Vaurca Biology

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An Unbound warrior demonstrates proper vaurcan medical treatment.

To the average human, the Vaurca seem to have the appearance of terrestrial prawns. However, they act closer to ants or termites. Their biology follows a similar structure to something like a termite; scientifically, this description is largely superficial. The most obvious and striking feature of this species is their exoskeleton. It is composed of a complex polymer chain involving sulfur as a key catalyst with silicon, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen forming a much stronger polymer chain than similar exoskeletons found on earth. A kind of biological vulcanization process also occurs, again facilitated by the abundant sulfur within their biochemical makeup.

Caste Summary

Ka, The Workers (Type A)

Type A are the most common and can be seen as the 'backbone' of Vaurcan societies. Their most prevalent feature is their hardened exoskeleton, varying in colors in accordance to their hive. It is approximately half an inch thick among all Type A Vaurcae. This exoskeleton provides protection against harsh radiation, solar and otherwise, and acts as a robust pressure-suit to seal their soft inner core from the outside world. This allows most Type A Vaurcae to have extended, several day-long EVA expeditions, assuming they have internals. They can be bipedal or quadrupedal, with bird-like talon toes. Their hands consist of two middle fingers with small talons at the end, and two opposable thumbs, a left and a right, on either side of their hand. Type A ranges from 5ft to 7ft tall on average, though outliers of both spectrums are not unheard of for the more specialized tasks.

Za, The Warriors (Type B)

Type B are the second most prominent of Vaurcan society, taking the form of heavily augmented warriors. Type B can range in size from 6ft tall to 8ft tall, with Za Bound rising to as much as 20ft tall. They can be bipedal, quadrupeds, or hexapods, which are called types BA, BB, and BC respectively. They usually have weapons physically attached to their bodies, making them unwieldy or impractical for any situation other than combat.

Warriors, unlike other types of Vaurcae, are not typically passive. This means that they tend to be more suitable for combat orientated positions, while worker and breeder types tend to be poorly suited for the disposition these types of occupations demand. Unlike workers, their exoskeleton is not as well equipped for such extended EVA expeditions, however it can withstand a few hours long excursions.

The majority of warrior caste Vaurcae employed by NanoTrasen are drone tier type BA, meaning that they are deprived of most advanced augments and mostly differ from other types simply in that they are more mentally suited for combat or are involved in the function of something that could be considered a weapon.

Ta, The Breeders (Type C)

Type C are rare among Vaurcae, in that they make up around 2-3% of their entire species. They are the only individuals in Vaurcan hives that are fertile except for the Queens and Lesser Queens themselves. The males are raised as bound while the females are raised as unbound, and both of them historically served little practical purpose beyond ensuring that their respective hive-cells possess the resources they need to function and to fertilize eggs or to replace a dying Lesser Queen or to even become an additional Lesser Queen if the hive needs more growth. The males are considered CA and the females CB. Lately, Breeders have been used as representatives for their respective queens, a departure from their traditional duties of overseeing eggs and maintaining the numbers of the hive cells they oversee.

This extension of their duties comes about from their keen social intelligence, making them ideal candidates for negotiating with aliens on economic and political matters. They easily grasp the nuances of social context, contracts, and systems that other castes have difficulty navigating.

Life Cycle

The Lifecycle of a Vaurca is fairly complicated when compared to other species. Each stage of a Vaurca's development is clearly regimented by biological developments or the introduction of augmentations.

Vaurcan eggs are laid by a hives high or lesser queen, naturally entering a state of suspended animation when they are outside of a Queen's ovipositor locking the egg in its initial stage until being received by its surrogate CB. This is compounded with cryogenics to effectively transport vast amount of eggs between the Queen and their surrogate CB's. Every CB within a hive specializes in the creation of many different types of Vaurcae. CB themselves are living biological factories, capable of controlling nearly every aspect of their progeny via genetic manipulation, a process that has great cultural importance attached to it.

Before a larva is hatched, its purpose is determined by a CB in a process called imagotis, in this imaginal stage, the CB can hold in its mind the image of its completed offspring, releasing gene expressions to mold the larva into its desired form. Larva destined to become Bound are born without parts of their brain, and their organs are undeveloped, preparing them to receive implants as soon as they are hatched. These implants grow with the Bound, and it will have them throughout its entire life unless replaced. Bound Vaurcae reach maturity within six months. Upon fully maturing, they are implanted with a neural socket and begin work immediately. A Bound's lifespan is theoretically infinite, provided that the hive keeps its augments well maintained. In reality, however, Bound are rarely maintained and thus can expect an operational lifespan of around ten years on average, provided they experience no work-related injuries. Upon the death of a Bound, the augmentations they possess are removed and repurposed, and the body is typically incinerated.

If a larva is destined to become an Unbound, it is given six months of organic development, which allows for its brain to mature fully. After this six month period, it is implanted with a neural socket, experiencing Virtual Reality for the development of its personality, and training. These six months are the closest thing to childhood that could be approximated to other species. At the conclusion of this one year period, the Unbound is fully matured, and prepared for whatever purpose it may have been given by the hive. It will receive several augmentations depending on circumstance throughout its life, unlike the Bound who receive all of their augments at birth. Unlike Bound, Unbound are always more flesh than augmentation, and thus they cannot simply be "maintained." An Unbound experiences a lifespan of twenty years on average, at the conclusion of which their neural socket containing their mind is uploaded into VR and their augmentations are then reclaimed by the hive, and their body is generally incinerated. Years spent in VR tend to not subtract from this lifespan, meaning that an Unbound could be several decades old, if it spent most of its time in VR.

If a larva is destined to become Type C, whether it be CA or CB, it is fed special hormones that inspire organic growth that diverges from the typical model. Type CA are born without some of their brains much like other Bound, however they are not augmented until the end of their growth period. Their sexual organs fully develop, and their carapace hardens in several places, forming ceremonial crests. Wing growths sprout along their back, which will fully develop during periods where the Type CA is fertile. The CA is then augmented to fulfill their role as consort, breeder, and representative of a Breeder. A Type CA will live as long as it remains virile. Once it become sterile due to natural or artificial causes, the Type CA dies and a new one is bred to replace it.

A Type CB will be nurtured for a whole year organically, allowing the royal growth hormones to take maximum effect. Their carapace will harden in several places, becoming generally thicker and growing further ceremonial crests. Wings will sprout along the entirety of its back - unlike the Type CA, CB wings are fully developed for the entirety of their life, however during designated breeding periods the CB will typically be to heavy to generate lift. Throughout their growth period they will be given all the information they need to act as representatives and leaders of the hive. Type CB's will then have neural tubes implanted along the back of their head, allowing them to interface with the neural sockets of any Vaurca assigned under them. A Type CB will typically live for twenty years like most Unbound, excluding years spent in VR. When a Type CB dies it is incinerated along with its augments.

Whenever it becomes necessary, a Type CB larvae can be morphed into a Lesser Queen through the injection of additional royal hormones. A Lesser Queen is biologically different from most organic Vaurcae in that it naturally has several limbs and a clearly distinct thorax and abdomen, permitting the creation of several eggs at a time. A Lesser Queen is typically created when another Lesser Queen dies, or the hive needs to undergo massive expansion - to the point where a retinue of governing Type CB is not sufficient. For this reason several Type CB larvae are typically kept in cold storage, should an emergency arise. A Lesser Queen will fulfill many roles in its lifetime, typically overseeing millions of Vaurcae at any given time. They are responsible for directing any Type CB under their command, and typically manage entire hive complexes when possible. A Lesser Queen is also expected to relay the whims and orders of a hive's High Queen. A Lesser Queen can also live for a very long time under the proper circumstances - all Lesser Queen's present in human space are the same that embarked from Sedantis I 2,000 years ago. When and if a Lesser Queen does die, however, its body is preserved and stored away for posterity.

Internal Organs

Internally, Type A are very similar to that of an Earth insect. They have an open circulatory system, with their blood covering their digestive system, dual hearts, lungs, and other organs. Their two hearts provide a significant sloshing motion to prevent the blood from stagnating. The Vaurca 's blood is a copper-based hemoglobin, with a high dependency of sulfur, which causes their blood to adopt a yellowish color instead of the red prevalent with other species. It also emanates a very potent stink. This open circulatory system, however, can lead to wounds that pierce the exoskeleton and minor layer of skin to bleed out quickly unless treated.

Vaurcan lungs are totally organic. However, they cannot naturally process oxygen without there being phoron present in the mix. Additionally, Pure nitrogen is toxic to the Vaurcae, and pure phoron will suffocate them. As such, most Vaurcae in human space are equipped with a filtration bit above the lungs, which injects phoron gas into the oxygen they breathe, allowing for safe respiration.

Vaurcae possess, in their head, a neural socket that allows interface with the hive network FTL communications. The exact mechanics of a neural socket, and how it processes data and keeps information secure is based off of biological processes in the regional Queen, who possesses, instead of a neural socket, a neural rod.


Vaurcae have two large insect-like eyes with two smaller ones underneath, which are hyper-sensitive to most forms of light. While they can function in light-heavy environments perfectly fine, most complain about frequent migraines and tendency to get frustrated after long exposures to light like the sun, or even general station lighting. This hyper-sensitivity, however, leads to greatly increased eyesight in dark areas. Their eyes are completely black in terms of colouration, with no variation between the castes. They also have large, insect-like antennae that protrude from their head. These antennae are used for greater perception of their surroundings and to communicate with each other through subtle movements, or rubbing them together with another. Also acting olfactory sensory and nerve database, when these antennae are lost, they can cause confusion, dizziness, nausea, communications problems, and extreme pain.

Their mouthparts are similar to a prawn's, in that they have two large mandibles, with small feelers and chewing parts that come out of the bottom.

A Vaurca Worker and Warrior may possess vestigial arms below their main limbs, genetic remnants that serve little purpose. Some Vaurcae may remove them for practicality while others are decorating them for fashion purposes. The latter is quickly becoming a fad for Vaurcae who regularly interact with aliens.


While virtually all Vaurcae look identical in an augmented state, aside from various shifts in colour, virtually all Vaurcae are augmented in some manner, the degree to which depending very much on their caste and purpose.

Bound Vaurcae typically undergo the most augmentation. Much of their organic mass will at some point be replaced with machinery, so they can fulfill one specific task to the best of their ability. Worker Bound will at the completion of their development look more like construction machines than Vaurca, with variable amounts of limbs and a plethora of tools at their disposal. Warrior Bound will assume a variety of forms, varying from simple infantry with weapon and targeting augments to assault vehicles. The more complex the caste name of a Bound, the less recognizable it is as a standard Vaurca.

Unbound however will never undergo such severe augmentation. The great limitation of such heavy modification is that it eliminates versatility, the entire purpose of the Unbound caste. Their augments will typically be performance enhancing instead of alterations of the form. Most Unbound are today equipped with at least basic communication augments which make them versatile assets to communication with extra-hive entities.

Ultimately, all Vaurcae currently employed by NanoTrasen aboard the NSS Exodus or NSS Aurora are of the least augmented tier - either Type AA or Type BA. Their carapace is almost totally unmodified. Bound and Unbound alike will have a neural socket and oxygen filtration system, and may utilize full-limb prosthetics. Bound may have several augments designed to increase work efficiency or general survival, while Unbound will typically have very few augments to ensure that they can fulfill any task assigned to them by NanoTrasen.

Sleep Cycle

The Bound follow a predictable sleep pattern. Specialized augmentations control chemical precursors that induce sleepfulness within Bound that causes them to sleep. While predictable, the times that a Bound sleeps typically depend on its duty within the hive, with the most physically demanding jobs having the longest periods of sleep.

Unbound Vaurcae spends 98 hours active on average before experiencing drowsiness. Some Unbound may change this sleep cycle depending on their work or needs, similar in scope to change their habits in ways similar to humans. To sleep, a Vaurca adopts a leaning position that uses specialized joints and hinges in their exoskeletal plates to sleep standing upright.