Research & Command



Average Height:

5 - 6 feet

Average Weight:

80 lbs

Average Psi-strength:

Class 10 Baseline Human 5

Average Intelligence:

Class (?) Baseline Human 5

Average Life Span:


Ethereals are the commanders, or at least overseers, of all alien activities in the Solar System. Mysterious and powerful, they only appear on Earth under dire circumstances or to carry out critical missions. Like the Sectoids, their organization is a hierarchy based on psionic power. However, unlike the Sectoids, the Ethereal hierarchy seems to be fluid, as individuals aspire to become more influential and powerful. All Ethereals, however, are dominant over all other races of alien, if only by virtue of their unmatched psionic power. The goals of the Ethereals are unclear, and it is believed they are still subordinate to the overriding alien Groupthink or higher intelligence that coordinates their activities. Ethereals can be encountered performing almost any task (occasionally as an individual overseeing lesser alien species) if it is deigned to be important to them or their goals. Because of their mental powers, they are considered the most dangerous of the alien species, but also the most valuable for interrogation. Regardless, in any mission where an Ethereal is present, it becomes the priority target by default. Typically, Ethereals prefer to lie in wait or behind cover, using their mental powers to weaken their foes or turn them against each other.


Physically, an Ethereal resembles a desiccated corpse more than a living, breathing life form. Their bodies are frail and physically retarded – the muscles are often atrophied to the point where they can not move their limbs by themselves, and most of the internal organs are withered or necrotic from disuse. The sensory organs, or what used to be them, are likewise shriveled and no longer functional. Even the heart is weak, and the lungs barely function. The sex organs are functional, but minimally so, indicating that actual gestation and growth are handled artificially.</p>

Only the brain survives. The vast majority of blood in the body goes to the brain, and it is large and well developed (though actually smaller, mass-wise, and the Sectoid brain). Like the Sectoid, the Ethereal has a naturally occurring ampullae psionic and corona lucis attached to the spinocerebellum and cerebrocerebellum; both are large and allow the creature access to its formidable psionic powers. It is these powers that allow the Ethereal to survive, even in the vacuum of space, as well as sense its environment. Ethereals are telepathically and telekinetically powerful, to the extent that they can animate their own frail bodies; giving themselves strength exceeding that of even the mighty Muton, and flight through the air. These powers also provide defense, telekinetically slowing or stopping bullets, partially redirecting or deflecting explosions or even weakening plasma bolts. Needless to say, physical trauma to the limbs or torso rarely bothers Ethereals, so long as their brain remains intact.


Ethereals do not seem to need to eat, and in captivity they are known to uniformly refuse all attempts at providing sustenance. If kept unconscious for long periods of time, they can "starve" to death, implying that they use their powers in lieu of normal food. Ethereals wear a sort of cloak over their bodies, typically some shade of orange or rust-red, with minor cosmetic differences between individuals. The cloak is not entirely for show, however, as it is a simplex metallic weave that hardens on contact, providing excellent protection as well. Ethereals have been known to use their telekinetic ability to cause brain damage in another target, particularly during a psionic duel. Unlike with Sectoids, all Ethereals are capable of psionic projection, regardless of rank. Ethereals are somewhat vulnerable to electric shock.

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