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MONCS

Moncs are the sworn enemy of the People. Each will kill the other on sight if found in enemy territories. The Moncs possess augmented physical capabilities (using the People as a rough baseline) in the realms of strength, stamina and endurance, but at the cost of speed and agility.

Enlarged incisors bestow a “mosteresque” quality to their already imposing stature. A fondness for brightly colored garb outside of battle and intimate social behaviors suggest an intelligence that belies their appearance. Another example: Moncs do not fight as individuals or small troupes, but in a tactically sound manner within a set, strategic framework. Jon has been equally impressed by their sense of timing without any discernible communication. “Execution without obfuscation,” he said. (I didn’t realize the man knew such words even existed, but the phrase supposedly comes from his Enforcer days.) Moncs, like the People, share a keenness for the details of war and their mutual hatred for the Muties (Kindred). Until recently, this is where the likenesses ended.

A peculiar feature of the Moncs has been engineered into its skin in the form of an active camouflage. Unlike a chameleon, however, an experienced Monc can retain this ability while on the move (more akin to an octopus or cuttlefish). This makes them especially difficult to find in already challenging environments such as the tree lines they exploit as marshland highways. This confluence of elements renders them especially dangerous foes— particularly in low light conditions. That Moncs possess this ability is scientifically fascinating, but not entirely surprising given the countless genetic curveballs of Anomaly. What is vexing, however, is that they have somehow imbued their armor to mimic this cloaking ability.

I originally theorized these armor plates, wrapped in the skins of their fallen, somehow accomplished this. Such an idea was considered sacrilegious and nearly cost me my tongue for inquiring about it. The good word of Bal’Ka convinced them that as an offworlder I did not know any better. As it happens, the Amnatshi (key component in the People’s tattoo ink) is also known to the Moncs. The hardened core material of the armor is wrapped in skins (not Monc) that have been soaked in the Amnatshi liquid and a number of other secretive resins and extracts. The treatment results in armor able to imitate the Monc’s gift of concealment. That the coloration can all but imitate the light that penetrates the treeline hints that some component from the fearsome Shimmer Serpent is also used.

My best theory is as follows:

The People’s tattoos are activated (seen) by galvanic skin responses brought on by intense emotion. The color manifestation is determined by the hormonal chemistry of the individual at that moment (again, rooted to the emotion).



CRITICAL ACCLAIM