Common Name: Common Alien Goo
The enigmatic species known commonly as Alien Goo is a semi-parasitic, invasive, rapidly evolving pest organism with extreme resistance to adverse conditions. It is highly dangerous to encounter even in its most primitive forms, in its advanced stages it will require significant firepower and resources to successfully suppress and eventually eradicate a local infection zone.
Alien Goo (or The Goo) is believed to have come from a significantly hostile world and brought back by returning scouts. Since then it has quietly spread in dormant states to create the occasional infection zone, and more than one ship has drifted into dock with no crew left onboard; only a mass of biomass. Recorded infection zones are typically suppressed before reaching advanced levels with fewer than two dozen deaths, the few advanced infection recordings are exercises in solo survivor stories, or after action reports from partly traumatized commanders of troops sent to deal with the infection.
The Alienum Ire has shown no higher intelligence, communication or government. It is considered an invasive pest animal and is highly dangerous. Destroy on sight. Send the marines. Nuke from orbit. Whatever it takes.
What little can be gleamed from study of the Goo is limited by the fact that containment is extremely difficult (read: Observations, paragraph 4), and that destruction of the goo often requires complete chemical conversion into carbon (burning) making dead samples unhelpful. The goos ability to deconstruct materials on a molecular scale indicates a single-cellular structure forming a colony, however it's ability to generate larger marcoscopic lifeforms and organic structures indicates if not some instinctive design, then an in-built, highly sophisticated propagation mechanism.
The theory of single-cellular goo also implies that reproduction happens through splitting, but this doesn't take into account the different materials the goo is able to transmorph into, particularly on large marcoscopic creatures which often have chitinous sections of hardened shell or claws, at its simplest made of calcium or keratin, or in more advanced stages, steel and other metals (read: Lifeforms, Type 5 “Other”).
Attempts to capture living samples of the goo have revealed that the goo will even react and spread using noble gases in containment; typically these gases are considered inert for most purposes. Glass, plastic, and most metals are inadequate for containment of all but the smallest samples. Gold has some resistance but cannot be observed through easily. Observations with lead and other hyper-dense materials are self-defeating exercises. Even the gel of a petri dish is susceptible to being converted by the goo, making observations via microscope liable to make one lose an eye.
The most basic form of Goo is a sheet of biomass over a surface, starting as a thin sheet of sticky, disgusting goo (hence the species name) over floors, walls, or ceilings. Upon finding food or other energy sources this sheet will expand into a thick carpet which traps feet and attacks intruders while assisting the later lifeforms it produces.
Despite its humble appearance this is actually the “brains” of the goo, as the neurological activity acts as a large scale, but limited processing unit. More about other observations regarding the Goo later in this article. Through psychic sensors it can be observed that the good functions as a primary information relay and neural network, basically a big brain. Other types of creatures below show remarkably increased combat performance while on it (Observations: Capabilties And Methods: Paragraph 3).
Fire, chemical or otherwise, has been proven the most effective against this type. Certain types of radiation may affect it, but will not be cost effective. Lasers will char the outer surface, but create a carbon layer over the deepest layers of goo, and are thus ineffective for long-term removal of thickly grown Goo.
When a centralized source of food or other energy is available the Goo will create a biological reaction chamber to create fuel to feed itself. The Goo has been observed to use “organic materials” processed in a large scale stomach, but has also been observed to use things such as geothermal power sources, geysers, and certain types of electrical generators including heavy hydrogen fusion reactors; however these are relatively inefficient.
Once this stage is established it's only a matter of time before further lifeforms will evolve and emerge from the goo. While this lifeform is immobile and tied with the earlier Type 1, it is more like a very large organ than a simple molded shape of goo.
Fire remains effective. Kinetic weapons will be able to breach the outer structure and puncture the organ, rendering it useless unless it is healed, although advanced growths which have been under sustained assault for some time may be able to “shell” these organs to try to protect them. Radiation is more effective, but again, may be cost prohibitive. Does not appear on psychic scans, it simply has no brains of its own.
Once the Goo establishes a safe location with plenty of fuel to satisfy evolution it will start to create embryonic wombs to begin growing subordinate creatures to service its needs. Primarily these creatures are tasked to find and bring back more fuel and protect the growing infection from harm. As the capability of the infection grows so will capabilities of its sub-organisms.
Similar to the Type 2 above, the Hive is a for-purpose organ. It may be surrounded by pupae looking sacs containing maturing creatures of various sizes and types. Appears strongly on psychic senses unless surrounded by especially thick Type 1.
Fire remains effective. Bullets and explosives will cause blunt force trauma but at reduced effectiveness. Lasers still suffer the outer charring problem. Radiation and microwaves more effective, but still have problems.
While there is little recorded conformity between local infections regarding specific lifeforms, the early sub-organisms are often recorded as being between a small to large dog in size. Usually fast moving, especially if there's prey around, these have typically been observed acting as scouts and attacking easy targets to bring back for more biomass to the Hive organism.
Fire is effective, but may take time to fully disable the creature. Lasers are effective due to the reduced body area to dissipate heat but may not have great stopping power. These cratures do have separate organs and anatomy's so bullets are generally effective. Radiation and microwaves are also capable of dealing with these. Psychic sensors will not pick Type 4 lifeforms up very well while they are upon Type 1 goo due to shared neural load (Observations: Capabilities and Methods: Paragraph 3), bit will be able to detect them in proximity or while outside of areas inhabited by Type 1.
Because of the nature of the infection speculation on what may be encountered are too wide to put into one article and will only harm the readers chances of countering an advancing infection this article does not talk very deeply about specific Goo incidences. The Goo's evolution is hugely impacted by the environment the infection starts in. Expect whatever elements from the environment, down to a chemical and molecular level, to be deployed in some way. Some varieties of the infection have even been known to make rudimentary use of steel.
Some lifeforms encountered have been capable of sustained flight, shooting organic projectiles at dangerously high velocity, or having other dangerous weapons. Typically they're also very quick and deadly in their environment. Watch out for vents.
By this point the area around the Hive will likely be completely inhospitable to all other life down to a microbial level and will take extensive clearances and disposal to advance into.
Fire is usually effective. Bullets may have trouble with armored creatures. Radiation and microwaves continue to suffer problems. Psychic sensors are likely to be the same as Type 4.
The most advanced form currently encountered. Mobile Feeders are large walking digestive processes that will move to other areas and find food to further expand the infection zone. Many varieties are capable of using their digestive acids as a projectile weapon in limited range, others may be grown with even deadlier weapons. These may roughly be considered equivalent to “tanks” for the organism.
Fire remains ever sufficient if enough can be used. Bullets might not be very effective due to the sheer size of the creature. Radiation, lasers, and microwaves might have a greater area of affect and be more capable of applying consistent damage.
Complete infection. Since Alienum Ire shows no natural inclination to stop spreading it is speculated that a mega lifeform may evolve if the infection is allowed to spread in an environment with large quantities of food and expanses, such as most H-congruent (or other worlds with extensive biospheres). While the consequences of such a lifeform developing are unknown, current observed behavior of the Goo suggests that it would continue spreading until it had overtaken all available biomass and energy sources. A pandemic infection of the Goo is a horrifying concept, and no infection zone should ever be allowed to advance to this stage, even if all other life on the planet must be near exterminated.
This leads to an interesting projection of what the organisms home planet must be like. The idea of one horrid mass of hungry biomass flinging itself through space is not comforting for most theorists.
A brief collection of scientific and theoretical observations from previous infection sites.
The Goo appears to be resistant to the rigors of space, or has some method of clinging onto or entering space vessels. More investigation is required, but no account precisely pin points this issue. While the Goo appears to be able to survive space, it seems to prefer pressurized environments such as those inside ships and space stations. The Goo has even been observed sealing hull breaches with its own biomass to conserve atmosphere. This could be because it even feasts on the microorganisms in such environments.
Infections can remain in an embryonic state for years before suitable food becomes available, then the spread is fast. Typical growing infections will usually be proceeded by some disappearances of personnel, or other strange losses of biological material. If enough biomass is collected the spread to Type 3 can be within hours.
Growth rates increase exponentially once sub-organisms have been created. It's likely that these organisms will spread the infection either from themselves, or carrying parts of the organism to new areas. Either way, living sub organisms are highly likely to cause reinfection.
In AAR's the goo appears resistant to some forms of radiation over others. Radiation from a nuclear reactor has been known to hinder healthy growth and slow down the spread of the Goo, but not completely stop it. As fusion reactors emit less types of radiation, it's theoretical that it may prefer those. But in the end a power source is a power source.
The goo appears to be capable, at least in a limited capacity, or using electrical power as an energy source organically. It does not have the ability to create matter from energy, however, and must acquire raw materials the hard way.
At later stages, sub-organisms appear to connect to the Type 1 main organism as an extension of their own nervous system based off of the limited autopsy reports available from work done in the field, as well as limited post-action reports. This seems to be collaborated by notably increased reactions by sub organisms when fighting on or near the Hive or main biomass growth.
The goo, and any organs created in it, are not likely to be much affected by traditional firearms or hand tools. Lasers have been observed to only char the surface infection, scalar is a temporary measure at best, x-rays also retard growth but are dangerous to work with inside structures. Fire and other flammable weapons appear to work best, as the consistent temperatures and burning will kill organisms right through the layers of the goo.
Bullets will be effective against most sub-organisms. Unlike nanomachine based lifeforms these creatures have organs and processes, although it's advised not to leave carcasses for long as it may cause reinfection if left undestroyed. Prior survivor accounts have had little hesitation in the complete destruction of such cadavers.
Denying the organism fuel will cause the infection to falter, but will have the effect of making its sub organisms more aggressive. Use this tactic with care.
Detection of Ire Vulgaris can be difficult if stores are not closely monitored, but general signs include livestock or other foodstuffs going missing or spoiling, or strange fungus's surviving routine decontamination. Usually in significant quantities.
Worker disappearances, particularly in unfrequented areas is often a clear sign that it's too late. If unknown creatures are being sighted in shadows and corridors, it's definitely too late.
Fire remains the most effective method throughout the lifecycle of the goo, but may become slightly less effective against armored or larger creatures. Also requires acceptable atmosphere for fire to propagate.
Bullets and other kinetic weapons are able to quickly deal with smaller Type 3's and Type 4's, but may lose some effectiveness to especially large or hardy Type 5's. Large guns may be effective against Type 6, but such weapons are rarely available.
Lasers suffer from the fact that the goo carbonizes when burned. The quick searing heat of a laser will char the outer crust of Type 1 and other creatures but may not cook the flesh underneath, especially in the case of Type 1 which is easily able to conduct the heat throughout its surrounding structure. The smaller body area and internal organs of Type 4 and above may be more susceptible to damage of this kind, though.
X-Rays are inefficient at dealing with Type 1 goo due to the DNA regenerative properties it possesses, but it will affect growth and health of Type 1 subjected to sustained area bombardment of X-Rays. Organ Type 2 and 3's may be slightly more susceptible, but may be quickly healed by surrounding Goo. X-Rays on Type 4's and above may result in temporary “disassembly” of goo creatures if non-fatally wounded, and “gooification” if subjected to intense bursts of X-Ray weapons. However, these leavings are able to be reclaimed by the goo if allowed to recover them.
Microwaves suffer a similar problem to lasers in that the Type 1 Goo is able to conduct heat to unaffected areas, and the nature of microwave radiation makes it difficult to concentrate enough of it to truly overwhelm an area without intensive use on a concentrated area. It will, however, be able to retard the growth of Type 1, as well as inflict pain and confusion on Type 4's and above.
Scalar will probably be effective at first, but Type 1 goo may be able to conduct power from a nearby electrical or other bio-energy source to effect a primitive, low-level forcefield resistant to scalar energy. How this is done is unknown, but requires enormous energy from the Goo, and will only affect areas populated by Type 1. It may also be possible this protection extends to any Type 2 and above organisms that reside within the Goo.
Note, weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear ordinance, anti-matter, aether shock arrays and other such high energy, high heat, wide-area bombardment will be effective at killing infestation areas. At the expense of whatever the Goo had infested, of course.
Due to the inconsistent detectability of the goo to various sensors, this section should only be taken as a guide.
Heat senors, of the IR or otherwise variety, will mostly be able to pick up Type 1 and other creatures easily due to the metabolic processes taken place within it. However, in temperature extreme environments the Goo may be masked by the sheer temperature around it, or simply unable to rise it core temperature above extremely cold climates.
LADAR and RADAR are only likely to detect the outer shape of Type 1 goo and not be able to immediately identify it. Other methods of identification are preferred for detecting early Type 1 infestation, Type 2 and above will be detectable by their shape and movement, but may resemble other creatures.
Psychic sensors may have difficulty detecting Type 1 goo if they have not been trained to recognize it. Compared to the relative pinprick accuracy of a normal crews brains walking around performing their duties, goo will be a low density wide area detection, probably with less sensor return than a small vermin or pest creature per centimeter. Unless the Psychic sensor can recognize the wide-area, low-density pattern of the goo it may not even report any sort of lifeform there at all. Organic units using internal Psychic sensors may be better for detecting these types of infestation. Type 4 and above are more easily detected due to the denser nerve layout, especially while operating outside of areas covered in Type 1 infestation.
Pure speculation and conjecture about Alien Goo based off of current observations or wishful thinking:
It seems possible that the Goo may originate from a world where similar lifeforms exist, all in a constant war to digest each other faster. Similar to large colonies of anemone seen in some terrestrial planets, although to a far larger and more terrifying scale.
Other theories suggest that a Type 7 Organism may already exist, appearing as an ordinary planet with a lush biosphere from orbital sensors. Civilian crews are advised not to land on any undocumented planetoids until they have been verified by scientific study with sufficient quarantine procedures as safe and hospitable.
A third theory suggests that the Goo may be native to a gas giant atmosphere, which may be collaborated by its ability to feed on airborne molecular-level life in pressurized areas as well as its resistance to hard vacuum. The idea of floating biological structures hidden beneath the roiling clouds of a gas giant is not comforting.
This page was originally created on 2014/02/04 22:20 by Jimmy.