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Arachnid Infestation Index (AII)

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  The presence of Arachnids on a planet is classified by SICON with the Arachnid Infestation Index (AII). There are three levels of Arachnid planetary infestation, which defines how long the Arachnid presence has been expanding across the planet – they are divided into Infected, Compromised and Bug Central. 

 

Infected

 

   A planet is considered ‘Infected’ when there are one or more Arachnid colonies on its surface and they are just starting to expand. Native species, if any, are still dominant on the world and the presence of Arachnids may still be undetected.

 

   Phase One: Arachnid infestation of a planet begins here. Spore capsules or a transport bug arrives on the planet’s surface and the Arachnids begin to expand their areas of control. Detailed analysis of the planet’s surface can detect the presence of bugs by discovering small patches of devastation near their landing site. However, it can be quite hard to find the Arachnid presence and much harder to locate their small colonies.

 

   Phase Two: The first couple of colonies have matured and begun to spread their influence, aiming to expand quickly before the world is alerted to their presence. The first Arachnid warriors and workers are already making increasingly daring raids on the environment, identifying the dangers in the ecosystem, including rivals among indigenous life. The first brain bugs appear, their individual growth closely linked to everything they learn and assimilate from the surrounding environment. If a dangerous life form is identified, its habits, strength and weaknesses are assessed and studied by the brainbugs, so measures can be taken to reduce their power (such as attacking their food sources or giving specialised abilities to future warrior bug swarms).

 

   Phase Three: The presence of the Arachnids becomes more perceptible. The most dangerous native species has been identified and systematically slaughtered. Wholly devastated ecosystems become more evident in small areas, which is primarily what makes the presence of Arachnids more obvious.

 

Compromised

   A planet is considered ‘Compromised’ when several colonies are present, to the point the Arachnid presence cannot be ignored any longer. The colonies have begun to breed specialised orevolved sub-species and environmental damage can be seen from space. All of the Arachnids’ main contenders in the food chain have become a target for constant harassment, to the point of extermination.

  

   Phase One: At this point, colonies are capable of expanding very rapidly. Attacks on other life forms have multiplied and the planet’s ecosystem has been irreparably altered.

   

   Phase Two: Now comes the last onslaught on the planet’s strongest species, after which the Arachnids can proliferate freely without interference. Devastated areas have extended so much that entrances to Arachnid colonies can be found with relatively little effort.

 

Bug Central

  ‘Bug Central’ is a planet completely dominated by Arachnids, its natural ecosystems virtually eliminated and its landmasses occupied by colonies.

   

   Phase One: Most other life forms have been eliminated from the planet’s surfaces. Devastated zones are becoming larger than non-infested areas.

 

   Phase Two: The majority of the planet’s surface is devastated, merging into a single ever-growing Arachnid colony, resembling Klendathu more as time passes.

 

   Phase Three: The surface of the planet is a wasteland. Nothing remains of the original ecology and the only organic landscape features are Arachnid colonies and swarms of bugs on the land and in the sky. By the end of phase three, there is effectively just one giant colony, all others having merged into this one.This colony is a single, immense network of underground passages connecting the entire planet. At least one queen bug will almost certainly have beenbred by this time. After phase three has been achieved, spores and transport bugs are sent to nearby planets, which continues the process of Arachnid expansion across space.

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