THE WORLD AND EVERYTHING IN IT
The Docking Station is a living space station, divided up into different sections with varying uses. It is designed to dock with the Shee Ark, the vast biological space ship built by the Shee to voyage to a spherical planet. Navigation around the space station is by two main methods: lifts or doors. Clicking on doors opens them, and lets through any nearby creatures. Creatures can only click on a door to open it by hand if their species is allowed through. This is to prevent any dangerous residents of your space station from wandering where they like (there are other species apart from Norns roaming in cyberspace - see 4.5). Lifts enable creatures to get between floors in one area of a space ship. They have a call button, to summon them, and then can be pushed or pulled to move up or down. There are four main areas to the craft:
Norn Meso Area
This is the favourite area of the Norns, an area filled with lots of different food and many plants and animals, plus toys for bored Norns.
the egg layer
This biological machine acts as a repository for Norn DNA. It can lay a male or female egg of any creature it has a stored genome for. If you have Creatures 3, you will have a number of different breeds of Norn to choose from. Muco lays eggs directly into the incubating heat pan to its left.
This little critter likes to follow your Norns around and monitor their health. To activate the HoverDoc drop it onto a creature and it will open up and produce a display. You can pick up the HoverDoc and drop it onto another creature if you want to monitor that one, or drop it on the floor to close it up. This first page of the HoverDoc shows you the name of the creature, its gender, its most pressing drive and what you can do to help the creature relieve its need. Clicking on the white arrow on the right of the HoverDoc allows access to more advanced pages, detailed below:
This page shows the state of each of the major drives that make up the well being of the creature. Around each drive icon is a powerbar that shows how pressing that drive is - the more the bar is filled in the more pressing the drive. The creature will be trying to reduce its drives as best it can but there is no harm in trying to help it!
This page scans the creature for bacteria and if any are found a close up image will appear in the centre display. The two buttons on this page release smoke - one kind will stain any bacteria that comes into contact with the smoke, while the other kind will kill any bacteria it touches.
This page will scan the creature for the presence of harmful toxins in its bloodstream, and if any are found shows you which ones and their concentrations. Clicking on the green tick will provide clues as to how to help the creature recover from this toxicity.
This will graph the major chemicals involved in fertility and breeding. If the creature is female and pregnant the indicator on the top left will show this fact. You can increase or decrease the fertility of a creature from this page.
This incredible device will teach your Norns their full vocabulary in just a few seconds. It seems to be a very pleasurable experience for the Norns, too. The only downfall is that the Norns themselves must activate it - and of course, you can't tell them to 'push machine' before they know their words. Just think of it as an interesting challenge.
This food dispenser taps directly into your Norn's mind, reading their thoughts as to what they'd like to eat. It dispenses star seeds, yarn fruit, or peaking pie - all good nutritious foods. Peaking pie can even cure some forms of poisoning. You can also activate the empathic vendor using the Hand, creating whichever of the three foods you like.
When the lone Shee left Albia he took with him a selection of plants and animals that he had been experimenting on, some of them designed for creature care while others were simply to provide balance to life on the ship. All of these specimens were contained within protective pods to provide a suitable environment to sustain growth. Unfortunately, during the launch many of these pods broke open and the inhabitants were released to roam free. Not all of these specimens survived though without their protective pod, so now the flora and fauna of the Capillata can be considered to exist in two varieties - contained and free-roaming. There are five containment pods within the Meso: the Justanut pod, the lemon tree pod, the carrot pod, the Stinger pod and the Commedia pod.
Justanuts are, well, just a nut. They're a good source of starch.
Lemons are almost the universal Norn medicine. They cure a number of different illnesses, and the HoverDoc may well advise you to feed lemons to a sick Norn at some point.
Carrots are a nourishing food that is able to grow in the wild almost anywhere- as long as your greedy Norns don't eat them first! It is worth remembering that Capillata carrots have some medicinal qualities you will not find in the Shee Ark carrots.
The Commedia is a jelly-like life form capable of changing its appearance into anything it fancies. It was created as an amusement for Shee and a distraction for inquisitive Norns! Normally, it lives inside its pod, where a constantly changing series of holograms keep it exercised. You can click on its pod to release it, or drop it back into the pod to re-contain it. Once near a Norn, it will change shape into something nearby, maybe even something microscopic. Commedia exists solely to please Norns, and the Norns in turn love to play with it.
Stingers are a bit nastier... they'll form nests and sting your Norns. The Shee had some odd ideas of what creatures made good travelling companions. Luckily, the stingers are sealed in a pod, unless you choose to release them. If you get a bad infestation of stingers, your Norns may be able to help you get rid of them...
This device created some of the most subtle and enduring works of Shee music at one time. Norns enjoy music, and you'll find they like playing with it, though perhaps not with as much finesse as the Shee did.
A flowering and fruiting plant, found in the lower areas of the Meso, that is capable of mutating and changing both height, and flower and fruit colours. Eventually, a mature Bramboo cane will collapse to the ground, releasing lots of nutritious fruit.
The stinger's greatest enemy, and the Norn breeder's friend. The trappers love nothing better than three square meals of stinger a day, except perhaps six square meals of stinger a day. When very well fed, they release seeds - so, the more stingers you have, the more trappers you will get.
These are low growing plants that can grow practically anywhere, or so it seems. They produce a tasty round tuber when mature, which is not only a good source of food, but can cure some forms of poisoning. It is also the favourite meal of the Snotrock.
The bizarre half-plant, half-animal Snotrock lives a peaceful life, nibbling tubas and looking for other Snotrocks to exchange stories of funny shaped tubas with. It is entirely harmless to your Norns.
As the name suggests, these nuts are not for the faint hearted! Although they are a good source of starch, eating them before they explode may present problems. However, the problems of trying to eat a nut before it explodes are probably nothing to the problems you'd get if it exploded after you'd eaten it. Luckily, the Norn's digestive processes seem to stop the nut exploding after ingestion.