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The Science Corner — Intruder Detected

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  • The Science Corner — Intruder Detected

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    It seems our man on the inside was discovered after uploading specimen data about the zergling, the baneling, the queen, and the roach to our servers. In the past hour, two of our stations were shut down by unknown forces, but we’ll continue to fight the good fight. Don’t forget to check out the Story of StarCraft, or get the compilation of War Stories for Kindle and other eBook readers. Up next, an oldie but goodie that requires no introduction; a song that truly controls the groove.
    Zergling

    Allows the creature to maintain its balance when running at high speeds. The somewhat sharp spikes that protrude from the tip have no discernible purpose, and seem to be a vestigial trait from the original Dune Runner genetic code.

    Exposure to the harsh weather conditions in Zz’gash made the Dune Runners a fairly adaptable species, an attribute inherited by the Zerglings. Their leathery skin developed seven distinct layers with specialized humidity-retention ducts. These prevent moisture loss, while still allowing fluid circulation to keep the creature’s temperature at appropriate levels.

    The Zergling’s eyeball has a considerable optical aperture which allows the creature to see in the dark. This ability is further enhanced by a layer of tissue that reflects light, and the production of a dense substance which—depending on saturation levels—make its eyes glow orange or red, a clear indicator that the creature’s vision has fully adjusted to the darkness.

    The Dune Runners’ genetic code and cellular composition have been distilled to their simplest form, allowing the Swarm to field waves of savage monsters against their enemies. Zergling replication is so efficient that they thrive even when exposed to exceedingly high mortality rates.

    Zerglings’ origins as nomadic creatures from an inhospitable world are evident in the structure of their nutrient storage system. Capable of deriving the necessary compounds—even water—from anything they eat, Zerglings can survive away from the hive for long periods of time.

    Baneling

    When mutating, the tough, adaptable skin of the Zergling is repurposed, stretching over newly-formed growths while its bone plates soften up to hold bulbous, pulsating acid sacs in place. Though the remains of the carapace offer no real protection, they allow for unhindered delivery of its deadly chemical payload.

    To support and stabilize its new mass, the Baneling’s legs have become thicker than the Zergling’s—feet replaced by sharp spikes that allow them to navigate rough terrain, albeit at a slower pace. Imperfections notwithstanding, it didn’t take long for the Swarm to figure out a way to further increase the speed and lethality of the Baneling strain.

    The Baneling possesses a rudimentary sonar system—presumably a degeneration of the complex optical structure of the Zergling—which consists of a transmitter in the center of the skull, and two receivers spaced evenly to the sides. The transmitter emits pulses that “map” the surrounding area and echo back to the receiver, feeding the Baneling with a continuous stream of spatial information.

    As the Soronan mold is part of their genetic structure, Banelings are capable of surviving on very low concentrations of oxygen and minimal moisture. During pupation, the digestive and respiratory systems are assimilated as nutrients to accelerate the process, and also to make room for the fleshy, mutated adrenal glands—repurposed to produce and store large quantities of highly corrosive acid.

    Queen

    All Zerg land-based strains move faster on creep than they do on regular ground. This is due to a collection of microscopic filaments that allow them to “skate” on the surface of the viscous substance without breaking through it. Queens are no exception; however, their legs have been modified to impair their movement when traversing terrain not covered by creep. It is speculated that this was done on purpose to keep the more intelligent Queens in the vicinity of the hive and reduce the incentive for them to wander off on their own.

    The Arachnis-Brood Keeper was capable of laying medium to large clutches of eggs every season. Such a trait was deemed unnecessary for the Zerg Queens fielded before and during the Brood War, as their role in the hive was not tied to the reproduction of the Swarm. Today, the egg-laying capabilities of the Arachnis template has been revised and altered to produce living globs of tissue, which adhere to creep and accelerate its growth.

    Queens produce a thick, protein-based substance that stimulates cellular growth, which they are able to expel in liquid form. When the Queen covers the wounds of a Zerg creature or nest structure with this reddish fluid, the damaged tissue regenerates in a matter of seconds. Conversely, if the fluid is combined with a catalyst secreted by a gland on the Queen’s neck—which gives it a sickly green coloration—and forcefully injected into the hatchery, the structure will rapidly incubate new Larvae.

    Encased in an armored skull, and connected to a set of nerve cords that bear some resemblance to the protoss’, the Queen’s brain is an advanced biological structure with great mental capabilities. Granted the ability of limited independent thought and analysis—and the possibility to evolve and grow through experience—the new Queens can easily coordinate lesser Zerg creatures, as well as analyze and relay any tactical data fed to them by the Overlords.

    Roach

    Zantar Slugs have always been a resilient breed, capable of healing maimed or damaged tissue by absorbing nutrients from the soil. Once these creatures were incorporated into the Swarm—and their metabolism accelerated tenfold—the aptly named Roaches gained the ability to quickly regenerate even the most grievous wounds while burrowed.

    The absorption of soil compounds, especially rare earths and metals, has allowed Roaches to develop extremely thick carapaces. These creatures are nearly impervious to small-arms fire, and nigh immune to flame-based weapons. Explosives and artillery support are a must when these monstrosities are on the field.

    If pressed into close-quarters combat, Roaches use the scythe-like blades on their backs to dispatch the enemy. The hardness of these appendages allows them to slice through armor and neosteel plating with ease.

    The highly-specialized striated ducts present in these glands produce an enzyme that weaponizes the creatures’ already corrosive saliva. The resulting mixture is then expelled with considerable force through the contraction of the surrounding muscles, punching through armor and violently dissolving flesh on multiple entry points.

    Some theories indicate that this aberration is not immune to the ravages of its acidic bodily fluids. The Roach’s potent regeneration capabilities ensure tissue integrity in spite of constant corrosion.

    Source:
    http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/152...cted-8-14-2014
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