Agents of Juffo-Wup
The Mycon are a race of creatures that nest near the Brahe and Scorpii constellations. While most sentient races (with notable exceptions) are taxonomically animals, the Mycon are fungi. The Mycon spread the spores of their race through the galaxy with their Podships.
Conversations with the Mycon are very difficult; only the Orz could be considered more confusing and even that would be up to debate. The Mycon constantly ramble about Juffo-Wup, the Non and the Void with vaguely religious overtones and often without any relevance to the current conversation. Even worse, they sometimes seem to be "possessed" by one of their ancestors, who quickly explains how and when it died. They are usually very hostile toward other species, even other Battle Thralls. Still, the Mycon are commonly described as being naive and unable to fully comprehend the concept of deception.
Mycon living conditions would be most accurately described by Humans as "hellish," with temperatures close to the melting point of lead. Silicate structures within their physiology allow them to survive such extreme temperatures.1 Besides being able to withstand high temperatures, some Mycon have also been known to survive a decompression quick-freeze.
Their unique reproduction process gives the Mycon an amazing talent for genetic engineering, a talent for which they are widely known. Mycon usually reproduce asexually by budding off parts of themselves in the form of DNA-rich spores, which they then launch into the air. Normally a spore will land and develop into a near perfect clone of the parent. The spores can also be inhaled by other Mycon as a mechanism to exchange genetic material. The Mycon intimate that this process is much more complex and allows them to selectively transfer genes, memories and even personality fragments via the genetic material to their offspring. This seems to be confirmed by the Umgah, who state that the Mycon "just THINK genetic modification, and it happen!" High levels of radiation can also induce collective budding, immediately creating several Mycon clones.
The Mycon colonize worlds through aggressive terraforming. They launch their Deep Children into the crust of the planet's surface where its tendrils grow, molding the enviroment of the planet to the Mycon's liking with terrible tectonic movement and volcanic activity — it becomes a Shattered World. Mycon prefer warm, living Water Worlds in which to plant these seeds.
Originally it was assumed that the Mycon evolved as some kind of ambulatory fungus. Recent discoveries by the Umgah indicate, however, that the Mycon are actually advanced, genetically engineered, biological tools and not the results of natural evolution. The only somewhat clear statement from Mycon about their origins is: "When Juffo-Wup is complete, when at last there is no Void or Non, when the Creators return, then we can finally rest." A reliable source claims that the Creators are in fact the Precursors, who built them as biological terraformers.2 If this origin story is true, Mycon history has to begin some time prior to the Precursors' disappearance 250,000 years ago. According to the same sources, in the following millenia after the Precursors' disappearance, the Mycon programming became corrupted, eventually introducing the worship of Juffo-Wup.
Conversations with the Mycon give an idea of the extent of their history but do not provide any specific historic details. The Mycon claim to have had in their possession the Sun Device, or "pod of Juffo-Wup," for over a hundred thousand years. Two Mycon ancestral personalities also place the Mycon race well in the past: Dugee, a purity monitor, which died 57,823 years ago and Shloosh, which was incinerated 14,000 years ago. While this does place them as contemporaries of the Sentient Milieu, there is no indication that any members of the Milieu were ever aware of the Mycon.
The Mycon are next encountered in the more recent years by current space-faring races. Though not known at the time, in 2035 the Syreen homeworld, Syra, was destroyed by a Mycon Deep Child. Then a short time before 2124, the Mycon contacted Ur-Quan and voluntarily sought to join the Hierarchy as Battle Thralls. The Ur-Quan, having just come up against the combined Yehat, Shofixti, and Human forces of the Alliance, naturally accepted the unique offer. The Mycon were one of the last races to join sides in the First War, and their Podships greatly increased the size of the Hierarchy's armadas. One theory is that the Mycon are secretly building up their strength and planning the demise of the Ur-Quan since one of their common phrases is: "Juffo-Wup acknowledges the existence of un-Voidable Non. When we meet those, we study, absorb, and seek a way to void the Non." During their involvement with the Hierarchy, the Mycon drew the attention of the biology-obsessed Umgah. The Umgah, interested in the Mycon's genetic engineering capabilities, captured a Mycon (a serious infraction of Hierarchy law) and proceeded to study it. From their dissection of the Mycon corpse, the Umgah made the surprising discovery that the Mycon are actually artificial constructs.
Recently, in the relative calm following the Hierarchy victory, the Mycon having been rapidly expanding their sphere of influence. Unfortunately, The Captain learns of their colonizing methods and their involvement in the destruction of Syra. He and the Syreen lay a trap for the Mycon, planning an ambush at Organon. The Syreen forces decimate the Mycon fleet, reducing the Mycon's sphere to roughly its 2133 extent. While the bulk of the Mycon fleet is occupied at Organon, The Captain is able to obtain the lightly guarded Sun Device.
Notes and references
- 1In one of their ramblings, possibly repeating the words of the Creators, the Mycon say "...incorporation of dense amphibole fibers ensure survival in environmental extremes..." (emphasis added).
- 2Fred and Paul, in a 1998 chat, confirm the Mycons' Precursor origin, their original purpose as terraforming tools, and their drift from the original programming.