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Covenant Grunt Morphology
Posted By: FOrunnER
Date: 30 November 2003, 12:26 AM

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Okay, technically this isn't a story, but I got the idea from Mr Yun's story, Covenant Elite Morphology (Fresna Geran read it). So I figured since the guy never followed up on making a series of it, I figured I would do it for him. Search under Covenant Elite Morphology, or Mr Yun to figure out what I'm talking about. Okay, I'm no big biology expert, so don't expect a bunch of scientific mofo in here, I'm explaining everything in lamen terms:

Office of Naval Intelligence Xeno-Biological Studies
Date: May 6, 2528, (Military Calendar)
Encryption Code: Red
Public Key: N/A
Author(s): Dr. Rily W (Civilian Identification Classified)., Dr. Larry C (Civilian Identification Classified)., Dr. Arnold S (Civilian Identification Classified)., supervised by: ONI administer Thomas Kaine (ONI serial number: Classified, Priority Alpha).
Subject: Results of dissection of subject 0A-124459-X (Covenant Grunt)
Classification: Restricted, (BGX directive), ONI directors eyes only,
/start file/

GENERAL NOTES (credit to Dr. Arnold Smith): The subject is a Covenant POW captured during the battle of Dracos III. He along with 12 others were disarmed and captured, most were used for biological weapon studies, but the ONI science division managed to gain access to one of the subjects for testing. The subject was alive upon arrival to ONI facility 005122-B on Reach, the procedure was performed while subject was alive until subject died while we probed his brain. The subject was kept in cold storage afterward at Earth Military Facility 099216-B, stationed in Russia. The following contents are classified, exclusively for ONI director eyes only:

Outer Structures: The author(s) first note that the subject is lacking pores, which is consistent with the theory that the subject evolved in a cold atmosphere/planet. We do not know how the subject would react to an environmental situation where it would need them. The subject is scaly, but warm-blooded [see: circulatory system]. Small white hairs are barely visible in the ridges in between the subjects purple-black 'scales', there purpose is unknown. Samples show that the skin cells themselves are nuclei based, with many other internal structures that are unrecognizable. The arms and legs are both single jointed, and the general curve of the back reveals the subject is most comfortable in four legged position. The subjects short stubby bodies suggest they have limited jumping/climbing capabilities, consistent with battle field reports. The 'elbows' of the subject have arm blades attached to them, quite possibly defensive mechanisms. The feet are paw like, comparable to a dog, with four toes each, the hands show more relevance to human, supporting five digits each with a single joint. The subjects (this one was a male) penus is located between the legs, it appears short and fleshy (not scaly, like the rest of the skin). There appears to be incisions where the sperm factories, or 'testicals' might be, perhaps meaning that the subjects species is castrated prior to entering the Covenant army. Whether done willingly or unwillingly is unknown. The cranial case is large with proportions to rest of the body, but supports an undersized brain [see: nervous system]. The eyes seemingly have no pupils, and show no interaction to radical light changes. The snout of the subject is relatively short, containing molars, K-9's, and incisors, suggesting the subject is an omnivore.

Circulatory system: The procedure inside the body was performed with the usual Y-shaped incision, (the author(s) note that the skin was hard to break, but once past the body was very easy to dissect). The heart was found in the central chest cavity, protected by a 'plate' of brittle bone, with atypical ribs covering other vital organs (most of the bones in the subjects body, save the leg bones, were also brittle to some extent). The heart supports three chambers instead of four, with major blood vessel entries covering the exterior of the heart. It is our equivalent to warm blooded, however it cannot be classified as such do to the fact it distributes methane through the blood stream instead of oxygen. It produces (what we assume) are red and white blood cells, and distributes the chemical nutrients in methane [see: respitory system]. The blood is a luminous blue color, which is strange considering most warm blooded mammals blood color is red, but again, the effects of methane in contrast to oxygen may have to do with it. The author notes that the heart was covered with a clear, sticky substance upon discovery, which has not been identified.

Respitory system: This is perhaps the most note worthy feature of all. The creature apparently breaths super-cooled methane instead of oxygen. The results shown in the air of the subjects breathing rig, shows that the methane contains a chemical nutrients that the Grunt body can replace for oxygen. However, the subjects way for extracting this nutrients in extreme. First, the methane passes through numerous sub-lungs (four in the particular), where it is pushed through numerous filters, finally at the fifth and final 'main lung' (only one), what has been purified is absorbed and distributed directly to the heart, where it is pumped through the blood stream. However, the subject must breathe a lot of times per minute to obtain enough needed nutrients, which is why it always appears to be panting constantly. The vocal cords of the subject are only capable of creating the squeaks and barks consistent with battle field reports. The conclusion is that breathing is a non-voluntary function (meaning it cannot hold its breath).

Major Tissues and Organs: Some of the organs we were unable to identify, and therefore require further study. The first noteworthy feature is the stomach, it seems almost as if it is not needed. It is merely a flap of tissue, in which the food is stored until another organ (unidentified) is ready to serve the process of fully digesting and distributing the food through the bloodstream. The excretory system is also simple, mere tubes extending from unidentified organ and into the 'large intestine' (which is oval shaped). There are many hormonal glands, many of which secret substances unknown substances. The muscles seem to be underdeveloped, and not very strong (in this particular subject at least), however the leg muscles were an exception, as they seemed to be very well developed (this suggests it evolved in a place where it was forced to run constantly, meaning it might not have been high up on the food chain) There is a very thin layer of insulation that would provide cover from cold weather.

Nervous system: While the cranial case is large, the actually cranium is small, leaving a large empty space between the scull and the brain (the interior of the scull developed a muscle group that we think is meant to 'pad' the brain in case the head is jerked violently). The brain itself is lacking a cerebrum (it must be located somewhere else) and is connected directly to the spinal cord, which in turn send impulses to nerves and so forth. The only noteworthy feature here as well is that the brain is chemically unbalanced, meaning that the subject is constantly in the state of the human equivalent of anxiety.

-preliminary findings discovered by:
Dr. Arnold Erick Smith
Dr. Larry Thomas Chapman
Dr. Rily Margaret Waters

P.S. Hope I made this shit sound convincing enough. Peace Out