EC/E Biological Survey
From: Brad Jefferies, Tau Biotechnician
To: Surface Expedition Team Members
It is known that one result of the Fall is the appearance of several strange breeds, mutants distantly related to the species that inhabited the world in the time of the Ancients. We collect every scrap of information that we can, but so few Explorers return to Tau that our report to you will be sketchy at best. The few types of creatures that can slip through the Vault gates are better known to us.
We have categorized several different types of creatures:
- Insects: These are the creatures that were best fitted to survive a nuclear holocaust. With most of the larger animals out of the way, the arthropods have evolved to take over most of the ecological niches previous occupied by other animals. An alarming increase in size is the most common adaptation, but lately we have seen evidence of specialized methods of attack, and even of rudimentary intelligence. Giant roaches are the most common insects reported from previous Expeditions.
- Mammals: The mammal population has been drastically reduced, since these animals were not really fit to survive nuclear war. We have captured a few odd-looking (and ferocious) rats, and packs of rabid dogs are said to be common.
- Reptiles: Few of the cold-blooded reptiles survived the temperature drops that followed the war. However, giant lizards are known to infest ruined cities and a few types of snakes have been reported in swamps.
- Plants: We are indeed lucky that some plants survived. Without them, all life on our planet would perish. Plants, particularly the polyploids, are relatively tolerant of genetic disturbance. That is not to say that plants did not change much – outside of Tau we have found odd flesh-eating grasses, some of which have developed the ability to move.
- Other Creatures: We suspect that some fish must have survived, because the Fall did not pollute the ocean depths with radiation. Although insects command the skies, there are still some birds to be found. As you travel, your scouts must watch the skies intently.
We have also heard rumours of Ancient robots and self-aware machines of war that are still active. If true, then these will be the most dangerous foes that you will face on the surface.