Mgalekgolo in armor
|Sapience level||Varying sapience|
|Average height||12-13 ft, (Mgalekgolo)|
|Average length||3-4 ft. (Lekgolo)|
|Location / range||Te|
|Danger rating||Extreme threat|
Lekgolo (Latin Ophis congregatio, meaning "assembly of snakes") are a species of small colonial worm-like creatures native to the planet Te.
They can join together to form purpose specific assemblages, and are also able to integrate themselves with machinery and use their combined intelligence to pilot, or control, the vehicle or machinery.
Anatomy and appearanceEdit
Every worm-like lekgolo is an individual eel, about 1.4 meters long, with its own central nervous system. It is speculated that they have microscopic muscular cilia which are used to connect to other lekgolo; each cilium is capable of communicating chemically similar to a synapse. Lekgolo blood is a luminescent orange, and supposedly smells like burnt plastic. They feed by burrowing through the ground of planets, absorbing the nutrients and minerals.
The individual worms that make up a colony are unintelligent at the most basic level, but can form complex thoughts and emerge as a conscious individual when they combine into larger masses that communicate through chemical and electrical means. Mgalekgolo (a combat form of a lekgolo colony) are, on the other hand, self-aware and truly sapient. They almost always come in pairs or "bond brothers", and the death of one will enrage the other.
Culture and societyEdit
Mgalekgolo almost never associate or even communicate with the other races in the Covenant Empire. Sangheili are the sole exception; Hunters appreciate and acknowledge the warriors' thoughts and adeptness in combat. To the other races of the Covenant, however, the Hunters are dismissive, scornful, and arrogant, and they are utterly contemptuous of their foes. Hunters have no qualms about committing friendly fire against the "lesser" races, like Unggoy and Kig-yar.
Many members of the Covenant are mystified and confused by the Mgalekgolo; their way of life is almost as alien to the Covenant as that of the Flood. A Sangheili Fleet Master once noted that Hunters were known to tear opponents apart with their "bare hands" whilst in a blood frenzy, and then suddenly pause to recite war poetry. It has also been said that Hunters meditate in their spare time, or before battle.
Little is known about the Hunters' language. The known names of some Hunters seem to imply that they use very simple vowels, and few consonants—not nearly as many as are contained in the English alphabet. It is known that Hunters do not use vocal chords to speak; instead, they seem to vibrate the Lekgolo in their bodies to produce sound. Their quiet nature amongst other races of the Covenant results either from difficulty speaking with other Covenant races or difficulty tolerating other Covenant races.
Hunters tend to make very deep, low rumbling noises when detecting enemies or when wounded. When dying, they seem to emit a low-pitched scream. They also seem to chuckle after a kill. Aside from that, Hunters barely talk. They are, however, capable of mimicking the language of other species via subsonic vibrations, forming words and sentences that are "felt" rather than "heard". Hunters have three names: a personal name, a bond name, and a line name. The personal name is given at their "birth". The line name represents the genetic heritage, being the name of the most successful Mgalekgolo of his ancestors. If one reaches a certain level of status, his offspring will have his personal name as their line name. The bond name, or their middle name, is taken between bonded pairs, colonies that must split into two due to excessive size.
Mgalekgolo (or "Hunters" to humans) take the hulking bipedal form in the Covenant military. In this form, they are the strongest and most resilient species in the Covenant. They usually stand between twelve to thirteen feet tall, but when in their combat state they crouch into between eight to eight-and-one-half feet, protecting their visible, unarmored stomach and neck. Though uncommon, the Mgalekgolo can even come in larger sizes and even bigger than the standard Covenant Wraith (a type of tank). Their political motivation is completely unknown. Their armor has a blue luster that makes the orange-red skin of the Lekgolo worms inside very noticeable, but the colony itself is hard to spot. They always fight in pairs due to the fact that when the colony gets too big, it splits into another Mgalekgolo form, creating a powerful bond between the two bond brothers.
Hunters are not a single organism, but rather are composed of multiple small, orange, worm-like beings called Lekgolo, that form a single collective consciousness and act as one, a single "hive-mind", similar to the structure of operation in the Flood. In other words they are a communal organism working together to perform specific tasks. Mgalekgolo are capable of manifesting in several different iterations according to what goal they are striving to achieve and the amount of Lekgolo worms that are present. The Mgalekgolo is the most common form seen in combat during the Human-Covenant War, but is actually one of the more rare forms in the Lekgolo society. This Mgalekgolo is employed by the Covenant as heavy infantry. Their society is predominated by this combination of being able to create exponentially more intelligent creatures, and the actual "Hunter" organism is one of the rarer and smaller forms to be found, used primarily in interaction with the Covenant hierarchy. Because of their make-up of several hundred worms instead of being a single large organism, the Lekgolo are one of the only species in the Covenant that cannot be assimilated by the Flood, as their unique physiology does not allow the organism to access a central nervous system or control them to any capacity.