Name: TG-877 (Arachnophobia)
Location: 6300 ly spinward of Sol
Body Type: Terrestrial
Arachnophobia, as TG-877 is known among the ranks of TerraGenesis teams, is a lovely example of one of the many possible ways that Earth could have gone. Nearly every plant on the plant produces flowers on a scale unheard of outside of cultured gardens from Earth before the Fall; the dominant life is insect-like, with most following a body plan with eight limbs and anywhere from four to two dozen eyes. A fair number are fliers, with six legs and one or two pairs of wings; they still, according to most of the people who’ve been there, look like horrific flying spiders.
Arachnophobia is another world that might only have been of interesting to fringe xenobiologists, were it not for things like “silk” strong enough to deflect railgun pistol shots and lash multiple-G thrusters to surfaces; some species even seem to be able to spin high-strength monofilament webbing to slice their flying prey into conveniently-sized portions to wrap up and store. Luckily, none of the fauna shows any signs of intelligence, and seem to be happy to ignore synthmorphs entirely.
The arachnid body plan continues among the sea life of the planet, with colonial groups that build immense dams that shape the flow of currents in the oceans and drive food into their aquatic webs. Some of the researchers suggest these hives and their engineering suggest signs of intelligence, but so far nothing that meets the corporate standards of TerraGenesis has been proven.
Of course, if they get around to looking up at the planet’s modest-sized moon, they may have no choice but to acknowledge that intelligent life has existed in the system, whether or not it actually still does. The surface of the moon is unremarkable, with craters marring the surface, but a few of those craters lead into dense clusters of clearly artificial passages, their design reminiscent of the aquatic hive-structures, with a design that suggests a clearly inhuman body plan. Nothing remains of the technology used to craft the complexes, nor evidence of the inhabitants themselves, but it’s quite possible that the proto-sapient water dwellers are the descendants of a formerly intelligent species.
And that would certainly beg the question of uplift.