The Proto-Corruption (officially designated Project SO-6, and derivatively nicknamed "Oilblot" by those that fought it) was a biological experiment by mad Dark Jedi Aherk Formidonis, and his masterpiece over the creation of life, created from ysalamir, Yuuzhan Vong, and orbalisk DNA. Initially intended to bolster the abilities of Force users, its side effects proved too malignant to make it truly useful, and it was shelved until used in an insane, bloody attack on the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. After a long time in operation, bonding to several hosts, the beast was slain on Dantooine.
Origins[edit | edit source]
Project SO-6 was originated on Kamino, where the mad scientist Aherk Formidonis sought a way to augment his mediocre Force potency, with the hope of enabling him to best stronger opponents, while at the same time negating their own Force power. Starting by studying the properties of ysalamiri, which neutralized the Force surrounding it, and sending his personal droid KR-03 to capture a Yuuzhan Vong (a species also noted for their immunity and existence outside of the Force), Formidonis worked for months until he found a potent combination that utilized the best elements of both species. The comparatively simple organic compound, dubbed Phase One, negated all influence from the Force surrounding it when tested, acting much like a more potent form of miriskin.
Having developed a way to negate the powers of other Force-users, Formidonis' next step was to find a way to keep it from cancelling out his own. Traveling to Dxun, the Dark Jedi captured a number of orbalisks and brought them back to Kamino, dissecting and studying them; how they augmented the Force of the user, how they fed off of the midichlorians of the host, and how the relationship between parasite and host worked on a cellular level. Working nonstop for a far longer period of time and after much trial and error, Formidonis was eventually able to apply the organic Phase One compound to the orbalisks at a genetic level in a way that enabled them to maintain their usual nature while being immune to the very thing it fed on. These genetically-engineered orbalisks, collectively named Phase Two organisms, were eventually a success.
But it was in the final phase of Project SO-6's origin that Formidonis faced a problem that almost derailed the project entirely. Bonding with these orbalisks would be little better than bonding with ordinary creatures of the same species; eventually, they would multiply and suffocate him, missing the entire point of the biological weapon. Formidonis required a much more stable base in order to safely bond with and use Project SO-6. Searching high and low across the galaxy for almost an entire year, he found nothing that would solve his problem. Disheartened, but refusing to simply give up after all the time he spent in its development, Formidonis simply chose to create his own base.
Finally, after two years of on-and-off work, Aherk Formidonis was able to produce Phase Three; a large single-celled organism that augmented the Force properties of its user, as well as negating incoming Force influence. Project SO-6, a jet black, oil-like symbiote, was born.
Preliminary Testing[edit | edit source]
To give the organism a control test and establish a baseline using ordinary sentients, Formidonis posed as a government geneticist from Coruscant, and paid four Kaminoan volunteers to come to his house in the stormier region of Kamino under the guise of testing a benign symbiote on various species. To begin, Formidonis had each of the volunteers perform basic tasks; lifting a large weight, solving a complicated mathematical problem, and navigating a small obstacle course. Then taking them to his laboratory, he placed them all into emptied bacta tanks and hooked them up to sensory equipment before dropping a small sample of Project SO-6 on each of the volunteers' heads via a remote controlled mechanism.
The results were staggering.
Project SO-6 proved
even more effective than Formidonis could have ever hoped. Each sample completely bonded with their selected host, completely encasing them in a black second skin. The Kaminoans, all testing negative for sensitivity to the Force, showed an incredible increase in all areas. Releasing one volunteer at a time, they were all able to lift the previously heavy weight with relative ease, solve the complex problem as though it were simple arithmetic, and move through the obstacle course as simply as they might walk. However, when the final volunteer completed the final test, Formidonis made the mistake of allowing them to be in the same room without anything to guard them as he went to get his lightsaber to kill the hosts and reclaim the separated organism. For reasons yet unknown to him, the volunteers all viciously attacked one another, saving Formidonis the work as all but one of the volunteers was killed (the last of whom Formidonis slew himself).
Lessons Learned[edit | edit source]
A great deal was gleaned from the testing phase. Going over the statistics of the test, they indicated a very noticeable increase in strength, agility, and intelligence. However, each of these feats and increases were still within the physical and cognitive range of the average Kaminoan, even if at their most extreme; Formidonis thus hypothesized that the symbiote bonded with the host at a much more basic level, bonding with the brain itself and shutting off the mental blocks that kept a sentient from reaching their true potential, using itself to negate any damage the user may accumulate as a result. In this respect, Project SO-6 was a greater success than Formidonis had ever imagined.
On the other hand, however, the volunteers all turned on each other, whereas prior to their bonding they had been relatively friendly. At first, Formidonis hypothesized that this was a result of the combined DNA of the orbalisk and Yuuzhan Vong; if Project SO-6 did indeed latch onto the brain, then it was not too big a leap to assume that the combined DNA of both species (both of them noted for being especially vicious in their daily lives) being interpreted by the host mind would be expressed. But that would only make them hostile; what Formidonis observed was phenomenal in its savagery and its carnage. The Kaminoans would have fought amongst themselves tactically, using their newfound intelligence to find ways around their new enemies. However, they simply launched an all-out assault on their kin, not stopping until they themselves were killed. Formidonis' final hypothesis stated that, even if divided, Project SO-6 had a single consciousness, and the hosts were all being influenced by it being forced to experience each of their sensations and bodies all at once; their savagery was, therefore, the result of the symbiote not being able to make sense of its multiple viewpoints, and the attacks were the result of this confusion also being transmitted to the hosts.
But, as Aherk Formidonis knew as a scientist, there was only one way to find out.
A Binding Contract[edit | edit source]
Knowing that he would never truly know what Project SO-6 was until he underwent a field test himself, Formidonis made plans to do so. Resting and eating heartily so that the bioweapon would have a stronger base to build from, Formidonis took it out into the storms of Kamino and unleashed it.
Immediately, Project SO-6 began bonding with the Dark Jedi, excruciatingly bonding with each individual nerve and connecting to Formidonis on the cellular level. After it bonded, however, Formidonis felt fantastic; any hint of pain was gone, and he felt his body filled with energy, so much so that he could not fathom the idea of simply standing around and testing each of the symbiote's faculties. He wanted to move. He wanted to play.
So he did.
For an hour, Formidonis truly unleashed his potential. He juggled heavy crates of supplies in his hangar, threw KR-03 around like a rag doll in a combat simulation, and felt the Force as he never had before, feeling like a conduit of its energy in and of himself. But in addition to all this, Project SO-6 seemed to unleash some new abilities of its own. Formidonis discovered that it had a unique ability to produce tendrils of varying thickness by rapidly building cells and projecting them at high velocity. An off-shoot of that, it could also snake microscopic tendrils into just about every surface it came into contact with; a very localized, weak form of fusion, enabling Project SO-6 and its host to stick to sheer surfaces such as walls and ceilings. And all throughout the test, Formidonis never once felt compelled to fury or anger beyond his norm. He felt the urge to truly unleash his rage, but he amounted this to his mind being influenced by the symbiote's unique DNA.
When the time came to remove the bioweapon, Formidonis found it difficult. He enjoyed using it, almost too much, but having bonded with it to such an intimate degree, forcing a separation was incredibly difficult. He'd had an idea before he unleashed, Project SO-6, however, as though he was insane, he was not stupid enough to come into contact with an organism that only abandoned its host after it died. It was immune to the Force, but Project SO-6 was still as much a part of him as he was of it; it could understand him, and his commands, otherwise he never would have been able to shoot a tendril out of his arm on command. Sitting in a meditative state, he reached out to the symbiote, willing it off of him not with the power of the Force, but with the power of his mind. At first, he was unsuccessful. But after several attempts, he managed to have the weapon peel back from his face, hands and feet, and was soon after able to force it back into its container.
He promptly fell over, completely exhausted.
Expectations, Confirmations, and Reservations[edit | edit source]
Formidonis, after a lengthy recovery peroid, recorded his findings as best he could remember them. Project SO-6 performed even better on him than it did on the initial test subjects, proving without doubt that a Force user would be a prime candidate for the bioweapon's use. Its previously unknown tendril-slinging and adherence to surfaces only further surpassed expectation, and Formidonis was all but ready to take it into the field.
But, as the trend seemed to be with designs and weapons of this particular kind, there was a horrible trade-off.
His original hypothesis was only half right; while he felt an innate sense of aggression brought forth and spurred by the orbalisk and Yuuzhan Vong DNA interfacing with his own, there was also another agent pushing him towards mindless violence; a voice in the back of his mind, telling him to snap his apprentice, Darth Vila's neck in her sleep, telling him to kidnap a Senator and drop them from a great height in front of the chambers because it'd be entertaining. And by virtue of not being entirely sane, Formidonis was not opposed to the ideas in and of themselves; he was opposed to the idea that they weren't his.
The fact of the matter was that Project SO-6 had one final surprise for its creator. In addition to siphoning Force energy from its hosts, it used their brains to form a neural network - and intelligence - of its own. It was not a threat as of now, as Formidonis was able to push the bioweapon's thoughts aside with minimal fuss. But it had only adhered to seven sentient beings (admittedly all of them with above average intelligence) and was already capable of communicating with a host on a telepathic level. What would happen, then, if it was allowed to feed unabashedly on its targets?
Formidonis was not about to find out.
Flying his ship to a small rock formation not far from his hideout, the Dark Jedi took one last look at his creation and cast it into the mouth of a small cave before flying back, deeming it beyond his control, and therefore entirely too dangerous for use.
But they would meet again.
Revisiting The Deal[edit | edit source]
Several years passed, and Formidonis continued his work on his other projects, occasionally venturing out into the galaxy to fulfill his curious urges and to satisfy his violent ones. It was during one of the latter journeys that he was beaten within inches of his life and was forced to retreat, with enemies in hot pursuit all the way to Kamino. His injuries too serious to make it to his hideout in time, he instead took a turn of desperation, ejecting from his stolen fighter and crashing onto the rocks where he hid his most dangerous invention. Running into the cave, Formidonis did not have to travel far; sensing his presence, Project SO-6 was upon him in a heartbeat, instantly working to heal his wounds and bring him back up to par, if only, as Formidonis knew, in the short term. When his enemies disembarked their own ship and came in after him, they were summarily (and brutally) slaughtered, Formidonis too weak to rein in the symbiote's violent nature and instead letting it guide him much as the Force did.
Days passed, and Formidonis found himself more attached to the symbiote than ever. He didn't want to remove it most of the time, and when he did question his newfound attachment, he reasoned that he was still too weak, and SO-6's effects in this scenario too unpredictable to justify its removal. Days turned into weeks, and Formidonis remembered that he had yet to field test the bioweapon. His rationalizations from years before all but forgotten (or worse, he would realize, blocked from memory by SO-6 itself in a survival gambit), Formidonis opted to target the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. It was a choice he would not have made of his own volition; an attack there was suicide, even with SO-6's considerable power at his fingertips, and it was a decision made solely for the potential benefit of the symbiote.
But Formidonis, now bonded to the symbiote for weeks, didn't care.
Paying Dues[edit | edit source]
Flying to Coruscant and posing as a Jedi for as long as he could, he eventually could not contain his dark nature (nor the symbiote's ravenous hunger) any longer. Relinquishing his hold over his own body, Formidonis seemed to sleep as Project SO-6 went on a rampage, slaughtering most Jedi that stood in its way, and feeding off of the ones unfortunate enough to survive. Finishing off the initial defenders, the Dark Jedi sped into the shadows, and further infiltrated the building, sneaking along unnoticed via the air ducts and structural undersides, its Force neutrality keeping it from being attacked unless some poor Jedi happened upon it with their own eyes, or somehow noticed the sudden lack of Force in a given area. They were swiftly dealt with.
Finding the resting place of two clans of Jedi younglings, Formidonis bound them all in a web-like structure across the entiret
y of the room, suspending them in the air and rendering them helpless for later feeding while he came up with a way to exit with all the younglings in tow. One Jedi, however, came in at just the wrong time, and after a lengthy fight, was able to alert her fellow Jedi and score a critical hit on the intruder, forcing Formidonis into a full retreat after almost dying herself.
Forced away from the Temple, Formidonis and SO-6 took some time to recuperate from the attack, and hunt easier, less nutritious prey in the Coruscant Underworld. The attack had altered SO-6 dramatically; rather than being an ordinary, animalistic symbiote, it now identified as female, seemed to be capable of emotional responses, and was able to out-argue her own creator in regards to which prey would be best, as well as how to get off-world. As a result of these advances, it took on the dominant role, with Formidonis now reduced to a simple food source, to be done away with as soon as his energy had all but exhausted.
However, this was not to be; Vidalu Na'an, now backed up by Raan Jade, once again encountered and engaged the beast. It was, however, only by chance that the two Jedi were able to survive; a loud horn from a passing speeder truck disoriented the beast, and the two Jedi used sonic waves and sound vibrations to weaken the bonds holding SO-6 to Formidonis, forcing the beast to escape without her host.
As Formidonis recovered under heavy guard in a nearby hospital, it was a classic case of good news and bad news; as it was surrounded by alternate and plentiful food sources as well as tending to Formidonis' prior wounds, SO-6 had not had the chance to truly sink its "teeth" into her creator. However, the wound scored by Na'an's lightsaber across his chest was deep, and would have been fatal had SO-6 not been there to fill the wound. To stem the bleeding (as SO-6 had prevented cauterization), Vidalu used her own cloak to soak up the blood.
Though he escaped soon after, Formidonis kept the cloak, completely unaware of the road it would eventually lead them both down. Project SO-6 was lost in the Coruscant Underworld, always staying one step ahead of those sent after it, becoming sort of a legend among the petty thieves that came to fear and avoid the "Living Shadows" near the Outlaw Club.