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The Grubs were an ancient spacefaring civilization. They were named "grubs" by humans due to their general appearance. When they first developed starships, roughly two-hundred million years ago, they were nearly exterminated by the Inhibitors. Some survived by hiding in the interstellar void, adapting themselves to near absolute zero conditions to avoid detection. During that time, some of them encountered the Nestbuilders and the Jumper Clowns, and received technology from them, including faster-than-light communication (but not travel) and inertia-suppression machinery.

The grubs had the ability to absorb characteristics of aliens they encounter, by "eating" them and then utilizing the biology of the alien they find to mutate themselves. They used this to communicate with other species without the use of translation technology.

A grub ship was known as a "void warren", and was controlled by a central giant grub. The grub controlled the actions of the ship, and the army of "helper" grubs (smaller versions of the giant grub). Both the helper grubs and the ship appeared to be extensions of the one main grub (e.g. when a worker grub is hurt, the cry of pain comes from the main grub). Nothing in a void warren was wasted, and any grubs that were killed or injured were immediately dissolved and re-made into healthy new grubs or re-built into the ship itself.

The grubs made use of a highly sophisticated force-field technology to help defend their ships.

During his youth on the Flotilla, Sky Haussmann had an encounter with a grub aboard the "ghost ship" Caleuche, which actually was a void warren.

Another grub, called Gideon, crash-landed on Yellowstone millions of years ago. Examining the wreckage of this second grub's ship helped humans to recreate its inertia-suppression technology. It was also this grub that brought the Melding Plague to Yellowstone. The grub species appeared to be immune to the plague, probably because of the plague-preventative agent that was produced by them. This liquid was concentrated and distilled into a form known as "Dream Fuel" that was agreeable with the human metabolism, and was one way of protecting plague-susceptible implants and nanotechnology.

Known Grubs[]


  • Gideon was still alive during the events of the novel Chasm City circa 2517, though it was dead by the time of Redemption Ark circa 2615.

See also[]

Species and lifeforms
Sapient species: Humans | Denizens* | Hyperpigs* | Hyperprimates*
Other species: Earth flora | Earth fauna

Amarantin | Grubs | Inhibitors ("Wolves") | Jumper Clowns
Nestbuilders | Scuttlers | Shrouders | Slugs

Hamadryad | Pattern Jugglers**
Screech Mat | Setterholm’s Worms | Slime Scraper

* - created via genetic engineering
** - colony lifeforms of dubious classification