First Mention: To Thine Own Self...: Chapter Three (February 13, 2006)
First Appearance: To Thine Own Self...: Chapter Seven (August 4, 2006)
Very little is known about the mysterious alien invaders who attack the Earth during the climax of To Thine Own Self.... Everything we do know about them comes from the "negaverse" and it is as yet uncertain whether any of this information also pertains to a counterpart civilization within the main GPF universe.
The "invaders", for lack of a better term, are the mortal enemies of the Grey Aliens and hail from a neighboring solar system. The two civilizations have been at war for quite some time, although what exactly instigated this conflict is unknown. The two races have vastly different evolutionary lines when it comes to biology and technological development, but are apparently evenly matched with respect to military strength. Like the Greys, the invaders' technology is significantly more advanced than Earth's; they have apparently mastered faster-than-light interstellar travel and view Earth's inhabitants as "primitive". When Emperor Nicholas the Puissant proposes an alliance with the Greys to cement his dominion over the Earth, he inherits their conflict with the invaders. The Emperor confesses to Nick that his advisers project an inevitable surrender in six weeks, although it is unknown whether the Emperor was being truthful with this estimate or attempting to persuade Nick to help through lies.
Where the Greys rely heavily on technology presumably derived from similar sources as ours, the invaders' technology is primarily organic, building upon biological systems and adapting them to their own use. All of the invaders' "machines" of war are different alien species, subjugated and enslaved into serving their masters. Three known species of invader thralls can be seen throughout the conflict:
- "Walkers": Towering multicolored creatures that stand on two long, spindly legs and sport several tentacles surrounding tube-like mouths. A single large, lidless, pupil-less eye sits in the middle of the front of the head/body; there is evidence this eye may be a weak point that can be easily targeted. They breathe through gills on the side of their bodies and have suction-cup-like pads on their feet that provide incredible mobility. They are impervious to "blaster" fire but susceptible to heavier weaponry. They fight primarily by kicking with their powerful legs, squirting corrosive digestive juices from their mouths, or lashing out with their prehensile tendrils.
- "Tanks": Large, hulking, crab-like creatures with two large pincers for forelimbs and a scorpion-like tail. Three lidless eyes, one large and two smaller ones on either side, peer out from under its carapace. Like the "walkers", "tanks" are impervious to blaster fire and most piercing and slashing attacks, but may be susceptible to heavy artillery. They attack primarily by swiping or crushing with their pincers, crushing enemies beneath their bulk, or showering opponents with a highly-directional spray of corrosive acid from their tails.
- "Warships": These are not constructed space craft but subjugated space-born creatures that normally live in the interstellar voids. They are massive in size, with a diameter of several hundred yards (or meters). Their shape is not unlike a large Paramecium with a hard outer carapace and several fleshy, glowing orbs attached. They are capable of interstellar travel, presumably at faster-than-light speeds (although it is unknown whether this is an innate capability of the species or one added by their invader masters). They are capable of firing powerful directed energy blasts of an unknown composition, similar to a very powerful laser.
The invaders have the ability to take control of compatible species and compel them to do their bidding. The exact nature of this "mild control apparatus", as the Emperor calls it, is unknown. Once attached, it is nearly impossible to remove and difficult to detect. In some instances, a residual slime is left on the victim, often on the neck. Subjugated victims no longer have any control of their bodies or will of their own, effectively becoming a mindless puppet of their alien master. Both Governor Duncan and Butch Kilgore were "taken over", allowing the invaders to spy upon and influence both the Imperial and resistance forces. Through these two contacts, the invaders were able to destabilize Earth's sociopolitical climate, keeping the two sides fighting against each other long enough for the invaders to amass their invasion fleet in orbit. Being subjugated apparently does not offer the puppet any additional abilities or protection, as both Duncan and Kilgore were killed by normal blaster fire. Creatures that cannot be subjugated or are otherwise deemed unsuitable for control are processed as food.
The exact nature of the invaders themselves is unknown. They are never seen within the story and only one human has supposedly seen one: Fooker. When Sharon attempts to see the invader Fooker kills, he blocks her attempts until they are distracted by another attack. Justin tracks another to an air vent where it escapes, leaving a trail of slime. The invaders refer to all creatures other than themselves as "meatlings", including the Greys. Whether or not this implies that their physical structure is different from humans and Greys is uncertain.
At the end of To Thine Own Self..., the invaders had nearly blasted the empire's capital to ruin and were attacking the Emperor's palace directly. An armada of Grey motherships soon arrived, engaging the invaders and targeting "anything that [moved]". Unknown to either side, however, the palace's main reactor was set to explode in a "fireball the size of Kansas". Our heroes escaped to their home universe in the nick of time, so whether or not either side of the alien conflict survived is unknown.
There is a growing body of evidence seeming to indicate that our "real" or "prime" universe may face a similar fate as the "Negaverse" version of Earth. In a conversation between Grey drones #3141592 and #6626068, we have learned that the invaders may have already infiltrated the U.G.A. and that other organizations may have also been compromised. Other disturbing events have surfaced which may indicate that the invasion has already begun, but we're just not aware of it... yet.