Vortigaunts (Second Human Empire: ?), formerly known as Alien Slaves, are sapient aliens. Their native homeworld is Xen, from where they were enslaved and then forced to lead an invasion of Earth following the Black Mesa Incident, under the direction of the Nihilanth. Following the death of the latter, they have as a species chosen to ally themselves with the Earth Freedom Fighters in its bid to overthrow the Combine rule of Golmar Earth. In appearance, a Vortigaunt is roughly humanoid with two legs and two arms, but has an additional arm protruding from its chest. This extra limb is a feature also found in the other bipedal, sapient species from Xen, including the Alien Grunt and Nihilanth. This similarity, along with other shared features such as red eyes and back-jointed legs, is strongly suggestive of a common ancestry with other intelligent Xen lifeforms. Apparently, this third arm is used for feeding, as both Vortigaunts and Alien Grunts are often seen bending over slain victims while feeding off of it. Vortigaunts have a mottled green-brown skin, sharp teeth, and clawed hands. Vortigaunts have a slightly hunched posture, and their faces are dominated by a large, single red eye, surrounded by five smaller eyes. Closer inspection reveals that the smaller "eyes" are simply additional openings that lead to one gigantic eyeball.
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