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The Mantisorac Swarm, are an insect-like species that originate from the Magellanic Clouds and Milky Way's galactic halo. The Mantisorac are super-predators that form relentless swarms; able to survive a wide range of planetary conditions and able to breakdown almost any organic form. The creatures were first discovered by renegade colonists fleeing persecution by the Delpha Coalition of Planets just as they began to build settlements, the Mantisorac numbers were underestimated by the colonists, and their presence nearly unknown to the denizens of the Milky Way. Recently stirred by a mysterious event, the Mantisorac began to swarm towards the main disc of the galaxy, and once again, the pattern of underestimation was repeated.

History Edit

Mysterious origins Edit

The origins of the Mantisorac has been heavily debated by xenobiologists, as the species represent a mystery: they are insentient animals with complex behaviour (group) that can travel between the stars. One clue is that the Mantisorac have a biological mutualism with a complex set of spaceborne-organisms, which resemble living technology by function. It is known that some (and speculated if most) spaceborne-life evolved from runaway bioships. The easiest hypothesis to jump to is Artificial origin-hypothesis, in which the Mantisorac were a creation of some interstellar civilisation. But one, perhaps more unsettling idea is the Regression-hypothesis, in which the Mantisorac were originally sentient, but lost their minds after reaching the stars due to ease-of-life and mindful tasks being delegated to less intelligent roles like sexual selection. Intelligent-behaviour without higher meanings can be found even in microbial life and simple AI, a brain for the Mantisorac is simply not necessary for the appearance of agency. The third hypothesis is that Mantisorac simply found a symbiotic relationship with living bioships in their immediate environment, and adapted to space.

First encounter in known history Edit

Spore 2010-07-17 20-29-16

MSP defenders surrounded.

The Magellanic Sovereignty of Planets had just established settlements in the dwarf galaxy when they encountered the tail-end of a colony migration. Confident they could fight off the strange attackers, the colonists found themselves under a relentless siege that lasted 9 months. The Mantisorac would attack with such numbers that they could climb over barriers, overwhelm tanks and artillery by their sheer numbers and body-shields, and could even drill up from underground. The attack was finally ended when the MSP discovered a pheromone the Mantsorac use to identify each other. A Grimbolsaurian soldier by the name of Arkos infiltrated the asteroid nestship and planted a bioweapon that killed the hive from the inside out.

The MSP would later learn that each Swarm had a unique pheromone signature, but began to develop better techniques at defending their colonies, such as using dome-habitats, increased sensor reading and asteroid killing orbital defences. Due to their lack of contact with the Milky Way over the next few years, their story would go mostly unknown.

The second great encounter of 2800 Edit

Years later, during the DCP-Vermulan War, in which a large part was fought in the Magellanic Cloud, a strange event roused the Mantisorac into a highly angered superswarm, numbering in the trillions. This phenomenon was unprecedented, even for the MSP which soon found itself endangered not by one colony, but millions. The Superswarm had been disturbed by a strange crystal or artifact buried in the middle of their hub, and was something the Vermulans were after. For the first, the Mantisorac left the galactic halo, heading straight for the main disc of the Milky Way. Inhabitants of the Milky Way were already having their own problems, and would not be aware of what was about to hit them...

Biology Edit

Mantisorac Swarms always consist of a number of different castes to share a division of labour, with different roles for the colony and with specific biological adaptations to fit those goals. Differentiation occurs via polymorphism, caused by the various traits or phenotypes in organisms.

All Mantisorac are large, physically powerful creatures that are capable of breaking down metal and resisting light weapons. None of them appear to be individually very intelligent.

Swarming behaviour Edit

Swarms can appear to take on and solve complex problems, although there is no director in the colony. Mantisorac swarms working as wholes can form many biomechanical feats of their own right, be it bridges, underground drills, boats and armies. Most impressively however, is the Mantisorac's ability to inhabit asteroids and even dwarf planets.

One of the main problems facing the Mantisorac is to stay cool. Activities in the hive during interstellar transit are kept a minimum, and if the temperature is too high, workers are cast into the void. During the Great Super-swarm of 2800, it is notable that the Mantisorac swarms that swarmed over cities would be so dense that the heat from their own bodies baked and crushed the Mantisorac at the bottom into the floor.

Castes Edit

  • Queen - The Queen is the highest caste, and can be found in every hive, she lays the eggs for the swarm.
    • Drones - Hermaphrodites who mate with the queen and follow the new queens to other potential nests. They can even become Queens.
  • Soldiers - Soldiers are heavily armed, they can survive multiple blasts from blaster cannons, and is still efficient in combat in the disruptor 10 setting. Projectiles are rendered pretty useless. They have nanofibre-tipped claws ans strike weapons, which can pierce body armour or even etch duratanium.
    • Guards - Guards are larger, slower version of the soldier caste. They can plug entrances and also control the cannons on an asteroid nest. Guards are occasionally witnessed at landing sights.
  • Workers - The workers carry food and maintain the various symbiotic organisms that keep the colony alive.
    • Farmers - Farmers can chew up and digest food before feeding it to the hive.
  • Symbiotic creatures
    • Jetters
    • Elevators
    • Life support

Insentient technology Edit

The Mantisorac's technology, for lack of a better term represents their extended phenotype (that means, a nest is just as much a part of a creature as its organs), which although without design, follows logical solutions. Mantisorac technology is either formed from their own bodies or are supported by complex symbiotic relationships with other spaceborne organisms. The Mantisorac live inside asteroid nestships and even mobile dwarf planets. Hyperdrives, deflectors, life-support, weapons and even starfighter-like creatures seem to be based on this paradigm.

Perhaps most impressively, Mantisorac can reach planetary surfaces by landing long tethers (with a lander). This secures a space elevator mechanism which can transport armies and materials to and from the surface. Mantisorac seem to have learned to bombard the surface first using asteroids.

Some xenobiologists believe that the Mantisorac are by no means the top of the hierarchy in this strange mobile-superorganism, that for the Mantisorac are a mere sub-unit. But any hope of communication is idle speculation at present.

Trivia Edit

  • Wormulon revealed that he took inspiration from Ants and Termites, as well Starship Trooper's Arachnids.
  • Wormulon created a series of adventures featuring the Mantisorac crisis.
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