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A fable
Motivated by ixnay, I will try to spin a story here. Please be forgiving, English is not my native tongue...
Long time ago, somewhere in this galaxy, a child was born.

It slowly managed to use its senses and became aware of its surroundings. Constantly growing, it expanded on land and dove into oceans, dissipated itself in earth and spread in the air, finally reaching the edge of atmosphere and touched the void. That was the barrier that stopped the growth, at least for a while. Looking at the sun with curiosity, but feeling trapped, the child started to experiment with itself, adjusting, changing and modifying its bodies. Finally, it understood how to achieve propulsion; eager to try that new skill it spread throughout its home system.

Time passed and the child slowly learned. It has no one to interact with, to learn from, thus was never able to pass another obstacle - speed of light. Using sub-light speeds it launched parts of itself into the vast interstellar space and was able to barely reach the neighboring stars, but the effort felt empty. These star systems were devoid of intelligent life; boredom grow and desperation started to surface.

This all changed at the beginning of TURN 10, when Tilkatian scout ship appeared out of nowhere in the home system.

Surprise was complete. Boredom has vanished, replaced by curiosity and excitement! It rose to the challenge, swiftly rushing to meet the visitor. Absorbing full-spectrum emissions of the tiny scout vessel, it tried to make sense out of it. After penetrating the Tilkatian shields, surface of actual ship was also a subject to poking and prodding. Finally, with mutual effort, contact was achieved. The child had met friends, learned to communicate and received a name! Tilkatans called it "The Mold" and it liked that.

... to be continued ...
With new toys to play with, The Mold started to prepare itself to explore the universe. Matter was reshaped using Tilkatan tech to create vessels that would extend The Mold presence among the stars.
After some initial stumbles with the new technology, scouts began jumping in the neighboring systems, followed soon by freighters. These early days of travel were uneventful - no aliens spotted (except for more Tilkatan presence, as expected), no misjumps or other troubles in the dangerous hyperspace... just plain and boring.
Thankfully, having access to common Tilkatan frequencies, The Mold was able to communicate directly with Tilkatan ships and their crews. They shared tales of distant stars and exotic aliens, fueling The Mold's dreams about meeting more friends in the galaxy...
The following information is provided Out-Of-Character
What exactly is The Mold?

Using analogies, it would be suitable to describe it as a cross between coral reef and nanite colony. On the microscopic level, there are multiple different types of carbon-based AND silicon-based microbes, that somehow form the single "organism" on the macro level. Non-biological matter is frequently used as a component in The Mold's bodies for different purposes, including energy storage, information storage and shielding.

The Mold has no uniform shape, but recombines itself for the specific purpose each time. On the planet it just forms a thick layer on most of the surface, absorbing energy from the sun and stripping earth for useful minerals. It is also present within oceans, usually in some sort of pressure-resistant envelope, or in the air (by keeping gaseous hydrogen trapped within it's body - imagine a flying whale). The smallest parts of The Mold are on the micrometer scale, but there is no upper limit for the size of a blob.

Functionally, it is a single intelligent entity, its parts alone have limited consciousness and no intelligence.

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