A Specter is best described as a diffuse cloud of gas. This gas is composed of volatile proteins and a substance called Ectocaeli. Not much is known about this substance, as all tests have resulted in permanent madness for any scientists involved.
The Ectocaeli is toxic to all forms of life. Even species such as The Seekers are harmed by it. Even in microscopic amounts, this substance causes permanent insanity. However, it enhances all psionic abilities, making it exceptionally dangerous.
The Specters are classified as pathogens, as well as being a self-aware life form. Specters are technically a biohazard, and all experimentation on or with them is illegal. This didn't stop the Seekers from releasing the Specters onto Mars, during The War for All.
A specter will wander around through the air, much like an apparition, and will look for a host. When a Specter finds a host, it secretes a volatile neurotoxin into the air, called Fantonephrin. This substance immediately causes the target to convulse wildly on the ground. While doing this, the target is fully conscious, making the experience especially terrifying.
The Specter will approach the subject. It will then proceed to move into the target's mouth. The target typically spasms for about ten seconds after this, then the target ceases all movement for about thirty seconds after this.
The target's brain, in particular, the Amygdala, is attacked by The Specter. The Specter releases a weak acid which scrambles the area of the brain responsible for fear. The Specter destroys the frontal lobe of the target's brain, resulting in the complete ceasing of all higher-order brain functions. After this, memories are corrupted, making the target remember everything they ever knew as dangerous.
The Specter stimulates nail growth of the subject, causing almost claw-like nails to grow on their hands. Pain receptors are turned off, and all blood flow is redirected towards major muscle groups to allow for faster movement. Tooth growth is also stimulated resulting in very sharp fangs that are sharp enough to bite through a quarter-inch plate of steel.
The subject's senses sharpen and they become extremely dangerous.
The target will then stand up. They usually look around dazed for several seconds, then they immediately try to murder every person around them. The corpses are planted with eggs, created from the target's own body mass. These eggs hatch almost immediately and begin absorbing nearby material until they reach maturity (about a five-minute process).
The target will then die in about ten minutes. Any attempts to stop the subject results in failure. They resist bullets, poisonous gases, fire, and even highly corrosive acids. The only way to take down a "possessed" being is to completely destroy all muscle tissue, as disconnected limbs have been known to move and still try to take down other humans.
The Specters were originally predators on their home planet, using these techniques to hunt for prey. When humans first colonized Ferr. The Specters mutated and killed every colonist on the planet. Allowing only one to escape and spread the infection to other worlds.
Below are a series of transcripts relating to encounters with Specters.
A group of enforcement personnel on Mars were trying to maintain order during the Seekite Invasion. This transcript describes their encounter with the specters.
Soldier 1: using a megaphone to announce instructions to a scarred crowd of people. "Please make your way to the emergency shelters located at 994421 Ares Drive."
The crowd began to move toward the shelter. Suddenly, the crowd began to panic, and they scattered in all directions. A horrible shrieking sound could be heard. Three possessed individuals were killing and implating any civilians they came across.
Soldier 1: "Open fire on the hostiles"
Immediately the soldiers fired at the three individuals. The individuals somehow stayed alive. Badly injured, they began to sprint towards the soldiers, gurgling up large amounts of blood. The soldiers continued to fire, until they ran out of ammunition, resulting in the possessed individuals being almost completely torn to pieces. The individuals continued to drag themselves along the ground until they stopped moving.
Soldier 2 began to call in for backup. However, he was cut short by a specter. The Specter infected him and had this soldier, an already powerful individual, become ten times as dangerous. The possessed soldier made short work of his comrades before collapsing from overexertion.