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"If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order."
-- Zoe, "Serenity"

Reavers are extraordinarily anti-social interplanetary raiders from the Firefly TV series.


Reavers are violently sociopathic toward all other beings. This condition was induced by exposure to a chemical introduced into the environment of the Miranda colony that was supposed to make the population calm and docile. The drug caused 99.99% of the population to become so docile that they essentially just let themselves die of starvation, lacking the initiative to even get up for food. A tiny portion of the population had the extreme opposite reaction to the drug, becoming violent sociopaths: the Reavers.

It's not clear why Reavers don't turn on each other, but they evidently have some kind of social structure that allows them to cooperate to maintain a limited technology base and raid other colonies. It is not clear whether Reavers reproduce, although it seems unlikely that such a society could successfully raise children. At least one survivor of a Reaver raid was "contaminated" with their insanity by torture, but there is no evidence that this was anything but a unique, isolated incident.

Threat Assessment

The Reavers have cannibalized and modified a wide assortment of spacecraft from the Miranda colony to build a fleet of pirate ships. These ships generally operate independently, but they will mobilize in force to attack any intruder into their territory. Their ship-to-ship combat tactics are reckless and uncoordinated, making them dangerous primarily to poorly armed and disorganized civilian targets.

The Reavers have no FTL propulsion capability, so they present no significant threat to other star systems.