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While it was previously believed that Queen Levana was trying to kill them because she did not have the ability to control them, it was revealed that she also was keeping them alive as test subjects for the war Lunars had prepared. These shells were being kept in the lava tubes beneath Luna before they revolted. After the revolt, they were kept in suspension tanks so that their blood could easily be harvested. Their blood was used as a cure for the plague letumosis, that was intentionally spread to Earth to weaken them and force them to agree on an alliance for the antidote.
In Fairest, it mentioned that shells were considered dangerous because a shell had snuck into the palace, protected by his immunity. He shot two guards in the head, killed three more guards, slit Queen Jannali's throat, and stabbed King Marrok's chest sixteen times.