Kip is an eyeball. Kip hails from a planet of giant Cyclopes who, as they die, shed their eyes. I guess it’s more accurate to say, the eyeballs shed the carcass of the deceased Cyclopes. The eyes, in turn, are sentient beings known as Ops or the plural Opes. “Die” isn’t the right word. It’s more like a snake shedding its skin or a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon as a butterfly. It’s beautiful.
Yortians mature from a mostly physical existence, as a Cyclops to a predominately cerebral one, as an Ops. They crawl out of the eye socket like a bird would emerge from an egg, except they retain the full consciousness of the Cyclops from which it descends. The Cyclopes reproduce by producing a clutch of eggs. As the Cyclops dies, the remaining “cocoon” acts as a nest for the eggs that remain inside. When the new baby Cyclopes hatch, they eat the cocoon, which lasts until they are big and strong enough to fend for themselves. The Opes are asexual and cannot reproduce once in that state. This is getting weird. Is this too disturbing for a children’s story? It’s backstory, who cares?
Kip, as an Ops, has arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, and a mouth. Kip doesn’t eat but is instead solar-powered. The eyelid remains attached and the eyelashes act as Kip’s hair when open. The eyelid is very tough, which allows Kip to close… Kip and roll like a ball or be swung like an old-fashioned ball-and-chain flail. This is called the Patented Yortian Ball, patent pending. When balled, Kip’s arms and legs retract into the protective shell.
Kip, short for Kipp, is from the planet Yort, short for Yortt. Kip was constantly teased for being a purple eye. On Yort, the lighter shade an eye is the weaker it is considered to be. Even though science has proven that assertion to be false, there are still those who cling to the old superstitions.
On Yort, the Cyclopes do the hard labor and construction, while the emancipated Opes handle the science, engineering, doctoring, teaching, sewing, and such. The Cyclopes are also the lawyers. When the Yamfennians initiated contact and opened the universe to the Yortians via their wormhole warps, the Yortians wanted to send out the Cyclopes to explore for safety reasons, but logistically it made much more sense to send out the Opes, who are, obviously, far smaller and carry a significantly lower weight.
As the Yortians exploration of the universe expanded, Kip was part of a research mission to Nasga. Kip was the first Ops with a purple iris to be included in any such mission. The superstition of the inferiority of the purple Ops couldn’t hold up against Kip’s test scores. Kip was already excluded from multiple such missions, but Kip’s tenacity and abilities were not to be ignored.
Kip was a hero for lighter-colored Opes throughout Yort. Kip’s status as a hero didn’t reach the other members of the expedition. Kip was immediately the outcast of the small crew. Kip was called pejorative names and made to do the most menial tasks. Kip endured. Being a member of the space program and an astronaut, courageously venturing where no Yortian has previously ventured, was so important to Kip that Kip took the teasing and happily did the tedious tasks assigned to Kip.
Kip wasn’t the only Yortian on whom the journey was rough. The Yortian envoy had the misfortune to be on the planet Nasga when The Tyrannical Tyrannosaurus Gregory LambaDambaBottom attacked. Upon learning of the invasion, the Yortians tried to flee but were too late. They were caught off guard by the swiftness with which 3T.G.L.D.B. seized the planet. Yortians were still relatively new to intergalactic space travel and were naïve to the ways of the universe. They had never even heard of a planet being usurped. Being visitors, they weren’t kept informed of what was happening and, since everyone who lived on Nasga was so involved, no one thought to warn the Yortians. Their ship was confiscated and they were trapped.
Likewise, 3T.G.L.D.B. knew nothing of Yortians, but he disliked and distrusted them immediately. He felt like they were always watching him. Not knowing they needed the sun to not only function but survive, 3T.G.L.D.B. banished all Yortians to his newly constructed uranium mines. Within days, they became sickly and started dying.
3T.G.L.D.B. decided Yortians were worthless and ordered them all executed. Once they were brought back to the surface for execution, the suns splashed over them. The dual suns, known as a binary star, present in the Iisneent System offered the Yortians a much larger dose of solar rays than the single sun of Yort. The effect of which made the Yortians stronger than they had ever been, almost like superheroes or ants.
Given their pitiful weakened state in the mines, security was minimal for the six remaining Yortians. They easily overpowered their captors and fled into the wilderness. 3T.G.L.D.B. was infuriated that his orders were not carried out and that his cronies were ineffective and so easily subdued, but he didn’t care enough about the Yortians to send anyone after them. He simply executed the executioners instead.
As easy as it was for them to escape, the six Yortians, even energized by Nasga’s binary star, couldn’t liberate an entire planet. They stayed in hiding and tried to come up with a plan. It goes without saying that a plan in which six eyeballs fight off an oppressive dictator and his army to liberate a planet didn’t come quickly.
Kip came up with a few plans. Kip was largely ignored. There were a few sneering remarks made about plans coming from a purple Ops. They weren’t bad plans. In the view of the other Yortians, they just came from the wrong Yortian.
Their first attempt was a haphazard assault on a group of Lambads escorting slaves to the uranium mines. Assuming the shape of the Patented Yortian Ball, the six Yortians rolled down a hill targeting the Lambad guards. They appeared to be a rock slide. The Lambads even later reported the event as a slave rebellion initiated by a rock slide.
The Yortians didn’t really have a plan beyond rolling down the hill. Kip suggested knocking over the guards and taking their guns. Since it was Kip’s suggestion, the others refused to appropriate any guns. It was just a stroke of good fortune that a Wemeselsimian named Grek was among the captives being transported. Wemeselsimians are large agile beings well suited to aid in a slave revolt. Grek had the additional attribute of being a master of strategy. Following the Yortians’ initial disruption, Grek took it the rest of the way.
In no time, Grek was the leader of the rebellion the Yortians started. They were ecstatic to have someone to guide their efforts. The number of freed slaves grew rapidly from there. These six eyeballs officially started a revolution.
The growing group of rebels stayed in hiding for years. They would free those they could and their small rebel forced grew into a large rebel force, but it was still far too small of a force to reclaim the planet. They only had a few weapons they could procure from the Lambad guards they accosted. As time passed, the pollution from The Tyrannical’s mining accumulated in the atmosphere. As the pollution built up, less sun power could penetrate the atmosphere and the Yortians got weaker.
The Yortians started getting sickly and dying again. They had to get off this planet if any of them were to survive. They were already down to three: Kip, Falc, and Nium. The need for actual change was obvious. They needed real weapons to affect real change. Along with their band of rebels, they made their way to 3T.G.L.D.B.’s warehouses. There were rumors that 3T.G.L.D.B. ordered new weapons and a fleet to be designed and built, all of which was to be stored there. The rebels planned to raid a warehouse and take as many weapons as they could.
They made it to the warehouses and were elated to find the rumors were true. The rebels were greedily grabbing all the weapons they could when they were approached by a young Yamfennian scientist named Abby. Grek and Abby formulated a new plan.
The new plan was to commandeer one of the ships and load it with as many people and as much technology as they could. The Tyrannical was already planning to abandon the planet he renamed LambaBad. The resources were diminishing and the aforementioned pollution from his mining boom and usage of archaic power sources was making the planet dreary and unhealthy for everyone, not just the Yortians.
The fleet was being created to evacuate LambaBad and search for more worlds to dominate, which meant they were already being fully stocked with supplies, weapons, and technology. 3T.G.L.D.B. invaded the planet literally by himself. Now, the Nasgans who had submitted to his domination had become his Lambad army. He also wanted to bring those who tried to resist as slaves. He theorized that one can never have too many slaves. He needed a full fleet to carry his new attack force. Most worlds wouldn’t be as easy to conquer as Nasga.
Abby was heavily involved in the fleet project and had a full range of access to the warehouses. She helped the group hide and enlisted the other scientists in the plan. They were all enslaved by 3T.G.L.D.B. and forced into their positions, so they were all eager to participate. Now, they just had to figure out how to get a ship, sneak people aboard, and take one of the massive motherships without anyone noticing.
No one would notice if the scientists loaded some extra stuff onto one of the ships. The hard part was to sneak people aboard. They had to be extremely careful with this part. If anyone noticed them sneaking refugees aboard a ship, they would all end up back in the uranium mines.
The plan was time sensitive. The planet was dying and the Lambads were planning their exodus in three plaros. When they liberated everyone they could without raising suspicion, the escapees launched into space. Grek was named the captain of the ship and, though they were followed by another mothership, they managed to escape through the Yamfennians’ wormhole system superhighway long enough to make it to Earth.
A plaro is a three-day span. The binary star provides a lot more light than a single sun and the rotation of Nasga is slower than that of a typical M Class planet, so days are measured differently. Three plaros is roughly two and a half Earth weeks.
Earth wasn’t their destination. They were fleeing an oppressive dictator, a dying planet, and ship a full of Lambad minions. The refugees were simply trying to escape. Their ship took damage and was nearly apprehended around Earth, so that’s where they crash-landed. I mean, seriously, who would intentionally go to Earth?
The sun of Earth was more potent than that of Yort but not as potent as the binary star of Nasga, which allowed for the Yortians to be more physically powerful than they were naturally but not as super as they were on Nasga. When the Refugee Allied Defenders (R.A.D.) was formed, it was decided the Yortians would be split up between squads.
Kip’s role and roll in the rebellion on Nasga weren’t enough to earn Kip the respect of Kip’s fellow Yortians. Based on assertions from Falc and Nium, who were brown eyes, that Kip’s lighter purple tone made Kip weaker, Kip crash-landed on the L Squad. The captains of the various factions of the R.A.D. didn’t understand the Yortians’ superstitions, but they did view Kip as being antisocial. They thought Kip was the one who had a hard time working with others.
The L Squad was the weakest of the squads in the North American division. The testing seemed to support Falc and Nium’s claim, but Kip was just intimidated by the other two, which adversely affected Kip’s performance. It didn’t matter. Kip liked the rest of the squad of outcasts and fit right in.
Kip’s main attribute, as far being a member of the R.A.D., was Kip’s hard shell. Kip was also an excellent shot with a blaster. Being giant eyeballs gives Yortians amazing eyesight. Kip was also trained as a medic. Kip was the least self-centered of the squad and the kindest and most compassionate. This gave Kip the best demeanor to be the doctor. Kip also really liked the sound of “Dr. Kip,” though they only ever called the Yortian, “Kip.”