Uncle Jimbo's End of Time Blues
|"All that you see is not all that there is."|
The abduction of Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker at Pascagoula, Mississippi, on 12 October 1973 revealed a new threat to our world. The remarkable testimony of Hickson provides, so far, the best description of these insectoid EBEs. Although the campaign of disinformation woven around these creatures is unprecedented, a number of later sightings have been confirmed.
The entities encountered at Pascagoula stand upright, with a narrow tubular torso supported by two pairs of walking limbs. The hind, or major legs are sturdy with hoof-like feet. The minor legs are used for balance and turning traction more than for support. The entity has two pairs of upper limbs, one with mantis-like hunting claws that can lash out up to 2.5m, and one with complex hands.
The entity's head is tall and narrow, with two sturdy 40cm antennae, two swivelling conical microwave-emission organs, and a lower jaw dropping nearly 30cm, overhanging the chest. The mouth has thin membraneous cheeks concealing at least two sets of fanged jaws that work in the vertical plane, like those of vertebrates. The entity has no eyes, nose or ears. It perceives the world by reflected microwave radiation, reabsorbed by the antennae, which also appear to hold olfactory sensors.
After the initial contact, EBEs of this type have often been seen with cybernetic visual implants, generally red in colour. Either one or two cyberoptics may be installed.
Their exoskeleton is covered by a leathery grey skin, which supports a form of skin covering not seen in Earthly life, but sometimes compared to moth scales or featherdown. Tiny fan-shaped scales of cellophane-like substance are mounted on a shaft, able to raise and move as a major part of the entity's heat regulation processes. In cool and/or windy conditions, the scales lie flat, are often described as silvery or ghost-like, or can be mistaken for clothing. In hot conditions, the raised scales are described as wrinkled, or may even appear slimy or viscous.
The Pascagoula arthropoids are most often encountered in their craft, which are powered by a quantum-psionic construct organism, often compared to an exposed brain in a tank. The quantum-psionic construct can also generate a subspace channel between the craft's cabin and a nearby point, allowing the EBEs to simply step through into enclosed areas.
The interior, or the endpoint of a subspace channel, is always illuminated by a brilliant blue-white glare, not for vision (which is irrelevent to the entities), but apparently supplying some form of radiation which is required for their long-term health. This radiation causes skin burns and mild radiation poisoning effects to exposed humans, as a R2 environment.
These vessels also display prominent exterior lettering and regular patterns of coloured lights, almost like human aircraft identification.
Their mission appears to be a biological survey of some kind. The Pascagoula creatures are often seen in South America and Africa, and have been spotted in the US, Britain and Europe, and even Japan.
The entities' sensory microwave beams have serious side effects on the brains of Earth life.
In their apparent natural state, any human approached within 10m by an arthropoid is struck with feelings of disorientation and terror. Failing a Resolve-mental check, the human will be almost paralysed with fear, suffering a +3 penalty on all skill checks and adjusting all action checks downwards by two steps of success, so that an Amazing action check becomes Ordinary, a Good check goes to Marginal, and an Ordinary or Marginal check prevents the human from taking any action that round. On an Ordinary mental resolve check, the human can act, but has a +2 penalty on all skill checks. On Good, this drops to +1, and on Amazing , no penalty.
Some Pascagoula-type entities appear to be modified and equipped for operations on the Earth. These individuals have cyberoptics, and their microwave emitters have been surgically altered in frequency. Rather than anxiety, their microwaves cause suppression of attention and short-term memory, not unlike the Telepathy - obscure ability. A human who approaches within 10m suffers a +3 penalty on all Awareness checks, and if attempting to inspect, or later report, the appearance of the entity, must make a Resolve - mental check. On a failure, the witness reports a nondescript humanoid. On an Ordinary, Good or Amazing success the witness can notice or recall one, two or three details respectively. This does not appear to be a deliberate result, more a side effect of whatever local adaptation has been applied to these individuals.
The arthropoids are believed to have arrived on our Earth at some time after 1957, as the confirmed sightings in this period suggest that they were unfamiliar with humans before that time. Their organisation has been described as paramilitary, with no obvious heavy armaments carried, but a notably disciplined approach, and several reports of carefully organised tactical operations.
Their technology is at a lower stage of development than many of the other xenoforms, perhaps equivalent to early PL 7. Besides their psionic-construct craft, they often employ a rod-like device that stuns victims on contact behind the ear or at the temple, and possibly has an ability to elicit and record kaleidoscopic memory recall streams. They appear to be able to deliver instant, complex packets of information ("thought balls") to humans, which are maintained in long-term memory much more clearly than experiences of normal consciousness.
The entities typically install implants in abducted humans for later activation. Follow-up contacts are seldom, if ever, reported, and it is believed that these implants are intended for a future large-scale operation of some kind.
The arthropoids' relationship to other xenoforms is unclear. Neither DNA nor TPA has been isolated from the few biological specimens available, but some investigators have proposed encapsulated proteins as their genetic material.
There is evidence that the Pascagoula entities are, or have been, in a state of hostility with the beings known as Tribunes, who control the Hairy Dwarfs, with the active involvement of certain humans. They appear to operate in a truce, or even cooperation with the British Intelligence services.