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Snakemen

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Snakemen

Function:

Military & Terrorist

Reproduction:

Asexual

Average Height:

6 feet

Average Weight:

230 lbs

Average Psi-strength:

Class 4 Baseline Human 5

Average Intelligence:

Class 5 Baseline Human 5

Average Life Span:

80 years

Snakemen are notorious as Terror agents, primarily due to their partnership with the parasitic Chryssalid organism. Snakemen have undergone far less genetic modification than Floaters or Sectoids, and even retain their original reproductive system. Snakemen are organized into a rigid military hierarchy, but interrogations have revealed that (unlike with most other aliens), individual Snakemen can advance in rank through distinction and effort. Most command rank Snakemen are much older than those of soldier rank. "Officers" among the Snakemen seem to value the lives of themselves and their subordinates more than most aliens, and will fall back if they take heavy casualties or deem an attack to be unfavorably risky. They have been seen rallying their comrades and even going out of their way to protect Snakeman Navigators and Engineers.

They specialize in military style operations and incursions of all types. Reports of Snakemen involved in abduction or harvesting operations are essentially unknown. They frequently man important alien bases, and are the backbone of most modern terror ops. Snakeman behavior is difficult to generalize, as it varies depending on the commanding officer. Snakemen of Command rank answer directly to the Ethereals, and there is some speculation that they may be "mercenaries" of a sort. They do not have psionic attack abilities, but they do have some natural and artificial psi defenses, including a cybernetic version of the corona lucis. They are the only aliens to protect themselves with personal armor.

PhysiologyEdit

Snakemen seem to have evolved in a very hostile environment – perhaps a desert planet. Their body is designed to survive extreme temperature variation, and they are very tough and resilient, capable of surviving extreme trauma. Immediately noticeable is the large snake-like foot or underbelly that begins midway into the torso region (there is a small gap in the ribs at this point). This muscular foot allows the alien to use lateral undulation or rectilinear locomotion to propel itself in any direction. Unusually, the muscular system in Snakemen is part of the powerful cardio-vascular system, and uses a hydraulic principle to create movement. The heart is the only "true" muscle.

Snakemen are rather heavy set, with strong bones and thick layers of muscle and interlaced sinew. There are generally very few (or no) cybernetic implants. The reproductive system is always intact and functional, and each asexual Snakeman carries up to fifty unfertilized eggs at a time. Reproduction takes place through parthenogenesis. Actual embryo growth is very fast, on the order of four months from conception to birth, after which the new Snakeman reaches sexual maturity in roughly two years. Snakemen also seem to have the ability to start or stop the development of embryos within them.

MiscEdit

Snakemen, like all aliens, seem to rely heavily on liquid "alien food" chambers to survive, and have a marked disdain for earth based foodstuffs. Snakeman hearing, sight, taste and touch all seem to be at around human level, though their sense of smell is worse. Like many earth-snakes, Snakemen have special pits that allow them to "visibly" distinguish ambient heat sources. Snakemen communicate through a series of hisses, clicks, and ultrasonic sounds – XCOM finished translating around 90 of this language in 2004. Snakeman armor, worn around the upper torso, shoulders and (occasionally) the arms is made of layered alien alloys, and is resistant to all forms of weapons fire. In space or other near-vacuum environments (like Mars), it is believed that Snakemen wear respirators to survive. Snakemen have been called the "medium infantry" of the alien incursion.</p>

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