Cesere

The Cesere are a humanoid species originating in the Beta Quadrant.

Biology

The Cesere feed on other races. However, this does not make them savages: they are simply a highly evolved, intelligent and efficient predator species.

A full grown Cesere is, on average, 8 feet tall. Owing to incredibly an dense muscle structure and surprisingly lightweight skeletons, they retain the speed and agility of comparatively smaller species, whilst maintaining a high level of strength and resilience.

Beyond their natural attributes, Cesere are augmented with multitude of built in defences and weapons in much the same manner as the Borg. These are used in conjunction with their physical abilities to maintain their dominance in any fight. For example, should the impact from an energy weapon manage to bypass their personal shielding, Cesere have a natural resilience which means anything short of the highest settings will have little effect. This, combined with the ability to dodge ranged fire entire and a tendency to attack in numbers, ensures they present a difficult target to pin down.

At range, they are equipped with a variety of beam weapons which are generally embedded in and around area of the jaw, but most commonly within the mouth itself (so it must be opened for them to fire). One standard weapon emits a concentrated beam of intense heat, capable of incinerating or - on lower settings - cooking their prey.

In close combat, there are few that can match them, save for the outlier examples within a species that is naturally physically superior to others, e.g. Klingons/Vulcans. Androids or those with cybernetic or genetic enhancements may fair better still, but hand-to-hand combat against Cesere is generally a one-sided affair. In addition to their previously mentioned abilities, their size gives them substantial reach, whilst both their teeth and claws are capable of cutting through armour and flesh alike.

Communication is made via highly advanced and near continuous telepathy between the individuals of a group. Non-Cesere telepaths, even highly rated ones, will only be able to pick up random words or feelings. Moreover, during a coordinated Cesere attack, their communication acts like "static", effectively disrupting other telepaths across a wide range. It may also cause pain (like the telepathic equivalent to a deafening noise) unless telepathic subjects are treated with "dampening" drugs. Whilst it is possible for Cesere to communicate telepathically with those outside of their species, it requires great simplification on their part and is not something they generally deign to undertake.

Vocally, Cesere possess a very limited range, capable only of variations on a high pitch screech. From observation, these do not appear to be an aid to communication: rather, they are random and nonsensical. Given that these vocalisations only ever appear to be used in combat situations, the prevailing theory is that they are an intimidation tactic. A means to frighten their prey.

Cesere reproduce by infecting a host body with a virus which begins co-opting the host DNA and converting it to create a single Cesere embryo, which the host then brings to term. Neither the host nor the original, virus delivering Cesere survive the process: the former lacking enough of their own genetic material once they have 'given birth' and the latter through the exertion required to create and expel the airborne virus. However, as the virus may infect multiple hosts, the Cesere are sufficiently capable of maintaining their population numbers.

Medical notes: Cesere virus, symptoms and treatment

Stage 1: Increased blood flow and temperature. Low energy, lethargy. Disorientation.

Stage 2: Momentary unconsciousness, possible high fever. Nausea. Abnormal behaviour, including mania. Patients will experience irrational craving for raw meat. Replicated substitutes may satiate, but only to a degree.

Treatment - and a complete recovery - is possible during both Stage 1 and Stage 2, though the virus will become considerably more resilient the longer a patient is infected.

Early Stage 3: At this point, the virus will have done irreparable damage on a genetic level. Whilst the treatment will stop the infected from passing the virus onto others, they will require continuous and often aggressive treatment to prevent the Cesere virus from developing any further. While this will allow them to live a relatively normal life, the virus will remain within them permanently.

Late Stage 3: Treatment will be ineffective. Cryo-freezing the infected remains the only option to keep them alive and prevent the Cesere virus from developing any further or being passed onto others.

It should be noted that, whilst most humanoid species appear susceptible to infection by the Cesere virus, there does appear to be a lineage where the infection is only passed from one Cesere to another, thus maintaining a genetic purity. These Purebred Cesere are notably larger and supersede an average Cesere on all metrics, including - it seems - enhanced autonomy. As such, in the rare presence of a Purebred, other Cesere will naturally defer to its superiority.