and fauna, the oath became imbued with the anger and sadness of the population.

The colonists were angry because the Terrestrial Expansion Division’s (TED) surveys had somehow missed, or ignored, the danger represented by the Pollen, and sad because so many died because of it.

The Nets

With a few adjustments, and the addition of a little program she’d grown just for the occasion, she’d set the house’s AI to scouring not just the scattered sub-nets, but the prime-net as well…

Computer networking is segregated into a variety of networks, each with varying levels of access.

Everyone has access to the prime-net. It is the primary method for mass communication and includes access to the Planetary Library as well as news and mass media, with most household entertainment units using it to access content.

Data on the prime-net is heavily sanatised, with household and especially grown social AIs, regularly scouring it for data about their householders/owners. Unflattering data is often scrubbed and replaced.

Connected to the prime-nets, the sub-nets are access-restricted. Although most allow anyone to read them, very few allow unregistered individuals to alter data. Sub-nets most often belong to corporations, government bodies and community organisations.

The Planetary Library is Jørn’s largest sub-net.


Lazy images, carried on the distinct pink and mawberry flavour of Fink’s thoughts, swam through her mind.

Genetic combination: Strawberry (Terran), maultrin (Jørn)

A bright pink berry, approximately the same size as a small Old Earth apple. The mawberry is known for its sweet flavour, crunchy flesh and the sparkling (sometimes described as popping) sensation it makes when eaten.

Counted among the most successful of the first-gen plant hybrids, it’s a favourite at festive occasions and is popular both raw and in cooking, notably in cakes and tarts.


…to a girl with a linch-adder wrapped around her neck.

The ‘adder was easily the length of Hero’s arm, its breast covered in purple feathers that tapered into the yellow scales of its belly and a long, sinuous tail; it mantled its green wings and hissed at the sight of Fink.


Classification: Midi-flyer (short-distance Rocketeer).
Specialisation(s): Scout.
Breeding Status: On the program. Licenses for external breeding available.

Weight: 3-5kg
Height (at shoulder): 35-50cm
Length (nose to tip): 90-110cm
Wingspan: 100-130cm
Genetic combination: Adder (Terran), finch (Terran), linkal (Jørn)

More info

The linch-adder, or ‘adder, is a mid-sized flyer first engineered as a scouting companion for Riders.

Its loyalty and fearless disposition made it a popular companion animal for Riders and other personnel going ground side, where is was known to harry and drive off much larger animals. However, the ‘adder’s slow maturation, from hatchling to adult (eight years), and its difficultly to train, soon saw it replaced by faster growing and more biddable species, such as the oad-hawk.

The ‘adder remains popular among those looking for a more unusual companion animal as well a select few trainers and ground side personnel.

Klone Ranges

The Klone Ranges are a chain of mountains stretching 4,800 kilometers along the Gundar Strait, on the west coast of Toine. Formed by the interaction of the tectonic plates under Toine and its neighboring landmass, Enolc, the ranges start deep beneath sea level, forming spectacular coastal cliffs and plateaux.

Among the mountains are a number of semi-dormant volcanos including Mts. Ecam, Adoy and Olos.

The tallest mountain in the range is Mt Biwan, with it’s peak measured at 8,924 metres above sea level. Situated on the southern end of the range, Mt Biwan, along with the neighboring Mts. Nikan and Madala, serve as anchor points for Cumulus City, holding it in place against the high winds that whistle down the strait.