ze·tet·ic ~ proceeding by inquiry.
The Zetetic were once a civilization focused on the acquisition of all knowledge in existence. knowledge presented power and power presented an endless opportunity. this revelation brought the Zetetic to work effortlessly towards a future where they would emerge as all-knowing scholars of the universe. With all of this in mind, it is important to note that the Zetetic are not a perfect species. In their quest for knowledge, the Zetetic homeworld has become void of all the natural energy resulting in disastrous conditions for both the planet and the species. Now a being called The Overseer dictates the direction of the Zetetics future.
The Zetetic civilization currently finds itself far from what it sought out to be initially. In the present, the Zetetic are a species that exists almost purely on lies. The average individual is force-fed a curated amount of truthful information about the universe they inhabit upon coming into existence while the rest is entirely false. This false information includes factoids such as:
The Zetetic society sending out divisions of their kind to explore different regions of the universe to retrieve and return having gained bountiful amounts of newly gained knowledge.
The Zetetic societies science and research divisions producing abundant amounts of knowledge on their own homeworld.
The Zetetic society possessing ample knowledge about the fundamental forces of the universe and having overflowing amounts of information on other civilizations.
These lies are enforced by The Overseer. The reality the Zetetic face is much darker than what it appears to be. Their advancements in nearly every facet of this civilization have halted. Departments responsible for researching and uncovering new knowledge have focused on research on how they are able to make it look like they have gained something new rather than doing it per The Overseers demand. Much, if not all, of what the Zetetic have now has been reused or scrapped together for centuries. Even their exoskeletons are reused constantly.
Originally, the Zetetic was one singular being composed of a large, pod-like structure. This form functions similarly to how rhizomes function on Earth. This structure captures photons and morphs that energy into a glucose-like substance. Multitudes of root structures sprout from the being creating extremely elaborate and far-reaching root systems. Eventually, these roots would inhabit the entire planet which resulted in the pre-Zetetic life form gaining the knowledge of events occurring across the entire planet instantaneously. The first unconscious evolution of the pre-Zetetic life form resulted in clusters of tree structures sprouting from below the surface in clusters around the planet for the sole purpose of absorbing more light energy which in turn empowered the Pre-Zetetic being to expand further.
Having gained complete awareness of its homeworld, the Pre-Zetetic structure began to manifest intelligence and self-awareness. Due to ample amounts of energy that had been absorbed by the creature, it began a form of high-speed evolution where the smaller pod-like beings began to sprout from the tree-like structures that had sprung up around the planet. Initially, each of these Pre-Zetetic life forms was connected as a Hive mind. The organisms grew to become denser while their roots became tougher and began to resemble tentacles more than the root structure it had started out as. After this development, the mind of the Pre-Zetetic life form began to awaken. This single event relabeled the creature from a Pre-Zetetic life form to the Zetetic that exists in the present. After the mind awoke, the primary objective was set. The single objective of this being would be to gain all the knowledge in the universe. Separating the Hive mind into subgroups of minds was the first start towards accomplishing their newly set objective.
Once during this now desolate planet's life cycle, there was abundant natural energy surging within this now desolate rock. The Zetetic reside in massive artificial Domes located under the surface. These structures were constructed as a rushed attempt to prevent an extinction event that came into existence due to the Zetetic's lack of foresight. The Overseer used the weakened state of the Zetetic as an opportunity to take control over the civilization during this period. This structure is now regarded as a miracle from The Overseer since they are now the only surviving member from the period when the domes were built.
Conceptual depiction of the interior of the Dome where the Zetetic reside. Wires, piping, and geometric buildings litter the landscape with The Overseers tower rising high above everything else for The Overseer sees all.
Although most of the population is unaware, the Zetetic does possess remnants of hyper-advanced technology. During a time before the Domes were built the Zetetic were progressing rapidly with their scientific and technological research. This led to advancements such as; the repurposing of deceased biological material to create new life, the creation of starships that we're able to travel exceedingly great distances in a short amount of time, and simulated interior spaces that connect across great distances. Now the Zetetic use what they have left over from that golden age of research to prop up the lie that their civilization is what it used to be.
This ship is a conceptual depiction of one out of the many ships that were capable of launching off of the Zetetic homeworld and reaching extremely far destinations in a relatively short amount of time thanks to the advanced technology developed by the Zetetic during their golden age.
Initial sketches for the starship seen above.
The Zetetic decided after separating from their Hive mind creating a more efficient method of transportation was necessary. This arrived in the form of creating exoskeletons for the pod-like, now Zetetic, creature to rest in and inhabit. An exoskeleton would provide enough movement and versatility to where they could utilize the surface area of the planet to its greatest extent possible. These exoskeletons originated as crude stone structures that the Zetetic would inhabit. The pod of the creature would rest where a humanoid head exists now while the roots emerging from the pod would inhabit the rest of the exoskeleton to create a rigid body structure. This structure not only allowed for enhanced surface mobility but also provided a certain amount of protection to the vital features of the Zetetic. The exoskeletons were enhanced as technology evolved to the point where even a short time outside of an exoskeleton meant death to a Zetetic life form. Now, newly created Zetetic are birthed into exoskeletons that had been previously inhabited by other Zetetic just moments before.
The design for what the Zetetic exoskeletons would look like went through many phases but ultimately what is shown directly above is the final design. Directly below is the original hand-drawn design for the Zetetic.
The Overseer was once one of few high-ranking Zetetic that monitored the Zetetic civilization. At one time, and under a different name, The Overseer was adorned in elaborately decorated garments. Even before becoming the Overseer, this being had an extreme personality. Declaring itself above every other Zetetic and "...too extravagant for any beings gaze." In the present, The Overseer is being driven by its nature to control and to dominate. This behavior has caused The Overseer to go to great lengths to preserve its own life. After trying various methods to extend its own life it finally found a suitable solution. The biological material from a newly deceased Zetetic life form. Upon the manufactured death of a Zetetic and right before a new being is born from the previous Zetetic, The Overseer would absorb some of its biological material into itself causing The Overseer to swell with new life. As greed took hold, The Overseer now sends Zetetic to their manufactured deaths solely for the purpose of satisfying its never-ending hunger for new life. This has caused The Overseer to attach multiple appendages from various exoskeletons to itself as The Overseer's form is far too large in size to be contained in a singular exoskeleton. The Overseer has also instituted a lie known as the "Glorious Ritual" that all Zetetic will face eventually as a means to cover up its greedy motives. The Zetetic are told that the ritual is a point where the average being will evolve to surpass what it was before and attain a new form. Unaware that they are about to become fodder for their dictator to consume.
The design for The Overseer was much easier to create than the standard Zetetic model. However, incorporating the visual indication that this Zetetic was of higher status than the rest did present a good challenge. Ultimately an elegant, but massive, headpiece was chosen to signify its status.
This is a conceptual depiction of the "Glorious Ritual" chambers where The Overseer steals the life from its species.