The E-Forms are ancient weapons built in the Dark Times during the war against the Great Vampires. They were constructed in secret by the Patrexes after the Vorlans forbade their use. The E-Forms are machines that were scattered across the Universe, secreted in pocket dimensions waiting to be activated. E-Forms have no fixed form, adapting to their environment and sprouting metallic arms, legs, tendrils, spikes and blades, even buzz saws and scissor-like weapons. They can further mutate themselves with shocking rapidity to meet any new threat. They are programmed to destroy their enemies, even if that means destroying entire planets and in some cases, galaxies. E-Forms are also programmed not to harm their masters.
Following the Great Vampire War, the E-Forms’ central intelligence cores were downloaded and they lay dormant for millennia. E-Forms can be accidentally activated by distress signals from advanced ships, or deliberately by broadcasting the correct codes. Once activated, an E-Form’s first priority is to check for evidence of the Vampire waveform, the psychic footprint of the Vampires. Unfortunately, the mental signature of certain psionic powers of other species can be similar enough to register as a Vampire, so mistakes have been made: one E-Form detected psionic abilities in a human in 1987, concluded that humanity were the Vampires’ descendants and tried to destroy the Earth. During the “Last Great War”, the E-Forms were revived and programmed for use against the Xhadows .
Hidden away in its pocket dimension, each E-Form is anchored to an object in our Universe at a molecular level, creating engrams – scars with more than three dimensions. If the engrams are within a living brain, the E-Form can exert control over its victim in order to prepare for its eventual attack. But the main use of the engrams is to form a microscopic rift to drag itself through, immediately bursting half a ton of metal into the Universe. In the 1987 incident, an E-Form had attached itself to a batch of drugs, which was then distributed across Trimerton by drug dealers. This allowed the E-Form to open rifts in the brains of every person who was around it, and an extrusion of the machine burst through each of the users’ heads, forming thousands of E-Form Zombies. In most cases, the E-Form will not have been able to use this trick and only a single machine will appear. But enterprising GMs could have a scenario featuring infected food, water, drugs, etc – something that could be distributed around a planet, or a sizable proportion of a planet anyway. A single E-Form is probably deadly enough though.
E-Forms have very few weaknesses and are extremely hard to destroy – as they are created from Block Transfer Computations, they are impervious to most forms of harm. It is theoretically possible to try to reason with them, but they are pretty single-minded. A weak spot is in the Unarian (or whoever made said E-Form) codes that lie at the heart of the machines’ programming. Termed Patrexian Numbers, these can be used to stall an E-Form, control it or even shut it down. The problem is that manipulating them requires mental interaction with the E-Form itself. In the 1987 incident, Michael Vangelatos used some of the E-Form infected water to form a link, but other means could be used: psychic abilities being an obvious option, POWERFUL techno-viruses another. Physical destruction of the E-Form – even if possible - has to be absolute to stop it from regenerating its body. Considering ways to render an E-Form helpless may be more practical: teleporting it into a sun’s gravity well , locking it in a time-loop, or trapping it under a million ton slab of dwarf star alloy.