Alien Species: The Zed
The physical description of a Zed varies from caste to caste, and from unit to unit. They are formed by the introduction of alien artificially intelligent bio-nanites, called Reconstruction Nanites into the system of a living being of carbon or silicon base. Recon-Nanites specialize in molecular rearrangement, and nanite construction. They proceed to rearrange, molecule by molecule, atom by atom, the internal workings of their victim, to fit the design of the Zed. Reconstruction also involves making more Nanites of different design and different functions out of the available materials in the victim. Rapidly, the individual begins to change into a Zed unit. The victim if it were of a mammalian race, unable to stop the process, painfully stays aware during the entire process, while his brain is rerouted with alien bio-circuitry; his organs and muscles are pulled tight and rearranged so that the now-reconstructed bone-armor is on the outside, and the muscles, nerves, and organs are reconstructed to produce the Zed bio-energy, distribute it through out the unit. The victim, if a sentient being, gradually goes insane, at which time the zed consciousness is able to take over, and push the victim’s consciousness back into the recesses of the now-Zed CPU (brain), stored, unable to be purged.
Not much is known about the Zed’s history, except that they come from a distant part of the galaxy, yet explored by Alliance surveys or satellites. There is a legend (some call it rumor) that the hale from a great Dyson Sphere light years from the Edge. But no substantiated facts have arisen to support this story, despite the evidence amongst some reintegrated colonies of a religion based around a “hollow world with a star in the center.
The only history the Alliance has is one that is recorded by those who encountered the race. It was first encountered by a newly rediscovered planet not far from the Edge, host to a remnant colony of humans. The humans were unaware of the Zed presence, until the Alliance arrived, because apparently, the race lay dormant, awaiting for a way off the planet. When the Zed were awakened, the began their rampage of destruction, only to be stopped by an unexplained use of mental power by a group of corp-grunts hired by Star Law to watch the survey. The planet was later quarantined by Star Law.
More encounters with the Zed were few, but deadly. Ships began to disappear, a few colonies lost. Alliance Land Fleet will not take action; it is not with in their definition of a crisis yet. Star Law could not do anything; out of their jurisdiction. The corps and sectorial government were left to deal with it on their own. Last intelligence reports from Wartech Intel read that a group of ambitious Mechanons were leaving their planet to search for “their brothers”, and make peace.
From studies done on terminated Zed, it was found that the Zed Recon-Nanites reconstruct the victims senses to an incredible level, compensating for an handicaps, replacing the old sensory system with a series of modular scanning and sensory devices, which all spread out through out the cellular structure of the Zed, giving every nanometer of the Zed its own level of sensory perception.
Nothing is known about the Zed language, primarily because we don’t know how they communicate. Their exists a theory that they have some kind of telepathy, although this is debated with the same debate about whether they are animals or machines (“…machines can not have telepathy…”)
The Zed center on one basic need; the need to reproduce. the only way is through Recon-Nanites. The spread like a disease, taking parts from bodies when they need them, and destroying all that resist… (and using them for spare parts.)
The social structure, based on fragmented studies by now deceased (or worse) surveyors, is a very structured one, much like the Mechanons. The apparently have several layers of Castes; warriors (usually the largest), workers (these vary in size – from base nanites to giants), scouts (vary also), and something that is labeled by scholars as the CPUnit ( Control Parceling Unit or of course, Central Processing Unit) which is a sort of king/queen figure that is usually heavily protected. Other than this, the social structure and any customs are a mystery.
One thing that was observed by a Telideeos Manning, human Attack Scout from CDC was that the Zed never waste anything, and have no biological by-products; they were the cleanest race he had ever seen. Except, after that transmission, he apparently had seen them too close. The origin of that transmission has been kept secret by CDC and Star Law since.
The Zed apparently have a fantastic healing ability; they are able to remove a body part from a recently killed victim ( and even a not so recently killed victim) and integrated into their body structure. They even sometimes modify their bodies in this manner.
They are also able to create natural weapons; melee and ranged. The most dangerous of the ranged are the Recon-Nanite Emitters, which throw a mass of recon-nanites at the target, which is usually consumed, unless they are wearing armor.