Name (Singular): Red Myrmedion
Sexes: Females and males in a 9 to 1 ratio.
Height: Female red myr are around the same height as terran females, while males tend towards smallness and slightness, with an average height around 5’ 2” - just under 1.6 meters.
Weight: Quite heavy for their height thanks to numerous chitin plates in addition to muscles and bones that are far denser than the humanoid average.
Limbs: Two humanoid arms ending with three fingers and a single thumb, and two legs that end in chitinous “boots” which can end anywhere between mid-calf and mid-thigh.
Abdomens: Red myr have evolved away from insectile abdomens. Some members of the species have small, vestigial abdomens, but most have shed them completely.
Hair: Blacks, oranges, and reds are all common.
Skin: A variety of skin tones can be found among red myr, with creamy pale complexions being common in certain regions and reddish-tan ones elsewhere.
Eyes: Myr eyes are solid black (or more rarely gray) compound eyes. They are noted to have relatively poor eyesight. 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, which pick up airborne vibrations and chemicals to supplement already keen ears while pulling double duty as an olfactory organ. The antennae are exceedingly sensitive to touch, and a non-verbal language seems to have developed based on subtle movements and rubbing the antennae together.
Wings: Females are wingless. Males have vestigial wings too small to lift their forms.
Like their gold cousins, the red myr are insectile in nature and appearance, though they are much more human-like than the golds: most reds lack insectile abdomens, they possess only two arms, and they lack the dramatic distinction between “queens” and common, infertile members of the species. Red and gold myr even have their genitalia located in different places, with reds’ located between the legs.
The most obvious physical trait of red myr is their natural chitin armor, which is thicker than that of the gold myr and considerably heavier, affording them superior protection. The covering of chitin is not consistent between all members of the species, with some limiting their plating to the limbs, while others have elaborate corset-like plates around the chest and back. The chitin can vary in color between individuals, with the two extremes being bright scarlet and a dullish red that borders on black.
The reasons for the extreme divergence in this species is currently unknown, though speculation points towards extensive interbreeding with another high-population native race, the nyrea, and the great distance between gold and red heartlands. Xenobiologists and anthropologists are interested in finding the progenitor race that originated the different species of myr, though both red and gold seem uninterested in researching their shared past and have stonewalled scientific inquiries.
A lesser known difference between the red myr and their gold counterparts is their sharp canine teeth or fangs. These fangs assist in delivering the species distinctive drug-like venom (See Red Myr Venom).
A small number of red myr are born without natural chitinous armor. These individuals are known as ‘smooth-skins’ or ‘softies’.
Other than the lack of organic covering, smooth-skins are no different from other red myr. However, due to the belief these softer-skinned individuals are more physically fragile compared to a chitin-covered member of the species, very few of them were allowed to serve in front-line military service prior to conscription.
Sexual Dimorphism & Reproduction
Male and female red myr have noticeable gender dimorphism, again tracing back to an insectile heritage. The vast majority of red myr are wingless females. Most are infertile, and incapable of reproduction. Red myr do, however, have a significantly higher percentage of fertile females compared to golds, as they lack the massively productive queens to ensure the continuation of their species. Population statistics declassified by Federation High Command indicate that somewhere between thirty and forty-five percent of red myr females are fertile. Still, the numerical advantage was clearly and overwhelmingly with the gold myr before the start of the war. Red myr females lay single eggs or small clutches of no more than four. After conception, their stomachs balloon out at a rapid rate and after three months they lay their eggs. For a further month they protect their clutch until hatching occurs.
While they do not possess the “honeypot” gene of the gold myr, most female red myr are capable of limited lactation if well fed, storing excess calories in the breasts until needed. Compared to gold myr, reds have smaller bust sizes on average, usually between a C and E cup, though this size can vary wildly during a single myr’s lifetime depending on her nutritional intake.
Unlike with the gold myr, nursing and lactation is considered highly private and personal between red myr, and to do so in public is highly frowned upon. Generally speaking, nursing is reserved for children and very close lovers, and is a sign of the highest affection between two red myr.
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 exist in red myr society to do very little other than breed: they are dearly prized by their females, and were often fought over during ancient times before intricate breeding schedules were established some hundred years before First Contact.
Male myr are characterized by their slight, lithe bodies and massive genetalia, with disproportionately large phalli and semen-swollen testes that often drag on the ground when not regularly used — though due to their high demand, this is rarely an issue. Due to the extreme conditions imposed by the war, even drones were pressed into service by the Federation High Command, though they were legally barred from combat duties. Most served as nurses, administrators, and factory workers, freeing more females up to fight.
These newfound demands of labor have, reportedly, began an accelerated male rights movement, similar in nature to the women’s rights movement of 20th century Earth. Little information about the movement is available, however, due to the lack of contact with male red myr: few have been available for interview or commentary.
Myr are notably covered in a partial “suit” of chitin plates which protect the legs, arms, and in some specimens, parts of the torso. This natural armor, combined with an average strength considerably higher than a human’s and poor eyesight, has meant that melee combat still reigns supreme among the red myr, with axes and hammers being about as common in the Federation military as rifles.
Unlike the gold myr, who had a very small standing military and little combat experience before the start of the global conflict, the Scarlet Federation began the war with highly trained, veteran soldiers — most of whom had experience fighting large city-states of nyrea in addition to being trained by veterans of the unification conflicts that preceded the Federation’s formation. Some U.G.C. sources have speculated that the Federation may have been in conflict with other, as yet unknown civilizations in the northern and western reaches of the planet for generations.
Military tactics and technology among the red myr are significantly more advanced than those of the golds, and for the most part are reliant upon massed infantry charges supported by heavy artillery when fighting above ground, or on chemical weapons and phalanx-style shield walls when underground. Red myr weapons technology primarily employs smokeless gunpowder in revolvers, lever- and bolt-action rifles, and primitive air-cooled automatic weapons.
Supplementing their hand-to-hand abilities, red myr females are also known to use their venomous saliva and fangs in combat. (See Red Myr Venom).
Red Myr Venom
All red myr have venomous saliva which, on contact, causes a mild paralysis in the victim. The venom is known to cause a “red heat” sensation, inspiring rampant lust in the victim and usually putting him utterly at the mercy of the red myr in question.
The red myr can use their fangs to quickly and powerfully deliver the venom into the subject’s bloodstream. The bite itself is typically painless, as the red heat numbs the victim to any negative sensation. Biting is not necessary to deliver the venom - a simple lick will do - but it is the quickest and most potent method.
Unlike many venom-delivering species, the red myr are not immune to each other’s venom, though they are immune to their own personal strain. Members of the species can internally regulate the toxicity of their venom to deliver miniscule or large doses. However, they cannot eliminate it entirely from their saliva.
Another property of red myr venom is its effect of ‘reverse tolerance’ on the immune system. Administered over a long period, it reduces the body’s ability to defend against it. The level of myr venom needed to create high levels of euphoria is far less in the long-term exposed.
Investigations have also revealed myr venom is an addictive substance, of which the species is not immune. Social scientists believe this may be the cause of the overly chaste behavior of red myr compared to their gold counterparts - or at least until recent history - particularly in regards to kissing. While low doses do not have any negative effects on their own, over a longer period of time the chances of addiction steadily increase.
Ingesting red myr venom is naturally rewarding and reinforcing. Its only known detrimental effect is the state of physical and psychological addiction it creates in the addicted. Unlike many societies that shy away from addiction, red myr generally believe this is a positive side effect, ensuring fidelity, interdependence and heightened intimacy between them and their chosen partner.
The red myr do possess a readily available neutralizing agent to their species’ own venom. There is a small demographic who take this anti-venom as a matter of course for personal or ideological reasons.
Among gold myr, the venom of a red is considered a strong but illicit aphrodisiac, taken in small quantities to induce a lethargic, horny state.
Environs Typically Inhabited
Myrellion is the sole planet inhabited by the myr race, and it is fairly Earth-like in most respects. The planet has vast desert regions across much of its land masses, with some forested regions in the far northern and southern reaches. There are few if any snowy areas on the planet beyond the poles. Hot and dry, Myrellion is generally inhospitable above ground. The myr, however, are largely subterranean, and have over the years drilled out vast complexes of underground cities that rival the splendor of even the mega-cities of Terra. Due to the world war currently under way, many once-prosperous cities on both inhabited continents have been bombed out and abandoned, straining the population of the remaining cities as they accommodate refugees.
The Scarlet Federation touts a dramatically different social doctrine than that of the Gilden Republic. While the golds value freedom and creativity, the reds value discipline, hard work, and collective effort. The concept of free will is understood and appreciated by the red myr; it is believed by most to be second-best to the freedom granted through self-mastery. Though not all red myr follow this doctrine, the end result is a society that is truly and monumentally well ordered: hierarchies are well-established and held up for public scrutiny, unemployment is virtually non-existent, and civil disorder is next to unheard of, even during the darkest hours of the war.
The Scarlet Federation is primarily a military organization, and the red myr are effectively ruled by a junta of generals collectively called the High Command who took power after several unification conflicts brought the scattered red myr city-states under collective control. Military service is considered a sacred civil duty, and a military career is the most effective means for political advancement. Before the war, the Federation military was volunteer-only, though the press of seven years of war has necessitated a draft, much as it has among the gold myr.
Red myr society is highly nationalistic and collectivist, promoting cooperation and national unity. Social power is held almost exclusively by the military, veterans, and the Federation High Command. Most national industries are government-supported private corporations, while citizens are free to create smaller private businesses.
While the society endorsed by the Gilden Republic was on the verge of collapse under the strain the war, Federation society thrived thanks to vast acquisitions of land and resources heralded by their military victories. However, the strain of the war was felt heavily on the red myr population, which began the conflict significantly smaller than that of the gold, and has dwindled dangerously due to losses during the campaign. Had the infantry invasion of Gildenmere been launched, U.G.C. scientists suggest incurred casualties could have rendered the red myr population unviable — too small to avoid genetic damage due to inbreeding and leaving them highly vulnerable to disease or mutation.
Relationships: Due to the overwhelmingly female-heavy population, males are in high demand: most infertile 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.
Red myr sexual norms are difficult for some outsiders to comprehend, even to natives of Myrellion. Most red myr are open about their sexuality, and have little inhibition from doting on lovers and public displays of affection. However, unlike the gold myr, reds are highly averse to public nudity and blatant sex acts. Social norms dictate that sex is to be done in private seclusion with trusted lovers: there is no shame in the act, but rather it is deemed too personal and emotional to share with strangers.
The advent of casual sex is only a very recent phenomenon spurred on by the war. While monogamy is uncommon among the myr, relationships were expected to be devoted and deep. This attitude changed during the war, thanks to the concept of “trench wives” — females that soldiers have either captured or brought from home who serve their needs between battles. These relationships are based on lust and physical pleasure, and have (some say alarmingly) disrupted the polyamorous partnerships more common in years past. The trench wife phenomenon is seen as a necessary evil by most red officers, as the Federation simply does not have the resources to deal with the sheer number of prisoners taken during the war. Allowing soldiers to keep their own captives, and insisting that they care for them, is seen as more humanitarian than prison camps and puts the brunt of the administrative needs (food, shelter, etc.) on the shoulders of individual unit commanders.
Myr technology is nearly analogous with early 20th century Earth, with electric engines and lights being common everywhere but the most remote villages and outposts. Federation military tech was relatively advanced compared to the golds’ at the start of the war, though the Gilden Republic has made great strides to close the gap. The machine gun had only recently come into service at the start of the war, leading to the massive death tolls during the conflict.
Like their gold counterparts, the red myr possess primitive aircraft, though they are largely forced to use captured gold airfields due to the short range of their craft and the remoteness of their original territory. That said, the Federation is perhaps more reliant on aircraft than the golds, and they make use of heavy air transports to move supplies and soldiers throughout the occupied continent rather than using traditional tunnel crawlers or ground craft.
Just before First Contact, the war between red and gold myr took an unexpectedly lethal turn due to the gold myr introducing poison gases 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. This has caused some consternation on the part of the Federation, who saw themselves as on the brink of a final victory, and now are being largely ignored by the off-worlders in favor of the more alluring gold myr. Xenogen Biotech has, however, made preliminary inquiries into the reds’ lust venom while other parties have expressed interest in exporting red myr labor (either reds themselves or selections of their many, many gold myr prisoners of war).