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The Dirge are the oldest known civilization discovered by man, and one of the few civilization's left in the Orion Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. They were the chief beligerant of the Human-Dirge War. The Dirge have lived and evolved on a single world, though they have spread from planet to planet to gather more resources once they exhausted those on their own world.
They stand approximately five feet high, though they are always hunched. They have four eyes, one main set that sees into the Infrared spectrum, and a smaller frontal set that sees visible light. They have a single set of arms with hands containing two fingers, and two thumbs symmetrically. They have 1,500 muscles, and a hide that is two centimeters thick, capable of withstanding most small arms fire. They are extremely susceptible to cold temperatures; all metabolic function stops at freezing temperatures, and they derive much of their energy from heat. They are a cellulose based species, and have evolved from tree like organisms on their home planet. They are vegetarians, though they process the starches and sugars from the fauna of a conquered world to gain nutrients.
The purpose for Dirge conquests is the procurement of resources for their overpopulated homeworld. The Dirge don't just mine a world of its natural resources, they completely strip it bare of every usable material, which is why they are so conservative with space based kinetic or laser strikes. Typically they begin a conquest by destroying the world's communications network though a series of orbital EMP detonations, immediately followed by the destruction of all military bases and major concentrations of troops. Following initial attacks, the Dirge will then begin an invasion of major cities in the warmest regions of the planet in question, capturing major cities and key infrastructure points. Once a region comes under Dirge dominion, they will then proceed to enslave the local population, forcing them to work in mines or gereral construction of Dirge warrens. Once the warrens have been completed the first stage of "harvesting," a general process of strip mining, and natural resource processing, converting flora into celulose and glucose.
They are less intelligent than humans individually, and standard battle tactics are to fight until the last man/woman (The Dirge are asexual) standing, and then commit suicide before they are captured. There has never been a successful capture of a Dirge, ever. The Dirge home world, located in the Betaljures system, is roughly twice the size of Earth, and has an Oxygen based atmosphere. The planet was glassed in 2155 by General Bell, and after examination of the subterranean ruins and the remains of burnt Dirge civilians, it has been confirmed that they have ended close to 100 civilizations; Humanity and the Jirahary are the only two to have won a Dirge war.