A sporadic, nomadic race, whose only goal in life is to carry on their family name - one way or another.
PhysiologyEditThe Thuralois Doxx are an incredibly intelligent, biologically adaptive race of arthropods. They are, on average, 7 to 8 feet tall, but usually less than 300 pounds in weight, seeing as much of their body is actually hollow. They have a relatively short lifespan, usually about 20 Earth years. They are humanoid in orientation, their head being on top of their body, legs beneath and arms on the side. However, they are not humanoid in shape. Every Thural Dox has three individual heads, and three individual brains. Each has its own separate personality and thought process, and they are interconnected by neural pathways, allowing for careful dissection of any and every topic imaginable. In addition, the brains are each nearly one and a half times the size of a human brain. However, most of the extra processing power is used for skill and memory retention. Therefore, they learn quickly and remember very much of what they learn. A Thural Dox can live without one of its brains with some degree of difficulty. It will have much more trouble with simple tasks, but can still function somewhat normally. These Thuralois Doxx are considered mentally disabled by other, "complete" Thuralois Doxx. Alternatively, if two brains are destroyed, the Thural Dox will be eventually driven mad by an innate feeling of loneliness. The destruction of all 3 brains results in instant death.
Thuralois Doxx are completely hermaphroditic and reproduce asexually, in the form of spores released from their body. These spores are formed from a buildup of excess nutrients the parent takes in. When sufficient nutrients have been collected, they travel through the parent's body and are released through a hole in the forearm, in the form of a small pod. When broken, this pod ejects thousands of tiny black spores which are scattered around it.They are very light, and will catch onto any wind that exists in their location. The spores will travel until they locate a host, animal or plant, willing or unwilling, and will enter it in any way possible.Once inside, the spore will latch onto a spot inside the host's digestive or nutrient producing areas, and feed from the nutrients there. Out of the thousands of pods launched originally, less than 100 (on average) will find a host, and it is very possible than none of those will grow large enough to hatch.
It will grow continuously, eventually forming a pod. This pod will continue to grow as well, and will start to cause internal pain to the host as it grows larger, since it requires more nutrients. This pain is usually chalked up to hunger pains, and the host will therefore eat more food, which is exactly what the parasite wants. At this point, it becomes a ticking time bomb. The pod grows exponentially, as does its nutrient intake. If treated very early, the pod can be removed through surgery. However, if the host disregards their stomach pain for too long, the pod will become too large to remove without killing the host. They are not saveable at this point. Depending on the amount of food eaten, the host will either die of starvation from being drained of too many nutrients, or the pod will grow too large and burst out of their chest. Both of these are slow and painful deaths. Suicide is common, and often kills both the host and the pod.
Most spores implant themselves inside live animal hosts, seeing as they provide a consistent, steady source of nutrients for the parasite. However, many also find a host in plants such as trees. Granted, these spores have a much lower chance of survival, and will grow much slower, since plants' nutrient intake is slower, and they will die out more quickly than humans. However, in a large, wooded area, the pod can easily find a new host in another nearby tree. Assuming there are no complications with their host and they are not killed by predators, the pods will have little to no trouble growing to full size. These Thuralois Doxx are considered a completely different species from their animal-feeding cousins, as they are autotrophic and therefore do not require eating food to survive.
At one point or another, the pod will grow too large and burst from the body of its host. If the host is an animal, assuming they are still alive, this will not kill them immediately. The pod purposefully decreases its nutrient intake for a short while, until the host bleeds out. This is not because the pod enjoys making its host suffer (they are completely instinctive in action and have no conscious thought process). Rather, it is because the host's screams of pain often attract other potential hosts to it. In this exterior state, the pod releases two barbed tentacles, coated in paralyzing venom, with a length of 10-12 feet. If it detects a potential host, the pod will launch its tentacles towards it. If successful, it will paralyze the new host and slowly drag the body back towards itself. At this stage, there will be a rather large larval Thural Dox inside the pod. Using the new host and the remains of the old one, it can survive and grow into an adult state, by coating the bodies in a preservative fluid. However, the final ingredient needed is time. The final growth stage can take anywhere from 5 to 7 Earth years.
There are circulating rumors that Thuralois Doxx kidnap humans and use them as hosts for their pod production. These rumors are supported by the fact that humans make fantastic hosts for these spores, as their physiology has a heavy emphasis on digestion and nutrient distribution. This is especially true in human women, as the spore can settle in the uterus and basically receive the same nutrient supply as a growing fetus, only in increased quantities. No member of the race has confirmed this, and Thuralois Doxx are very secretive as a whole, never allowing outsiders onto their ships. However, the mysterious disappearance of human women coincides with traveling Thuralois Doxx ships far too often not to raise suspicion.
In addition to having three heads, Thuralois Doxx have several other distinguishing features. For one, their legs are much more similar to arachnids than humans. The creature has 8 of them, and they are arched upwards, bending back down at the knee, and only account for 2-3 feet of the Thuralois Doxx's total height. However, when extended at the knee, the Thural Dox increases its height by up to 4 feet, totaling at 11 or 12 feet in height. The only real advantage to this is climbing over things or receiving a higher altitudinal view point. The Thural Dox can not walk comfortably like this. It is comparable to a human walking on their tiptoes. Possible for sure, and it has its uses, but not default by any stretch of the imagination.
Another distinguishing feature, perhaps the most of all, is the Thuralois Doxx's rock-hard exoskeleton. Their body is completely covered by it, save two black, beetle-like eyes on each head, an orifice below the eyes through which they eat their food (this is not present in autotrophic Thuralois Doxx), and a hole in each forearm, directly below the wrist, through which spore pods are released. Thuralois Doxx's vocal chords are found in the torso, and resonate there. Sound may be projected through the facial orifice, but it doesn't make a huge difference. As for the exoskeleton, it is completely made up of a cellulose-like organic material, and is almost completely impenetrable by ordinary ballistics. Certain armor-piercing high-caliber rifle rounds can make it through the exoskeleton in some cases, but they will still most likely not pierce all the way through. Energy weapons, such as fire, plasma, or laser based weaponry, are most effective against the exoskeleton of the Thuralois Doxx.
On the exoskeleton of the Thuralois Doxx, there are often many types of plants, bugs, and living cultures growing. This is both a cause and an effect of the natural affinity for biotech that the Thuralois Doxx possess. These also provide an extra source of energy, mostly used to pump blood through the host's circulatory system. The Thuralois Doxx have very few, very large veins connected to specific organs, surrounded by muscles which pump blood through their system. The sparcity of veins indicates the importance of each one. If the exoskeleton of the Thural Dox was somehow broken and a single vein was severed, that organ would completely lose function, and the creature would eventually (or immediately) die.
As for their nutrient intake, the Thuralois Doxx do not need to breathe in order to survive. They do need to eat food, and while the species as a whole is omnivorous, they feed almost exclusively on meat. The reason for this is that they have very few muscles to build up, allowing for the protein from meat to be broken down into energy through hydrolysis. For this reason, Thuralois Doxx need to drink water in addition to food. However, they drink it sparingly, as all water intake is stored in a small pouch next to the stomach and only used to break down food. Additionally, they cannot drink too much water, or the pouch will burst and the creature will starve to death. Thuralois Doxx have no taste buds or gag reflex, so eating spoiled or rotten meat is common among them. This, too, supports the theory that they kidnap humans for use on their ships.
Thuralois Doxx are able to speak, but as stated above, the sound resonates in their chest cavity rather than their mouth. This is mostly due to the placement of the trachea relative to the vocal chords, and the fact that they are not connected. Speaking of vocal chords, Thuralois Doxx have two sets of them, and they are very thin and spread out, causing the voice created to sound high-pitched and gravely. And since there are two sets of vocal chords inside of a solid, hollow exoskeleton, one Thural Dox speaking gives the impression of dozens of hideous, grotesque voices speaking at once. Because of how spread out their vocal chords are, it is easier for the Thuralois Doxx to speak slowly and precisely.
The primary instinctual goal of every Thural Dox is to carry on their family name. Over the course of their life, Thuralois Doxx will release 10 spore pods. Now, descending to planets and releasing spore pods out in the open may be an effective way to reproduce. However, it is unreliable, and there is no way of knowing if you succeeded or not. Due to the primitive success complex that the Thuralois Doxx innately possess, they have to know that they succeeded in reproduction, which is why a live, observed reproduction is almost always more desirable. A Doxx who has passed all 10 pods without producing any young is considered "morxiae" (more-khi-ih), or "last of their name." A common idiom or motto among Thuralois Doxx is "eix dorva morxiae" (eh-ih-kh doo-ur-vah more-khi-ih), or "I will not be last of my name."
It is unknown when or where the first Thuralois Doxx originated. It is believed that they once held an advanced civilization on some distant planet, and began releasing spores over every planet they came across. The civilization then mysteriously disappeared or died out, leaving no clues to the Thuralois Doxx's past, evolutionary or civilizationary. One of their earliest recorded colonies was Mhemptt, on the planet of Aberrant. It was not here that the species originated, but the language of Xarxis, which is known by almost all Thuralois Doxx, stems from it. Additionally, what little culture remains within their species comes from this one civilization.
The Thuralois Doxx were mercantile from the very beginning. This would play an important role in the future (present times in terms of the RP), but only a minor one at the time. Mhemptt was a young and developing nation, but its home planet did not contain much in the way of valuable resources. So the Thuralois Doxx made their own resources. The planet of Aberrant may not have contained minerals, but its wildlife was diverse and abundant. However, its inhabitants were not interested in furs or tusks. They were much more interested in the chemical composition of the planet and its creatures, as well as how they interacted.
Within a few centuries, the Thuralois Doxx had become proficient in biotechnology, and developed incredible resistance to infection, both viral and bacterial. They could survive in even the harshest of biological conditions, which would become very important later on. For now, it allowed them to handle dangerous infectious substances with no self-harm inflicted. It was around this time the Thuralois Doxx disbanded and became sporadic. While they were in a small concentration, they were not a problem for the other inhabitants of Aberrant. But now they wandered, spreading disease and infection, and needed to be stopped.
The other colonists of Aberrant were human, part of a separatist colonial group who had escaped Earth in the early 22nd century. They didn't agree with the UINE's ideals, the idea of a unified human empire under the rule of a single government. This group was relatively small at the time. Only a few hundred thousand had left originally, stealing a small transport vessel and taking off in search of a new home, which they eventually found in a main sequence planetary system not far from here. These humans were on a mission - to exploit this planet's natural resources. Since the Thuralois Doxx brought many foreign substances into their part of the planet, the colonist group saw them as a threat, and hatched a plan to exterminate them. However, there were several problems with this strategy. First of all, the Thuralois Doxx were sporadic. Instead of having one centralized group, they lived in small clusters of huts. Secondly, ballistic weaponry was in the majority at this time, and the hard exoskeleton of the Thuralois Doxx rendered it almost completely ineffective.
The Thuralois Doxx were not hostile at the time, but were still transporting deadly diseases that killed many of the colonists in the safety of their own homes. They were forced to wear gas masks everywhere, even to sleep. Even then, many died from flesh-eating viruses, parasitic worms, and even the Thuralois Doxx's very own airborne spores. Begrudgingly, the colonists came together to destroy them and make the planet safe again. However, once their population was threatened, the Thuralois Doxx congregated again, dedicing to terminate the colonists in turn. They were in a vastly better position than the sickly and technologically unfit colonists, even though they were much less populous. What inevitably followed this decision was a dark and bloody time in their history.
The Thuralois Doxx designed biotechnology intended to kill. Some were simple bacterial gas grenades that caused their victims to contract a deadly disease, or turned their vital organs to liquid, or peeled off their skin and caused them to bleed out on the floor. Other methods were more complex. Guns were invented that shot needles into the enemy, injecting them with poison. Organisms like spiders and centipedes were genetically engineered to be killing machines, to track down these colonists and kill them.
During this time period, the first mass human abductions occured. The Thuralois Doxx didn't want these colonists escaping and spreading the word of their atrocities, so they entered the colonist camps en masse at night, destroying all the communication equipment and ships with acidic gas. They then picked up and escaped with as many colonists as they could carry, and brought them back home. People were strung up from trees or in large facilities, and used as Thuralois Doxx breeding grounds. They were kept barely alive through two tubes, one which fed them a vile-tasting mush, one which provided clean water, of which the planet had plenty.
It was recorded during this time period that women made for better breeding grounds than men, so the Thuralois Doxx adapted. They improved their biotechnological killing machines to only target male genomes, leaving all the women alive. They still abducted men when they had the chance, but no longer opted to kill any women. This killing and kidnapping occured for a long time. Hundreds of thousands of colonists were killed, while only about a thousand Thuralois Doxx died. The remaining colonists, of which there were about ten thousand, knew there was no way out of this war for them. They approached the Thuralois Doxx, unarmed and unarmored, waving a white flag. However, the aliens were unaware of this peaceful symbol, and took it as a large-scale attack. The entire group was gassed to sleep and put in various facilities. Through this group alone, the Thuralois Doxx nearly doubled their population. Unknowingly, they also made themselves the last dominant race on the planet.
With their newfound openness and freedom, the Thuralois Doxx set their sights on civilization. They inhabited the entire planet, forming new nations, creating new technology, and so on and so forth. Space travel to both of Aberrant's moons came shortly after, which eventually evolved into interstellar travel, throughout their planetary system and beyond. This was accomplished with the use of cross-breeding and genetic engineering to create a massive, space-capable life form, that they could use as a spacecraft. It had the genetic information of many creatures packed into it, which gave the creature some unique abilities. It was the size of a large house, a characteristic obtained from whale DNA. It was also roughly the same shape, just thicker. Its exterior is covered by a thick, translucent shell with dark green skin underneath, impenetrable by bullets and extremely temperature-resistant, allowing it to handle the extreme cold of space and survive attacks by energy-based weapons. However, acid cuts right through this external shell.
The creature has a rear tail with no limbs, but two front-facing arms on its torso, both of which are also armored. These arms are both rather large, and the creature can be trained to attack with them on command. On the front end of its body, it has a large head, with two black eyes underneath the shell, and a massive, round mouth, with three sets of teeth and surrounded by tentacles. The creature can crush enemy ships with its hands, then shovel them into its mouth, gripping them with its tentacles and pulling them in. The pieces of ship and remaining survivors travel into the creature's stomach, at the bottom center of its body. Inside is a poweful acidic compound which can break down many things. That which it does not break down (certain plastics and metals) sit in the stomach until they are excreted. The creature can also vomit on command, expelling strong acid and undigested chip pieces onto whatever is in front of it.
The Thuralois Doxx have a symbiotic relationship with this creature, which they call the Axmulagh (akh-moo-log), the Xarxis word for terror. It allows them to put thrusters and computers and the like inside of it, and transport it around. In return, the Thuralois Doxx provide it with a steady supply of food, and help it lay eggs by landing it in potential breeding grounds. The inside of an Axmulagh's system is fairly tough, but precautions have to be taken just in case. For example, if there is a Thuralois Doxx breeding ground on the ship, they have to be careful not to let any pods attach to the ship, or it will die. They also have to be wary of the Axmulagh's internal system, organs, and tissues, so they are not damaged.