Name (Singular): Gold Myrmedion
Sexes: Females and males in a 9 to 1 ratio.
Height: Female Myr are around the same height as terran females, while males tend towards smallness and slightness, often averaging heights around 5’ 2” - just under 1.6 meters.
Weight: Heavy for their height thanks to numerous chitin plates and denser than average muscles and bones.
Arms: Four narrow but strong limbs ending with three fingers and a single thumb.
Abdomens: All gold myr have insectile abdomens, used for storing nutrition in lean times as well as reproduction in female queens.
Hair: Blacks, oranges, and strawberry-blonde are all common.
Eyes: Myr eyes are solid black (or more rarely gray) compound eyes. They are noted to have relatively poor eyesight, and blindness and various eye problems are unusually common.
Ears: Myr have pointed ears, called “elfin” by first contact explorers.
Antennae: A pair of insect-like antennae grow from every myr’s forehead. These highly sensitive organs are extremely sensitive to airborne vibrations and chemicals, supplementing already sensitive ears while pulling double duty as an olfactory organ.
Wings: Females are wingless. Males have vestigial wings too small to lift their forms.
Appearance and Honeypot Myr
Both subspecies of Myr appear bug-like in a variety of ways, but the gold especially so. Their four arms and a chitinous, rear-mounted abdomen leave them looking like walking, talking ants. That comparison is even more apt in light of a startling mutation that is only present among the gold subspecies: the honeypot gene.
The name is woefully incorrect, penned by explorers with more greed than education, but it has stuck all the same. The honeypot ‘gene’ is in fact a complicated evolutionary marvel that allows the gold myr to store excess nutrients inside their abdomens or breasts for times of scarcity - or to later share with their hungrier countrymen. The organ used for storage falls largely along gender lines. Males use their abdomen and females their breasts. Some rare females use both, and are even able to shunt mass between the two.
With sufficient nutrition they can become so swollen with their nectar they practically glow amber. Acting as living larders for the hives, these myr’s’ organs swell to enormous sizes, often debilitating them due to sheer weight: so immobile, they act almost like diners in the hive cities, setting up on street corners and in specialized restaurants to provide their nectar to the populace “straight from the tap.”
Initial examinations of myr nectar report a thinner consistency than honey with a taste somewhere closer to maple syrup. Lab tests have revealed numerous mood boosting compounds in trace amounts. Large scale consumption for non-myr is not recommended by U.G.C. U.G.C. survey teams.
A lucky few gold myr are “queens,” winged females able to reproduce without medical intervention. Usually serviced by several male drones, queens have exceptionally quick reproductive cycles, giving birth to large clutches of eggs fertilized by several different fathers. Queens can live for centuries, and birth hundreds if not thousands of young gold myr over their life spans. As the name suggests, queens are highly revered by other golds, some even revered as goddesses.
Until her first pregnancy, a queen is indistinguishable from any other infertile female, but once she gestates her first clutch of eggs, she will undergo a second puberty, metamorphosing to have a second set of nutrient-lactating breasts, a larger body, and a hugely swollen abdomen. Her abdomen will slowly grow over time, gradually increasing her ability to reproduce. Queens tower over other myr, but their reproductive swelling prevents them from being able to properly defend themselves in a conflict.
Males are shorter lived and winged, possessing considerably less strength than the average female due to his lighter frame. Affectionately called “drones” by their female counterparts, most males live in relative luxury. Those not serving a queen are so prized that they can live a life of ease. Male myr are characterized by their slight, light bodies and large genitalia, with disproportionately large phalluses and testes that can swell to produce additional semen when frequently emptied, even growing large enough to drag on the ground.
Gold myr are not known for their violent inclinations, but their resilient forms, built-in body armor, and surprising strength make them more than capable in a melee confrontation. Poor eyesight at long range diminishes their usefulness in modern, sharpshooter-heavy confrontations. The U.G.C. would have little use for them in an offensive capacity, though their multiple arms could allow them to become very useful as field medics without any cybernetic augmentation.In the context of their civil war, the golds are biologically matched by their red foes; both share poor vision and body armor. The reds have a debilitating saliva, but there is little room for biting in a conflict dominated by melee weaponry and small arms, negating that small advantage. The real difference in fighting forces is in training. The Scarlet Federation’s troops are hardened soldiers. The gold myr are relative rookies to combat. Perhaps the only reasons they’ve held out this long have been their primitive technological know-how, larger population, and chemical weapons.
Gold Myr are warm-blooded and can survive in a variety of temperatures from just above freezing to 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees F). Their home planet, Myrellion, is largely an inhospitable desert, leading them to survive in below-ground settlements. Over the centuries, small cities have become incredible, subterranean mega-cities, but the war has reduced many to little more than caved-in rubble.
Golds typically value individual freedom and creativity in spite of their matriarchal society. Every single living gold myr is a direct descendant of a myr queen, raised in familial schools called thollums. Outside of the recently introduced draft, they are free to discover and seek an individual calling. One function of the thollums is to allow them free training in any actively practiced discipline.
The Gilden Republic (closest approximate translation), is ruled by the Council of Queens, a governmental body made up of every myr capable of reproduction. Each queen’s power is relative to the number of her offspring, with older, more fertile queens carrying significantly more weight than their younger, inexperienced peers. This bizarre, motherhood based political system seems to work well for the gold myr.
U.G.C. researchers have seen few if any signs of dissent amongst the tawny ant-people. Current theories for this vary between biological predisposition to the success of the Gilden Republic at providing for its people. Many of the Council’s laws are analogous to those of 20th century earth’s nordic model - a kind of highly regulated “cuddly capitalism”.
That isn’t to say that gold myr live a life without strife. The seemingly endless war with the reds has strained their economy to the breaking point. Rising unemployment has brought with it a surge in criminal activity and lawlessness. Usage of red myr saliva as an illicit drug/aphrodisiac is almost an epidemic all its own. Had a ceasefire not been reached, it is likely the gold myr way of life would have been entirely annihilated within the span of a year.
Due to the overwhelmingly female-heavy population, males are in high demand: most normal females are unlikely to ever see a male in person, much less be able to copulate with him. As such, lesbian relationships are extremely common and widely accepted. Indeed, a marriage between male and female is quite literally unheard of in myr society; most males are shared between groups of bisexual females.
Female-female marriages, on the other hand, are a little more common, though monogamy is a relatively new concept for the myr, many of whom still fondly remember a more tribal past with great orgies centered around their precious breeders.
Sexuality among female myr is quite open, and most take several casual lovers. Gold myr still practice regular public orgies as part of fertility rites led by their queens and drones, though they also have a higher rate of monogamous marriage than reds do. Golds are quite open with their sex, even flaunting it in public: gold myr dress is highly revealing, and there are no laws or inhibitions about public intercourse.
Myr technology is nearly analogous with early 20th century earth technology, with basic coal-powered electricity and gas-operated monorails having been recently installed in some of the larger hive cities. Highly primitive computers have just entered service before First Contact, using punch-tape processors and tubes. Despite their largely underground existence, the myr do have aircraft, though most have been re-purposed into transports and military craft due to the war (indeed, the current Joint Ausar Fleet base in Gildenmere, the Gold Myr capital, is a repurposed airfield).
Just before First Contact, the war between red and gold myr took an unexpectedly lethal turn due to the gold myr introducing poison gasses into the conflict, an incredibly effective deterrent against the unchecked red myr advance into their territory, followed by the red myr threatening to unleash a primitive atomic weapon the day before First Contact. Due to the appearance of the ausar expedition to Myrellion, thermonuclear war has been temporarily averted, which has since given the gold myr the opportunity to fashion their own WMDs in response.
The presence of the alien expedition is assumed to be the only preventative factor keeping the world war from escalating to a nuclear inferno. Due to the surprisingly advanced nature of the race, and their “honeypot” biology (which is seen as highly promising by Xenogen), U.G.C. diplomats have arrived on the planet and are working with both hierarchies to achieve a cease fire in the seven years’ war.