Aliens of the Protectorate


The Julian Protectorate: Aliens of the Protectorate

  • The Hhkar
  • The Bwaps or Newts
  • The Panet Relationship

    The Hhkar

    The Julian Protectorate: Aliens of the Protectorate: The Hhkar
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    
    The Hhkar are known to have been a spacefaring race for longer than any
    other sophont race in Charted Space.  Several worlds in what is now
    Hikaru Subsector have extensive pyramidal ruins, the youngest of which
    is over ten thousand years old.  The most extensive of these ruins was
    found during the Vilani Imperium period, on Urinir (since renamed
    Skkyhrk by the Hhkar, upon their return).  It was thought that the race
    that built those ruins had been destroyed by plague; the return of the
    Hhkar near the end of the Long Night, in -222, came as a shock to the
    Vargr who inhabited that planet.
    
    Hhkar starflight was not based on jump drive; they acquired jump drive
    from the Vargr upon their return.  The Hhkar migrations were done via
    regular space ships operating at relativistic velocities and fueled by
    ramscoops.  The reason for the migrations - and the return - are
    unknown; the Hhkar have shown no willingness to discuss the issue.
    
    Current hypotheses, based on the limited information that xenologists
    have been able to obtain, mostly from traditional stories and religious
    writings of the Hhkar, suggest that the Hhkar homeworld of Ssrar
    (location unknown) was geologically violent.  This forced the Hhkar to
    develop a nomadic culture, although they did develop the practice of
    building permanent structures.  These structures were left intact when
    a Hhkar ssaaahk (clan or race) migrated away, and were often used by
    ssaaahk that later entered the area, or by the original builders if
    they returned to the area even centuries later.  There is a certain
    amound of reverence for such structures; very little is done to change
    them when they are reused.
    
    The nomadic culture, coupled with increasing population, made
    competition between ssaaahk, and eventually war between them,
    increasingly common.  To reduce conflict, a system of dominant and
    subordinate ssaaahk was developed, paralleling in many ways the
    structure of dominant and subordinate clans among the Aslan.
    
    Because of the lengthy period in which the Hhkar culture adapted to 
    being spaceborne, many Hhkar today still prefer to live shipboard, in 
    orbital cities.  Many of these cities are jump-capable, allowing the 
    residents to maintain their nomadic lifestyle, although they tend to 
    remain within or very near the Hhkar Sphere.
    
    For reasons unknown, the Hhkar left their homeworld around -50,000, and
    colonized other worlds, including Urinir and nearby worlds.  Again,
    there is no indication of a reason for leaving them around -10,000, and
    no indication of why they chose to return in -222 (or, more accurately,
    why other Hhkar ssaaahk chose to occupy the worlds at that time).  The
    Hhkar recolonization of -222 originally aimed to exterminate completely
    the human and Vargr society present on the world; Vargr emissaries were
    able to negotiate a complete surrender after three years of war.  The
    terms of surrender included the destruction of non-productive members
    of the society (the elderly, the disabled, and the unemployed); a total
    ban on new births was also part of the terms.  Today, there is only a
    small population of (Vargr) non-Hhkar present on the planet; these are
    descendants of original inhabitants who rejected the surrender to the
    Hhkar and went into hiding.  They remain for the most part in
    subterranean tunnels; the Hhkar do not actively hunt them down, but
    they are killed on sight.
    
    Over the next 500 years, the Hhkar expanded their sphere of occupied
    worlds, following similar patterns.  The expansion was brought to a
    halt in 377, when Commodore David Lindquist of the Star Legion was able
    to almost defeat the Hhkar at Kargan; the Hhkar were so impressed by
    Lindquist's tenacity and cleverness that when he was captured, he was
    given an honorable execution, and the Hhkar withdrew from the system in
    spite of having been victorious.  There were subsequently several
    skirmished with the Star Legion, but the Hhkar gradually entered a more
    cooperative relationship with the Protectorate and with the Menderes
    Corporations.  Today, the Menderes Corporations have sizeable
    industrial holdings within Hhkar territory, all operated by the Hhkar.
    
    
    Hhkar Physiology and Sociology
    ------------------------------
    
    Hhkar are evolved from a reptiloid carnivore/killer.  They are roughly
    humanoid in appearance, but still show their origins in the heavy claws
    at the end of each of their three fingers on each hand, and in the
    heavy tail used for balance.  They stand, walk or run with a
    forward-leaning posture, tail extended behind them or used as a "third
    leg" at rest.  Like most known reptiloid species, Hhkar possess scales.
    
    The Hhkar show as much variety within their species as do humans.
    Social relationships are based on a "racial" grouping, called a
    "ssaaahk", where common characteristics define the group.  The ssaaahk
    has the first loyalty of the individual Hhkar, even above what many
    humans describe as "loyalty to self" - the needs of the ssaaahk have
    absolute first priority, and obedience to the ssaaahk and the patriarch
    thereof are absolute.  There is a large group of Hhkar individuals who
    do not exhibit the racial characteristics that identify them as a
    member of the ssaaahk into which they were born; these individuals are
    second-class citizens (raaabr) within Hhkar society.  It should be
    noted that most such individuals are killed as juveniles; the raaabr
    citizens are those who survive to adulthood and are ejected from their
    ssaaahk.  If they exhibit the characteristics of a different ssaaahk,
    they may petition for admission to that ssaaahk; it is usually several
    generations before such a petition is granted.  While an individual is
    an outcast from all ssaaahk, he will generally be found as a
    servant/employee of a ssaaahk.
    
    Hhkar are adaptable to many tainted atmospheres; while they require 
    oxygen to survive, they prefer atmospheres laden with sulfur compounds 
    that humans would consider heavily polluted, exotic, or worse.  They 
    are also capable of thriving in atmospheres that contain other taints 
    as well.  In untainted atmospheres, Hhkar must take precautions 
    analogous to those that humans must take in tainted atmospheres.
    
    Hhkar are meat-eaters, but everything we have learned about the Hhkar 
    indicates that meat alone is insufficient to sustain them.  The best 
    information available to us indicates that the atmosphere of their 
    original homeworld provided many nutrients through respiration; 
    however, due to geological activity, the availability of those 
    nutrients varied.  To correct for this, the Hhkar started inhaling the 
    smoke from burning certain kinds of vegetable matter, sometimes treated 
    with minerals.  This allowed more leisure than eating killed animals 
    did, and gradually assumed the social function in Hhkar society that 
    eating does in most human societies.  The practice took on additional 
    importance after the Hhkar started settling worlds with alien 
    environments.  Social smoking customs among the Hhkar have been adopted 
    by other races in the protectorate; similarly, the Hhkar have adopted 
    some of the customs of the societies that they have come in contact 
    with, and cultivate tobacco and other plants used by humans and Vargr 
    for smoking.  Hhkar will almost never be found smoking in the presence 
    of humans or Vargr; many of the substances and compounds that the Hhkar 
    smoke are unpleasant, noxious, or worse to those races.
    
    Hhkar are oviparous, with gestation taking about 21 weeks.  Juveniles
    are lighter of frame and faster and more agile than adults.  They are
    capable of taking a place in society within weeks of hatching, although
    they do not reach full growth and maturity until age 22.  The average
    adult Hhkar is over 2m in height and masses over 250kg.
    
    Hhkar all begin life as males, changing genders later in life, up to
    six times throughout their lifespan of almost 200 years.  As females,
    Hhkar enter estrus and mate once per year.  A typical clutch contains
    one to six eggs; these eggs are deposited in a central communal area,
    heavily guarded, called the "Caves of Life".  Juveniles are supervised
    by females, who will defend them with their lives.  The females are
    also responsible for killing those juveniles deemed deformed, slow to
    learn, or difficult to control.
    
    Gender change involved biochemical changes that culminate in shedding
    of the skin.  This also has a renewing effect, so that a Hhkar does not
    suffer from aging effects as most other sophonts do.  There are also 
    significant psychological changes involved in a gender change; Hhkar 
    changing genders lose all skills specific to the old gender - but when 
    they change back, those skills are regained.
    
    As demonstrated by the gender change, there is a strong connection 
    between the Hhkar's mental state and his physiological state.  The 
    Hhkar have developed or discovered several mental states which induce 
    or enhance physical capabilities or changes, and their medical science 
    and spiritual life is based around the interaction between mind and 
    body.  The mental states range from a state of suspended animation, 
    wherein most life processes come to a virtual halt (and do not count 
    against the Hhkar lifespan), through several "dreaming" states, used 
    for different purposes ranging from spiritual insight to logical 
    analysis and decision making, and into a number of fully waking states, 
    ranging from a low-mentation laborer mode up to learning and combat 
    modes.  In addition, there are a number of "medical" modes, used to 
    enhance the body's ability to repair a wide variety of injuries and 
    illnesses.
    
    Because of the nature of Hhkar mentality, they rarely use drugs - drugs 
    cause an imbalance between the mind and the body, which results in 
    extreme mental stress and the altering of the consciousness state into 
    any one of several extremely undesirable modes.
    
    Psionic capability among the Hhkar has not been studied.  The Hhkar 
    believe that psionics cause the perversion of the soul, and make it 
    impossible to achieve the higher spiritual states of consciousness.  
    Their aversion to psionics is sufficiently strong that a known psionic 
    of any race is guaranteed a violent reaction, whether the powers are 
    actually used or not.
    


    The Bwaps or Newts

    The Julian Protectorate: Aliens of the Protectorate: The Bwaps or Newts
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Marhaban (Lentuli/Empty Quarter 0426), in the Imperium, is the 
    homeworld of the Bwaps or Newts, a minor alien species that resemble 
    Terrestrial salamanders more than anything else.  Newts are regarded as 
    bureaucrats par excellance, and have been since the days of the Vilani 
    Imperium.  It is from that time that their presence in the area of the 
    present-day Julian Protectorate dates.
    
    The typical Newt is about 1.4m in height, and masses anywhere from 30
    to 50kg.  They prefer environments of extremely high humidity,
    experiencing various levels of discomfort as the humidity drops below
    98%.  In humidity of less than 25%, a sealed environment suit is
    required for the Newt to survive; at higher humidities, it will
    generally suffice for a Newt to wear special garments designed to keep
    their skin moist.
    
    Newts range in color from yellow-green through green, blue, and brown;
    each individual Newt has a unique pattern of body markings, generally
    in a darker shade of their basic body color.  In areas of the skin that
    lack intense coloring, the Newt has a bluish cast, due to blood whose
    oxygen transporting compound is more analogous to hemocyanin than
    hemoglobin, being based on copper instead of iron.
    
    Newts are viewed by other species as being obsessed with order and
    propriety; a Newt takes literally the proverbial phrase 'a place for
    everything and everything in its place', going to great lengths to
    ensure that everything is 'just so' and as it should be.  Trying to
    rush a Newt, or encourage one to take 'shortcuts', is quite definitely
    counterproductive, and will often earn a long lecture on the
    proprieties of the situation.
    
    Newt social interactions center around their basic philosophy, which is
    an extension of 'a place for everything and everything in its place'.
    Much of their time is spent discussing their place in the cosmos, and
    ascertaining the place in the cosmos of the other.  It is their
    'obsession' with this philosophy that makes them excellent candidates
    for any job that requires painstaking care; Newts are found not only as
    bureaucrats, but as accountants, historians, and scientists in the
    'hard' sciences.
    
    


    The Panet Relationship

    The Julian Protectorate: Aliens of the Protectorate: The Panet Relationship
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    On Asimikigir itself, integration and harmonious relations between
    Human and Vargr have progressed farther than anywhere else in the
    Asimikigir Confederation, or indeed in the Protectorate itself.  On
    most other worlds, individual relationships between Human and Vargr are
    often friendly; it is unusual for them to progress beyond that to
    intimate (in a non-sexual sense).  On Asimikigir, it is common for
    Human and Vargr to achieve a relationship whose closeness is matched
    elsewhere only in the relationship between a person and a pet - except
    that in the case of the relationship between a Human and a Vargr, there
    is no sense of one member of the relationship being in any way
    subordinate to the other.  This relationship is referred to as the
    'panet' relationship, possibly from 'comPANion/pET'.
    
    The panet relationship has been described as a recognition of the fact
    that Humans and Vargr like each other, fundamentally.  Those who accept
    the panet relationship as 'natural' point to the close relationship
    between Humans and non-sophont canines that started on Earth in
    prehistoric times, and which continues to this day.  They suggest that
    the same psychological factors that operated to bring Humans and
    canines together on Earth continue to operate to bring Human and Vargr
    together; the fact that Vargr are sophonts as well adds an additional
    measure of respect that does not normally exist in the relationship
    with non-sophont canines, but in no way reduces the fundamental
    attraction between the two species.
    
    A Human and a Vargr in a panet relationship are free within certain 
    relatively loose social limits to engage in behavior that might be 
    considered "shocking" by either Humans or Vargr elsewhere.  For 
    example, the Human member of the relationship may be seen to scratch or 
    rub the Vargr member much as might be done to a non-sophont dog, and 
    the Vargr will enjoy it; similarly, it is not unusual to see the Vargr 
    member of a panet relationship to greet the Human member after a 
    prolonged separation by placing his/her hands on the Human's shoulders 
    and licking the Human's face enthusiastically.
    
    The panet relationship is part of the "social scene" on Asimikigir; 
    certain social functions require that an attendee bring a panet, much 
    as others require a spouse or a friend of a particular type.
    
    Members of a panet relationship often also have close relationships 
    with others of their own species; in both Human and Vargr families, one 
    or both parents may have panets, who are considered "part of the 
    family", acting in the role of perhaps a "favorite uncle".  The result 
    of these interlocked relationships is an "extended family" containing 
    members of both species; it has been noted by psychologists of both 
    species that the children of both species in such extended families are 
    more likely to form panet relationships, and at an earlier age, than 
    those who are not as exposed to panet relationships.
    




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