The Babylon Project
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"They are a power beyond comprehension. A hunger beyond understanding. They are anti-life itself."

A Vorlon racial memory implanted in Lyta Alexander


The "Thirdspace aliens" are a mysterious and terrifying race of ancient and malevolent telepathic beings from an alternate dimension.[1] The Vorlons call them Harbingers.[2]

Biology[]

The creature's "mouth"

An ancient race from another universe whose power even the Vorlons found beyond their comprehension, their physical form aesthetically appears somewhat reminiscent of Earth cephalopods or arachnids. Very large by humanoid standards, their bodies consist of a large bulbous "head" with six glowing eyes, atop a folded fleshy structure that supports several sets of dexterous appendages. Some seem to be for ambulation, while others, studded with sensing structures are used for securing prey and can be retracted into the back of the structure under the "head". Hidden within the deep fleshy folds is a mouth-like structure with a set of sharp snapping jaws, from which it emits a high pitched chirping cry.

The creature manifesting an appendage

While they appear solid, they have been observed as possessing traits that defy classification or any know natural laws of biology or matter. Aside from them all being naturally telepathic sentients (contrary to the laws of natural selection) they've also been observed to instantaneously move from one location to another, "appearing" out of the shadows like a dark coalescing mist without apparently crossing the intervening distance and can manifest large additional appendages that can be hurled as solid projectiles.

Technology[]

Their fleet of ships

As with their physical forms the technology of the Thirdspace Aliens defies close analysis and only broad observations of their ships and architecture can be made. Only two types of ships have been observed; the smaller fighter sized vanguards and the much bigger capital ships. While not indestructible, both types are protected by some form of energy shield that can absorb a significant amount of weapons fire before succumbing and their design betrays a technology beyond any known parameters. Seemingly part organic with veined, tentacular projections, shell like structures, parts that appear to have no physical connections to the rest of the ship, parts that seem to be made of nothing but smoke and crackling energy and displaying neither windows or any discernible means of propulsion. Their Dark Cities are even more mysterious, featuring squat, uneven buildings built around an enormous, twisted tower that reaches about five miles up into the twilight sky and surrounded by floating structures that appear to defy gravity.

History[]

The Vorlons build their gate.

According to the Vorlon memory implanted in Lyta Alexander, the creatures believe they are the only creatures worthy of existence and within their own universe they have destroyed countless other races and continue to destroy thousands more.

Over a million years ago, the Vorlons built a jump gate to open a doorway to a place they believed was the well of souls. The gate actually opened up into the Thirdspace dimension. The Vorlons soon discovered the aliens were powerful beyond their comprehension and older even than they were. They modified the gate to amplify their telepathic influence, making an army of Vorlon thralls willing to die for their new masters. In the ensuing battle, the Vorlons that weren't directly affected forced the aliens back into their own dimension and disabled the portal. However, before the gate could be completely destroyed, the Vorlon thralls dropped it into hyperspace where it was set adrift, lost in the chaotic spatial eddies and gravitational inclines.

One of their Dark Cities

Though the Vorlons would search for the lost gate for millennia with no success, with the portal on this side closed, the aliens were trapped in their own dimension. They were, however, very patient and silently waited until the gate was found and opened again.

In June 2261, the gate was rediscovered drifting off the local tachyon beacon by a squad of Starfuries led by Commander Ivanova. It was subsequently brought back to Babylon 5, where the telepathic resonances influenced a team from Interplanetary Expeditions, compelling them to reactivate it. With the gate open again, the aliens began to enter local space and attacked the station's defenders, resulting in a deadly pitched battle. Meanwhile, a large number of the station's inhabitants became controlled by the alien influence, starting massive riots throughout the station. The artifact was finally destroyed by Captain Sheridan when he detonated a thermonuclear device inside the device's superstructure.

Apocrypha[]

Canonbox default.png The following is based on The Mongoose Publishing RPG books and contradicts canon sources.

Physiology and Psychology[]

Harbingers are ancient beings who are driven by the need to devour entire universes. The only emotions they feel are hunger and anger. Their bodies are hulking and beastlike, with malleable sinew and stony chitin atop swirling masses of tentacle-like pseudopods and segmented legs. Their multiple fang-filled maws are hidden beneath folds of flesh. With their mental powers, the Harbingers float like giant jellyfish and if they need to move quickly, they shoot forward like squid. The only limits to where they can go are prescribed by the size of their bodies, as they seem to ignore the effects of gravity. Harbingers don't care what they tear apart and devour, but many of them prefer consuming their cultists, "rewarding" them for their long and loyal servitude. In the Harbinger Cult, it's a great honour to be consumed by one of the "Elders".

They are huge beings, the size of a shuttle or a large fighter. Harbingers are able to fly, can quickly regenerate damage to their bodies, and possess both telekinetic and telepathic powers. With their psionic powers they can create solid matter in the shape of chitin or stone. Telekinetically they can lift, move, or hurl objects the size of a midsize ground vehicle or smaller.

Using their telepathic powers, the Harbingers influence the masses to serve their needs. They instinctively transmit telepathic whispers that seduce other races with their dark promises and the utopian places they have seen. Once resistance has been crushed, they happily fall upon their servants. Though physically identical to one another, the Harbingers have the ability to mold their flesh to a certain degree. To help differentiate themselves the Harbingers will also produce stony chitin, though those areas become no longer completely malleable. Being able to twist and reform their fleshy parts is why so many of the legends about the Harbingers describe them in a similar, but not identical, manner.

Technology[]

The majority of Harbinger technology looks strangely biomechanical in nature, in which plant-like or crystalline substances were mixed with plainly inorganic materials to create ships, buildings, and devices. Harbinger technology uses a manufactured life form to serve as basic programming for their devices, which are devoid of either instincts or thoughts. They are constructs that do what the Harbingers created them to do and nothing more.

The constructs are not built, but grown. Stony chitin is created and shaped by the Harbingers into the shapes they require, allowing the artificial life forms to take root and function as needed. Every Harbinger device is grown to serve a specific purpose. From the colossal city-sized warships to the doors in a building, the combinations of their "metapathically" created matter and artifical life is omnipresent.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • The "Thirdspace Aliens", along with their city and the artifact were designed by noted fantasy and Sci-fi artist Wayne D. Barlowe.
  • In keeping with the Lovecraftian themes of ("Thirdspace"), the creature bears a resemblance to several beings from H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. A number of Barlow's concept sketches even label the creature as an 'Old One'.
  • The novelization makes numerous references to "The One" being the driving force behind the beings from Thirdspace, though it's left ambiguous as to what "The One" actually is. Be it the beings name for themselves, or some other being, deity or concept.

Sources[]

References[]


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