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The Mycon (pronounced /maɪ'kɒn/?) are a race of creatures that nest near the Brahe and Scorpii constellations. While most sentient races (with notable exceptions) are taxonomically animals, the Mycon are fungi. Their bodies range in height from 0.5 to 3.5 meters. The Mycon spread the spores of their race through the galaxy with their Podships.
Conversations with the Mycon are very difficult; only the Orz could be considered more confusing and even that would be up to debate. The Mycon constantly ramble about Juffo-Wup, the Non and the Void with vaguely religious overtones and often without any relevance to the current conversation. Even worse, they sometimes seem to be "possessed" by one of their ancestors, who quickly explains how and when it died. They are usually very hostile toward other species, even other Battle Thralls. Still, Talana describes the Mycon as being naive and unable to fully comprehend the concept of deception, a view supported by the easiness with which the Mycon fell for the ambush at Organon.
Mycon living conditions would be most accurately described by Humans as "hellish," with temperatures close to the melting point of lead (327.5 degrees centigrade). Silicate structures within their physiology allow them to survive such extreme temperatures1 (and presumably would make them immune to flame/fire2). Besides being able to withstand high temperatures, some Mycon have also been known to survive a decompression quick-freeze.
Their unique reproduction process and extremely high genetic complexity give the Mycon an amazing talent for genetic engineering, a talent for which they are widely known. Mycon usually reproduce asexually by budding off parts of themselves in the form of DNA-rich spores, which they then launch into the air. Normally a spore will land and develop into a near perfect clone of the parent. The spores can also be inhaled by other Mycon as a mechanism to exchange genetic material. The Mycon intimate that this process is much more complex and allows them to selectively transfer genes, memories and even personality fragments via the genetic material to their offspring. Occasionally these ancestral personality fragments can "gain dominance" in the Mycon offspring, creating "a kind of shared immortality." This advanced genetic ability seems to be confirmed by the Umgah, who state that the Mycon "just THINK genetic modification, and it happen!" High levels of radiation can also induce collective budding, immediately creating several Mycon clones.
The Mycon colonize worlds through aggressive terraforming. They launch their Deep Children into the crust of the planet's surface where its tendrils grow, molding the environment of the planet to the Mycon's liking with terrible tectonic movement and volcanic activity — it becomes a Shattered World. Mycon prefer warm, living Water Worlds in which to plant these seeds.