Bio-Mechs, also known as Dread-Mechs, are myriad biological exoskeletons of keratin and bone piloted by vermiform organisms. They are crafted in thousands of different forms and appearances, each used for a different purposes. Bio-Mechs serve as the backbone of martial duties, labor, and sport combat in Ja’luhhor’Alotha. Without the pilot, the Mechs are lifeless husks.
Bio-Mechs are biological constructs formed from bone, flesh, chitin, and keratin. Their forms are myriad, each serving a specific purpose. Although all share a similar general anatomy. Every Bio-Mech has the following:
- Vaguely humanoid shape
- Two to four grasping appendages
- Two locomotion appendages
- A head-like cockpit that the vermiform pilot can inhabit and use to control the mech
- An internal bio-reactor used to sustain the pilot while located within the mech
- Internal and external weapon systems, regardless of the mech’s general utility.
Each Bio-mech is crafted independently of one another, most varying drastically even if their general utility is identical. General utilities are usually ones where the specific strengths of a Bio-Mech are most useful, which is predominantly in labor or martial tasks. The pilots of some Bio-Mechs have become officers or Centurions, however.
The musculature of a Bio-mech is based upon liquid and pneumatic hydraulics, a complex system of muscles, organs, and neural ganglion are used to maintain movement of the Bio-mech when the pilot exits to prevent it from careening to the ground if it is off balance.
The internal musculature of the Bio-Mech is psionically manipulated by the pilot to stimulate and ideal response, resulting in movement and general combat. This process takes aeons, even for the most intelligent pilot, to learn. The Bio-Mech is a very unique technology which requires great skill to master, although it is relatively easy to become a mediocre Bio-Mech troop or laborer. Depending on the task, Bio-Mech piloting can be difficult or simple. This causes most novice pilots to gravitate towards laborer Bio-Mechs.
Bio-Mechs are supported by their external armor, and they seem to lack a true internal skeletal system. Their innards appear to be purely muscle, organs, and empty space for the Pilot to inhabit the Mech indefinitely. This flaw in their anatomy is a grave one, the destruction of the armor’s stability may cause the Mech to collapse in on itself and crush the pilot inside. This unfortunate fate as happened to many vermiforms in combat.
In the cases of heavier or more agile Bio-Mechs, empty space for the pilot to inhabit is traded for internal skeletal support. While this increases the durability and overall effectiveness of the Mech, it forces the pilot to periodically exit to find genuine habitation. As such, this form of Bio-Mech is not effective for long wars of attrition, or battles where such genuine habitation is not available.
All weapons used by a Bio-Mech are inherently biological, even weapons not attached to the body itself. Ranged weapons use complex bio-reactions to create explosive or flammable liquid, while melee weapons may be simple claws or sarcous blades. The options for potential Bio-Mech weaponry are nigh endless, and up to the pilot’s whims.
Common forms of weaponry on factory-bred Bio-mechs include:
- Wrist Blade – A simple sarcous bayonet that is retractable, and located on the wrist in the scenario that close range combat is necessary. This weapon is often discarded on Bio-Mechs exclusively intended for close range combat.
- Rotblaster – Known both professionally and unprofessionally has the Rotblaster, this is the most common ranged weapon used by a Bio-Mech deathtrooper. Bio-Mechs with this armament gather corpses from the battlefield as ammunition, the flesh is placed into the barrel of the weapon, as the flesh decomposes, a noxious effluvium begins to leak from the barrel. The barrel then spews this discharge from the barrel over a remarkable distance. The volatile goo ignites under the tremendous pressure, creating a highly effective biomechanical flamethrower.
- Auxiliary Weaponry – Auxiliary weapons are more a category than a specific armament. They consist of all secondary weapons, melee or ranged, used by Bio-mechs in combat.
Custom-Bred Bio-mechs, or even Bio-mechs with different general utilities may have drastically different weaponry. As mentioned above, it all depends on the whims of the pilot or breeder.
Bio-mechs are mass-bred in Bio-Foundries, massive sessile organisms whose only purpose is to birth Aesoteric bio-technology. Bio-mechs are designed by their pilots, or the commander of the battle. When their design is set in stone, the Bio-Factory’s embryonic pods and corpulent tentacles get to work birthing and assembling the Bio-mech’s parts. When the mech is complete, it is frothed into the fray for the pilot to toy with.
If the Bio-mech isn’t custom-bred, tailor made to suit the pilot’s needs and whims, then it is based upon a line of Bio-mech models. These models come in as many shapes as those custom-made, each produced by Aesoteric commanders to suit an exact purpose.
Bio-mechs are incomprehensibly ancient, their protoforms predating the Schism. While their general conception has been lost to the ages, it is logical to assume that their purpose was to act a strong, unfeeling, and loyal laborers or warriors for Aesoteric protocommanders. It was only after the Schism that vermiform pilots were conceived, and as such Bio-mechs were at one point fully autonomous, depending on a remote pilot to be managed. Arguably, this form of control is far safer for the pilot, although it is vulnerable to bio-electromagnetic disruptions. This flaw was especially abused by the forces of Gorramorrathenthax during the Schism.
Towards the beginning of Schism, the first proto-vermiform pilots were bred to manually pilot Bio-mechs. This change gave Bio-mechs an immunity to bio-electromagnetic disruptions, but also made Bio-mechs useless without a pilot. This downside was ignored as the newer, updated Bio-mechs proved highly successful in the Schism and their use would be continued until the end of the Schism and beyond.
Bio-mechs proved vital during every Unholy crusade enacted upon by Aesoteric martial forces, with the exception of the 7th Unholy crusade. Bio-mechs would also participate in the 1st and 2nd Centurion crusade before eventually being phased out of the Centurion troop doctrine exclusively. This decision greatly dampened the military might and prowess of the Centurion League and likely lead to its downfall and modern state.
After aeons of war against myriad enemies, it had became apparent that the pilots of Bio-mechs were more than what they were originally designed to be. According to the Aesoteric Sentience Act, vermiform pilots were not considered true sentient Aesoteric organisms, alike Protophytes and Larva. As such, these creatures could not legally become officers or high commanders. Multiple Aesoteric scholars criticized the exemption of vermiform pilots from legal sentience. Eventually, through treachery, protesting, and slaughter, vermiform pilots had finally obtained their basic Aesoteric rights. Despite this great achievement for the Aesoteric species, they were not seen as genuine sentient creatures of Ja’luhhor’Alotha and heavily stigmatized. Eventually, this stigma would wane until finally becoming a note in the history tomes.
In the Mantid Wars, Bio-mechs would prove to be a crucial backbone of the war effort. Their use officers, laborers, and soldiers would help turn the tide of the wars, specifically the 1st and 2nd, before the conception of gauss weaponry and eventually Gaussmen during the 3rd war. As mentioned previously, the importance of Bio-mechs to the frontlines greatly decreased when Gaussmen eventually came into existence. Bio-mechs were key troops during the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Mantid wars.
In modern day, Bio-mechs serve as a crucial backbone of Aesoteric combat, labor, and sport. Their pilots, originally mistreated and abused in labor camps and armies alike, now are respected and feared. Without these powerful and ruthless creatures, Ja’luhhor’Alotha’s fate may be drastically different than what it is today.