Bacterians

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Bacterianmember.jpg

Type: Parasitic/Bacterial/Symbiont (see below)

Galactic Age: 2nd Generation

Expected Height: 1.5 to 2.5 meters
Lifespan Duration: Varies (400 years to infinite)
Skin Color(s): Varies
Breathing Mixture: Can adapt to several mixtures

Original Homeworld: Unknown planet situated somewhere in the Bacterian Home Galaxy
Milky Way Command World: Bacterius

Xenobiology Database Serial Number: SF #0011

Name of Government(s): The Bacterian Empire

Evolution and Genetic Assimilation

The Bacterian organism actually consists of two separate life forms that have formed a kind of a symbiotic (some would even say parasitic) relationship, one microscopic and the other macroscopic. In fact, it could be argued that the macroscopic part of the Bacterian species is little more than a by-product of the microscopic part, an incredibly advanced micro-organism referred to as the superbacterium. The superbacterium resembles common bacteria, but it has several unique characteristics that warrant placing it to a subclass of its own, if not making it a whole new type of life form entirely.

First and foremost, it has the peculiar property of genetic assimilation, the process in which the superbacterium, after entering an alien biosystem, can effectively decode, analyze and merge with any new genetic material it comes across in eukaryotic cells, no matter how foreign. The mechanics of this amazing process of lateral gene transfer are still a mystery to science, as they seem to violate the very basis of all we currently know about evolutionary biology, but the end results are quite real and readily observable. The superbacterium has two modes of operation: the thankfully more common passive state, also known as dormant mode, and the invasive state, which will be discussed later on.

The superbacterium, while operating in its invasive state and not in the more common dormant mode, can spread like a disease from host to host, merging through invasive plasmid transfer its own base-DNA into the host-DNA and taking over all protein production. This forced horizontal gene transfer can have a wide range of effects on the host, including a 1000% increase in the subject's metabolism and cellular regeneration, the rapid growth of tumors and new organs, internal or external, alterations in the workings of the nervous system and severe mutations in the subject's brain tissue that often result in erratic behavior and increased aggressiveness.

It is not known what causes the superbacterium to switch states from dormant to invasive; theories on the subject include the Strain Theory, which suggests a random mutation occasionally takes place, and the several imaginative theories of Macrobody Interaction, which propose that the host body in which the superbacterium resides might have some form of symbiotic control over it, perhaps related to hormonal production.

Some have even went as far as suggesting the host Bacterian might have a subconscious or even a conscious control over these hormones, and could then use the superbacterium as a kind of a natural biological weapon. Indeed, as far fetched as this may sound when approached from the viewpoint of conventional biology, it should be noted that during the First Bacterian War several incidents were documented that do in fact appear to fit in with the propositions of the Subconscious/Conscious Macrobody Interaction theory.

Anatomy

Due to the uniqueness of their genetic assimilation method, unlike members of ordinary species, the individual Bacterians do not seem to have a common form. Some have adapted the base of their genetic material from the orcs during the UO-BE First Contact (the most common form), others have snatched their genetic base from gigerdians, humans, and the life-forms of the Bacterian Home Galaxy.

One Bacterian representative was once quoted as having three lungs. He was also reportedly able to survive in various different atmospheres, including oxygen-nitrogen and methane-nitrogen, which supports this to some extent.

Some years ago it was discovered that gamma radiation caused tumour growth in Bacterians, thanks to Gigerdians gamma bombing of Bacterian civilian populations.

Technology

Bacterian technology is, like everything related to Bacterians, dangerous and mysterious.

The Bacterians use a wide array of organic bioweapons, ships and other utilities. For example their ships are living creatures (who according to reports are constantly trying to eat their passengers!) A Gigerdian ambassador once said "The old Human proverb 'even walls have ears' is finally true, thanks to the Bacterians."

Bacterian bioweapons have always been one of the most dreaded things in the Galaxy. Ranging from genetically engineered parasitic life forms that turn their hosts in to killing machines to plagues that can wipe out a fully populated world in hours, they are still considered to be a great threat to all races. Numerous attempts to get rid of the bacterian bioweapons have been initiated by the galactic diplomatic community but to no avail.

The Bacterians have also always been very fond of powered armor and mechanized infantry. Their security forces are small minimechs and their armies consist of large and very large mechs.

Instead of synthetic androids, the Bacterians use biomechanical servitors, fusions of synthetic and organic characteristics.

For further information, see:

Government

The Bacterian Empire is one of the oldest continuous governmental bodies in the known universe. Many of its functionings still remain a mystery to the Galaxy at large.

For an in-depth analysis of the Empire, see:

Reproduction

As mentioned before, the Bacterians can reproduce in many ways. First and foremost, they use the genetic assimilation, which means they can emulate someone's genes and add them to their own genetic material, thus creating a new race of Bacterians.

Some Bacterians are known to use the genetic assimilation in a more aggressive way, using some kind of a viral/bacterial infection to a host creature, which turns the host slowly into a new Bacterian.

Also, if the majority of a Bacterian's genetic base is from a humanoid creature, it is likely that it will have humanoid genitals. That means they can also reproduce with other humanoids, for example Gigerdians and to some extent Orcs, Humans, etc.

There have also been unsubstantiated reports that even if only a small piece of tissue is left from a Bacterian, it can recreate the entire body, which means the Bacterians can go around the Galaxy spreading their tissue samples, which later grow up to be new Bacterians. It is likely however this is not a standard means of reproduction for the common Bacterian, but rather some type of specially engineered trait used in wartime scenarios by a select group.

See also