Home World: Likniti (abandoned after depletion of natural resources)
Home Galaxy: Confale 1,003
Territory: Currently inhabit three (3) galaxies, one (1) not created by Confale
Age of Species: 5.5 billion years
Average Height & Weight:
(warrior) (leader) (hunter) (worker) (scientist)
4.8m 4.1m 3.2m 2.1m 1.8m
0.49 t 0.47 t 0.38t 0.31t 0.19t
Warriors, the largest of the species, evolved from the guardians that have traditionally protected the nest from predators. Never possessing large intellect, they make up for it in incredible strength and resiliency. Their three segment bodies and six legs are heavily armored with natural materials that can withstand high impacts, extreme heat, extreme cold, and most forms of radiation. The rear abdomen segment is larger in the warrior class with a nearly as large prothoracic segment where four of the legs attach. The upper thorax contains the forelimbs and is thinner and tapered towards the head. Though naturally walking on four legs, they can resort to two or six if needed based on a particular situation. The most prominent feature of the warrior class is their extremely large proboscis extending as long as 2m from their bodies. It contains four to ten protrusions that are sharp and pointed to use in close fighting situations. The compound eyes are large sticking out from both sides of the base of the proboscis. Short chemical receptor antennae stick out from above each eye, providing an extraordinarily sharp sense of smell, a silent form of communication between soldiers. The exoskeleton is a mottled brown, green, and black, and warriors have the ability to physically alter the mottling and color distribution based on inherent background colors and patterns. This is an active camouflage system. Warriors generally wear belts and sheaths for additional weaponry, especially grenades commonly used in combat. Their shape is somewhat similar to a large praying mantis with an enormous proboscis.
The leaders look almost identical to the warriors without the large proboscis or active camouflage system. Their intellect is far superior, and they have ruled the hive community since the dawn of the species. Only the leaders have bred with females although scientist and hunters are capable. The leaders coloring tends towards black with slight mottling of green and/or brown. The larger compound eyes give leaders far better visual acuity than the warriors. Most leaders wear sashes of various colors denoting rank within the leadership hierarchy. Weapons and sheaths are also worn for those actively involved in military operations, but are more for show than functionality.
The hunters, a new breed within the species, look like a smaller version of the leaders. Their bodies are more symmetrical with each segment being nearly the same size and proportion. They have the same active camouflage system as a warrior, but more highly refined, allowing them to blend into any environment perfectly. The colors of their camouflage range from pale yellows to dark black, giving them a larger range than the warriors. Typical coloration is dusty brown when not actively using their camouflage. Their speed on six legs is incredibly fast, and the body is able to vibrate at near supersonic speeds to quickly bury or surface in the ground or to assist in hand-to-hand combat. Small nozzles protrude from each side of their mandibles secreting digestive enzymes for eating and caustic chemicals used as an offensive weapon. Compound eyes are same proportions as leaders, but visual acuity is broader across the visible and infrared light spectrums.
Though small in stature, they possess incredible strength, lifting objects nearly ten times their weight. Color is a dull brown or black. Rear four legs are significantly larger than forelimbs, and this class of Trilliu rarely walks on two or six legs. Highly developed forelimbs contain forty small digits able to hold and operate complex equipment with great precision. Larger abdomens give the worker a squat appearance. Head is small with only a tiny version of the proboscis found on warriors. Compound eyes are also smaller, yielding poor visual acuity.
Smallest of non-female classes, they possess incredible intellect. They are the brains behind all technology used within the hive. From food processing, weaponry, and reproductive mechanics, the scientists are the keepers to the keys of a working hive. Collaborating heavily with the workers, the scientists create everything a hive needs to function. They do not possess a proboscis like the workers or warriors, and their segments are more equally sized than a worker. They possess incredibly dexterous digits on middle and forelimbs, giving them the ability to work with any of the most complex systems. Highly refined chemical receptors make up for their poor visual acuity. Color ranges from beige to dark black with a similar camouflage system to the warrior class minus the detailed mottling.
The females are a highly specialized egg factory. They possess no senses except those within atrophied chemical receptors. They have no limbs and only a small mouth typically attached to a feeding tube. Of all the classes, they are still very primitive, possessing only a rudimentary brain. A healthy female can produce between ten and fifty eggs per day, something that is controlled chemically by the scientists to maintain population levels. Fertilization is accomplished outside the female body using sperm donated regularly by the leaders. Advanced chemical DNA manipulation is how each class is created based on a ratio defined by the leaders. Only the strongest females are used to produce leaders, while the rest of the females create all other classes within the hive. Females are typically white or cream colored with a dark brown coloring on their small heads. Slug-like in appearance, their oval bodies are segmented by muscular rings giving them the appearance of an accordion.
All but the female classes are constructed with three main body segments. The abdomen possesses the digestive and reproductive systems, the prothorax is where the rear four legs are attached to strong muscle groups, and the upper thorax contains the forelimbs, digestive enzyme sacs, respiration, and active camouflage nerve bundles. In hunters, the upper thorax also contains a special glands for producing the offensive chemicals which can be sprayed at an enemy. This increases the proportion of the upper thorax in hunters compared to the other classes.
The heads are small in comparison to the bodies, but possess large compound eyes and a highly developed proboscis in warriors and workers. Atop the head, two chemical receptor antennae provide a sense of smell, some more refined than others. Visual acuity differs among the classes, but all can see in both the visible and infrared light spectrums. In hunters, the visual acuity is the most refined across both spectrums. It is poorest in workers and scientists.
The limbs are powerful with the front two pairs possessing ten to forty digits each. The dexterity of each digit differs from class to class, the workers and scientists possessing the most highly dexterous. In warriors, rear limbs possess large spikes used in defensive and offensive situations. The prominent proboscis on the warrior is also spiked, the hard shell forming razor sharp points capable of piercing and cutting through most non-metallic materials.
The hard exoskeleton is intertwined with tough carbon chains giving the shell an incredible invulnerability to multiple elements. Able to withstand high impacts, caustic chemicals, temperature extremes, and various forms of radiation, the shell is an armored suit protecting the Trilliu against natural and unnatural elements. Softer, more flexible zones between segments and limbs provide weak spots for penetrating the armor, but only workers and scientists have a bounty of those, giving them more flexibility when working in closer quarters around complex machinery.
Color cells within the exoskeleton can be manipulated in the warrior, hunter, and scientist classes, providing camouflage against most natural backgrounds. Colors in the red spectrum are not highly advanced except in the hunter classes, but even those are highly muted shades. Greens and browns are the most refined. In hunters, specialized muscles attached to the exoskeleton that can vibrate at near supersonic speeds. This creates powerful liquefaction within most surface soils, giving the hunters the ability to dig into and out of the ground.
Hunters possess special glands that produce a powerful cocktail of chemicals that are a variation of the digestive enzymes within the Trilliu. These chemicals, highly acidic, can dissolve many metals, organic compounds, and some plastics. Special chemicals within a hunter’s exoskeleton make it immune to these offensive chemicals, thus preventing it from injuring itself while deploying the spray. Other Trilliu are not immune.
Actual mating does not exist within the Trilliu. Instead, sperm is manually injected into eggs to complete fertilization. Chemical alterations to the fertilized egg combined with temperature manipulation activates specific genes within the DNA sequence producing the various classes of Trilliu. Scientists perform this manipulation, carefully maintaining proper ratios of each class as dictated by the leaders. Populations within the hive are carefully controlled to ensure resources do not run out. In emergency situations, populations can be increased quickly.
Eggs fully mature into larvae within a month, metamorphosing into juvenile versions of the adult forms two months after that. Juveniles take up to a year to fully mature, spending that time in intensive training to prepare them for adult duties. Scientists take longer than the others to fully mature, the brain needing more time to fully develop their intellect. Scientists can spend at least four years in training, continuing to learn after that while they work alongside their older peers.
Weakness is not tolerated within the hive, so any failures during the developmental stages results in extermination, the offending Trilliu recycled as food for females and larvae.
Leaders rule the hive, planning and controlling all aspects of the society. The rest are assigned their duties per their class. Females serve only to produce eggs. Scientists follow the orders of the leaders, but conspire to take over control once the hunters are firmly established. They believe their superior intellect warrants their control, directing the hive into new areas of evolution and technological growth. With hunters to back this control, they believe the end of the leaders is soon at hand. With the leaders, the old guardians will also be eliminated, removing all the vestiges of ancient control within the hive.
The classes never socialize with other classes, only interacting as dictated by their roles within the hive hierarchy. However, within each class, a rich social community can thrive. Although entertainment and games are not permitted, social grooming and communications are abundant. Workers are more physical in their socializing, even imbibing chemicals to produce intoxication. Scientists are more cerebral in their socializing, using their off time to devise new technologies, bouncing ideas off one another. A collegial atmosphere underlies the scientist community.
Leaders and warriors rarely socialize. Leaders thrive on power and control, enjoying interrogation and torture of captured enemies. On rare occasions, they even torture workers as part of a campaign to spy on the workings of the scientists. They have wisely avoided torturing the scientists, lest they tip them off to their suspicions.
Leaders control all military operations. Younger leaders act as unit commanders while the more senior leaders act as generals overseeing the whole battle. Tactically, the leaders are well developed, but the single chain of command is often a detriment to the ever changing battlefield. Against most life forms, their tactics are effective, but against an indomitable enemy like the Acriend, they have proven to be the Achilles’ heel.
The hunters have upset the normal balance, moving up in rank above soldiers to that of a squad or platoon leader. The warriors now report directly to the hunters, who then report to the leaders. But the hunters have their own plans for the hive, thus execute their own orders even if they run counter to the leaders. Their intelligence and fighting prowess sets them apart from the warrior class, and slowly they are supplanting that class, moving them to more defensive postures while the hunters execute offensive plans.
The hive does not possess internal soldiers as internal security is never an issue. The military is composed of defensive guardians, offensive guardians, and aerial guardians. With the rise of the hunters, aerial guardians have been completely replaced. Offensive guardians are slowly being replaced with only hunter based units more agile and capable of leading and executing complex offensives.
Aerial units now possess a more advanced and capable fleet of craft piloted by the hunters. These new craft are faster, more agile, and possess formidable defensive and offensive weapons. Directly wired into the brain of a hunter, these new craft are an extension of the hunter’s bodies. As part of this transformation, larger fleet ships are being constructed, manned by hunters but controlled by leaders.
Scientists have become adept at backward engineering the technology captured from the Acriend and other worlds they invade. This infusion of new technology combined with a more elite fighting force of the hunters has dramatically changed the Trilliu offensive capabilities. The Acriend are now up against a better fighting force than previously.
The old guardians still maintain a repertoire of low maintenance weaponry used in ground assaults and defenses. Heavy artillery, small caliber weapons, and charged particle weapons are their mainstay. Heavy reliance on small grenade ordinance is common among warriors, the scientists creating a wide range of these offensive weapons.
Hunters rely mostly on their camouflage and small caliber weapons for ground assaults. Rarely do they employ heavy artillery, usually forcing the guardians to do it under their command. The hunters train heavily in hand to hand combat techniques, forcing the battle in towards their enemy where the odds are greatly increased in their favor. Their speed, dexterity, and martial skills are formidable against even larger enemies like the Acriend.
The hive itself still maintains its typical structure of food production below ground and inside specially illuminated gardens located within the heart of the hive. Exterior walls of the hive have been reinforced with new materials to withstand even a nuclear blast, and a tight force field surrounding the structure now completes the defenses against charged particle weaponry.
Fusion power is the predominant choice for supplying the hive’s needs, but work with new quantum techniques is proving useful in harnessing even greater energy from smaller reactors. Fully self-contained, the hive is capable of supporting millions of Trilliu when fully embedded into a planet’s surface. When needed, the visible portions of a hive can be transported as an enormous ship through space. At those times, food supplies can quickly run short, and storage of raw materials is difficult in the smaller space. Although the hive contains some modicum of defensive weapons built into the structure, it acts as a bunker once an invasion is complete rather than an offensive weapon.
The Trilliu’s vast knowledge of chemical and biological systems is unsurpassed, and they recycle everything they can. This lowers their needs for fresh raw materials, but does not replace it entirely. All food is processed into powerfully nutritious liquid for easy digestion. Containing only primitive stomachs, all food must be pre-digested before consumption. All complex biological life forms serve as the primary food, while grown food supplements that food source with essential nutrients required within the Trilliu body. Cutoff or destroy the grown food supplement, and the hive will die rapidly, females first.
Experiments with small cellular food sources grown in vast tanks have proven successful, but have been relegated to fleet ship use only as leaders eschew this new food in favor of their traditional food sources. Scientists have capitalized on this fact by genetically altering this new food to contain more metabolic output for a given input size. Thus, it is highly transportable, and serves the hunters well in their new offensive forays.
All production of technology is self-contained within a hive, the exception being the new fleet ships being constructed in heavily fortified space docks orbiting captured worlds. New hive production is limited to several key worlds where highly developed asteroid belts provide the abundance of raw materials required to construct one. Hive construction is controlled by their Creator, Confale, with entirely new citizens bred for the new city from existing hive stock. Leaders are bred first, thus overseeing the construction of their new hive.