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Posleen are a fictional alien race, created by the science fiction author John Ringo for his Legacy of the Aldenata series of books. The Posleen are a race of genetically engineered reptilian centaurs, supposedly designed by the long lost race - the Aldenata - to be the ultimate warriors. The Posleen invasion is shaped by their (over)engineered physiology - Posleen are omnivores and capable of sustaining themselves by eating a wide variety of organisms (including humans). They must eat almost constantly or starve. Inevitably, they exhaust the resources of every environment they inhabit, resulting in a phenomenon they call orna'adar - planetwide conflicts that always end in nuclear holocaust, with the survivors fleeing in starships to repeat the process on new worlds, leaving lifeless radioactive desert planets in their wake.
While humans can eat Posleen, they neither taste pleasant nor provide any real nutrition. The Posleen word for any other species is "thresh", which literally translates to "food". If a species is capable of fighting back in a significant capacity, the suffix "kreen" is added, "threshkreen" translates to "food with a sting". In addition to eating other species, Posleen will exploit them in other ways: during the Posleen invasion of Germany, a high ranking God King had many humans, most of them young women, scalped and their hair woven into a blanket, which he wore for warmth during the campaign.
The Posleen are broken up into two distinct elements, the 'Normals' and the 'God Kings'. While these share similar physical characteristics (resistance to biological and chemical weapons, highly efficient metabolisms, armored body structures etc.), the 'God Kings' are also blessed with enhanced intelligence that makes them the leaders of their less intelligent brethren, as well as a crest on their necks that expands like certain lizards. In battle ,God Kings ride on personal fighting vehicles called Tenar, which are not only heavily armed (usually with plasma cannons and hypervelocity missiles) but also contain communications equipment, a sensor array and tactical displays. The quality of Tenar and their systems varies due to personal preference on the part of their owners and on their owner's wealth. Tenar resemble flying saucers and use anti-grav technology to fly; they can not only hover close to the ground but fly at significant altitudes. A tenar can sense and track isolated weapons fire and respond automatically making it very dangerous to snipe a God King; however, once a certain amount of weapons fire is present in the environment, the "noise" keeps the tenar from being able to keep track and can no longer identify specific threats. However, even in this case, tenar have anti-air capabilities that make conventional aircraft useless. Flying anything from a helicopter to an F-22 in the line of sight of a Tenar is suicide and hugging the ground just leaves an aircraft open to mass fire from the normals. Tenar are durable but contain very volatile energy cores, which explode quite powerfully when pierced, usually killing many nearby normals and potentially other tenar as well. In addition to his Tenar, many God Kings carry swords with mono-molecular blades. A God King will lead a "fief" of several hundred normals whom he essentially owns, he is also responsible for outfitting them at his own expense. God Kings get their starts by working for a higher ranking God King who will set them up with a simple tenar and a small and barely equipped fief in return for subservience. In the novel Yellow Eyes, it is shown that they lack skill in dealing with certain unreasonable Terran problems (i.e. soldier ant swarms and other deep jungle hazards).
The basis of Posleen economics is materials looted from conquests; God Kings with the talent and the interest will lead fiefs in battle only long enough to accumulate startup resources to start manufacturing concerns. Normals are equipped only with small arms, which they don't really aim but simply point in a general direction. These arms range from what are essentially shotguns to linear accelerator rifles all the way up to handheld plasma cannons, depending on the wealth of their God King. A single fief will generally contain a variety of these weapons among its members. Posleen spaceships are owned by the wealthiest fiefs and transport the lesser fiefs in return for tribute and subservience.
Sex and reproduction
Posleen are functioning hermaphrodites, able to reproduce in random pairs, vomiting forth eggs from within their abdomens with great frequency. The young mature rapidly, and since they have been imbued with genetic knowledge, the maturing young have no need of education and they are able to add to the race's combat ready numbers within months of birth. Usually, young will be raised in combative birthing 'Pits' from which only the strongest emerge alive. Surprisingly, both normals and god kings share the same pits, forcing young God Kings to be as physical and vicious as young normals fighting to survive to adulthood in the same manner. Adult Posleen have been observed to pull young from the pits and eat them alive like a delicacy. While Posleen prefer to raise their young in the previously mentioned manner, young Posleen are quite capable of surviving unattended in the wild and often do, as adults will simply drop their eggs while their fief is on the move. These abandoned young grow up as Ferals and fashion rudimentary weapons.