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Jannix

by Robert Biggar

The Jannix are a race of insectoid creatures somewhat similar in appearance to the Terran Rhinoceros Beetle. They average 2.5 meters in height and 1.5 in width. They have four major limbs, two small connector appendages in the upper third of the body and a pair of large cutting horns out the top of the shell. Normal locomotion is accomplished on all fours although they are capable of standing on either set of limbs for extended periods. A dense carapace covers the back and sides of the Jannix and the front is also protected, although to a lesser degree, by a chitin exoskeleton. The Jannix are colored from flat black to dark blue and deep purple, this seems to be influenced by the ambient temperature of the environment.

The smaller connector appendages are usually attached to an organic weapon which fires chitin shells filled with acid/bile. These shells appear to be the Jannixs waste material and are highly toxic to humanoids. Sometimes the Jannix are seen with other organic devices in place of these weapons, including computer interfaces and medical/repair devices, but these are very rare and the Jannix seem to go to great lengths to protect these. There have been reports of flying Jannix, but it is more likely the creature's capability of jumping up to 30 meters high and 50 meters forward with the carapace spread out.

The social structure of the Jannix is relatively unknown. Whenever they have been encountered in the wilds, there has been a vampire ship nearby. It is believed somehow there exists a working relationship between the two. This could be a dire threat to the Regency, but so far there have been no known incursions into our space. The Jannix are unrelenting in the pursuit of their goals, whatever they may be. A live specimen has never been taken for study. Scientific perusal of dead ones has yielded some facts however. Their blood is very acidic, to the point of damaging most container vessels. They are capable of ingesting minerals but prefer organic materials. They have internal organs capable of producing chemical physiological enhancers that can give them great strength and endurance for a short period. They also have the ability to reproduce items of technology, converting the items inside the body and then expelling them. This appears to be limited to small and uncomplex items, less than .2 cubic meters in volume and 5 kg in weight. It is not understood how their other equipment such as ships or vehicles are manufactured as they have no fine manipulative ability.

Some of the technology recovered from them indicates an advance level, perhaps as high as 17 in some instances. Zhodani scientists believe that they must work with or have subjugated another race capable of these tasks. The Zhodani have encountered the Jannix on a number of occasions, leading them to much greater knowledge of these creatures. This is also where we get the term Jannix Cooperative. However, with no contact policy in effect, it is difficult to make any other assumptions or conclusions at this time.


History

The Jannix Cooperative occupies an area of space on the trailing edge of Zhodani territory. These two races have fought a number of small skirmishes, which is where most of this data comes from. The Jannix were first encountered in the year 1106 when a Zhodani scout cruiser, the Zephone, was found dead in orbit around the moon of the planer Destrier in the Qwan subsector. After being boarded, it was found the crew had been slaughtered to a man by an as yet unidentified group of insectoid creatures. Four dead specimens were found on board the Zephone. After careful study (the results of which are published elsewhere), it was determined that a new threat had presented itself to the Zhodani people. A modest fleet was dispatched to the subsector and ordered to track these creatures' movements or where they had come from.

Fleet 27 arrived at Destrier early in 1107 and spent several months searching with no results other than discovering two traders that had been reported missing in Qwan months ago. They both showed signs of damage by alien weapons and in one case a small piece of hull was found from an unknown ship amid the wreckage of a trader. This hull metal was tested and found to be above bonded superdense technology.

On the way back to Sector HQ for refit, Fleet 27 was attacked at a gas giant refueling station. The ambush had obviously been set for a while as the enemy ships came out of the asteroid ring where they had lain dormant undetected by the stations automated sensors. The fight was brief as superior weapons and faster ships overwhelmed Fleet 27. They did manage to destroy a 5000 ton destroyer class ship and cripple three 800 ton hulls, one of which headed into the gas giant while the other two smashed into the refueling station. Two Zhodani escorts were able to jump away, but the other 6 ships were lost with all hands. After examining the battle report, the Zhodani sent a large attack armada into the system to resolve the situation once and for all. Upon exiting jump, they found the entire base ravaged to bare rock and very little debris to indicate anything had ever been there. They headed trailward intending to track the aliens down. After several jumps with no further evidence encountered, they came to a system unexplored for 16 years. They discovered a base in orbit around the 4th planet with several ships close by. Proceeding on attack vector, the Zhodani engaged and managed to defeat the base and ships with heavy casualties to themselves. A horrific fight ensued after the Zhodani admiral ordered his marines to take the planetary base located close to a mountain range. The marines fought hand to pincher in close quarter's combat with the insectoids as most of the base turned out to be underground. Over 1500 troops died in the action, but they took the facility. Several aliens were captured alive only due to incapacitating wounds, in all other cases the aliens fought to the death. Among those captured was one different from the rest, this one was capable of psionic activity. The best Psions the Zhodani had were employed to wrench information from the creature's mind.

The Psions found out much about the Jannix, as the creatures called themselves, before it succumbed to the telepathic onslaught. The Jannix had originally come from a system some 30 parsecs further trailing, a total of 5 subsectors away from the Zhodani border. This base the Zhodani found had been established as a frontier colony/raiding post. Almost the entire strength of the Jannix in the area had been destroyed in the two actions to date. The Psions learned of at least two other colonies to spinward. The Jannix cooperate with another race known only as the Builders. This race did not accompany the Jannix on their forward deployments. It was learned there are three classes of Jannix, Warriors, Technicians and Leaders. They all have differing abilities, but all are extremely deadly creatures (see technical notes). The Builders outfit the Jannix with all their equipment but the inherent bioweapons. The Builders technology level appears to be 17 with some minor discrepancies. The Jannix themselves are TL 4, but they are capable of using most technological devices, just not building them. This is probably due to their lack of fine manual dexterity. The Jannix also appear to subjugate other races (less intelligent) to do most manual labor tasks. Many Gordas (a race of semi intelligent herbivore primates) were found at the Jannix base, although these were killed in the fighting. The Zhodani became rapidly convinced they had to make preemptive strikes on these other bases, as the Jannix/Builders alliance was far too dangerous to remain unchecked. The main problem the Zhodani had in coming to grips with the Jannix was the technology gap. The Jannix ships required no jump fuel, apparently using psi-drive technology, so could leave anytime. Also the ships had a significant advantage in electronic countermeasure ability. However, the Zhodani's quantitative edge along with their much larger ships were able to eradicate the Jannix's other two bases and many starships. The Zhodani also reported at least three ships they caught on the ground but were unable to do anything about as they were protected by some sort of force field impervious to weapon fire. These locations are not known to any but the Zhodani military.

For the next four decades the Zhodani had no further problems or encounters with Jannix until the evacuation to the new Regency began. The evacuation pulled the Zhodani protected border in by many parsecs. As of the current date (1202), there have been a few scattered reports of Jannix encounters in that area. The Zhodani, affected as they are by Vampire problems, have been unable to do much about these new incursions. The most distressing news is that the Jannix appear to be working with Vampire ships in some instances. To this date, no specimens of the Builder race have been encountered although there have been reports of new mechanized fighting machines acting with or around Jannix/Vampire activity. These machines generally have a humanoid form and a Vampire attitude. It is believed that this threat left unchecked could rival that of the virus release. The Zhodani offer large grants for information leading to destruction or capture of Jannix/Builder technology, any information regarding whereabouts or scientific data is also rewarded.

The Jannix are known to prefer underground installations and cooler temperatures, their exoskeleton changes color from black to blues the warmer it gets, although it appears to have no effect on their activities. They have been known to survive in vacuum for short periods of time. This is due to a lack of respiration, their bodily functions are almost all organic chemicals, they do not require air to "breath" although they do require oxygen for some functions. The Jannix are the most deadly intelligent race known at this time from a purely physical standpoint.

They seem to have no concept of surrender or truce and show no desire to communicate with other species with the exception of their subjugate races. The leader types are capable of psionic communication and other psionic abilities. Their overall racial strategy has eluded Zhodani scientists, as there is no evidence of a cohesive attempt to gain large chunks of territory. The Jannix raid into systems at random but make no effort to retain what they take. It is believed they are searching for something of use to them or the Builders. There has been evidence of burrowing/mining at the few sites on planets where Jannix have been encountered, but this is believed to be for breeding chambers. There have also been stockpiles of several naturally occurring minerals and organic compounds found at these sites. None of which are particularly valuable in a monetary or military sense. It is believed that these are the substances the Jannix need for breeding or other bodily functions.

The Jannix life cycle has been documented to some degree. It is know that they are asexual and produce egg sacs, which are stored in vats of chemical, most of which are naturally occurring substances. The gestation period is unknown as all eggs that were captured failed to mature. There was one encounter that included an immature form of Jannix, which was much weaker than an adult but was still capable of combat. It is believed the Jannix mature very quickly and most of their skills are telepathic implants rather than learned individual experience. It is assumed that the class of a given Jannix is determined by a combination of its egg development and it's telepathic implants. It is unknown whether a leaders psionic ability is inherited or random chance. The oldest Jannix body recovered was 8 standard years old. The Jannix are capable of "growing" a part of their body from the two manipulator arms. The typical parts, which are all organic based; are their weapons, tools, and computer interface devices. There have been reports of other strange things, but it is very rare and probably misinterpreted.

The Jannix have several classes of starships. There have been encounters with 400, 800, 1200 and 5000 ton vessels. They are known to use at least two small craft, a 50 and a 100-ton, both of these are believed to be jump capable as well. An APC type vehicle and an AFV tank have been seen, but both of these were land vehicles. This is one apparent discrepancy to the Builder technology level, contra-grav has not been seen in use on anything smaller than 50 tons. Another is that small arms and support weapons are all organic based. Starships are the only ones that have "normal" weaponry. They also seem to have a limited self-repair capability as well as AI or self-aware computers. Captured equipment has defied most attempts to use or interface with it. The only successes have been by the strongest telepaths.


Character Statistics

Jannix Soldiers
Soldiers have the ability to increase their Str and Con stats by 5 for 10 combat turns twice a day. This boost comes from chemicals produced in an internal organ. They go dormant for 2 combat turns when it wears off unless the second boost is used. Soldiers may leap up to 30 meters high and 50 meters forward instead of their normal move using their carapace wings to assist once every 10 combat turns. This requires and Average Agility task. Soldiers carry a Jannix Rifle at all times. They are also capable of emitting a tear gas/ smoke cloud with a 10 meter radius once a day.


Jannix Technicians

Technicians try to avoid combat if possible, but are not defenseless. They have none of the Soldier special abilities, but are adept at reasoning. Roll difficult Int to use unfamiliar tech. Technicians carry a Jannix Pistol.


Jannix Leaders

Jannix Leaders have all special abilities of Warriors. They always carry a Jannix Rifle and a translator device.

Weapon ROF Dam Val Pen Rtg Short Range Special
Jannix Rifle SA1 12 1-2-2 100 2C, 5B
Jannix Pistol 3 6 1-2-2 50 1C, 5B
Cloud 1 nil nil 0 4C, 10B (unprotected)
Chitin Cannon SA1 125 1/2-1/2-1 300 10C, 20B

AV Front Side/Rear
Warriors 4 8
Technicians 2 4
Leaders 6 12

Vehicles
APC 100 80
APC Suspension) 20 20
AFV 220 120
AFV Turret 220 40
AFV Susp. 20 20

APC is armed with 4 Jannix Rifles, has a move of 40/60 and can carry 6 Jannix plus driver and gunner

AFV is armed with Chitin Cannon, has a move of 30/50 and can carry 2 Jannix plus driver and gunner


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