Soror was the name given to the second planet of Betelgeuse, where Ulysse Mérou and his companions landed in Pierre Boulle's novel. Latin for 'Sister', it was so-named because of its generally Earthlike qualities.
Soror was an Earth sized world, though according to Ulysses Soror is probably older. It contained an atmosphere of oxygen and nitrogen that revolved around Betelguese at a distance equivalent to thirty times the space between the Sun and Earth. The atmosphere was bright, slightly tinged with a pale green color verging from time to time on yellow. The ocean was light blue, also with green tinges. The temperature was high but bearable: about seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit.
Ancient Human Civilization Edit
Over ten thousand years ago, Soror was home to a human civilization similar to twentieth century Earth. The humans employed apes in their culture as pets and servants. At one time the apes were on the verge of extinction, but for some reason spontaneously multiplied outnumbering their human masters. Over the centuries the apes soon began to develop cognitive and speech abilities. Whereas the apes were experiencing an evolutionary awakening, simultaneously the humans began to suffer a cerebral regression.
While the humans stagnated, this evolutionary advantage allowed the apes to slowly take over human civilization, driving many humans to the outskirts or flee deeper into the jungles. The men and women that remained in the cities soon had their roles as masters reversed as pets or animals. Most men and women accepted the transition further devolving from rational beings.
The humans too lazy to coordinate a response to this revolution remained static on the fringes of their former territories. Some even surrendered themselves to the apes to relive their hunger. However the apes were not content with their former masters being so close to their new domains, that some of the gorillas began to actively hunt humans and drive them further into the jungles with whips.
The memory of the ancient human civilization was eventually lost to time by the apes, who later became the sole masters of Soror. With their innate characteristics of mimicry, the apes produced the human's cultural works and sciences as their own.
At this time, modern simian civilization regarded this era as a dark age that lasted nearly ten thousand years. It became the era of the beginnings of ape civilization. Here no form of scientific progress had been made and curiously no records of any earlier 'older' achievements by apes were found leading to a mystery to many.
'Modern' Simian Civilization Edit
A century before the arrival from Earth, the simian civilization undertook impressive leaps in scientific advances concerning biology and evolution. Currently they are at the stage of launching artificial satellite in orbit.
Strangely much of their sciences are geared toward biological study, no doubt due to the former role their ancestors played in advancing the ancient humans of Soror knowledge in that field. The descendants of their former masters however serve the humiliating roles as lab animals in the pursuit of medical advances.
Soror is home to two races man and ape, the latter of the two being the current dominate species reigning the planet.
"Of course. Man's brain, like the rest of his anatomy, is the one that bears the closest resemblance to ours. It's a lucky chance that nature has put at our disposal an animal on whom we can study our own bodies. Man serves us in many other fields of research, as you'll come to realize. ... At this very moment we are undertaking an extremely important series of experiments."
The humans on Soror are indistinguishable from humans from Earth, albeit they possess golden skin and are physicalyl fit, handsome specimens of humanity. Since their ancestors lost the pedestal as Soror’s dominant race, they have been reduced as savage animals, living in the wilds.
Primitive human society resemble gorilla colonies of Earth, living in nests. They are omnivores subsisting on wild fruits, such as bananas, and deer. They live in constant fear of ape hunting drives that raid their colonies at the edges of the jungles.
Man serves as a valuable animal that fetches a high price on the market as they play an intricate part in medical sciences conducted by the apes. According to Ulysse there is a study proving that there are more men than apes on Soror. However the ape population is on the rise while former is falling in decline due to over-hunting by the gorilla clan.
Humans have an innate hatred for apes and anything associated with them, clothing, articles of civilization causes agitation and fear in them. The mere sight evoking irrational violence. The apes, attempting to discover their evolutionary origins, once believed that apes were descended from man, however contemporary chimpanzee scientist now know ape and man are two separate branches of evolutionary that had evolved from a common ancestor. The stance for the apes for man's evolutionary process is that man was handicapped at birth, bereft with only two clumsy hands and thus unable to visualize and fully utilize tools as compared to apes. According to Zira, the men of Soror may have at one point attempted to relearn tool use, but failed miserably.
"Ape's brain," Zira concluded, "has developed, is complex and organized, whereas man's has hardly undergone any transformation."
The apes are not divided into nations. The whole planet is administered by a council of ministers, at the head of which is a triumvirate consisting of one gorilla, one orangutan, and one chimpanzee. In conjunction with this government, there is also a parliament composed of three chambers: the Chamber of Gorillas, of Orangutans, and of Chimpanzees, each of which attends to the interests of its respective members.
Gorillas are the statesmen of simian civilization. In the past they preserved a lust for power which they maintain as organizer and directors. They love hunting and life in the open air. The poorest of them are engaged on work that requires physical strength. When new discoveries are made by either of the other two ape families, it is usually a gorilla that will exploit the invention to derive every benefit. For the most part the gorillas occupy the roles of hunters. This is a function more or less reserved for them. They capture wild animals and, in particular, men. They act as a whole tribe of hunters, beaters, porters, and tradesmen devoted to this industry.
Orangutans occupy and compete with the chimpanzees in matters of intellectual debates. They are traditionalists and looked upon as official ministers of science. But some of them occasionally indulge in politics, the arts, and literature. They possess good memory, and learn an enormous amount by heart and from books. Then they themselves write other books, in which they repeat what they have read, thereby earning the respect of their fellow orangutans.
Chimpanzees represent the intellectual element of the planet. It is not an idle boast that all the great discoveries have been made by them. Many chimpanzees are credited to leading reforms in simian society.