A Deep Hunter is the coloquial for a hiveminded aquatic organism with features similar to arthropods, reptiles, and fish, belonging to the Deep Hunters faction.
Deep Hunters begin the colonization of a planet by releasing mutagenic spore onto the planet's ocean. These mutate local fauna into forms useful to the Deep Hunters, as well as link them to the Hivemind.
The current Deep Hunter civilisation/dynasty/whatever-it's-called began 15,000 years ago, upon the coronation of Tuethis. However, the Braincoral-like Archive of Thought goes back at least fifteen million year back, well before space flight was acheived and their first non-homeworld was colonized.
Deep Hunter Biology is varied, as most species they consumed have different genetics than ones from other planets. The base template for a deep hunter organism is both silicon and carbon based, and can run off of oxygen or sulfur, allowing them to survive in a range of environments, as well as process a range of materials. Organisms that are primarily land based use silicon as their base template for greater structural integrity. Deep Hunter genetics mean that they are theoretically immortal, however this does not occur often in practice, due to the Deep Hunter habit of eatting each other. They are also immune to most diseases, found out the hard way when biological warfare was used to clear a planet of a hive. Needless to say the attackers were most suprised when several experimental mass organisms attacked a base that had most of its defenses dismantled. Along with diseases, the deep hunter have what has been described as "an utterly bullshit level of NBCE [nuclear, biological, chemical, enviormental] resistance," allowing then to withstand facors tht would instantly kill, melt, explode, or irradiate normal biological life.
Deep Hunter nerves seem to be similar in function to a fiber optic cables, which allows faster responses and better neural processing.
Deep Hunters have large amounts of bacteria in what is generally a four section stomach and a scroll-valve intestine, allowing large amounts of material being processed quickly. A deep Hunter can consume almost any compatible material, organic or inorganic.
A muscle in a Deep Hunter system is made of triangular fibers, for better strength, and connects at more points for improved durability. Some species have hexagonal, which functions as well as triangular, but are bulkier.
Deep Hunters have, in all but a few cases (such as most jellyfish like creatures, and some ofther types) have an endoskeleton as well as an exoskeleton, which has more points to mount their muscles, as well as increasing durability during combat. The exoskeleton is mainly joined to the endoskeleton along the vertebra, as well as the skull. It is sometimes connected at the feet, but most subnspecies have arthropod feet, which has no where to attach. The exoskeleton is made primarily of chiton, with layers of bone and other ,material strenghtneing it. The endoskeleton is made of compressed silicon and calcium compunds, which are tougher than standard bones.
Sight- high resolution, but only detects light in the blue/green/violet spectrum. Can also use infrared and UV.
Touch- It is unknown how sensitive a deep hunter's sense of touch is
Taste- Deep Hunters can use specialized organs to sense the air's chemical trails, and
Hearing- The Deep Hunters cannot hear normal sound, due to their use of echolocation. Most sonic communication is carried out in both ultrasound or infra sound
Smell- Identical to taste
Electroreceptors- These are seen in many fish. Allow detection of muscular movements in other organisms
Lateral Line- Detects pressure changes, gives advanced warning of attacked, by a few seconds.
Magnetic Sensitivity- Deep Hunters can sense magnetism, which is useful for sensing non-energy weapons
As the Deep HUnters are a conglomeration of thousands of species, their reproductive methods range from vegatative cloning, to self fertilization, to the abnormally frequent two gender re productive methods, and more exotic means, such as three-plus gender reproduction (the record is in the nudibranch, which has at least 37 different genders, all of which are vital to the creation of larva), to xenomorphic parasitism of a host, to birth through hive like structures, and the most bizzar, Creating an organism by thought power and psychic aptitude alone.
Deep Hunters can breed every type of individual from Onomites, however, with the exceptions of Queens, Deep Lords, and Praetorian (thought to be direct descendants of the original deep hunter species), most will reproduce through sexual (or asexual, in some species) means with other members of their subspecies, which allows natural (and sometimes beneficial) mutations to occur. While all are connected to the hive mind, the various organisms have been observe fighting over territory and food, as well as eating each other.
Due to the fact that the Deep Hunters are a biological faction, most of their units are cobbled together from the various indigenous sea life from planets the have colonized. This also applies to the Deep Hunters themselves. The Deep Hunters have a rigid caste system, in which each individual is set in a unique niche which they are adapted for. This caste system is unique among other races' caste systems in that no individual is lower than any other individual. The castes, from "lowest" to "highest" are as follows:
These individuals have been bred over the millions of years of Deep Hunter evolution to be the most compact, versitile creatures in Deep Hunter society. Most of the "tail" is filled with glands that secrete a form of biological cement, which is used to repair structures, as well as baracade Deep Hunter outposts from invasion. Workers also have the ability to secrete a hormone filled fluids in birthing areas to insure other Deep Hunters can grow to full size. The four arms that workers posses makes them very versitile in any situation. Workers are carried in large numbers by a Deep Hunter Slitherer, where they construct the shells of structures that are ready to be birthed. Average size: 3 meters, 180 kilograms.
These are the units that are deployed in combat. A semi-complete list of warrior classes and their functions can be found on the main page.
"Onomite" is the term for Deep Hunter Larva in combat situations. These are stored inside birthing reefs, and will metamorphise into various Deep Hunter units with the correct stimuli. As the Deep Hunters would be unable to fight without them, they are well gaurded. Average size: 1 meter, 20 kilograms. Similar in appearance to a ragworm.
These creatures resemble the horseshoe crabs from earth, and are used to transport various Deep Hunters around their colonies outside of combat situations. Average size: 30 meters long, 6 meters tall, 10 meters wide, 50,000 kilograms, but ones up to three hundred times that size have been reported.
These are the "Elite Guard" of the Deep Hunters. These individuals are equipped with scythe-like claws that are used to eviscerate anything that comes near places that require special attention. A total of seven pairs of legs has been achieved. The praetors are very fast, and have been known to operate human and other factions' technology. These often resemble viper-fish or eels. Average size: 5 meters long, 300 kilograms.
Large worm like organism which give birth to Onomites. Kept in factories for unit production. Average size of 12 meters , and 7,000 kilograms.
The Deep Hunters have several known spacefaring organisms.
Fortresses-These are the Deep Hunters' primary orbital craft. They resemble massive lobster/shark/crocodile hybrids, with a turtle like shell which houses Deep Hunter cities,Slitherers and colonization equipment. Can land on planets, and proceed to release their charges from there, but most of their weaponry is evolved for space warfare, so they are typically vulverable on planetary surfaces. Size: 1,200 km long, 9,000,000,000 tons of weight. One of the smallest known Deep Hunter starcraft.
Star Dragons- THese are some of the largest known biological organisms ever. 150,000 kilometers long, and capable of eating small planetoids. The weight is uncalculated.
Tartarus- THese war beasts can fire black holes at enemies
Slitherers, Kollosi, Bladed onesEdit
Slitherers have their own page. Kollosi are smaller than slitherers, but tend to be about twice as tall. A bladed one is about 75-90 meters tall and appears to be a guard to other commanders. Some theorise that kollosi and slitherers represtent different genders of the same specieis, which has been confirmed through observation.
These are the command caste. They resemble a cuttle fish or squid crossed with a shark and a crocodile. These have huge brains taking up 80% of their total mass, and have some of the most powerful psychic abilities in the known universe.
Deep Hunters tend to move in massive groups called "pods," which each have different aesthetics and tactics during combat. Several are known, and have been seen working in conjunction with each other. Most are thought to have diverged several thousand years before the current time, possibly even more. The following pods are all that are known:
These monsters tend to use tuneling through the deep crust and upper mantle to traverse entire armies and erupt inside of fortified areas. Most are black colored, with red orange bioilluminesence. Most are armed with a form smoke-spewing orfices similar to hydrothermal vents. They will turn worlds into massive vocanic hells, with maassive oceans with huge numbers of vents.
This pod is silvery, with light blue biolights. Most of their creatures are capable of discharging freezing air, and can walk on the thinnest ice possible. This group is what was found in the atlanits colony of europa.
This is where the majority of the deep hunters are. THese favor more aquatic combat than others.