Sabmiqys (Gimgir/Antares 2117)
X160056-H Ni R504
The planet now known as Sabmiqys first came into human awareness in
-5889, when a Vilani scout from the Ziru Sirka, while conducting a
flyby of the planet as a preliminary to contact of a suspected
intelligent race, reported several internal explosions in his scout
ship. These were followed by the destruction of the ship in a
catastrophic explosion. The entire incident was reported as an
unfortunate accident, as there was no evidence and no reason to assume
that it was caused by hostile action (the Vilani lacked knowledge of
meson weapons). Repeated attempts at contact resulted in the same
mysterious destruction of the ship, and the Vilani scouts declared the
world to be a navigational hazard, and gave it the name "Gashukubi", or
Centuries later, the Vilani contacted and went to war with other
humans, on the other end of the Imperium - the Interstellar Wars
against Terra. Near the end of those wars, the Terrans were able to
mount shipboard meson guns, and the Vilani again had experience with
"Gashukubi" - possibly enough to affect their morale and make it that
much easier for the Terrans to achieve victory.
After the fall of the Vilani Imperium and the founding of the Rule of
Man, the Vilani quickly realized that the destruction of the scouts in
the Gashukubi system was probably caused by meson fire - thus proving
that there was a technologically advanced race on the planet, and one
which had superior weapons technology to that of the Vilani. Curiosity
and speculation abounded about the Gashukubi system, and who the
inhabitants were, but the system remained off-limits right through the
Long Night, as there was no known defense against meson weapons.
The Sylean Federation was able to develop meson screens; this was the
key to surviving contact with Gashukubi. In the 70s and 80s, shortly
after the founding of the Third Imperium from the Sylean Federation,
two meson-screen-equipped starships landed on the planet. One was
destroyed; the other successfully landed, but was never heard from
again. This proved beyond doubt that the aliens' weapons were meson
guns, and also showed that they could in fact be survived.
In the late 200s and early 300s, the Third Imperium achieved TL13; this
proved to be the final piece of the puzzle needed to make contact with
the Gashukubi. In 311, the Gem of Fornol, equipped with the latest
TL13 meson screens, successfully landed on Gashukubi. They were met by
large metal robots, not at all esthetic to look at, and all wielding
nasty-looking weapons. Most of the crew was captured and led away, and
never seen again; the remainder left before they could be captured as
well. The system was classified as a Red Zone, and a notation of an
extremely xenophobic race was placed in the file.
A few years later, another attempt at contact was made; this was not
met by meson fire. No further information was learned, however; this
expedition met the same fate as that of the Gem of Fornol.
During the First Survey, additional attempts to contact the Gashukubi
were made; although these had an extremely high attrition rate, some
additional information was gained.
The local name of the planet was given as Sabmiqys, the name that
appears on charts today. The planet is a desert, with less than 5% of
the surface covered by water. There are indications that the planet
was once 25% covered, but some prehistoric cataclysm of unknown nature
caused the loss of most of that water. The planet's orbit is highly
eccentric, resulting in a harsh environment with extreme seasonal
variations in climate.
When the Imperial scouts finally learned enough of the language to
be able to communicate reasonably easily, they requested to meet "those
in charge". The robots, with which they had been dealing, brought them
into the presence of the "real" Sabmiqys. These proved to be beings of
about 2.5m in height and 100kg mass, apparently descended from
omnivore/gatherer stock. They had two legs, four tentacular arms,
binocular vision, a thick, spongy, grey hide, and a broad mouth with
over 100 teeth. The population was very low, with most of the society
and planet being run by robots of many different types. The scouts
found it difficult to estimate the tech level, as much of the
technology was far enough advanced over that of the Imperium that it
was simply incomprehensible.
Over time, more was learned about the Sabmiqys, including the
astonishing claim that they replaced parts of their bodies as they wore
out. This was certainly possible to medical science in the Imperium,
however, it was virtually inconceivable that this should be a routine
practice on Sabmiqys. Even more astonishing was the claim that some of
the individual Sabmiqys were over 10,000 years old. Verification of
the claims was impossible, however, as the Sabmiqys never agreed to
allow observation of medical facilities or examination of individuals.
Eventually, the scouts were able to determine that the term used by the
Sabmiqys to refer to their ancestors appeared to mean 'our great
ancestors who brought down death from the sky'. They were unable to
learn the significance of this term, however.
Among other quirks discovered about the Sabmiqys, it appeared that they
needed very little sleep, and ate (strictly in private) once per day.
Little additional information was gained, as the Sabmiqys were very
secretive about themselves and their society. Occasionally, a contact
party member would disappear; any attempt to learn the member's fate
would result in an offer to show the questioning party member - who
would also disappear. When pressed for explanations, the Sabmiqys
would lead the questioning member off at gunpoint, and he would also
disappear. Attempts at rescue often met the same fate, and over time,
the contact parties learned not to inquire after the missing members.
In the late 600s, a scout party accidentally stumbled upon a robot
repair facility - where they found a 'living' Sabmiqys undergoing
extensive repair. It was quickly learned that the entire 'living'
population of Sabmiqys were in fact highly sophisticated pseudo-
biological robots. Further investigation led to the story of the
'great ancestors who brought down death from the sky':
Around -8000, shortly after the Vilani invention of jump drive, the
Sabmiqys (the original living race) sent a single sub-light exploration
ship to a nearby star system one parsec away. The ship returned on
autopilot, the entire crew dead of unknown causes. By the time the
Sabmiqys discovered the cause of death, they were infected with the
virus that caused the deaths. This virus exhibited virtually no
symptoms until it had run its course, at which point death was
inevitable and sudden. Millions of people who believed that they were
fine one day were dead the next, for no apparent reason. The Sabmiqys
social system collapsed into anarchy, making it impossible to
coordinate effort that might have led to a cure. Six months after the
ship returned, study ended, as the deaths started. Ten days later, the
planet was dead.
Sabmiqys has been interdicted by the Imperium. The vast majority of
travellers violating that interdiction have never returned, and are
presumed dead at the hands of the Sabmiqys robots.