Alien race who tried to conquer Earth with genetically-bred monsters in May 1965 that now live on Monster Island, a volcanic island located off the coast of Japan.
The Qularr are person-sized bug-like creatures; much like a combination between an insect and a lobster. Physically, we have no great advantage over them. Our eyesight is better, but their hearing is better. We have superheroes, which they do not appear to have, but their sense of touch is, in general, a great deal better than ours. Of course, we do have the benefit of being in our home court, as it were.
The Qularr Invasion
In May 1965, Humanity became painfully aware of one alien species: the Qularr, a quasi-insectoid, quasi-crustaceanoid species from an unknown planet. Approaching under the concealment of stealth fields, the Qularr scouted Earth in search of the right place to land.
The Qularr found what they were looking for in a small, unnamed barrier reef island about a hundred miles off the coast of Japan. At the time it was unclear why they chose that location. Decades later the revelation of potential Lemurian and Elder Worm artifacts in that area makes scholars wonder if there were more to the choice than tactical benefit. Using their alien technology the Qularr raised part of the seabed, turning the atoll into a large, single island with an active volcano at the center.
With their forward base complete, the Qularr landed and released their cargo: dozens of gigantic monsters captured on alien worlds or bred with Qularr bioengineering. Humanity learned it was under attack when Qularr transports disgorged their weapons onto the first major targets, in Japan. The robotic "dinosaur" Mega-Terak attacked Tokyo, while his flesh-and-blood "brother" Cazulon was sent to Kobe. But the land of the Rising Sun wasn't the only victim of Qularr aggression. New York City was attacked by two creatures, the gigantic "bird-demon" Pazuron and the "lizard-cat" Velzara. The winged serpent Ganika was turned loose on Chicago, while the three-headed "dragon" Mitsura ravaged the Los Angeles area. A gargantuan, fire-breathing, radioactive gorilla-like beast called Qwyjibo smashed through London, and across the Channel the toad-like Doku slaughtered thousands of Parisians with his poisonous breath. The "atomic mutant lizard" Zorgatha lay waste to Beijing, and the lightning-firing "eagle" Vakulon assaulted Moscow.
The initial Qularr attacks succeeded, but Earth's superheroes were often able to slow down the monsters just long enough for heavy force to arrive before a city was totally destroyed. In New York the combined might of the Sentinels, the Justice Squadron, and the Fabulous Five, plus several Army battalions, was enough to halt Velzara's and Pazuron's rampages, and then to destroy the monsters. But in other cities the monsters weren't slain, merely knocked unconscious or driven away.
With their initial attack blunted, the Qularr switched to more conventional tactics, hoping to win the day with superior technology, but there were just too few of them. Human soldiers, aided by dozens of superheroes, pushed Qularr forces back toward the island. By mid-June, the Qularr apparently decided they'd had enough: they returned to their island, boarded their ships, and departed Earth. They left behind the surviving monsters.
1966: The Founding of Monster Island
After uniting to defeat the Qularr, Humanity quickly began squabbling among itself for possession of the spoils. Several nations had captive giant monsters under sedation. Japanese and United States forces occupied the Qularr island and seized most of the remaining alien technology despite the strident protests of Beijing — and more importantly Moscow, which moved battleships into the area to enforce its claim to a fair share of the booty. It seemed as if the world was about to go to war once more.
Fortunately the United Nations rose to the challenge. Tireless efforts by Secretary-General U Thant managed — barely — to avert armed conflict and bring all the interested parties to the negotiating table. Months of dickering, bickering, deal-making, and back-room compromises were the result, but by mid-1966 most member nations of the UN, including all members of the Security Council, had signed the Qularr Technology and Resources Treaty.
In 1965, a strange alien species called the Qularr tried to invade and conquer Earth. Instead of relying entirely on using powerful electronic and mechanical weapons like the Sirians had, the Qularr also brought several gigantic monsters, presumably bred by them on their homeworld or in their ships, to attack the planet from an island they secretly created. After the superheroes of Earth defeated the monsters (and, eventually, contained them on the island), the Qularr fled, leaving behind much of their bizarre technology.
That was all Humanity ever heard from the Qularr... until 2009. In August of that year, after someone on Earth set off some beacons from the 1965 invasion stored in Homestead, the insecto-crustaceoid aliens returned with a vengeance, once again attempting to invade Earth but this time relying on their more conventional weapons instead of giant monsters. Days of fighting followed, but eventually humanity’s militaries and superhumans got the better of the aliens, who fled the solar system.
Biologically the Qularr are unlike anything terrestrial. They have some characteristics in common with both Earth insects and Earth crustaceans. Their “skin” is tough and inflexible enough to be considered an exoskeleton, though they also have some cartilaginous structures analogous to bones.
The Qularr have all five senses Humans do, but at different levels of effectiveness. Qularr hearing is much more advanced than Human, and their voices capable of a much greater range of expression; they can communicate in infrasonic and ultrasonic levels inaudible to Humans. Their sense of touch is also much more sensitive than Humans’. On the other hand, their eyesight and olfactory senses aren’t quite as good as Humans’, particularly when it comes to seeing precise gradations of color.
Qularr “skin” (chitin) color is usually a reddish or pinkish shade, ranging from relatively light to quite dark. To a Human, the average Qularr’s skin color tends to suggest a slightly faded boiled lobster or a badly sunburned Caucasian.
As a species, the Qularr seem to possess much more advanced technology than Humans do. They used faster-than-light vehicles to travel to Earth from their homeworld (location unknown), and during their attempted invasion revealed high-powered force-field technology, personal blaster weapons, hovercraft, and a variety of other devices that only Earth superhumans have. Their abilities as bioengineers seem especially advanced; they either bred, altered from native stock, or bio-engineered the giant monsters that were a crucial part of their 1965 military force. Why they didn’t simply use biological warfare to wipe out Humanity quickly and cleanly remains unknown (in fact, it’s the biggest single question many military strategists have about the Qularr)
However, authorities believe that hidden pockets of Qularr soldiers and/or Qularr technology remain in various parts of the world, possibly posing a threat for years to come. Thanks to studies of Qularr corpses and technology from the 1965 invasion, Humans know more about the Qularr than any other alien species (though much of their technology remains frustratingly unworkable).
The Qularr possess much better technology than Humanity does. They have FTL technology that lets them travel at speeds of up to one lightyear per day, blasters and similar energy weapons have replaced ballistic firearms throughout their society, and their other forms of technology are similarly advanced compared to Earth’s. Their biological sciences are particularly sophisticated; bio-agents are one of their most common trade items, and they can breed giant monsters for various purposes (for example, to assist with agriculture or to fight in wars). They also seem to use a lot of force technology for both offensive and defensive purposes.
The Qularr can manifest super“human” powers, though at only about one-third the rate that Humanity does. The average super-Qularr is about two-thirds as powerful as the average super- Human. About one-fourth of super-Qularr are mentalists, one-fourth are metamorphs of some type, and the rest are more or less evenly divided among the classic superhero archetypes. Since crime is rare on Reqqat, super-Qularr usually work for the government in various capacities, including homeworld defense. They’re rarely allowed off-planet and almost never assigned to military expeditions. The Qularr count as the “Alien” class of minds for purposes of Mental Powers.
The Qularr have come back to Earth with the intention of invading and conquering it to obtain its resources and genetic material. They chose Monster Island (specifically, the Wayfarer Coast area) so they could recover some of their lost technology and put it to use. They’ve also raided the Bureau 17 base to take back some of the devices Humanity “stole” from them.
Once the Qularr feel they’ve learned enough about Humanity by studying Earth broadcasts and the like, they have a three-stage plan. First, they’ll use their technology to create an even stronger force-field around the island so no one can interfere with them. Second, they’ll retake control of all the other giant monsters (they’ve already got Mega-Terak working for them again) and eliminate all other factions on the island. Third, after all that’s done they’ll construct a communications array and summon a waiting invasion fleet from the stars to conquer Earth once and for all.
Humanity knows almost nothing about Qularr society or culture, and making educated guesses isn’t even easy since the Qularr language remains untranslated. (And the spoken form seems to involve reproducing sounds Humans can’t make without technology.) However, a few solid deductions based on the existing evidence have been made.
First, Qularr society seems to be rigidly stratified. During the 1965 invasion, several types of Qularr were observed, with different types distinguished by specific clothing and gear (and to a vague extent by minor differences in skin coloration or size). The various “castes” rarely mingled with one another, and some gave orders to others. Human scientists believe this isn’t just an “officers and enlisted men” sort of separation, and that some sort of “caste system” extends throughout Qularr society.
Second, the Qularr also seem to assign specific jobs to specific genders. Not a single Qularr female corpse was ever retrieved, nor was any Qularr with recognizable female traits of any sort observed (though some scientists argue that female Qularr wouldn’t necessarily have visible gender characteristics). Military activity must be limited only to male Qularr, so it stands to reason that other jobs are limited to only men or only women.
Qularr society is highly organized along caste and gender lines. Male Qularr don’t do female jobs, and vice-versa; Qularr from high-ranking castes run things while their low-caste brethren do the hard labor. But it goes deeper than that — it’s not just a social thing, it’s part of Qularr biology at the genetic level. A low-caste Qularr wouldn’t think of trying to better himself or associate with higher-caste Qularr; the concept would never occur to him.
The Qularr of each caste may have enhanced capabilities or special abilities that have been bred into them over the millennia. For example, Qularr Shock Troopers are stronger and tougher than the Qularr average; Qularr Scholars are smarter and more insightful. These abilities don’t really rise to the level of superpowers, but they do help distinguish one type of Qularr from another in some instances.
The Qularr don’t even have personal names. Instead, they’re referred to simply as what they are or what they do. For example, the commander of the current Qularr force on Monster Island is named “Qularr Invasion Leader.” His second-incommand is named “Leader’s Chief Assistant,” and every single one of his shock troopers is named “Qularr Shock Trooper.” Ordinarily this would cause constant confusion when a group of Qularr tries to work together, but the Qularr have a sort of “instinctual telepathy” that eliminates the problem. They cannot communicate mentally any more than Humans can, but if Qularr Invasion Leader says to a group of Shock Troopers, “Shock Trooper, go patrol that perimeter,” all the Qularr involved know exactly which Shock Trooper he’s talking to.
The Qularr language not only relies on this instinctual telepathy, but also on infra- and ultrasonic sounds. Thus, Humans can’t learn to speak it without the aid of super-tech devices that can produce the right sounds and mental impulses; learning to read their written language would be next to impossible. Qularr can however crudely speak something other races can understand. And their accents are terrible.
The Qularr come from a planet they call Reqqat. (They also control a small empire of several systems surrounding their own, one of which has a pre-spaceflight civilization that the Qularr rule with an iron hand.) It’s a largely tropical, swampy world dotted with archipelagos and large islands rather than major continents. It’s located spinward of Perseid space in a region that, centuries after the Qularr invasion of Earth, Humanity will know as “Drago’s Reach.”
The Qularr learned about, and became interested in, Earth after an incident in 1963 in which the Fabulous Five were transported into deep space and fought a group of renegade silicon beings who threatened to destroy the entire Galaxy with a super-weapon. Some Qularr had an opportunity to observe the Fabulous Five in action, and to obtain biological samples from them (i.e., blood spilled during the battle). Intrigued by the samples, Qularr scientists believed that if they had more, they might be able to find a way to bio-engineer more frequent, more powerful superpowers in the Qularr themselves. Unfortunately for them, superhumans were even more common in Human society than they expected; the Qularr invasion force simply wasn’t able to cope with them.
After several decades of technological development, the Qularr have at last returned to Earth because they think they can succeed with another invasion if they properly scout the planet and study its inhabitants first. (The signal beacon from Homestead started the invasion, but only because the Qularr were ready; had they not been they’d have ignored it.) Additionally, they want to recover some of the technology they had to leave behind the first time.
The Qularr didn’t use biological warfare against Humanity for two reasons. First, since they wanted samples of superhuman genetic material, and if possible captive superhumans, to study, using an indiscriminate biowarfare agent that could potentially wipe out Humanity wouldn’t be a good idea. Second, and more importantly, the Qularr have a deeply-ingrained societal taboo against biological warfare.
Decades before their first attempt to invade Earth, when Reqqat was still a balkanized world, three times the Qularr came within a hair’s-breadth of killing themselves off with diseases bred as weapons. Eventually they realized they weren’t going to escape that fate a fourth time, and agreements were forged forbidding the use of biowarfare. This attitude has become so ingrained in Qularr society that even today, when they’re a united species that only fights species from other worlds, they don’t use their skills at bio-engineering to create bioweapons.
- Much of the included information presented here was posted by Mayhem of the Blackwatch Defenders, A big thank you to them for their research and diligence!
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