Millenia ago, Dragmites were just basic insectoid colonies which were unique for their sufficient hunting, construction, and ant-like intelligence. But because they had little intelligence, and limited experience, they were repeatedly hunted by other Dragmaian insectoid predators. They were at least lucky to survive 40% of the attacks. Back then, it was just 'eat or be eaten'. But then, a colony discovered an old urban legend. Turns out, they weren't the first intelligent race on Dragma. In prehistoric times, an extinct crustaceous sentience called the Braanx had ruled the planet when it was covered mostly in water, and had an omnipotent oracle called Chazona, and worshipped her for knowledge beyond belief. It took an asteroid strike to apparently wipe the Braanx out, but during the devastation, only one last object remained of the Braanx's legacy: Chazona's relic. It had been buried underground for millions of years until the Dragmites, which had evolved from sapient ants, uncovered it. They were able to summon Chazona, and they were able to learn how to use her as well as how her last masters did. Using Chazona's knowledge, the Dragmites grew to higher-grade intelligence, but because they've been around longer than humans, they were hundreds of years more advanced to this day. They advanced at the exact same rate as humans did with the aid of Chazona, who knows about the past, present, and future, and she knew that a good race would be grand if they evolved the same way a destined race like the humans did. In exchange for their loyalty, Chazona gave them the gifts of speech, domestication, medicine, electricity, weaponry, even space-travel. By 1948, the Dragmites had been as intelligent as the Braanx. They have even been through over 306 wars throughout their history, and even the stupidest of their kind could memorize all of them.
In 1978, when Emperor Cygron and Empress Cengrus took power over the prime city of Dragma: Braanx Prime City, they decided that they wanted to expand their empire onto other planets. They knew that they weren't allowed to do this without taking consent from Chazona because it violated their eternal deal with her. When they took it up with her, she brought up a terrible future where the Dragmites were getting too intelligent, and that would bring the risk of other races out there wanting to take advantage of them. But of all the aliens out there, they were then evenly matched with one certain race that will perceive them as a threat, and attempt to destroy them. So, all attempts to colonize other worlds were cancelled to prevent this future from coming true. Despite this, Chazona knew that no matter how hard they would try, the future has, and always will be, unavoidable. Cygron refused to believe this, and tried to isolate the entire race from the UUniverses. Despite this, they find an unidentified spacecraft crashing onto Dragma with only one survivor on it: a Galactic Federation officer named Vrank. Despite Cygron's warnings about their forewarning, the people decide to let Vrank stay. Vrank reveals that the Galactic Federation needed some immediate classification of Dragma, which was just recently discovered. They needed classification of it's biosphere, atmosphere, geology, intelligent lifeforms, and most importantly, their safety.
For the remainder of Vrank's stay and study, he told them about the world outside their planet, and about it's entire history. But when Cygron finds out about Vrank's stories, he ordered Vrank to be banished immediately despite everyone's pleas. His cruel behavior had left the people to feel horrible for how he treated Vrank, especially Cengrus, who said that Cygron was not taking his position as Emperor seriously, but he reminded her of their forewarning, and that he must do what he could to protect his race. However, neither of them realised, not even Chazona before it was too late, that Vrank was actselly what the Dragmites needed to avoid the horrorable future, and Cygron just stupidly chased him off like a jackass not realising it! He knew that now, the Dragmites know too much, and orders a planetary defense system installed. But it was already too late. Dragma was invaded by hostile spaceships that revealed themselves as the 'Grox', which had declared the Dragmites as a threat to their existence, and simply had to be destroyed. Apparently, the Grox had thought that this race would become a part of the Galactic Feds, which was already proving to be a problem for them, and needed it destroyed to avoid problems. Cygron did what he could to protect the planet, but he ends up getting mortally wounded in the process. Cengrus ordered an immediate evacuation to the underground catacombs of their forts, and only 9,531 Dragmites survived the attack. None of their defenses could save them. All forts were destroyed, every mound and city on the planet was eradicated. The Grox departed upon having eradicated all monuments and civilizations. Cengrus was lucky enough to save Cygron's body from the attack, but most of his body parts were blown off, and he was horribly disfigured.
The Dragmites spent 5 months underground prior to the attack, and upon resurfacing, they found that everything they knew was gone. Their homes, their civilizations, their monuments, their belongings, everything. The royal guards weren't able to find some regenerative healing medicines to repair Cygron's body, so they had to heal him with cybernetics. Upon discovering that all civilization was destroyed, and that it was Cygron's own fault that he chased away Vrank who Chazona reveiled was ironicly the thing needed to stop the previously unavoidable future, Cygron was fueled with rage. From then on, he swore to one day destroy the Grox, and claim their Empire. Chazona's relic survived the attack, and even with her grand knowledge, the Dragmites were unable to rebuild what they lost. Their best hope was to rebuild forts, scout wastelands for resources, and steal technology from others, which the last thing was very controversial even for Cygron. They did this by kidnapping other-worldly beings who entered their sector, and kept them locked up in underground sanctuaries that were one of the many things that survived the Grox attack. Anyone who ventured into the Dragmites' territory were officially Dragmite property. None of the people who landed were allowed to leave. When Cengrus was disappointed at what a monster Cygron had become, Chazona gave her hope by foretelling that if Cygron continued this pursuit, he would be defeated by an army of animals with a comet of metal and flames. But despite having been right before, Cygron refuses to believe her, due to the late prediction that ironicly made him look right that the future was preventable, if not in the way he picked, and becomes a ruthless tyrant monster who pushes people around and wants to protect his kind by actually putting them in danger through an inevitable war, which he believes will be their last. He will even kill any prisoner who escapes the sanctuary to prevent this future from coming true. Even Vrank comes back to show sympathy and to warn him that this path of vengeance is not worth taking as it has been known to end disasterously, not to mention that the activites Cygron was doing was considered illegal to the Galactic Federation and repercussions will follow upon failure to heed, but Cygron throws him into the sanctuary like all the others. This tyrannical rule lasts for over 20 straight years, and the prisoners are still stuck in there. Even they are aware the Dragmites' tragedy, so no great hatred exists, (though Cygron is very unpopular to them), as well as the future concerning these heroic misfits, and know that hope will rise.
Biology and Castes
Dragmites were insectoids that behave in an ant-like community, but have human intelligence. Just like ants, Dragmites live in colonies, and they build their homes in hive-like mounds called 'forts' which contains an entire city that goes deep underground. Most Dragmite communities are found underground, and most of their water supply comes in aquifers. But while they live underground, they can also live on the surface inside smaller hives. Each fort contains over 487 buildings, and electricity can be harnessed through underground cables. In fact, all their electrical activity goes underground. All sources coming from satellites, power generators, found in surface hives, and pylons that are found on the surface. Like bugs, Dragmites can climb on surfaces, and like ants, they can use groups to form bridges and other structures to a colony's advantage. Dragmites live in separate colonies, which are actually a single empire just like humans with countries. Dragmites have been in more wars than any other alien in the UUniverses. Just like ants, Dragmites fight in numbers and since they look alike, they can identify each other with odor. Each Dragmite has a different number of antennae depending upon the caste. The antennae, instead of being used for smell, they are used for hearing. Certain caste members have only 6 of these antennae structures since they don't need to be alert that much. But others, specifically the ones fit for fighting, have over 12 antennae, allowing them to hear much better and be more alert than ever. Dragmites have 6 limbs, each tipped with 4 clawed phalanges. Like cockroaches, they are resistant to radiation. They can even live without a head for 10 days. They have 4 eyes in 2 sockets, and their brain cases are mainly transparent, but protected by the steel-hard skull-like structures that cover it. They have 6 nostrils, and some have mandibles that are armed with 4 venomous spurs that can regrow in a certain period of time. Their bodies are lined with bioluminescent streaks that can allow them to identify each other in the dark since they don't have night vision. There are 6 Dragmite castes with certain traits including size. The castes are:
- Worker- Worker Dragmites are not known to be fighters, but they do have the duty of calling in soldiers when they spot trouble. Their main jobs are construction, research, and farming. Workers are known to be the smallest Dragmite caste, and they work in groups of 30-155. They are also instructed to learn self-defense from soldiers in order to protect themselves from danger. They are known to check wiring, plumbing, power shortages, and lots of other handy work. They even work as doctors, healing soldiers and helping to successfully remove a molten exoskeleton in less than 5 minutes.
- Soldier- Soldier Dragmites serve as the military of the Empire. They have jobs as infantry, training, security, scouts, and even test monkeys for science, which isn't a problem for them since they're both much bigger than workers and have tougher hides. They have large mandibles that are so strong, they can puncture Kevlar, and also inject a regenerative venom spur that paralyzes victims. The spurs only take an hour to grow back, though. They attack in armies of 150-505, and they aren't afraid to die, lose a limb or even it's own head, or even take risks. They have the intelligence of an ant and human combined, and thanks to their oracle, they know every kind of military tactic ever known, including some that are from other aliens.
- Powerhouse- Powerhouse Dragmites are another version of Workers. Except they are 40% bigger. They play the same roles as the workers, except they are used for heavy duty work with their larger physical strength and their tougher hides. They perform tasks in their jobs that their worker comrades can't do by themselves. In fact, workers can't survive underwater for less than a minute, but powerhouses can remain underwater for more than 10 minutes with their larger lung capacity. Therefore, they can do underwater construction, and are much better swimmers. Powerhouses have 2 origins: birth or destiny. A Powerhouse can be born through a complex mating process that requires a fertilizing biological elixir from the Empress, or the Empress can inject the elixir inside a worker, and after 2 molting cycles, that worker will become a powerhouse after going through a rite-of-passage along the way.
- Mercenary- Mercenary Dragmites are the Soldier version of Powerhouses. Like soldiers, they serve as fighters and defenders. But they mainly serve as the royal guards of the Emperor and Empress. While they aren't the biggest Dragmites, they are the biggest ones that serve for their Empire. Their mandibles have larger spurs that inject a venom that, instead of paralysis, can cause fatal poisoning to the spine and brain, and render unconsciousness, and death within 5 days. The spurs take 20 minutes to heal, though. They, too, can survive underwater, and they can do it for 20 minutes. Like powerhouses, mercenaries can either be born or soldiers can be destined to become one after 3 molting cycles and a rite-of-passage.
- Emperor- The Emperor Dragmite is the life-long mate of the Empress unless killed or disbanded. The Emperor, besides serving as the fertilizer of the Empress' eggs, also serves as the one with all power to the Empire while the Empress gets part of it. The Emperor is the largest caste of the Dragmites, and he and his mate are always guarded by Mercenaries. He chooses what a child should be and what gender it should be. While the Empress controls the caste of a child, the Emperor tells her what the caste must be. He and his mate are the only Dragmites that can fly through 4 colorful wings, and they are both willing to step onto the battle field to fight, get a task done personally, or just to escape. When an Emperor dies, he passes his own monarch elixir to the Empress, which passes the elixir to the Mercenary that is qualified to be Emperor, who goes through 2 molting stages. Then the Empress dies and passes her own monarch elixir to the new Emperor who, upon choosing a mate who is either a Mercenary or a Soldier, passes that elixir to her upon marriage, and after the mate goes through 2 molting stages, the two become the new rulers until the process starts all over again in the future.
- Empress- The Empress Dragmite is the one who gives birth to workers, soldiers, powerhouses, and mercenaries. She controls the genetics of her developing offspring, though the Emperor has authority over it. She gives birth to a child in less than 20 minutes upon fertilization, and it takes her 10 minutes to modify the caste makeup ordered. She is 10% smaller than her mate, and she too can fly through 4 colorful wings. Like the Emperor, the next Empress is chosen by the newly-crowned Emperor. Upon choosing a mate, the mate receives the last Empress' elixir and after 2 molting stages, that mate becomes the new Empress.
Since Dragmites live serving an all-knowledgeable oracle, they know almost every known tactic in the UUniverses. Inside their forts and hives, they used to have a wide array of technological advancements. But during the aftermath of the Grox attack, most of their civilizations were left in ruins except for what was underground. They never used vehicles since they knew that they left smog in the sky, so they decided to domesticate various insectoid creatures. They have even learned how to breed these creatures perfectly. Such examples of these domesticated aliens are:
- Entrine- Dog-like termites that are big enough to be rode on by Soldiers, but not Mercenaries since they're too big. These creatures are able to run vast distances and they are very intelligent with their yellow-glowing brains.
- Entrinax- A larger breed of Entrine which is much more adapted to serving their masters, and is big enough for the Mercenaries to ride.
- Placide- A large species of centipede which is domesticated for it's milk and eggs. Their poisons are also harnessed either for accidental poisoning or as a biological weapon. The venom can cause blood-poisoning, neurological stress, and even death. Their eggs and milk are perfectly edible. They are spiked 15ft-long creatures with hairy backs, glowing yellow brains, venomous mouth pincers, and over 50 legs.
- Morgue- An ostrich-like insectoid which is domesticated for it's qualities for riding and it's nutritious eggs. They are not the perfect creatures for riding on in the military, but workers can ride them. They are noted for their red-glowing brains, their beak-like mouths, their incredible balance, and their cassowary-like foot claws.
- Dudgeon- A massive scorpion-like insectoid beast which is often used in gladiator matches or for executions. They have been known to be one of the predators that the Dragmites fought against during their primitive days. They domesticated this creature for it. It's noted for it's 12 spider-like legs, their Xenomorph-like scorpion tails which inject a deadly toxin that can cause fatal blood-poisoning and was used as a whip, their yellow-glowing brains, their glue-shooting nozzles, their quick reflexes, and their massive size.
- Battack- A flying pterosaur-like insectoid which was known to be another one of the monsters that fed on the Dragmites during their primitive days. But they eventually learned to domesticate it and use it for aerial scouting and attacking. Their 4 colorful wings are retractable and the creature can shoot acid at it's quarry from miles in the air with it's telescopic vision. It's also noted for it's green-glowing head, it's 6 eyes, it's retractable spiked tongue, it's massive size, and it's 8 legs.
- Gargaenthe- The biggest insectoid carnivore on Dragma. They are gorilla-like behemoths the size of King Kong, and had also been one of the many creatures that feasted on the Dragmites in their primitive years. They are agile creatures that stand on 10 spider-like legs, have a gorilla-like body, a yellow-glowing head, 10 eyes, venomous incisors, retractable frills, and their bioluminescent chests. Like gorillas, they have been noted to use tools. The Dragmites have been trying to learn how to domesticate these creatures for their size, but they have constantly failed, only known to have been domesticated once by a deceased Dragmite genius.
Most of the Dragmites' remaining civilizations are underground. Cities underground are still barely active, and some military bases have been formed. Sanctuaries can be found underground, and are filled with loads of Dragma fauna and flora and spans for 2 miles. These sanctuaries are where Dragmites farmed and did other agricultural work. Now they are used for keeping prisoners from crashed ships under Cygron's rule. Cities on the surface are all eradicated, yet the environment remained. Ship graveyards are commonly found on the planet from the crashed ships. Technology from them is stolen by Cygron's orders, and architecture is like a more high-tech version of the Antz ant city.