The Formian Hive

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The Formian Hive

Post  DrakoWulf on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:39 am

Description: The Formian species, also known as the 'farmers of Desertia' due to their natural instinct to care for the exotic herbs in Desertia's underground, are the most highly populated species on Desertia. They are often seen as the 'symbolic animal' of Desertia as a planet, regarded as the planet's mascot. Despite their more than adequate numbers over human colonists, Formian's chose to live in the planets underground where different types of Formian's carry out their daily labors. Similar to Earth's 'ants', Formian's function on a hive-mind, putting the need of their nest before that of themselves. Billions of nests exist under the sands of Desertia, spanning across the entire planet's underground system and often putting a dent in corporate mining ventures that tend to try and dig to far down into mineral reserves. Formian's have been known to be hostile towards humans regardless of any lack of provocation, often because the hive-mind immediately deems outsiders an extreme threat. They have good reason to be this way however, as nest robbers are a frequent occurrence in the underground when human scavengers attempt to try and make profit off of Formian larval extract. On top of that, Formian's are a common hunting sport for Desertian's, which has caused substantial Formian hostility around particular seasons when the hunting sprees continue to rise.

First stage Formian nests are usually established in very large caverns, typically with a nearby contained underground water supply for usage. The nests themselves are established personally by an Alpha Formian Queen, taking shape as clusters of thick 'larval combs', distinguished by multiple entry holes just large enough for grubs to utilize. Alpha Formian Queen's, after having presumably received 'fertilization' from the Formian King, will proceed to implant their gestating eggs into the clusters. The clusters are known to appear dull on the outside, but are extremely warm and accommodating on the inside in terms of Formian standards. These clusters will serve as the gestation location for eggs, where they will be housed until the eggs proceed to hatch and birth a Formian Grub into the world. Larval comb clusters are also the location for valuable 'prime larval extract'. While standard types is a desirable healthy food substance, premium kind is formed inside certain sections or types of clusters for specific Grub's to ingest in order to develop into Formian Queens.

The advancement of particular hives is always different from others. In most cases, the Alpha Queen will remain in the central hive while her offspring expand it. Grubs may become a couple of separate species of Formian, including a Formian Soldier, Formian Worker, or Formian Queen. Each species has their own role under the Alpha Queen, but they all work towards the same common goal. Formian Workers themselves preserve and advance the hive, using a biologically created silk webbing to create 'egg sacks' where certain eggs are placed. Why certain eggs are singled out from the combs, is unknown. Workers themselves tend to these eggs to make up for the lack of natural growth assistance the clusters offer the larva. Protected by Soldiers and advanced by Workers, hives expand daily on Desertia and continue to bring the Formian population scale to a dangerous level that has much of the human population worried.

In terms of size, fully grown Formian Soldiers and Formian Workers stand quite tall compared to other Desertian species like the Sandcrab, and are comparably larger then average housing furniture. They pose great strength compared to humans, sporting sharp tips on the ends of their legs to be used for goring their opposition while their teeth are utilized as a last resort method, or for eating. Variations including the Soldiers and Workers also feature wings, which permits them to fly for certain short periods of time before tiring out. This feature is typically used to access certain parts of their hives that are out of typical reach when on foot. For an unknown reason, Formian Queen's and Alpha Queen's tend to lack wings, although the reasoning for this is unknown.

A common trait all Formian's share is their nutritional system. All Formian's are carnivorous, and just as how Sandcrab's tended to feed off the functions of a Formian, Formian's tend to eat Sandcrab's as their favorite food. They have also been known to occasionally eat Warwasp's when in times of desperation for sustenance. The ingestion of food is only a side tactic for stomach satisfaction however, hydration being the main driving force behind Formian's lives. Most tend to drink from the underground water supplies, but this is often dangerous for any Formian due to a shared inability to swim in large bodies of water. Ironically, constant moisture is the only way a Formian cannot 'dry up' so to speak. In the event that water is unavailable, Formian's bodies naturally carry out a long process of absorbing moisture from the air of the underground to sustain themselves and utilizing it to provide nutriment to their bodies. Multiple pores across their skin contribute to this effort, keeping them alive. Every breed of Formian has a different time limit in which they can go without hydration before dieing. Workers cannot live outside the underground for more then at least a single day, Soldiers able to last up to three or four days. Queen's on the other hand, Alpha Queen's included, can survive for three weeks to a month. Grubs unfortunately, cannot survive for more then a few minutes without constant moisture exposure. A tactic to preserve Formian's on the surface is ironically, dousing them in water. While taking care not to drown them, constant exposure to water on their bodies will activate the pores absorption of the liquid (Simply leaving water out for them to drink is another obvious tactic, of course). The meat of a Formian shares the same qualities unfortunately, requiring moisture to avoid spoiling. A handy invention known simply as the 'Formian Preserver' allows certain amounts of meat to be stored within containers with a moist internal surface similar to a 'sponge' that can hold large amounts of liquid. The pores of Formian meat will naturally absorb the liquid of the Preserver as time goes on, leading them to remain fresh for at least two days without needing more water to be added to the Preserver.

Various species of Formians exist, each with their own specific role to fill in their hive lives. These are the currently documented breeds of the species:

Formian Grubs:

The first stage of a Formian's life cycle. Formian eggs themselves are created from either Alpha Queens, or standard Queens. Alpha Queen's give birth through a 'fertilization' process with the Formian King, that leads them to sire many eggs in one season. Over the period of one year at a regular season that is known to last a month to two months, often referred to as 'Formian Spawning Season', Alpha Queens recycle and birth once more. It was originally thought that Alpha Queens had to return to the King for further fertilization, but that has been proven false, and that the Alpha Queens will maintain their fertility and 'reproduce' the King's so called 'seed'. Standard Queens birth Formian Grub eggs at random times throughout the year through intercourse relations with Workers and Soldiers (Soldiers seem to be preferred, although the reason for this is unknown.) Eggs are then tended to either by Workers in silk web clusters, or in Queen observed 'comb clusters' where the natural formation of the clusters will nurse the eggs to adulthood. Grubs will take roughly two months to hatch from an egg status, leading up to the standard time limit of a Spawning Season. Spawning Season's are notably times of increased hostility from Formian Wild-Life and immediate hostile responses to vibrations on the surfaces over their hives, that will be met with the immediate surfacing of a contingent of soldiers with the intent to preserve their reproduction cycle. Grubs themselves are small, roughly the size of a large pillow and just about as fragile. Bioluminescent, Grubs glow internally from the standard extract each Formian Grub carries (In reality, standard extract is technically just Formian Grub guts that for some reason loses it's nutritional quality at adult hood.) Grubs rarely move in their infant stage, having six small legs to assist in their rare movements intended to either move to meat given to it by an adult Formian, or just to reposition itself into a more comfortable position. In short, Grubs are the most pampered, protected, and cared for member of the Formian hierarchy, spending their days laying around and emitting high pitched shrieks. (These vocalizations can be described as how Formian's communicate, as adults are seen communicating similarly. The constant use of the vocalizations by Grubs however, can only be concluded to be them complaining for more food in Formian tongue.)

Formian Soldiers:

The common face of the Formian race, soldiers are the most frequently encountered breed of the species. Regardless of this status, they are only the second most highly populated breed, the first being the Workers who are rarely seen on the surface. Although what process decides what Grubs become Soldiers and what grow into Workers is currently unknown, Soldiers are the minority compared to Workers. Formian Soldiers' have a very simple job in the hive: protect it. They are known to have almost predetermined patrol routes through their hives and underground passages, often leading to them reaching conflict with Miners exploring tunnels. Soldiers are also the races face on the surface of Desertia, appearing to scavenge for food such as sandcrabs or humans to bring back to the hive to feed Workers and Grubs. In the event of notable disturbance to their race, such as high Formian death tolls, nest robberies, or Grub killings, Soldiers will group into tight formations and launch counter-assaults on humans or other offenders in order to carry out vengeance or retrieve extract.

Formian Workers:

The united Formian working force. The largest populate breed of Formian, workers are expected to number in the trillions in the present day. Some even maintain that that's an understatement, and their population may be even higher then that. Humans can only be thankful that what keeps Worker's from reaching the surface and taking over the planet, is most likely their short life span on the surface without moisture in the air (It's a desert planet, the climate doesn't support anything but heat and dry weather.). Worker's are often considered to be potentially more dangerous then Soldiers in a ranged instance. Although their carapace is much less durable then a Soldiers, they sport the same flight ability and instinctive 'goring' tactic. To their advantage though, workers also maintain the ability to gestate and spit corrosive acid that is naturally gestated as a defense mechanism and tunnel digger in a special organ with an internally resistant surface to the corrosive compounds. One should take great care when dealing with a hostile Worker at a distance, as their spit can easily burn through armor, clothing, skin, and bone. No effective counter is known, except to try and clean out wounds with liquid. The acid is also known to carry an infectious toxin that will enter a victims system upon initial contact, leading to painful results that will often lead to severe infection and likely death. There -are- medical treatment procedures to counter Worker neurotoxin, but they are only licensed to official medical specialists, but see usage in organizations such as Close Endeavors or S.S.E.U.

Formian Queens:

The dominant face of the Formians under the Alpha Queen in all hives. Those chosen few Grubs that are fed prime larval extract, a substance formed from Alpha Queens, will grow into a Formian Queen themselves within a several month period. Billions of Formian Queens are known to exist across Desertia, all of which are subordinate to the Alpha Queen of their hives. Queen's themselves only serve a few purposes, including regular periods of Grub birthing aside from specified Spawning Seasons, hive protection alongside Soldiers, and occasional trips to the surface. Often when a situation warrants a large task force of Formian Soldiers to emerge to the surface, a Queen will accompany them to lead the contingency group into battle against opposition. Where as workers and soldiers are only moderately durable in combat, Queens can take a great deal of punishment, their skin being extremely thick and capable of taking substantial impact from high caliber velocity rounds. They tend to use their head as a battering ram when in a hostile confrontation, due to their skin being irregularly resilient here. Queens who have been given ample distance and speed to charge have been known to destroy metal doors, demolish poor quality houses, and even kill humans with a single center-mass strike to the torso; instantly crushing in their chest cavity, breaking ribs, and rupturing organs. Queen's are a true terror to behold, but only surface in times it is necessary. On a side note, where as worker meat is known for being extremely rubbery, and soldier meat is considered 'stringy', Queen meat has been considered a delicacy on Desertia due to a much more resilient and thick meat quality that has led to many Desertian's preferring their type of meat.

Formian Alpha Queens:

The top figure of the Formian hierarchy in the separate hives, Alpha Queen's are the hive creators, and rulers. After the initial hive formation, Alpha Queens rarely leave their clusters and simply remain to be zealously protected by their subordinates. Their only natural duty from this point is providing vocalized direction to lower class Formians and controlling their local hive-mind functions, in addition to an occasional Spawning Season birthing process after replicating and rebirthing eggs provided from the Formian King during an Alpha Queens initial fertilization. Alpha Queens themselves appear to just be regular Queens, but have an unusual green glow to their bodies, the exact cause for this currently a mystery to scientists and field researchers. Alpha Queens themselves have not been officially studied outside their nests due to a blatant impossibility of capturing one and removing it from it's hive, as most agree this would cause a massive Formian outrage that would cause the entire hive in the sector including workers, soldiers, and queens to surface and search for her. Obviously, the destruction they would leave behind in their search would be devastating to the human population. In the rare instance when an Alpha Queen dies, it is believed that the oldest Formian Queen in line for succession will then become the new Alpha, although the exact process in converting their bodies to such a status has never been observed. The exact method of replacement of an Alpha Queen is only a theory, some believing that a special kind of Grub may be created to grow and replace the Alpha Queen in her role. No confirmation is present to confirm either theory, and it is all up to the individuals speculation.

The Formian King:

A witness sketch of the Formian King, depicting it's size compared to a humans scale.

A legendary and enigmatic figure of Formian society. The target of religious beliefs, and the dream of all field researchers. Explorers constantly maintain the dream of finding and seeing the King himself, while some hunters believe him to be a perfect potential mantle piece. All these individuals are regarded as foolish by the individuals who actually have seen the King. Very few photographic or video evidence exists of the King, but many witness reports and grainy videos have confirmed him to be factual. After realizing the potential possibility that the King may actually exist, S.S.E.U. researchers under the supervision of X.E.M. carried out an exploration of sighting areas in an attempt to locate the King. Although he's far from unguarded, the Formian King has been confirmed to exist in the Desertian Northern Region. Supposedly living in a massive underground cavern guarded by thousands of Alpha Queens and other Formians, the King is theorized to be the central figure of the Formian's hive-mind and what controls the entire planets population. Although his discovery was significant and confirmed the concepts by Desertian religion, this opened the door for many hunters to try and kill the King. Needless to say, they all failed, as those few who got passed the King's guards were almost instantly devoured by the massive creature. To prevent further loss of human life and put a stop to potentially send the King on the retaliation, X.E.M. and the G.S.A.F. have placed a regulation denying any individual the right to kill or attempt to see the King under threat of Federal prosecution. The reason for such a law is also to remove the potential worry that killing the King might completely destroy the Formian species, therefore putting the King up as a prime candidate as an 'endangered species'.

"It is lamentable that in order to become a true patriot, one must become the enemy of the rest of humanity."
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