- For further uses of the term "Flower of Life," see Flower of Life (disambiguation)
The Invid Flower of Life was a symbiotic plant native to the planet Optera where it became a critical component of the ecosystem as well as the life cycle and biology of the Invid race. Its study led to the development of a renewable source of energy that became known as Protoculture.
Legend of Zor
The existence of this plant was largely unknown to the worlds of the Local Group until the Aztraph mission conducted by the Tirolians. Their civilization was suffering from an energy crisis as their society had become dependent on their neighbors. Seeking to find a new source of energy, Zor was part of an expedition to explore unknown worlds for untapped resources. His travels led to the entry into the Tzuptum system where they arrived on Optera and Zor encountered not only the Flower of Life but the peaceful primitive Invid race. Sensing some great potential in the Flowers, he began to study them but to no avail.
One night, he was roused from his sleep by the telepathic contact of the Regess, and went to the surface where he engaged in a mental communion with her. From this exchange, Zor learned everything about the Flower of Life whilst the Regess learned everything about Tirolian civilization. Taking samples with him back to Tirol, Zor began to study the plants.
His findings were brought before the new Senate on Tirol now led by ambitious Senator Nimuul who became intrigued by this new power source. Zor would create the Protoculture Matrix from his research which created an endless supply of Protoculture that became the basis of Robotechnology. This new science led to the rise of Nimuul's tyranny as he disbanded the Senate and the new Tirolians declared themselves the Robotech Masters that embarked on a campaign of conquest. Clones, Mecha and weapons of war were created by the new science spawned from the Flower of Life. With the Flowers taken from their natural environment, Zor began experiments in creating a genetically engineered lifeform to replace the Invid's role in the propagation of the plant which became known as the Pollinators. In time, the Robotech Masters began to fear that their secrets would be lost if someone else discovered Optera. Thus, they dispatched Zor and an army of Zentraedi to defoliate the planet and steal every last Flower.
Such an act was a great betrayal to the Regess who telepathically assaulted Zor who commanded his harvesters to leave only a small number of the Flowers behind. This would lead to the Invid being transformed into a war-like race bent on revenge against the perpetrators of this assault. Zor in the meantime had served the Robotech Masters only because they kept his father Zol as a captive. When Zol died, Zor decided to take his own vengeance on the Masters and stole the Protoculture Matrix which was placed on his Battlefortress, the SDF-1. His journey on the ship was initially sponsored to find new resources for the Robotech Masters to exploit but Zor instead used his travels to seed the various worlds of the Local Group with mutated strains of the Flower of Life. He would eventually die in an Invid assault and the Protoculture Matrix on the SDF-1 was launched to a distant unknown world.
In the aftermath, an energy shortage began to engulf the Robotech Masters empire as they lacked the means of creating new Protoculture. Furthermore, the Invid began attacking the Tirolian Empire in order to reclaim their stolen Flower of Life. These conquered worlds only contained the mutated strain of the Flower which were gathered but they desired the pure samples originally taken from them. In addition, Invid law held that no Invid were to taste the fruits of the Flower of Life as it was forbidden with such an act only taken by either the Regess or Regent. The Robotech Masters would eventually depart Tirol to track down the Protoculture Matrix whilst the Regent assaulted their homeworld in hopes of finding the Flower of Life. With none present, he vented his rage on the planetary populace but was thwarted by the arrival of the Humans of the Robotech Expeditionary Force who engaged in a long drawn-out war with him. In this time, an Invid scientist known as Tesla was captured by the Sentinels and he plotted his freedom. During this time, he began to eat the fruit of the Flower of Life. This act led to remarkable changes to Tesla's physiology and increased his mental powers gradually to the point that he became a growing rival to the Regent.
At Earth, the Flower of Life began to grow within the ruined site of the SDF-1 and the Robotech Masters instigated the Second Robotech War where they attempted to retrieve the Matrix. This was due to their own stores gradually mutating into the Flower of Life and the growing fear that an approaching Invid Sensor Nebula would detect the trace of the plant which would lead to them arriving at the Earth as well. The final confrontation between the Army of the Southern Cross and the Robotech Masters led to devastating war throughout the planet where Zor Prime destroyed the Tirolian Mothership above the Matrix in order to destroy it. However, this act had the opposite effect as it caused the freed Flowers of Life to bloom sending their spores throughout the world where they began to take root in a fertile environment. Thus, whilst the Second Robotech War was over, the seeds of a greater conflict had been sown.
The Invid Sensor Nebula eventually alerted the Regess who took the half of her race to invade the Earth for the Third Robotech War. Her forces easily dominated the weakened world and she set up farms around the planet where slave labor was used to gather the Flowers of Life. This became critical in her evolution experiments with the Genesis Pit as she attempted to find a more enlightened and evolved form for her race. Eventually, the third task force of the Earth Reclamation Force arrived who instigated the Battle for Reflex Point. Initially, the Regess refused to depart the Earth as the Flower of Life grew on that planet alone. But after seeing that destruction would only lead to more destruction, she decided to consume all the Protoculture and Flowers of Life in order to rise to a higher plane. She then departed as a mighty phoenix with her children who departed for a new world that was calling with them with all Protoculture on the planet taken from it.
Behind the scenes
- Worlds Of Robotech: Cyber World 1: Secrets of Haydon IV suggests that the Flower is not native to Optera and hinted that it had been transplanted there from another blue world by Haydon.