Introduced into Earth's ecosystem somewhere beetween 600 and 400BC, these creatures have influenced human history invisibly.
There is significant evidence that they were active during the Black Death, however it is unknown whether they caused it or cured it.
Once the Space Station was activated in orbit around Earth, the aliens in charge there took control of the nanoticks and began to use them to control population levels and ensure that humans remained healthy so that they could be a controlled part of the galactic network.
The original purpose of the creatures is unknown. Currently, they suck blood from victims and then alter the DNA of that creature and re-inject their host with the altered DNA.
These microscopic robotic ticks are capable of preventing or causing diseases. They can repair or destroy DNA strands.
They are self-replicating and self-repairing.
While they replicate quickly, they also seem to be self-limiting so that they do not overwhelm any environment that they are in. They will not automatically heal diseases, requiring specific command and control to become activated.
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Introduced into Earth's biosphere by the Harperions, the ticks may have initially been designed to heal Harperion injuries. They may have been a sort of first-aid kit brought along on their ship.
Once the technology got loose and began replicating, it quickly covered the surface of the world, possibly spreading along with the communications network built by the Harpies to request tribute.
Microscopic, these creatures exist all over planet Earth, invisibly performing whatever tasks have been programmed into them.
The system requires a signal network to interact with the ticks, otherwise they would become dormant.
Discovered by Lenore Janning, the entymologist working at the Spaceport, these creatures present an existential threat to the human race, with an alien finger on the button that could activate them to destroy all life on Earth.