The Skathari, sometimes colloquially known as Bluespace Bugs are a species of insectoid aliens believed to originate from outwith the galactic plane. Their manipulation of bluespace is unknown in any other species, and their apparent consumption of tachyon particles has led to widespread disruption in travel among the intelligent species of the known galaxy.
The Skathari exhibit a range of physical configurations similar to ant castes, with distinct "workers", "soldiers" and reproductive types having been observed.
All castes share a hard bluish-purple exoskeleton, and a bioluminesent green ichor is often apparent through softer portions of their bodies, though these range from pulsating secretious sacs to deceptively tough translucent abdomen.
The mechanism by which the Skathari manipulate bluespace energy to affect physical matter is not yet understood, but the consumption of the tachyons upon which bluespace travel relies is likely integral to the process. Additionally, the species has been observed consuming both organic and inorganic matter with apparent preferences that are yet to be properly studied. This feeding appears to aid in their reproductive process. The previously undiscovered mineral 'Magmellite is a byproduct of the feeding process.
The Skathari are not believed to be sapient, and are thought to be motivated purely by hunger in the pursuit of survival, though close study has remained thus far impossible.
The species are perhaps defined by their ability to 'manifest' through localized bluespace rifts, the origin point of which remains unknown. The pattern of these appearances is a matter of much debate as these "Incursions" have been recorded throughout the known galaxy, though there is a noted link between appearances and the presence of precursor artifacts, meaning they are of particular threat in areas of xenoarchaeological significance.
Skathari were first observed in 2564 during the destruction of the ILS Harvest Moon warehousing station in Isavau's Gamble, though these sightings were dismissed as rumours at the time. Subsequently, the species was recorded by Galactic Survey Administration vessels on extraplanar expeditions, with later examination tying these initial appearances to the "test firing" of the Whythe Superweapon.
Following these sightings, but initially not believed to be connected, a noted galactic down-trend in tachyon particles was observed, now known to be a telltale sign of Skathari feeding.
The first confirmed presence of the species was observed following the disappearance of several GSA vessels and subsequent re-appearance in anomalous locations in 2565. The first samples of Magmellite were covered from one such vessel in Vir, the SCG-E Mag Mell, which lent its name to the mineral.
The species were initially named "X Extraneus Tarlevi" after Captain Volmer Tarlev of the SCG-E Ketumati whose recorded descriptions were instrumental in establishing a basic understanding of the species' behavior. This was later rescinded once the species became a noted threat, as to avoid disrespect to the deceased, and the species newly dubbed "Skathari".
The Skathari Incursion
Beginning in February 2566, large scale manifestations of Skathari began throughout the known galaxy, posing immense threat to life due to their extremely destructive nature. Within SolGov space, these "incursions" were most concentrated in the systems Nyx, Vir, and Raphael, all noted precursor sites, but impacted all known intelligent species. Many outlying colonies and habitats were evacuated in this time, some of which remain uninhabited today.
The tachyon disruption, only worsened by the incursion, prevented effective response to many affected systems by the SCG Fleet, leading to a long term erosion of trust in the government and eventual cecession of several member states, including some old-world Earth nations in its aftermath, sometimes under the influence of corporate pressures. Remaining states, now more isolated than before were granted much greater autonomy.
Affected more seriously elsewhere, the Skrell largely abandoned the Almach Protectorate, leaving a basic government in place, and the Unathi withdrew from the Dark Triangle and Abel's Rest, plunging the Ue-Katish pirates in the area into war to reclaim the territory. Some SolGov border territories were ceded to the Pearlshield Coalition to provide more effective local defense against the desparate Vystholm militia.
Interaction between the Skathari's matter manipulation and precusor tech in Londuneyja on Sif led to the creation of apparently physics-defying anomalous phenomena which led to the evacuation of the small continent, which would later become a hotbed of anomaly research, particularly by NanoTrasen.
Incursions began to reduce in frequency around mid 2568, but have yet to come to a complete end and Skathari remain a constant presense in some areas, particularly where they arrived in most force or were allowed to reproduce unopposed.