Well, this form is most enjoyable. It feels quite strong and yet light on its feet. Once healed this will be an excellent container for my intellect.
My goodness, the senses of this creature are much more sophisticated than my last host, pleasant though they were. The scents are coming alive around me, and my vision! My, what a difference! I had thought it was quite limited in that wonderfully barbaric lizard form, but I had grown accustomed to it. But this! The universe has certainly outdone itself in regards to this fine beast.
Well, I'm off... Wait, what's this? It seems this creature uses all four appendages to walk properly. This will take some getting used to.
The Andromeni are the only purely energy-based, sentient form of life ever discovered in Alliance space. Many Alliance citizens doubt that they actually exist and consider them merely a fairy tale, calling them Energy Vampires; akin to Bigfoot on Earth or the Croduc-igan Demon on Eridine. Andromeni seem to prefer it that way and do very little to advertise their presence. The race is currently indigenous to Plias of the Ventros star system in Andromeda, though they may not last there. The Ventros star is collapsing, which will result in a supernova within the next millennia. The Andromeni have secretly asked the Alliance through Mutzachan envoys for relocation aid. No suitable system has yet been found. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of Andromeni are dispersing into the Alliance to aid the search for a new home and as a way to preserve the species in case the Ventros star novas sooner than expected.
Andromeni naturally exist as energy, appearing as sparkling auras of light, oscillating in size and varying in hue from red to orange. Even green and purple are not uncommon. Their shade changes depending on their emotional state, though they are so subtle only another Andromeni can decipher them. They appear to be composed of mental energy that exists tangibly, leading to speculation that Andromeni were once corporeal beings who shed their physical bodies; perhaps through evolution or design. Extremely ancient ruins on their home planet may reinforce this hypothesis, but no written or oral history exists in Andromeni culture to offer any evidence.
Andromeni got their nickname, "Energy Vampire" from a specific technique they learned shortly after encountering corporeal Alliance races. Andromeni discovered that their unique energy patterns allow them to inhabit a recently dead sentient or animal and seemingly give the corpse new life. Once attuned to the formerly deceased, the ex-corpse awakens and is ready to go. After inhabitation, the body can be healed through any normal or matrix means, but the Andromeni can no longer use its abilities to heal the body.
Once possessed, the Andromeni gains all of the racial abilities that the host possessed before death, with the exception of energy-based attack forms or matrix use. In addition, the Andromeni also gains access to all of the host's skills.
An Andromeni may learn skills it might not otherwise be able to learn while inhabiting a host body, such as physical skills or skills that require tool (or computer) use. For example, an Andromeni could learn weapon skills or hand-to-hand combat skills while inhabiting a host body, even though in its natural state the Andromeni cannot pick up a weapon or fight in physical combat. When an Andromeni leaves its host, it can only remember those skills for which it spent experience or with which it entered the host; none of the hostís original skill levels can be transferred with the exception of languages. An Andromeni can permanently absorb any language skills possessed by the host (living or dead), making Andromeni excellent interpreters.
While outside of a physical host body, the Andromeni appears as a shimmering, intangible cloud. They can pass through any kind of material, except for a Flux shield, magnetic bottle, or other energy-only barrier. An Andromeni could even be hanging out in a bar and decide it wants to go check out the nearest moon. It merely floats through the roof, rises into the sky, and heads to the moon; slow though the journey may be.
The Andromeni have no government to speak of, nor do they seem to need one. Without physical needs, little must be accomplished on their homeworld to improve life. When needed, as in the desire to find a new homeworld, the race comes to collective agreements rather quickly, though no one as yet can tell how. Andromeni consequently have a difficult time understanding the concepts of laws, organizations, and social interaction, often finding such trappings quaint and primitive.
The acceptance of the Andromeni as an intelligent lifeform has polarized Alliance views on the subject of possession. In fact, great schisms are forming in many of the once solid, established religions. The controversy is philosophical, with much debate over matters of theology and ethics. Otherwise, little is known about the Andromeni's native culture.
Andromeni were originally a humanoid race, looking much like Mutzachans, but a bit taller. They were an ancient race, having developed interstellar travel nearly three million years before the Mutzachans. The Andromeni of that period were Matrix Controllers with powers of the intellect similar to Chatilians. In their travels they encountered a curious being on the planet Plias; an extremely primitive collection of energy particles that subsisted off the unique cosmic rays given off by Plias' sun. The energy being was not sentient, but its primitive yet pure thought processes intrigued the Andromeni, whose matrix powers of the intellect had grown into a quasi-religion. They saw it as a purer version of themselves, though very primitive. In time, Plias became the most holy site in Andromeni culture, with many of the Andromeni colonizing the world to be closer to these energy beings. A schism in the Andromeni religion left only the believers in the energy beings on Plias, as the rest of the Andromeni race retreated to their original colony worlds. The two societies developed separately for many millennia, until word reached Plias of a plague that was wiping out the Andromeni on their original home planet. Estimating it would eventually spread to Plias and consume the race once and for all, Andromeni scientists saw a way to avoid extinction: join with their "other selves". Within decades the process was perfected and nearly all of the Andromeni colonists on Plias joined with their "other selves." Those that did not were eventually killed by the plague. Over the centuries, the Andromeni lost track of where they came from and who they really are. Records or traces of their ancient culture likely exist on Plias, but none have yet been found or deciphered. No rumors or records exist amongst Alliance cultures about the Andromeni's forebears since they died off before any of the Alliance species had learned language.
An Andromeni in its natural state cannot be affected by any known weapon system or damage; it is virtually "unkillable" in the normal sense. An Andromeni may only posses a limited number of beings in its lifetime. This represents the lifeforce that the Andromeni expended in reanimating the host body.
An Andromeni's host body can be destroyed, but the Andromeni will be unaffected. Nearly all Andromeni die from old age.
Andromeni can possess any formerly living creature, from a bit of plankton to a SUCKS-2BU (assuming one can be killed). However, possession by an Andromeni only allows the Energy Vampire to use the body as its original host was able to. Thus, a possessed Doonba cannot talk, and a possessed bird cannot fly a skimmer. Conversely, an Andromeni in a tiger (though long extinct), for instance, has all of the speed, agility, and lightning reflexes of that animal.
Andromeni can possess a Matrix Controller (or being with latent extraction) but do not have access to the controller's matrix energy or any matrices or matrix related skills.
Because of their makeup, Andromeni in their natural form are the only known beings, other than Mutzachans themselves, who can operate native Mutzachan technology. Mutzachans tend to resent this, but are at the same time fascinated as to how this is possible. An Andromeni would still need to learn how to use the device, but it would, at least, be possible. It is currently an intense field of research in many Mutzachan universities.
Andromeni generally find a host through opportunity, or, in the most gruesome scenario, follow a being around waiting for them to be killed, if the Andromeni estimates that the being will be a useful host to promote their travels and search for a new homeworld. Nearly all Andromeni are happy to merely use chance to determine their host, as they find any connection to a corporeal being enjoyable and stimulating. There has never been any reported act of an Andromeni in one body attacking and killing another seemingly better host to ready it for possession. Though that possibility always exists (you players who are contemplating this know who you are, you slimy murderers!), it has never been known to happen.
An Andromeni in its natural energy state is not dangerous to any beings except matrix controllers, or those with latent extraction. An Andromeni who makes physical contact with one of these races has a chance to immediately "short-circuit" the matrix energy the sentient has stored. Needless to say matrix users do not like to be around Andromeni, though Mutzachans find them endlessly fascinating, bordering on jealousy. While in energy form, Andromeni cannot affect the physical environment whatsoever, nor can they communicate in any meaningful way to non-Andromeni. However, Chatilians have a chance to understand simple one-word thoughts from an Andromeni.
The Andromeni species is asexual, and an Andromeni merely splits in two to form another separate and conscious being. This occurs every 80-100 years. The life span of an Andromeni is approximately 400 years. Andromeni have no need to eat, sleep, or breath. They can survive in any environment.
Once inhabited, a host body functions physically in the same way it did before death, only now it has a different intelligence directing its actions. A host body will react to damage normally, and can be healed normally. In addition, host bodies are subject to the same restrictions and weaknesses that species was susceptible to before it died. For example, an Eridani host body would still take damage from mercury poisoning or a human host body would still drown underwater. However, host bodies are typically not fatigued if they don't sleep, though the Andromeni must make sure its host ingests adequate food and water.
Since Andromeni are immune to damage, all attacks that hit the host body affect the host and not the Andromeni. Andromeni can ignore pain inflicted on the host. However, mental attacks affect the Andromeni, not its host body.
Once a host dies, the Andromeni is expelled from the body instantly and the host body once again becomes a lifeless corpse, although an Andromeni can choose to leave a host body at any time before its destruction. A mental attack that would normally kill an Andromeni only results in expulsion from its host body, if it inhabits one. Though mental attacks affect Andromeni, they cannot be killed by them.
Once a body is inhabited by an Andromeni, its original "owner" cannot be resurrected by a Sye-Men, until the Andromeni is expelled or leaves. Moreover, a previously possessed body cannot be re-inhabited by its previous hosted Andromeni or any other Andromeni.
None really, but they sometimes become attached to a particular host.
Nudity, baby! Raw energy doesn't wear clothing! When inhabiting a host, Andromeni attempt to wear any dress that is appropriate for a host race. Unfortunately, most Andromeni have no idea what that is and often dress and act inappropriately until they learn the habits and customs of their host race.
A fresh body is the best place! Aside from that I love to drift in, out, and around any abnormal energy pattern.
Andromeni have only one natural abode, their home planet. They can exist in nearly any environment, including a vacuum, but are only truly comfortable amongst their own kind.
Andromeni use different combat tactics based on the body they inhabit. Otherwise, they move through solid objects while in energy form, sneak up behind unsuspecting individuals, and then just when you think it's safe, they... kind of float around as they can't really do anything to a corporeal being.
Andromeni generally sign up for exploration jobs, or anything that send them out amongst the stars.
Andromeni have no need to eat, but they like to experience as many different foods as possible when inhabiting a host body. Some overzealous Andromeni have been known to make their host bodies quite obese from overeating or even kill the host by trying to eat something that turned out to be poisonous.
Andromeni do not have pets, but occasionally they "inherit" a pet owned by its host. Some Andromeni feel obligated to continue to care for the animal out of respect for the host.