Souls (The Host)
Souls are a parasitic alien species that feature in The Host universe.
Souls were an extraterrestrial alien species that had a parasitic nature as they had to take possession of intelligent host races to house their minds. They were noted to had travelled to numerous planets in mass colonization efforts that took control of the dominant species on the world. These explorations of space led them to encountering twelve planets that they occupied though they considered themselves invaders. At one point, they had occupied a planet that was entirely covered by water. Following that world, they made their way to Earth during its modern age where they invaded to take control of its intelligent inhabitants. Their initial colonization wave led them to successfully taking control of almost every Human being on the surface as they had done in previous worlds. Once occupied, Earth was 'perfected' under their control where it was made perfect according to their view. There was no violence experienced among its new inhabitants with honesty, courtesy, and kindness practiced by all Soul-occupied Humans. In addition, the Souls had healed the damage done to the environment though ultimately it was no longer a free Human planet. Much of Human medicine was destroyed in the process which restricted treatment for disease for the survivors. Despite this success, pockets of resistance had formed among the Human survivors that escaped the colonization with these being forced to go on the run to escape capture. As a result, Seekers were charged with finding these survivors and capturing them with one of them being Melanie Stryder. Despite an attempt to take her own life, she survived and was healed where she was taken over by a Soul known as the Wanderer. The Wanderer was charged with accessing her memories in order to track down other Human survivors but Melanie's mind still survived in her body where she would combat the Soul controlling her. During journeys into her mind, the Wanderer grew to show pity for Humanity whilst having exchanges with the Human Melanie. In time, the Wanderer showed pity to Stryder and later sought to help her by protecting her loved ones from Soul possession. She would go into the desert to look for Melanie's family where she encountered Stryder's uncle Jeb with the last pocket of Human survivors. At the same time, the lead Seeker called numerous other Seekers to begin combing the desert to find this sanctuary. Division began to form as the greater Soul society intended to wait to see mankind become extinct in time though the Seeker intended to wage a war of extermination. The Seeker believed co-existence with mankind was not possible as with the other races that they had occupied. The Wanderer ultimately decided to exile the Seeker into the orb container and launched into space for another planet where it would reach after several Human generations. As a result, hope came to be seen that a Soul such as the Wanderer could live alongside mankind which means other were capable of living such an existence. Months later, it was shown that a growing number of Souls had come to co-exist and aid Humans in the world.
In appearance, a Soul was an organism that could fit in the palms of a human hand where they were completely white with numerous furry tentacle strands around their form. During this state, they were often kept in secure containers to protect them until a host body could be found. They had always lived by bonding with another species as it was the means of their survival. Entry wounds were made in the neck of the host where the Soul was placed where they moved into the flesh in order to travel into the brain. Upon entry, the wound created for them was instantly healed whilst they immediately took possession of the body that manifested silver rings around the eyes. Individual members of the species were known to had lived many different lives on the many worlds that they had visited. After taking over the host, they were able to experience their memories which was an effective means in combating threats to their kind as they gathered intelligence from captured enemies. Though able to experience memories, a noted problem for the Soul was that they could also feel the pain associated with those memories. Typically, most human host minds faded in time though a rare few remained in the body though the form was in direct control by the Soul. These rare humans were able to fight the occupation of the body by the Soul and even temporarily gain possession of bodily actions such as the limbs. Such highly resistance hosts could sometimes even force the body to reach to attack Soul-occupied hosts. Sometimes, if the resistant host mind willingly let go, then they faded from the host leaving the Soul in full control of the body. In such cases, the Souls would consider re-implanting the afflicted member into a more compliant body. This was considered acceptable as some members of their kind lacked the strength of will to control such bodies. In some cases, a Soul could leave their original body whilst they probed the mind of another one whereupon they could return to their original host. Their lifespan spanned a thousand years allowing them to experience a great deal across their lifetime. There was no means of returning the mind to their body if they were faded as there were only a small number able to retain their presence in the host. Removing a Soul from the body did not involve force as the parasite could feel the hate from those attempting to take it out of the body. Instead, gentle coaxing was needed as the Soul removed themselves once the incision was made in the neck.
Typical Soul colonization did not change the target worlds but instead sought to experience it and perfect it. They did not seek co-existence but rather possession of all intelligent dominant species on the planet. Souls understood the resistance other species had over the concept of their bodies being hosts for them. However, they felt that the loss of their individual will was a small price to pay for the greater good. Such bonding's were designed so that the Soul could live in harmony. This was despite the fact that the host races believed that what the Souls practice of occupation was effectively murder. Souls did not desire to harm the host species and sought to ensure that they did not injure themselves. This was particularly the case against resistance fighters as they could get one of their kind to take possession of the body and search their memories for their comrades. Humans, however, were unlike previous races that the Souls had taken control of in the past as they had unusually strong physical drives. As such, it was advised that a Soul be more vigilant when within a Human body in order to not be consumed by their instincts. They showed some scorn for the Human race as they saw them as a unreasonable brutal species that killed each other and their own planet with it being amazing that they had survived for as long as they had during their existence. Some Souls during exposure to an active mind of a Human host body were known to show sympathy for mankind. This was because Humanity demonstrated emotions and feelings that Souls had never experienced in their other lives. Resistant Human minds that could overwhelm a Soul were killed once their usefulness had ended though they claimed that this was done humanely. Killing of another Soul was considered incomprehensible and deplored by their kind. This was especially the case when they witnessed their kind being forcibly extracted from bodies as this procedure led to the death of the Soul. Souls were always launched to the most distant of planets where they took their journeys.
Seekers were a position within their society that indicated those individuals responsible for finding intelligent host bodies that had escaped their initial colonization efforts. Another specialization among the Souls were Healers that handled the repair of damage to hosts and the implantation or re-implantation of a Soul into a body. Healers were not suspicious of the nature of the injury and actively looked to repair the injuries to the body of another member of their kind. Souls claimed that they had a duty to their people though and did not lie to each other as they trusted other members of their kind. As such, they were able to call upon the assistance of another Soul who would without question help them. Thus, acts of dissent and defiance against their society were rare though were capable of happening in those overpowered by Human emotions. Normally, Soul occupied Human bodies tended to wear complete white clothing that was another distinguishing feature beyond their eyes.
The species had created silver coated handheld rectangular machines that were able to achieve a variety of tasks. These handheld devices were able to spray a fine mist into the mouths of humans that healed them of wounds. It was equably able to spray a mist that could leave a intelligent being unconscious. Further medical tools included a long needle-like machine that created an incision in flesh. This was used to create an entry wound for a Soul that did not hold a host. Until that time, the aliens were kept in silver oval shaped containers that could be held in the hand. Soul medical technology was much more advanced compared to Humans as they were able to heal diseases or wounds beyond that of mankind. Some critical injuries were beyond the means of repairing and they were not able to return a person back from death.
- Wanderer : entered into the body of a young female human by the name of Melanie Stryder. Exposure to her hosts feelings led her to show sympathy for mankind and ultimately decided to help the survivors in the peaceful removal of Souls so that the hosts could get their bodies back. During this time, the Human survivors came to call her Wanda and she fell in love with Ian the brother of Melanei's love Jared. Ultimately, the Wanderer decided to sacrifice her life in order to return Melanie her life though the survivors instead placed her into a new body whose mind had died.
- Seeker : a Seeker who had taken possession of a white blonde female called Lacey that was in charge of the efforts of stopping the human resistance forces. Her host body actually resisted her and thus the Seeker sought to combat Humans with these abilities. The Wanderer would remove the Seeker from the host and launch it to another world where she would be safe but not harm anyone.
- Healer Fords : a Healer within a black adult male who served as a member of the medical staff responsible for implanting those members of their kind without a host body.
- Healer Skye : a female white blond Healer who Wanderer approached in an effort to get medicine for Jamie Stryder.
- The Host: (2013)