Aliens

The Zehrinn

Alien communications were first detected by EarthGov explorer ships two centuries ago. First contact occured shortly thereafter when a group of aliens, akin to the ‘Greys’ of ancient Earth folklore set off the proximity alarms at the Io Stargate Transfer Point. These aliens, whose ancestors had actually explored Earth in centuries before, were fleeing their outpost at Zeta Reticulli which had come under attack by a group they called the Syndarri D’ravan or as translated, the “Confederation”. Cut off from their home world over 100 parsecs away, the aliens, who knew Earth languages, had new technology such as grav plating to offer which revolutionized cosumer space travel. Their knowledge of the surrounding star systems was less of a boon as these refugee were civilians, not top scientists. Later, some enterprising gene-splicers began the ‘transient’ fad which still exists as a fringe culture today. (Transients used to transition to chimera forms of native Earth species using DNA replacement therapy and splicing. Live a year as a dolphin or some similar pitches. Some now try to become Greys, with mixed, sometimes tragic results.

Some Zehrinn became part of a planned community built near the Vilnius Plex, others tried to integrate into human society with mixed results. So far, no word has been received from probes sent to discover the fate of their homeworld.

The Syndarri Confederation

The Syndarri are the core species of the Confederation which is more of an Hegemony of the Syndarri over several other species. What is known is that they are thought to be naturally non-humanoid plasma entities with some minor telepathic abilities occupying an area of space well over a hundred parsecs away. EarthGov first became aware of the Confederation due to the Zehrinn refugees. Soon after a Confederation scout ship arrived near the outer sphere Halley System demanding the return of several key Zehrinn individuals. They were refused and all attempts by Earth to make contact were rebuffed. Twenty years later, several outlying human colonies were attacked with no survivors. EarthForce ships engaged several Confederation ships and outposts and drove them off. Other than some skirmishes, there had been mostly silence from the Confederation until 80 years ago when they returned to contest the colonization of the Spinward Marches area of the Outer Sphere. At that time a new humanoid soldier appeared to be being used by the Syndarri, later found to be a human-Syndarri fusion created specifically to understand, fight, and of late be diplomatic with humanity. Since then, these soldiers/diplomats have been the face of the Confederation. The Confederation’s goals seem to be expansionist and they see humans as one threat among many. Twenty years ago a full blown war almost started, but was prevented by the valiant actions of the last great hero team, the Citadel along with several assembled heroes including Quantum and Shard. It is said the loss of his friends in this conflict was one of the steps that sent Shard down the path of villainy. Today contact is on better terms and a shaky state of ‘detente’ has arisen.

Syndarri themselves appear as tall ellipsoidal plasma fields which can take shapes necessary for communication or physical manipulation. Their humanoid counterparts all tend to have have white hair, bronzed skin and eyes aglow with golden plasma.

The Inshai Compact

The Inshai are one of the most ancient races. They are a tall pale blue lithe humanoid species that in the millennia past lost their homeworld and empire to a supernova which wiped out the majority of their civilization. They have been wanderers ever since. They are extremely adaptive and over generations add new DNA to their make up that over time lets them pick up characteristics of their host races, some even approaching human shape. Several ‘Compacts’ of Inshai currently live within or nearby the Human Sphere. They generally keep to themselves and engage in trade with Outer Sphere and some Inner Sphere worlds. Their starchart and galactic knowledge is legendary, as is their skill in selling information.

Some races hate the Inshai, while others tolerate them for their knowledge and other trade potential. They are master navigators and master genetic engineers. Some say the Thargs were a failed experiment gone wrong; however the race Earthgov recently discovered, rumored to be called ‘Darkons’ has been positively identified as creations of the ancient Inshai and the ‘Demons of Darkness’ that many of the older races once feared.

Third Dreilar Dominion (Dragorians)
The Dreilar are what appears to humans to be a scaled species vaguely resembling large reptiles, hence the human nickname, Dragorians or Reptilemen. They are not in any way related to any Terran organism, much less reptiles. The Dreilar are scaled carnivores, eating and breathing through a single orifice lined with sharp incisor teeth and fringed with feeding talons. They have a single elongated faceted eye wrapping left to right in large, round heads. Their two hands have large, clumsy fingers arranged in a mutually opposed fashion, like a mechanical grab. They range in size from a mere 3′ to over 8′ tall. Dreilar have no internal mechanism for regulating appetite; for their own health and safety they have to learn while young to endure their constant, ravenous hunger rather than suffering from sickness due to overeating. They are a semi-telepathic race and have existed for millenia, forging two great colonization efforts/empires in ancient times before turning in on themsleves in great civil wars. Their original homeworld was shattered in the first of these. The current Realm is in a brutal conflict with an unknown species on their far border. They have limited trade with the Human Sphere, though Dreilar pirates have attacked human colonies on more than one occasion in the past.

Torraji
Torraji resemble large, spindly starfish. They have a torochord (ring-shaped) instead of a notochord, with 5 “self-sections” (apparently semi-independent brains) that operate their body cooperatively. The ‘Raji begin life as small aquatic swimmers, most of which are eaten by predators; in time, five of the survivors will merge to form one collective organism, which grows into an arboreal adolescent; its tails become arms, and its fins differentiate into fingers. When it grows large enough, the ‘Raji imprints itself on an adult (if one is available) and enters a stage of rapid learning and brain growth. A ‘Raji who desires a family can simply go into the wilderness and “harvest” an adolescent of the proper age (a property that Tharg slavers have exploited). Unimprinted adult Torrarji are considered feral, and regarded as little more than animals. Since the five subunits that make up one ‘Raji individual are not necessarily genetically related, reproduction does not require sex; a ‘Raji can simply find a pond and deposit its offspring to begin the cycle again. They operate in groups called “clanpods”, as part of their planet-wide tradeweb. Details of this arrangement are not known. ‘Raji technological specialties included gravity polarizers, linguistics and biotechnology. They have significant cloning technology. Limited trade relations with the Human Sphere have been established.

Thargs
Thargs are a humanoid species known for their use as mercenaries and their interclan wars. They are green-skinned, a side effect of their symbiotic relationship with fungi. Thargs were genetically engineered for combat, and quite efficiently so by the same species that is believed to have been destroyed by the Inshai millenia ago (who in revenge it is believed nova-bombed the Inshai sun). They are extremely strong, and their squat bodies can withstand immense punishment. This is fortunate since their medical technology is generally primitive; however, unlike humans, Thargs are quite capable of having limbs (or even heads in rare instances) freely chopped and swapped onto a different body, and surviving the experience to fight again.

Thargs grow all through their lives, though the average Tharg stands around the same height as the average man. Once he begins to grow, an Tharg will generally keep getting bigger, stronger, and greener until he is beaten by a bigger or more cunning Tharg. The various clan rulers of continents and even worlds, are very large indeed, often standing over three meters (10′) tall or higher. They don’t tend to develop technology on their own, but scavenge it from others and seem to be quite clever in doing so; more so than their outward appearances let on.

Trillex’chiql, Sillicoids, Ss’lar, Kessrith, and more.  All soon to be detailed.

Esper Guild

The Esper Guild is a set of related psionic organizations working toward the training and regulation of telepaths. To protect the privacy of normals, all telepaths in Earth space are required to register with the Guild. Failure to register is a serious crime; however, the Guild is very patient with people who’s abilities have manifested outside their notice, giving may opportunities to do the right thing (at least what is right to the majority of Earthers).

Many of Guild members have fairly minor abilities and are not required to do any training unless they wish; however, anyone who wishes to use their abilities legally must received Guild certification. Generally Guild only holds sanction over mental powers of a telepathic/memory nature; however, this sanction is expanding and those holding any mental abilities or mutations are at least watched and registered by them. Contrary to popular belief, they are not a monolithic entity like their predecessor the Psi Agency. Each division of the Guild plus civilian oversight of these division provide extensive checks and balances to one another.

Among the Guild’s Divisions are:

The Academy:  Provides training and licensing of most telepathic abilities.  Academy trained Shielders are in high demand by government and corporate types; while Readers find employ in police, military and corporate fields in security work.  Most graduates are freelancers though the Guild has a placement system.  Though with multiple talents are the most highly sought after.

The T-Com:  Certain very talented individuals are recruited to be part of the T-Com.   These individuals relay messages from one telepath to another seemingly beyond lightspeed employing special comlink systems based at individual Stargates.  While not instantaneous, the phenomena has allowed for faster communications for important government messages and certain licensed commercial traffic.

Guild Directors:  Employees of ESA, the Stargate Consortium, Guild directors are the elite of the Esper community.  Based at Stargates or certain large ships, their scanning ability and precognitive visions have been honed for a specific use, guiding starships efficiently through stargate systems or alternatively guiding large-scale commercial or military traffic directly by acting as an on-board navigator.

Center for Privacy and Safety:   The CPS agents are the successors to the dreaded ‘Thought Police’ of the 27th Century.  While they have never really been able to live it down, their job is essentially the same:  locating and policing rogue telepaths which are a threat to an individuals privacy.  Unlike their predecessor, they are held to significant oversight and do not have as wide an authority.  Government agents who come from the Academy and do military espionage work are not generally veterans of the CPS.  The Guild keeps such links very limited to prevent a concentration of telepathic power.

Spacers

Spacers

Aurora - Formerly New Earth, the prime Spacer world

Who are the Spacers? They are the descendants of a dozen or so outsystem colonies of the Inner Sphere that were first settled by humanity in the earliest days of FTL. Unlike the insystem colonies of Mars, Ganymede, etc; these colonies were planned, built, and populated by the best and the brightest on the worlds showing the most potential for terraforming and habitation. Since it was in the earliest days of FTL, the first ships took years, even decades to reach their destinations and once they arrived they would be cut off for years or more from Earth (this was well before any FTL communications).

What they built was extraordinary. While gene manipulation and tailor-made children fell into disrepute on Earth other than for medical reasons, on the Spacer worlds it developed beyond what anyone had forseen. Like Japan of the 19th Century, the Spacers were eventually fairly homogeneous in culture, ethnic background (an unlikely mix edging toward a Polynesian look on many of the worlds), and philosophy. Since they had to survive together their cultures tended toward a socialist utopian outlook, built on the backs of millions of robots and androids running purely automated factories and farms for net export.

Unlike Earth, which grudgingly employs robots and the other colonies where they are too expensive or simply can’t be maintained, Spacer worlds use them to excess. There is no poverty on Aurora for instance. It is unheard of. Everyone is an artist, engineer, scientist or the like. Obviously a low population helps, but with every need provided by the government (which are generally nearly pure democracies for internal affairs) most people’s lives are pleasant with estimated lifespans of 200 years or more with the newest generation expected to live even longer.

The Spacers are paranoid of what they have and protect it. They tried to break away from Earth peacefully, but EarthGov wouldn’t let them go. The war created massive animosity between the rest of humanity and these worlds. Millions of Spacers and Earthers died in the conflict which the Spacers won. Even more Spacers abandoned their homeworlds, unwilling to fight Earth. For over 50 years after the victory the Spacers controlled trade while Earth rebuilt it’s fleet. Intermittent conflicts continued; however, the discovery of alien species and the advent of the Outer Sphere colonies has thawed this animosity. These new colonies needed Spacer goods which are much closer than Earth the the affiliated Inner Sphere colonies; while the spacer worlds needed markets. More strife comes from overpopulated colonies that see the sparsely populated Spacer worlds are potential migration points. Fighting illegal immigration is a potential problem each Spacer world would have to address if it wasn’t for controlling their own Stargates.

A Spacer is generally taller and far healthier than the rest of human average. They are fairly social among their own kind but are somewhat paranoid of outworlders due to the disease, crime, mutations and cultural pollution potential of the rest of Humanity.