|Base of Operations:|| Maltus |
Symbionts were microscopic colonies of life forms that evolved on the ancient planet Maltus around 10 billion years ago after the world began to cool. They were the first miracle of life to form on the world and formed not in the oceans but rather in the moist cool air itself. Over the aeons, they spread across the planet and remained a complex organism on the now habitable world. By this point, more larger animals began to evolve and dominate the environment which battled one another with the symbionts waging their own conflict on the microscopic level in the air. In this era, the early Maltusians had evolved and the symbionts had gained a group consciousness which made mental contact with their hosts. The message these microscopic colonies gave was that both they and their hosts would benefit by working together. Such an alliance would allow them to fight best, eat best and live best which led to a true symbiosis being formed between a Maltusian and these microscopic symbiotic beings. When the Maltusians were tribes, they began hunting for food and the symbionts aided them by moving through the air as well as fingertips to ensure the swift demise of the prey animal. This allowed the tribe of humanoid Maltusians to become the dominant race on their homeworld and they rose above the other creatures on Maltus with the help of the symbionts. As a result, the tribe multiplied and gradually spread across the surface of the entire world. By securing their food source, the Maltusians devoted their time to developing their minds where they formed a mighty though arrogant civilization.
However, a population crisis emerged as the Maltusians grew too large in number with their single great tribe splintering into different races that evolved differently. These groups would war against one another leading to the earliest Maltusian conflicts with the symbionts fighting one another as well as bring death to their hosts enemies. In desperation, one group of symbionts attempted to halt the war by releasing a disease that turned the Maltusian hosts into gradually helpless paralytics. However, the victims of the plagues survived and incidently brought the disease to their homes as well as their nations thus infecting more of their kind. In time, nearly every city was infected where those helpless suffering from the disease died as they were now unable to feed themselves. Similarly, the symbionts themselves died with their tactic of stopping conflict being a failure. Whilst the surface of Maltus was ravaged by the plague, a few isolated settlements managed to survive that were too remote to be involved in the eternal wars between the tribes. Being cut off from one another, cities such as the polar settlement of Aps managed to survive where the Maltusians studied the course of the disease as it ran its course. Their own symbionts, however, confirmed their suspicion that the plague was not gone but rather in a state of dormancy. Furthermore, it was learnt that close contact between the sexes reactivated the disease with the symbionts being unable to prevent its re-emergence. This era saw an alliance between the all male inhabitants of Aps and the females of Zamar who worked together to rebuild their civilization until the plague was finally eliminated thousands of years later.
As the Maltusian society evolved, the symbionts aided their hosts by giving them vast mental abilities allowing the newly formed Oans to examine the universe externally. Some even learnt to travel in a mental form over great distances where they needed neither sleep nor rest. The final gift the symbionts gave their hosts was the repair and replacement of each cell within their bodies thus allowing them to extend their lifespan. This allowed the Oans to become an immortal race of beings with time being nearly meaningless to them and as their population became stable - their need for further children ceased. In this era, the first notable event was the brief reconnection of the symbionts of the two different sexes when a young Herupa Hando Hu met Nadia Safir with the symbionts recognizing the division between the genders being not natural. This allowed new areas of their minds to be opened as the two fell in love during that brief level of contact before being separated by their elders. The Oans and their female counterparts later departed Maltus for the planet Oa in order to assume the mantle of Guardians of the Universe. Following the creation fo the Central Power Battery of Oa, they turned their task to creating robotic peacekeepers known as Manhunters. These androids were designed to mimic the form of the Oans and were even given programs that copied the functionality of the symbionts allowing their circuits to live on forever.
- The story of the symbionts featured in Secret Origins Vol 2 23 "The Secret Origin of the Guardians of the Universe" which is their first and only mention in the Green Lantern continuity.
- This backstory would indicate that not only the Guardians but all Maltusian offshoots such as the Zamarons, Controllers, Mesopotamian Gods and the Lephrechauns possessed symbionts. Curiously, the inhabitants of Maltus after the exodus from that world seemingly do not possess the same abilities as the splinter races.
- Presumably, the symbionts allowed the Maltusians to manipulate The Glow and the Emotional Spectrum though this is only speculation.
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