"Autopsy of Subject A, or 'the husk' as the team has dubbed it, strongly suggests a parasitic spore infection.
A series of tests have determined the plates protruding from the subject's head is composed of a long-chain polymer
of N-acetylglucosamine, very much alike the cell walls of fungi and the shells of some arthropods. The intestines
seemed to have made way for a kind of artificial womb, or rather a cloaca, with an open orifice around the umbilicus.
The brain appears to have been altered drastically as well. More extensive tests are currently being carried out."
- Excerpt from a GSA medical raport
The first encounter with the ‘Hive’, named after their seemingly effortless coordination, marked the end of an era for
mankind. In a quick but violent series of events, mankind’s burning question about their unique existence in the galaxy
was answered. They’d soon begin to wish that this question was still left to be answered.
Existing long before any of the known races, the Hive spreads their corruption through the use of giant semi-organic spires that blaze through black holes across the galaxy, with a very clear goal. To one day reach their target, a planet capable of sustaining life that is just waiting to be infected. The spires bore themselves into the host world's crust and begin releasing a potent strain of parasitical spores. The enormous clouds of dust from this impact takes care of the logistics of transmission into their new hosts.
Once infected, the incubation takes quite some time. It starts of slowly and in small number, but can still prove extremely lethal. As the spores attempt to connect to the host’s immune system it devastates anything that stands in its path. High mortality rates aren’t uncommon in this phase. By eventually targeting the B lymphocyte cells, the cells that are normally responsible for fighting off infectious parasites, these cells are rendered blind and uncoordinated. Afterwards the spores reproduce in such large quantities that its victims reportedly feel squirming and shifting under their skin.
Spreading to the spine, it takes over key brain functions and seems to use its host as a vessel for further transmission of the infection. Those affected at this stage have been reported to have uncontrollable coughing fits in large crowds or even regurgitate into water supplies. After the infection has fully enveloped the individual, they turn into a husk of their former selves. Social contacts are lost, loved ones are ignored. Physical contact is answered by a primal scream and violent thrashing of limbs.
These 'husks' alienate themselves from society and spend most of their time just standing around or crawled up into a corner. During this time the spores reassign adult stem cells from the host’s bone marrow to focus on producing chitinous cell walls, rather than repair damaged tissue. As this process drags on, the host becomes more and more disfigured. Their spine protrudes out of their backs, facial structures are warped and thick plates stick out of the scalp. It is only after the full formation of these plates that the husks appear to be connected to the rest of the Hive and begin physically moving again.
Moving in conjunction with the ebb and flow of the rest of the Hive’s ranks, these husks do not stand out nor do they draw the attention of the others. Their role seems to fit in perfectly alongside the swarms of Krogladites, providing the Hive with even greater numerical advantage. Similar to Earth’s ants, these Krogladites appear to have a special link to their Queens, being far more defensive of her when faced with perceived danger. In turn, the Queen is very protective of her offspring.
The so-called Hive Monarch, named for its sheer size, and the Queen form another kind of bonding. When near to one another, the Queen’s pheromones react with the virulent gasses that the Monarch excretes, causing both to become more aggressive and destructive. This pairing then becomes near indestructible on the battlefield, requiring tremendous amounts of firepower, or perhaps more fittingly cannon fodder, to subdue.
While the main bulk of the Hive’s forces are composed of swarms of Krogladites, with the occasional Queen and Monarch towering out above their ranks, their roster does not end there. The great number of deadly Krathgores pose as serious a threat as any Hive member. As if their imposing demeanor wasn’t enough, their huge claws and unrelenting force can make quick work of anything between a common foot soldier to heavily armored tanks. This is true for a single Krathgore, let alone when they operate in greater number.
Equally frightening are the Yarnakh, though for a different reason. Whereas the others in the Hive’s ranks require genetic alteration to spread the Hive’s infection, these fast moving beasts seem to have internal glands that already take care of this. Extreme caution is advised when going up against this foe, as they can easily convert opponents they will inevitably defeat and doom them to serve the Hive until the end of their days.
The most illustrious and mysterious in the Hive hierarchy are the Vizors. Enigmatic in action, the Vizors’ unfathomable telepathic abilities allow them to crush their enemies from afar. Wreaking havoc and mayhem from a distance one moment and slipping away the next, the Vizors’ slender physique suits their abilities perfectly. It is even said that the Vizors are the Hive’s actual masterminds, using their telepathy to coordinate everything from the Hive’s spread across the galaxy to the communication of tactics on each battlefield. Their agility, intelligence and incomprehensible nature certainly seem to support this conclusion, hiding behind the curtains and leaving the larger and more bulky amongst the Hive’s ranks to do their bidding.
While the Hive boasts a wide variety of subdued species at this time, its ever expanding nature means that others could quickly follow. One by one, the Hive swallows entires civilizations for its own sinister gain and inexplicable purpose.