Meet The Many Races Of The Darkness In America Universe
Our Milky Way Galaxy is populated by millions of inhabitable worlds like Earth, and tens of thousands of sentient species. Most are still trapped in the Stone Age. A few have become Type I or Type II civilizations, meaning that they are spacefaring races capable of interstellar flight. They are no more evolved than we humans. Yes, some, like the Kiltas, are bigger, faster and stronger, but their abilities are what we would expect of beings of their size and muscle density.
However, there are also three Elder Races, or what Soviet astronomer Nikolal Kardashev called Type III civilizations. They are ancient beings that have been roaming our galaxy for millions of years. They have achieved immortality and have unlocked their Elder Race powers through genetic engineering. They are Superman-level aliens. They are the major powers of the Milky Way Galaxy, and their wars and agendas shape the fortunes of all.
Warning: You might not encounter all the races below in the short stories. Some will not show up until you start reading the books. Only a few are listed below. Others will be added in the weeks and months to come. Check back regularly to learn more about the many species that inhabit our galaxy.
The Types of Alien Civilizations
The Kardashev Scale
In 1964, Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev proposed a scale by which to measure how advanced a civilization is by the amount of energy that they consume. Others have expanded on his work, adding three more types to his original three (Types 0, IV and V), as well as devising other metrics by which to rate them.
The alien species in my universe are based on Kardashev’s scale. Most are a Type 0. Some have become Types I and II, and three are Type III.
Type 0 Civilizations
Type 0 Civilizations, or the Child Races, are civilizations that have yet to achieve 10 by the power of 16 watts of usage, or energy consumption equal to the solar insolation on Earth. All species between the Stone Age and the Interplanetary Age fall in this category, and as of 2012, humanity was calculated to be a 0.7244 civilization based on Carl Sagan’s formula to determine intermediate values in Kardashev’s scale. While races at the upper range of this classification may have colonized other planets within their solar system, it is unlikely that they have started settling other star systems before becoming a Type I Civilization.
Type I Civilizations
Type I Civilizations, or the Younger Races, are civilizations that have attained 10 by the power of 16 watts. They convert about 2 kg of matter to energy per second. This can be achieved through fusion power, antimatter and renewable energies. By 2052, humanity has become a Type I Civilization, about two hundred years ahead of schedule.
Species at this level will have left their solar system and started exploring the galaxy. They will colonize worlds in other star systems. They might have developed hyperdrives, but without an ultramatter/antimatter reactor, such ships would not be able to go beyond 100 FTLs or a hundred times the speed of light, which is at the lower end of such engines.
Younger Races use many of the technologies advanced Child Races do. Their warships are equipped with lasers, autocannons, railguns and missiles. The more advanced Younger Races might utilize APCs, or antimatter projector cannons. They might have also developed primitive energy shields, but only their ships would be equipped with them.
Type II Civilizations
Type II Civilizations, or the Mid Races, are the last of the mortal civilizations. They produce and consume about 10 by the power of 26 watts of energy. They can achieve this through large scale antimatter destruction, building Dyson swarms around stars (gigantic solar arrays), harvesting photons emitted from a black hole’s accretion disk and star lifting, a process by which a civilization extracts large amounts of stellar matter from a star for power consumption.
All races uplifted by the Retikkees become Mid Races, and through the Retikkees, they gain access to ultramatter, a substance that produces more energy when interacting with antimatter than normal matter. They have developed hyperdrives, and again, if they are allied with the Retikkees, they can use their warpgate network for long distance travel.
Mid Races have advanced to disrupter and plasma-based weapons. Those aligned with the Retikkees can build heavy capital ships, ten miles or longer warships that mount one or two quantum phase cannons onto their hulls. Quantum phase cannons are Death Star-like weapons capable of destroying Earth-size planetoids. Their ships, and even their soldiers, are protected by energy shields, while their heavy capital ships are defended by spacetime distortion fields, shields able to withstand multiple hits from a quantum phase cannon. Their planets are guarded by even more powerful spacetime distortion fields.
Type III Civilizations
Type III Civilizations, or the Elder Races, are civilizations that can utilize 10 by the power of 36 watts, or the luminosity of an entire galaxy. They achieved this by drawing from the quantum vacuum, constructing Dyson spheres around stars, building micro pulsars, black holes and even white holes (the latter being housed within moon-size power stations), harvesting gamma ray bursts and siphoning Hawking radiation from super black holes.
Elder Races have learned how to build from the subatomic up, making it possible for them to create matter unknown to us. They can construct moon-size powers stations, ring worlds and even Dyson spheres. Their power capacity is high enough that they can energize warpgates (artificial wormholes). Ships require both a warpgate at their departure point and destination point to work, but the travel time is instantaneous, and it has a theoretical maximum range of one billion light years, though no one has gotten far enough away from our galaxy to test this.
Elder Races utilize particle lasers and neutron cannons for offensive and defensive purposes, and their heavy capital ships can mount multiple quantum phase cannons. The have developed nova bombs, or warheads capable of causing stars to go supernova, as well as a defense against such attacks. They might have even designed a weapon that can transform a star into a super black hole, but if so, they have not used it in recent memory.
Elder Races are Tier One Immortals. Tier One Immortals no longer age nor expire because of age related causes. However, they can still die due to physical trauma, exposure to extreme temperatures, sickness and by being deprived basic nutrients like food, water and air. They achieve immortality through genetic engineering, which also makes them hyperintelligent, as well as unlocks their Elder Race powers.
All life has dormant powers unique to how life has evolved on their world. Some are as strong and durable as Superman, while others can control the weather like the X-Men Storm or create and manipulate magnetic fields like Magneto. They might have limited access to these powers before becoming an Elder Race. For example, we humans are time manipulators, meaning that we have the potential to harness and direct chrono and graviton particles. We can alter the flow of time, speeding it up or reversing it.
Sometimes we humans experience déjà vu. We confront a situation that we’ve never faced before, and yet it feels like we have. This is because our subconscious minds have tapped into our temporal powers. We have foreseen this future event, but because this knowledge came from our subconscious, we can’t make sense of it other than as a feeling. This is a far cry from being able to reverse time, but until we become an Elder Race, this is all we humans can do.
All lifeforms on Earth are time manipulators because we all have the same evolutionary lineage. Cats experience déjà vu, as do dogs, lions and mice. Tardigrades, or the water bear, are aliens from the Vijic homeworld, brought to Earth by accident five million years ago. They do not experience déjà vu, nor do their distant Vijic cousins. They have their own evolutionary lineage, and the Vijics have already learned how to unlock their Elder Race powers.
Those races that can make full use of their Elder Race abilities become Superman-level beings. They are the major powers of the Milky Way Galaxy. Mid Races equipped with quantum phase cannons can challenge them, but only if they outnumber them a hundred to one, and only in space. Their ground forces are helpless against them, but a low-level quantum phase cannon strike from orbit will kill even the hardiest of Vijics. It would also take out a state the size of Rhode Island, so most would be reluctant to do so just to get rid of a single Vijic.
Beyond Type III Civilizations
There are two other types of civilizations, but none of the native inhabitants of the Milky Way Galaxy have reach them. Type IV Civilizations, or the Apex Races, are capable of 10 by the power of 45 watts or the total energy output of our universe. Type V Civilizations, or the God Races, consume infinite amounts of energy. Both would be Tier Two Immortals, meaning that they cannot die under any circumstance. Scientists theorize that this is because they’ve shed their mortal coils and become beings of energy. They might feed on energy sources we don’t know about, not to maintain their lives, but to fuel their powers. They might have the ability to rewrite the laws of the universe, create new universes and destroy existing ones. The Apex Races would be able to do this through technology, while the God Races could achieve this with their minds.
Humanity, or homo sapiens, is the dominant species on the planet called Earth and have existed in their current form for about 200,000 years. As of 2052, thanks to learning how to harness antimatter as a fuel source, humans have arisen to a Kardashev classification of one. This means they are consuming 10^16 watts or converting 2 kg of matter into energy per second. This has allowed them to get off fossil fuels, and thus slow the rate of global warming.
By 2052, humanity has yet to become a unified species. The governments that do exist range from free (England, France, and Canada) to partly free (the United States, China, and Turkey) to not free (the Iranian Remnant, and the Unified Republics of Korea). Though the U.S. is rated as partly free, it is considered one of the most repressive nations on Earth. The Department of Understanding holds the population in a state of perpetual fear. Still, the U.S. does have elections, though depending on the state, those elections are either rigged or highly skewed in favor of one candidate. Presidential elections are little more than shows.
Currently, the three major world powers are China, the Federated Union, and India. China is the world’s hegemonic power, though the newly minted Federated Union (a coalition of European countries and Russia) seeks to usurp it by the end of the century. Climate change has not only created draughts, more violent storms, rising oceans, and debilitating food shortages but has forced the major nations of Earth to build colonies on other worlds. Currently, Mars, Venus, Europa, and Titan are being terraformed, though it will be centuries before they can become viable alternatives. Some are looking to worlds outside the solar system for salvation.
Genetically, humanity isn’t that different from what they were at the start of the century. The adoption of genetic alterations techniques like CASPER has begun, resulting in the elimination of several hereditary diseases. However, this technology is still in its infancy. Humanity, as a whole, is unaware that CASPER and similar techniques will play a critical role in humankind achieving Elder Race status. When this does happen, modifying one’s genes will likely stop being a choice and become mandatory. The few who are aware, specifically the Illuminati and the Cabal, are either pioneers in the technology or are actively working to suppress it.
The Zelturians, the Vijics, and the Retikkees have mapped humanity’s Elder Race powers and have categorized humans as an extremely rare class three temporal race. In fact, humanity is the only species currently in this class. The other two races never reached Elder Race status. In the case of one, it destroyed itself trying to become an Elder Race, while the other was driven to extinction by the Sh’qua. It is believed the Sh’qua’s attempts to exterminate humanity during the war was due to man being of this classification. The Zelturians, despite being referred to as the Lords of Time, are only a class two temporal race. Because this power set is so rare, humanity is considered critical to the designs of all three Elder Races.
When humanity does become an Elder Race, it will have mastery over time and space. They will be able to generate chrono and graviton particles, allowing them to manipulate the speed and direction time moves, as well as their place in it. This means they will be able to run faster than the speed of light. Humans will also be able to shoot yellow lightning from their fingertips, alter the amount of gravity being exerted on an object, and travel between timelines and even other universes. It is believed that them experiencing déjà vu is an unconscious manifestation of their temporal powers since this mental state has never been observed in other sentient species.
In their current evolutionary form, humans are neither impressive for their strength or their intelligence. The average height for a male of the species is 5 foot 4 inches and weighs around 168.5 pounds, with a waist of 38 inches. Females come slightly shorter at 5 foot 3 inches. Males are known for having greater upper body strength. Physically, they look identical to Arwarians, except that they have smaller ears and most lack slanted eyes. They also have five fingers instead of four, and their fingers are slightly slender and less muscular. Humans also have a wider range of skin pigmentations, with some members of the species being dark skinned. Those humans who have slanted eyes are descended from people living in Asia.
Besides genetic engineering, humans have embraced cybernetics. Many use robotic limbs to replace those lost by injury or disease. In China and its colonies, it is normal for its citizens to have a neural implant that allows them to access the extranet remotely. Europeans shun such implants, preferring instead to wear gear like digital glasses that give them similar capabilities. The Americans, being somewhat distrusting of technology, have been the slowest to adopt these advancements. Still, cybernetic implants are becoming more common among the elite, and even some of the less affluent, mainly gangsters, are using them.
Technologically, humanity’s recent mastery of antimatter has enabled them to create spacecraft that can reach near relativistic speeds. The fastest ship ever designed was the UESS Horizon, which was capable of nearing 82% of light speed. Most ships are only capable of 30%, though that’s fast enough to reach the edge of our solar system within 24 hours. Because of G-forces, most ships rarely achieve their top speed and spend most of their time accelerating and decelerating. Still, because of antimatter, humanity has begun to colonize their solar system. It has also led mankind to discover that they had inhabited the solar system once before.
Six thousand years ago, both Mars and Venus had climates similar to Earth. Mars was somewhat colder, while Venus was mildly hotter. Both had ecosystems capable of supporting human life. Back then, Earth was the center of an interplanetary empire. Cities humans now associate with myths (Atlantis, El Dorado, and Shangri-La) were real and connected to Gardens of Edens (massive space stations) in stationary orbit via space elevators. The moons of Saturn and Jupiter were also home to colonies, and man had achieved a level of technology that surpasses today.
This golden age of peace ended with the coming of Lucifer Morningstar, the man the Devil in the Christian Bible is based off of. He ruled over Mars after usurping his father. Not content with controlling one world, he started a war with the others. He forced Venus to undergo a runaway greenhouse effect, making it the hellscape it is today. Refugees from it and the outer colonies made their way to Earth and flooded the Gardens. Eventually, his navies reached Earth.
During the climactic battle, convinced that he was going to lose the war, Lucifer activated the Noah Array. The Noah Array converted Mars into a giant E-Bomb. Detonating it unleashed an electromagnetic pulse and turned Mars into a lifeless rock. The electromagnetic pulse swept across the solar system. It disabled every electronic device. The Gardens of Eden fell into Earth’s atmosphere and crashed into its oceans, causing a worldwide flood and sweeping away their remaining cities. Those who survived were forced to start over from scratch.
Lucifer is believed to have died during the battle. In man’s many religions, he lives on; his story retold again and again. The details have changed, as has his name: Ahriman, Anzu, Baal, Bhairava, Hurakan, Iblis, Izanami, Loki, Mara, Mictlantecuhtli, Moloch, and Satan. Still, in all of them, he is a man, spirit, or god who tempts and deceives others, all the while bringing great suffering to the Earth and its people. He is a reminder that man was once great until they turned from God.
With the discovery of the Martian pyramid under Olympus Mons in 2052, the device that had transformed Mars into an E-Bomb, humanity is working to rediscover the knowledge it had lost. Given how recent the find, it will be a while before any breakthroughs are made. Still, in the coming years, expect advances in antimatter storage and annihilation. The First Civilization had firearms that shot antimatter wrapped in magnetic sheaths. Their ships could reach an astounding 95% of light speed, meaning that time dilation becomes a real concern. This will make long distant travel more practical since time will move much slower for the crew.
Nephilim are a race of human telepaths whose origins remain a mystery. Besides their telepathy, they have other superpowers including superhuman strength, agility, reflexes, intelligence, senses, and an immunity to radiation and disease. A few neurotoxins can kill them. Otherwise, they are immune to poisons and most hazardous chemicals. Their bones are made of a carbon fiber-like material. They have gills located within their nostrils, and they can breathe within thin atmospheres. Supreme Inquisitor Abbot has demonstrated telekinesis, though this power has not been observed in any of the other Nephilim.
Scientists have noted similarities between Nephilim DNA and Tardigrade DNA, which explains why they are more resilient to extreme heat and cold. This, and the fact that their reptilian brain is different to our own, suggests that Nephilim are not mutated humans, but an entirely different species with a unique evolutionary origin. Lastly, scientists have found evidence that all Nephilim have been infected with the HIV virus. However, the virus appears to have mutated, strengthening their immune system rather than weakening it. Why is a mystery.
Another mystery is the fifth nucleobase found in their DNA, called nepheline [N]. Human DNA has four: (cytosine [C], guanine [G], adenine [A], and thymine [T]. They combine to form the four known nucleotides (AT, TA. CG and GC), which make up the building blocks of all life on Earth. That Nephilim have a fifth has led some scientists to speculate if they are aliens. Nepheline could be called a super nucleobase because its memetic properties allow it to adopt attributes of the other four nucleobases. For example, when paired with an adenine, nepheline behaves like a thymine. However, when paired with itself, it takes on different properties.
So far, scientists have observed six “sub-nucleobases”: N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, and N6. They combine to form six new nucleotides, and in total, Nephilim have fourteen nucleotides. When paired in an octuplet helix chain, the amount of information that can be stored is mindboggling. Nephilim are easily the most complex lifeforms ever encountered. In fact, their DNA is so complex that most doubt they were the result of genetic engineering, or if they were, the race responsible was millions of years more advanced than man.
A third mystery is their blood. Its acidity is comparable to floroantimonic acid, and the fumes it emits are toxic, even landing you in the emergency room if you breathed in too much. Worse would be getting it on your skin. It can quickly eat through organic matter like meat, clothing or wood. It will take longer to burn through rocks, metals or ceramics, more time than it would take for the blood to clot and lose its acidity. Studying Nephilim cells showed that the cell membrane is thicker and more resilient than our own. The real question isn’t how it manages to resist the acid, but why would they develop such a defense mechanism?
As perplexing as their blood might be, a more significant question relates to their ability to mate with someone outside of their own species. In the fossil record, other than viruses, no organism is known to have this ability. The offspring will be almost 100% Nephilim, though it will possess a few traits from the other parent, typically attributes that would be viewed as an improvement. How this is achieved is highly debated, though the leading theory is that it has something to do with nepheline and its ability to mimic the properties of the other nucleobases. Given this, it would shock many to discover that our life cycle isn’t that different from theirs.
The main difference between humans and Nephilim in this regard is time. A typical Nephilim pregnancy will last sixteen months. Once their children are born, they grow at a rate roughly the same as humans until they reach their twenty-fifth birthday. From that point on, they age one year every hundred years, giving them a lifespan of about 8,000 years. Cloned Nephilim have their growth accelerated in a special vat, going from one to twenty-five in little over four months. At age twenty-five, their hyperintelligence kicks in.
Hyperintelligence is the culmination of several mechanisms working together. First, Nephilim neurons are more tightly packed together, have thicker axons, and are made up of transparent cells that function like optical fibers. Rather than transferring data via electrical signals, light-sensitive synapses are stimulated by the biofluorescent cells in the axon hillock and nucleus. This both releases chemical agents, as well as stimulates the light-sensitive cells in joining synapses. The result is transmission speeds of 10,300m/s. This mechanism is active in Nephilim children, which translates into superior reflexes, though only in conjunction with the other mechanisms do we observe vastly improved intellect.
The next two mechanisms are less understood. The first deals with quantum entanglement. As Nephilim grow, more atoms within their brains become entangled, and by the time they have reached adulthood, enough connections have been formed that they begin behaving like a second neural network. The average human brain has about 100 billion neurons, but 1.36 x 10^26 atoms. Theoretically, all these atoms could be paired to create quantum transistors, similar to those found in quantum computers, though the highest percentage observed thus far is 7%. Given that no Nephilim has reached their hundredth birthday, let alone neared the end of their 8,000-year lifespans, it will likely get higher as they age.
The final mechanism is the least understood, in part because we still don’t fully understand how long-term memory works in humans, let alone Nephilim. What we do know is that it is the result of synapses forming stronger bonds with their neighbors. The same is true in Nephilim, but because of quantum entanglement, these connections are not limited to those directly beside them. Instead, we have found neurons in separate parts of the brain linked together, creating higher dimensional structures with almost infinite complexity. The result is that Nephilim can absorb vast amounts of data without forgetting anything.
When these three mechanisms work in conjunction with senses capable of making full use of such raw processing power, then Nephilim develop what amounts to a sixth sense. Their telepathy allows them to home in on their targets via their brainwaves and know what they are thinking. More importantly, it acts as a form of telepathic radar. When a bullet is approaching a Nephilim, she senses it. A poorly trained Nephilim, like your run-of-the-mill Inquisitor, will just get a feeling, a vague idea where the object is relative to her. Still, given that her telepathy travels faster than the speed of light, and she can think near lightspeed, this gives her enough time to move out of the way or block the bullet with her sword. With humans, this is easier because she can read their thoughts. She knows what they’ll do before they do it.
In older, more experienced Nephilim, this ability can reach the level of Retikkee psi sight. Their field of vision goes 360 degrees, and they can see every grain of grass, every fly and rain drop with clarity far surpassing human vision for several miles. They can see the inner workings of people and machines. Know if a part is damaged or just a little weaker because of wear and tear. They can cause lead to shatter by striking its weakest spot. Hell, with so much data pouring in, like the Jedi Knights of Star Wars, they can predict things before they happen.
While hyperintelligence is a prerequisite to becoming an Elder Race, Nephilim are not immortal nor do their powers rise to the level of DC’s Superman or Marvel’s Thor. They are more like Spiderman-level superheroes. They are more than a match for any human, or even a large group of them, though an elite squad of commandos working in tandem could bring one down. Nephilim must always stay focus in battle; otherwise, a lucky shot could mean their doom.
The most notable physical feature of Nephilim is their black eyes, which lack discernible pupils. Some, especially those who have run away from the Cabal, have their originals replaced with transplants so they can pass as one of us. Most loathe doing this because Nephilim eyes are superior to their human counterparts, which can see in multiple spectrums of light our eyes cannot (infrared and ultraviolet), as well as give them telescopic vision.
Female Nephilim have a mating cycle. After turning thirty, they must get pregnant once every five years or their bodies start to break down. First, they will have nose bleeds and will vomit blood when exposed to specific stimuli. A few hours to a few days after these symptoms emerge, hair will fall out, and fingernails will crack. Heart attacks can happen, though they are more common in the later stages. In the coming weeks, extremities like the nose, ears, skin, and nipples will deteriorate. This will give them a ghoulish-like appearance. A month in, major organs like the liver and the kidneys will shut down, and muscles will atrophy as the body begins cannibalizing everything else to maintain the heart, lungs, and brain. In the final stage, they suffer a series of strokes and heart attacks, each one more violent than the last until death occurs. The pregnancy doesn’t need to be taken to term to avoid death. They can get an abortion.
Other than Abbott or those born outside of the Cabal, there are no male Nephilim. Abbot fathered all the Nephilim that came after him and his sister, Catherina Pavlovich. Human females designated for breeding were selected based on beauty, intellect, and athleticism. Male offspring were killed after birth, whereas female offspring were only put down if they didn’t meet the physical and mental requirements, including physical attractiveness, later in life. Their mothers were terminated when they reach the age of thirty-five, a cut-off point that the Cabal has set, believing that after this the women are no longer suitable as breeders.
It can only be speculated, but it is believed that the Cabal chooses women over men because they think that they will be easier to control. The irony is that female Nephilim, while their bodies might be identical in size and shape to their human counterparts, demonstrate more male traits, like aggression, dominance, and competitiveness. Their muscles are also structurally different than male Nephilim, allowing for greater strength and endurance. Why the difference is currently unknown, but males can overcome this by bodybuilding.
By the year 2052, the Cabal only clones Nephilim from the existing gene pool, and these women are treated as expendable slaves. Many are raped and forced to perform heinous acts, including murdering their sisters during the Trial of the Inquisitor. They are put down after reaching the age of four. Their bodies are ground up to make a medical paste that provides regenerative properties, which is then sold to the super rich as a miracle cure.
The leaders of the Cabal are convinced that they are superior to their Nephilim slaves, just as they believe that the white race is superior to the other races and males are superior to females. Their hubris blinds them to the threat the Nephilim poses. Sooner or later, they will free themselves, and when they do, the Cabal will be their first target.
The Lizard People!
The Vijics are one of the last three remaining Elder Races and the second oldest. They have been a space-faring civilization for about seventeen million years, and an Elder Race for about fifteen million. They hail from the same world as the Tardigrades: Vijeca. (Note: The Vijics accidentally brought the Tardigrades to Earth five million years ago.) Vijeca was a lush jungle planet with a core that was constantly in a state of nuclear fission. As a result, its surface was bathed in radiation, and animals evolved at a much faster rate than on Earth or anywhere else.
The harsh conditions of Vijeca, which produced some of the deadliest lifeforms in the galaxy, bred in the Vijics a Darwinist mentality. Weakness was considered a disease and hatchlings that exhibited any would not likely survive long, often being mercilessly slaughtered by their siblings. This ensured only the best genes were passed on.
Despite this outlook, the Vijics developed a strong sense of honor and justice. Alliances, a necessity to take down the largest and mightiest beasts of their world, demanded trust and cooperation, and neither was possible if everyone was trying to back stab one another. Social norms about right and wrong grew from this understanding.
As their societies developed, new forms of government came into existence. Eventually, they settled on monarchies ruled by queens. Having evolved from dinosaurs, Vijic females were much larger than their male counterparts, with the average female being twenty feet in height and the average male being around fifteen feet and weighing half as much.
Still, despite females being both bigger and stronger, they did not have complete control over every facet of Vijic society. Males were disproportionally represented in the military. This had to do with numbers. For every hundred males born, only one female hatched. An army that fielded mostly males would have a numerical advantage over those that didn’t.
After becoming a spacefaring civilization, the Vijics began altering their DNA in the hopes of unlocking their Elder Race powers. It would take millions of years, but they reached Elder Race status, becoming not just immortal and super smart, but Superman-level beings.
As an Elder Race, the Vijics have god-like strength and endurance. They can bench-press an aircraft carrier, and can even withstand a nuclear explosion, though a particularly powerful nuke would leave them severally weakened. They can leap into low orbit, and for a short period of time, survive the cold vacuum of space. Their shapeshifting abilities allow them to not only mimic other creatures, but also change the density of their skin, as well as their mass and size, which they shift into an alternate dimension, enabling them to take on human form.
Vijics naturally generate an anti-psionic field, providing them some protection against psionic foes. Their super advanced brains allow them to mask their true thoughts from telepathic scans. Another ability they possess, and this one is also due to their shapeshifting powers, is that they can extend microscopic tendrils from their palms. They will pierce the skin of another and hijack their nervous system. At this point, a Vijic can download all their knowledge.
Besides these supernatural abilities, the Vijics also have superhuman sight, smell and hearing. Their blood is more corrosive than any acid known to man, being a million times more acidic than fluoroantimonic acid. They are immune to radiation and all diseases. In fact, exposer to radiation will amplify both their strength and their regenerative powers, which are already off the charts. They are also highly resistant to extreme heat and cold. They will instantly heal from any wound, except damage to their primary brain. It is located within their chest and is protected by a super dense brain casing. Damage to it will typically prove fatal.
Five million years ago, during the War of the Ancients, the Vijics fought alongside the other Elder Races against an external threat: an Apex Race. Most of the Elder Races died out, all of which were beings with Superman-level powers and abilities. If a single Apex Race could cause this much devastation, having destroyed a third of the Milky Way Galaxy, then they needed to be ready when the next one showed up. That meant they required more Elder Races.
The Retikkees came to the same conclusion. However, they wanted to uplift all species that were already sentient, whereas the Vijics felt only Mother Nature should decide who was fit to become an Elder Race. They did reserve to themselves the right to stop a race from destroying its world, and even drive it to extinction if necessary. The logic behind this was that inhabitable planets were essential to producing Elder Races, and no species could be allowed to threaten them.
In the beginning, the Vijics and the Retikkees came to a compromise. The Retikkees would only uplift species that had become Type One civilizations, and the Vijics could only stop a race from destroying its world if its actions proved to be an immediate threat to the planet’s survival. Furthermore, they could not exterminate it, just halt its reckless actions.
This arrangement lasted for millions of years. Then Queen Spenta was murdered by her daughters. The sisters turned on each other. The Vijic Civil War raged for five years and ended with the destruction of their home system. Princess Shevah was crowned queen, and she decided to wipe out any species she deemed incapable of climbing the technological ladder.
Now nomads, the Vijics go from system to system driving all sentient life to extinction. The Retikkees caught wind of this and tried to stop them. The two Elder Races have been at war ever since. The Retikkees recruited the Mid Races to fight alongside them, even arming them with quantum phase cannons and spacetime distortion fields, thus giving the Retikkees a tactical edge in space combat. Eventually, the Vijics are forced to retreat to rebuild their forces. As a result, the war rotates between hot and cold, with a new hot war starting every few thousand years.
Currently, the Vijics have stationed a detachment on Earth. For reasons unknown, they have yet to exterminate the world’s sentient inhabitants: humanity. Instead, it appears that they are directing their development, but that goes counter to Vijic doctrine. Could this signify a change in strategy? And if so, what do the Vijics hope to accomplish?
Author’s Note: The picture above is based on an earlier design of the Vijics (circa 2013). They now have six eyes instead of two, and their eyes are located near the front of their snouts, just below the nostrils. Furthermore, though you cannot see it, this version has massive spines. Now Vijics have a sail running down their backs and terminating just before their tails. It acts as a radiation sink, allowing them to quickly expose their blood to gamma rays. In males, it also changes colors when they become sexually aroused. Lastly, Vijics are digitigrades, meaning that they walk on their toes. Digitigrades include birds, dinosaurs, cats and dogs. I would like to think Katie O’brien for producing this wonderful work of art!
The Roswell Greys
The Retikkees are the youngest of the three remaining Elder Races. They have been an Elder Race for twelve million years. They evolved on a world orbiting Zeta Reticula, about 39.17 light years from Earth. It is a binary star system with a dozen planets, though the Retikkees hide them with a holographic array network they’ve constructed.
Astronomers using 21st century telescopes will notice no planets, only that both stars have lower than normal luminosity for main sequence stars. This is the result of the hologram diminishing the amount of sunlight that escapes the system. Zeta Reticula used to have more planets, and even a few asteroid fields, but they were destroyed to build the holographic array and the two ring worlds that encircle their stars, the Greater and Lesser Ring Worlds.
Retikkee space encompasses every star system within a thousand light years from Zeta Reticula. The Sol System resides at the heart of their territory, and the Retikkees first explored Earth fifteen million years ago. For various reasons, though chief of which being that they found Earth’s gravity too strong, they decided not to colonize the planet, but because of its proximity to Zeta Reticula, they will not let others establish a colony there either.
Despite their human-like appearance, Retikkees are insects, having descended from an animal not that different from Earth’s honey bee. They shed their extra limbs and exoskeleton long ago and became more humanoid as time went on.
Like the honey bee, the Retikkees are eusocial creatures, though they have become less so. Originally, Retikkees lacked family units and their young were raised by the Nursery Caste. When they expanded beyond their solar system and began cohabitating with other species, this practice became less tenable and was eventually abandoned. The down side of this is that most Retikkees lack the parenting gene that allows those of the Nursery Caste to easily bond with younglings. As a result, most Retikkees find parenting a colossal challenge.
Millions of years of interacting with other sentient species has changed them in other ways. Once, the Retikkees had almost no concept of self. Now they give themselves names: their caste designation along with a single syllable to distinguish themselves from other Retikkees. Still, while they enjoy more autonomy from the Collective Will, the telepathic link that bonds their race together, they cannot fight its mental commands. For example, they must answer all direct questions truthfully. This is what Retikkees mean when they say they cannot tell a lie.
Newer generations of Retikkees have shown even greater capacity for independent thought, with some being able to resist the Collective Will. This is of great concern. Retikkees value law and order above all else and expect conformity. Those who demonstrate too much self-determination risk being exiled, which amounts to a death sentence.
Many of their social hierarchies remain intact. At birth, each Retikkee is assigned to a caste. Each caste performs a specific task within their society. The Warrior Caste fights their wars, the Scientist Caste discovers new technologies, the Engineer Caste maintains their existing technologies and so on. They are expected to remain in that caste for the rest of their lives, and normally, a Retikkee will be placed in a caste that one of their parents belongs to.
Each caste has its own Caste Will. The Caste Will prioritizes the needs of the caste, sometimes before the demands of the Collective Will. Some castes get along better than others. The Engineer Caste and the Navigator Caste have a long and productive history together, while the Warrior Caste and the Communicator Caste can’t stand each other. Basically, the Communicator Caste wants to resolve every problem with dialogue, while the Warrior Caste wants to shoot everyone. Even a hive mind can experience infighting it seems.
Retikkees have three genders: males, females and nones. Nones are throwbacks to the days when they were a true eusocial species. These Retikkees cannot produce offspring. Nones are typically assigned to the Warrior Caste given their high death rate. Nones are also more powerful psionics, capable of feats normal Retikkees could never manage.
Retikkees were always telepathic, but after becoming an Elder Race, they developed powerful psionic abilities. This include the power to levitate objects with their minds. Retikkees have been observed lifting and throwing thousands of cars at once or moving an object as massive as a cruise ship. They can also trigger earthquakes or force magma to erupt from the ground. Finally, they can use this and a planet’s gravity to fly at hypersonic speeds. This ability does not work beyond a planet, so they are still reliant on starships to travel through outer space.
An extension of their telekinesis abilities is their capacity to generate and manipulate fire. They can cause air molecules to spin around at super high speeds, creating friction and heat. Their ability to control fire is limited. They have difficult separating air molecules from other gases, meaning they could not cover themselves in a flame and still be able to breathe.
Retikkees can shoot thermokinetic lances from their hands. These are focused fusion beams that can burn through solid rock and even hurt a Vijic. Nones can combined their shots to unleash an even more powerful beam, which is very effective against Vijics, as well as discharge a thermokinetic blast: a fusion ball with enough destructive energy to level a dozen city blocks.
Retikkees can generate psionic barriers. These barriers can be used to stop bullets in midair or encase themselves within a protective cocoon, the latter allowing them to withstand insane amounts of punishment, even blows from a Vijic. However, these barriers are not effective at stopping gases, again meaning that they are vulnerable to aerosol-based attacks.
Becoming psionics has amplified the Retikkees’ natural telepathic abilities. They can read people’s thoughts, relive their memories, see through their eyes, make them see illusions, and even control their minds. (Note: This is not the same as what a Nephilim can do, which is basically implant a mental suggestion into someone's head, thereby forcing them to take an action that they otherwise would not. No, Retikkees can achieve complete control over another person's nervous system.) They can also telepathically communicate with someone from opposite ends of a planet and even at interplanetary distances, though the latter requires a strong telepathic bond.
Retikkees rely on cybernetic implants to supplement their powers. Their cloaks come with energy shields that can prevent them from breathing in harmful gases, as well as provide additional protection from blunt trauma. They also act as a life support system, shielding a Retikkee from the hazards of space. Their bodies are infested with nanobots: tiny robots that repair damage, enhance their immune system and augment their strength and endurance.
As powerful as Retikkees are, they have two major weaknesses: one, their telepathic link requires them to be within a light year of another Retikkee, otherwise their bodies will gradually shutdown and they will die and two, they are vulnerable to yeta gas. This gas neutralizes their psionic powers, making them as weak as they were before they became an Elder Race. In such a state, even humans would pose a threat to their wellbeing.
Five million years ago, the Retikkees fought alongside the other Elder Races against a single Apex Race during the War of the Ancients. Back then, there had been hundreds of Elder Races, each made up of Superman-level beings. Working together, they could barely slow down the extra-universe Apex Race, which had already destroyed countless universes before coming to ours and sought to do the same here, though their reasons are still a mystery.
The War of the Ancients lasted ten thousand years. The Elder Races were driven towards extinction until only the Retikkees, the Zelturians and the Vijics remained. It is unclear how the Apex Race was defeated, or if it was beaten for good. A few million years later, the Zelturians would go into exile, and leave the Retikkees and the Vijics in charge.
The Retikkees see themselves as the successors of the Zelturians. They feel it is their duty to shepherd the younger races. They are also helping them become Elder Races, believing that more Elder Races are needed should another Apex Race show up. The process for a sentient species to become an Elder Race takes millions of years and the Retikkees know better than to try to speed it up. This policy has brought them into conflict with the Vijics, who are determined to kill off any race they deem unfit of becoming an Elder Race.
Younger races uplifted by the Retikkees are called client races. The Retikkees typically wait until a sentient specie develops into a Type I civilization before advancing them to a Type II. Then they give them access to ultramatter, hyperdrives and even quantum phase cannons, weapons powerful enough that they can damage the shields protecting a Vijic dreadnaught.
To cement their influence, the Retikkees have built warpgates throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. These wormhole generators enable vessels to travel vast distances in a blink of an eye. Without them, it would take the fastest starships decades to go from one corner of our galaxy to the other. The Retikkees decide who can use them, and therefore, they control all interstellar commerce. Those client races who don’t play by their rules lose access to the network. For this reason, most do what they are told.
The Lords Of Time
The Zelturians, known also as the Lords of Time, are the oldest sentient race in the Milky Way Galaxy. They became a space-faring civilization twenty-five million years ago and became the original Elder Race three million years after that. They helped many of the other Elder Races advance until they themselves became Type III civilizations.
The Zelturians evolved on a world near the galactic core. Their system is several billion years older than ours, with a sun nearing its twilight years. Rather than abandon their home system, the Zelturians transported a younger star in to replace the one dying.
Their home planet of Hal Oria is a tropical world made up of thousands of island chains, many the size of England. The Zelturians developed on the largest of them, Altia, which is half the size of Australia. Because of the warm climate, their skin has a dark pigmentation. However, their hair is snow white, as is their facial hair, with many males sporting a beard.
Mammals, the Zelturians most closely resemble the centaurs of Greek mythology and some believe that they are the basis of such creatures. They stand between fifteen and seventeen feet tall, with females typically being smaller and slenderer. They have long tails, and their faces are similar in structure to humans, though their foreheads have a bony ridge.
Their technology is superior to both the Vijics and the Retikkees. All their ships, even their heavy capital ships, can go 75,000 times the speed of light and jump within the interior of a star system with pinpoint accuracy. Most other race consider such maneuvers suicidal and depart hyperspace at the edge of system. Their hyperdrives can expand their fields to allow non-Zelturians ships to fly with similar speeds and precision, though only their heavy capital ships have this ability. Finally, their ships are protected by aura fields.
Aura fields are basically photon deflection shields, but ones that utilize conditioned photons, photons that have their symmetry altered, so they take on the properties of the other atomic forces: gravity, weak and strong nuclear force. The AI controlling the field scans its surroundings with tachyon beams (tachyons are particles that travel at speeds faster than light), and when it detects a threat coming its way, it increases the number of conditioned photons emitted, the intensity equal to the object being repulsed. When these photons hit a solid object, they excite the electrons in the atoms, creating heat. Another interesting property of an aura field is that the photons it emits are capable of quantum tunneling, meaning that they can pass a brick wall without affecting it if the AI only desires to target the object behind the wall. Because the AI is so exact, it can apply just enough heat to vaporize the target, while using quantum tunneling again to displace the thermal energy created by heating the object up. This means it can destroy an object, i.e. a gun, without damaging its surroundings, i.e. the hand holding it.
Zelturians have achieved a mastery over time. Their ships are powered by chrono particles, and they have built various forms of time machines. Their aura fields and computers also utilize time. Not only are their sensors scanning with particles moving at speeds faster than light, but they are being sent a few seconds into the future. Thus, their ships can see things before they happen and respond accordingly, giving them Jedi-like reflexes.
Everything the Zelturians make, be it their tools, armor, starships or buildings, are designed to be pleasing to look at, even works of art. Gold and silver are employed in their constructions, though these metals have been forged using seven-dimensional techniques to make them more durable. The primary building material is living time crystals. These crystals are extremely resilient, as well as capable of self-repair and demonstrate varying degrees of intelligence. They are also telepathic and can respond to mental commands. This does make them vulnerable to some forms of telepathic attacks, but only one race can exploit this: the Sh’qua.
As an Elder Race, Zelturians are Superman-level beings. They are first and foremost Weather Elementals. They can summon hurricanes, tidal waves, lightning storms, tornadoes and blizzards. They can shoot lightning from their fingertips, as well as arctic blasts reaching temperatures of absolute zero. These arctic blasts can freeze a person solid in under 1.4 seconds, a feat that would normally require much colder temperatures, temperatures not possible according to the laws of physics. However, thanks to the Zelturian’s temporal powers, they can accelerate time around the target as it freezes, so it appears to any outside observers that mere seconds had pass instead of hours. Very powerful Zelturians can conjure up storm avatars, thereby encasing themselves within Godzilla-size wind creatures of unimaginable strength.
Like their ships, they can see a few seconds into the future, and talented Zelturians can use their understanding of time to predict future events with uncanny accuracy. They can also channel chrono particles through their hands, allowing them to power their devices without an external power supply, and the greatest of Zelturians can fracture time, weakening the barriers between timelines and time zones. They cannot travel backwards or forwards in time without the aid of a machine. Only a class three temporal race is capable of that, but they can manipulate the passage of time from their perspective. This allows them to cause a spalling to grow into a full-blown tree within seconds.
Besides their temporal and elemental powers, the Zelturians have some telepathic and telekinetic abilities, though they cannot be compared to the Retikkees. They are almost as strong and as durable as the Vijics, though they lack their healing and shapeshifting abilities, nor are they immune to radiation, disease and poison. They rely on their aura fields to provide themselves with additional protection. Still, the Zelturians are by far the most versatile and formidable of the Elder Races.
The Zelturians live within a constitutional monarchy, not that different from what exists in the United Kingdom. The current monarch is King Brumah. He acts as a figurehead, except during times of war. Then he leads his armies into battle as commander-in-chief, but only parliament has the authority to declare war or make peace, creating a clear separation of powers.
All Zelturians are highly active in politics, believing that a democracy can only thrive if everyone participates. Each will hold at least one position in government during their life time, be it as a Member of Parliament, a city council member or a school board trustee. Community service and self-sacrifice are virtues highly prized, whereas selfishness is not.
Zelturians realized long ago that most criminal behavior is the result of mental illness. Children are monitored from an early age for antisocial behaviors, and those that exhibit any are given additional love and care. If someone does commit a crime, which is almost unheard of, they are not punished or sent to prison. Zelturians believe punitive actions are counterproductive to creating a safe and just society. Instead, the criminal lives with a close relative, or if necessary, a guardian appointed by the state, as they receive treatment. Measures are taken to ensure that the offender cannot harm others, but the goal is to heal, not punish.
Zelturians have advanced to the point that there is no poverty in their society. Everyone could live like a king if they wanted, though few do. They can harvest virtual matter from the quantum foam, creating food, clothing and other consumer goods out of thin air. Robots do the things most Zelturians don’t want to. This gives them time to pursue personal goals.
Zelturians are a deeply principled and spiritual people. While they don’t believe in gods, an afterlife or reincarnation, like Buddhists, they strive for a state of inner peace. They also believe that we are all expressions of a universe trying to understand itself. Whether the universe is self-aware has been a highly debated topic in Zelturian academies since ancient times. They spend most of their time meditating and finding balance with the natural world. While they will resort to violence if attacked, they are slow to anger and give their enemies fair warning.
For most of their history, the Zelturians were the hegemonic power in the galaxy. They had only one real rival, the Nymphs, an arachnid-like race that became a space-faring civilization around the same time as them. They fought several wars, though they knew long periods of peace. The Nymphs became an Elder Race a few centuries after the Zelturians but went extinct during the War of the Ancients. Then they had been allies against a greater foe.
A million and a half years ago, the Zelturians renounced their rule over the Milky Way Galaxy and went into seclusion. Their star systems vanished. Before they left, King Brumah summoned representatives from both the Vijics and the Retikkees. No one knows what was said during that meeting, but whatever it was, it left the Retikkees and the Vijics shaken.
Rumors circulate that ten thousand years ago, the Zelturians came out of hiding to uplift a primitive race called humanity. Something went wrong, and the Zelturians returned to their self-imposed exile. They have not been seen or heard from since.
The Kiltas are a Mid Race species whose empire is located within the Cygnus Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, about fifty-three thousand light years from the Earth. Their home world, Kajik, is a continental planet, though it has sixty-seven percent more gravity than Earth, and a richer nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. As a result, life here has evolved denser, more efficient muscles and bones to protect it from injury, since falling on a world with two-thirds more gravity would be far more hazardous.
Kiltas are bipedal mammals that can grow up to eleven feet tall and on Earth, weigh equal to a white rhinoceros. Their facial structure is similar to a panther, hence why humans call them catmen. They are digitigrades, which means they walk on their toes. They have retractable claws, and multi-color fur, with some males growing a mane. They have a two to three feet long tail that helps them balance, and bushy antennas extending sideways from their skulls like extra long eyebrows. These antennas are equipped with special sensors that detect changes in air pressure, allowing Kiltas to notice movement within a hundred and fifty meters from them. They breathe through large orifices on either side of their necks, though they also have nostrils below their eyes for sniffing out their prey from long distances.
Like many Earth cats, Kiltas are nocturnal. They can see in low light, with depth perception far superior to humans, and have slightly better hearing. They hunt both in groups and alone, and on an open field, can reach speeds nearing a cheetah’s.
Kiltas are prolific breeders, their females able to spawn up to six dozen cubs per pregnancies. This rapid population growth has fueled many wars of expansions. To keep their populations down, they engage in sports that call for the murdering of your opponents. Most aliens view these as barbaric, but there is a logic behind them, brutal though it may be.
While their sports might seem cruel and inhumane to outsiders, the Kiltas are not savage brutes. They have a strict honor code. Those who offend their honor or their clan’s risk a fight to the death, but a Kilta cannot kill someone who is helpless or begs for mercy, unless the individual in question calls the Kilta a coward. Then he better have his affairs in order.
Martial prowess is highly prized within Kilta society, and males who can boast of having taken down a formidable foe are guaranteed to attract a mate. Every Kilta male dreams of besting a Vijic in battle, which they see as the embodiment of physical perfection. Even though Kiltas are considered the best fighters among the Mid Races, it is highly unlikely that a Kilta could, at least not in hand to hand combat. Ironically, the Vijics view the Kiltas as worthy of becoming an Elder Race and had the Retikkees not gotten to them first, the two races might have become allies.
Their fondness for combat goes so deep and is so ritualized that they are known to regard their weapons as individuals and regularly talk about them in the third person. The most popular names for Kilta weapons are Killjoy, Skullcrusher, Meatcleaver and Brainsmasher. Their lust for battle can even send them into a trance-like fury, very similar to the berserkers of Viking lore, where they can shrug off debilitating injuries and perform other feats that are normally considered impossible, even for a Kilta, during a battle.
Given the Kiltas propensity towards violence, most alien governments would like nothing more than to bar them from stepping into their territories, but the Kiltas are a client race of the Retikkees and thus, are free to travel to and work on any world that falls within the Retikkees’ sphere of responsibility, which theoretically encompasses the entire galaxy. Most races just ignore their crimes, knowing that an arrest could lead to a war with the Kilta Empire.
Kiltas don’t have blanket immunity. Alien races can call on Kilta justiciars if they believe the murder was malicious, or if the Kilta has engaged in other offenses like theft or rape. If a Kilta has committed an unjust killing or another serious crime, then he has not only dishonored himself, but his clan as well. His clan will hunt him down and behead him.
Kiltas living outside of their space hire themselves off as mercenaries to foreign governments and corporations. Their honor code makes them extremely loyal. The same cannot be said of those on the run from the justiciars. They will join criminal syndicates for protection and having already forfeited their honor, have no compulsion to be trustworthy.
The Kiltas’ system of government is like the feudal societies that existed during the Middle Ages. They are broken up into lordships called clans. Each clan has a ruling family with a lord at the top. Most Kiltas are part of the peasantry, who are required to swear fealty to one of these lords. Unbounds, those who live outside Kilta space, do not and they live nomadic lives. Still, they are a member of one of the five unbound clans. They just don’t have a master.
Every ten years, there is a kiljo, or trial of authority. This is a staged war where the major clans fight to see who will get to nominate the next warlord, the supreme ruler of the Kilta Empire. The kiljo can last a year, and comprise of a series of arranged skirmishes, each one made up of no less than a million soldiers on either side.
This threshold ensures that the kiljo doesn’t completely deplete the Kilta Empire’s standing forces should a real war start, though it also limits the number of clans that can make a bid. Some smaller clans have overcome this by forging alliances with other smaller clans. This has its downsides. Only one lord can be warlord at a given time, and there are few lords willing to join an alliance knowing that they won’t be receiving the throne at the end.
These battles take place at keeps designed specifically for these events. They are heavily fortified and can withstand prolong sieges. They are also situated in areas that provide additional obstacles, as well as located far away from commercial and industrial zones. This limits the amount of damage done to infrastructure, which is harder to replace than soldiers.
Each clan takes turns defending and attacking the keeps. A clan is disqualified once its forces drop below a million. The more powerful clans can bid as many as thirteen million, and the kiljo will continue until only one clan has more than a million soldiers left. While this does devastate the competing clans, their high birth rate allows them to recover by the next kiljo.
The Retikkees haven’t outlaw the kiljo out of fear that the Kiltas would become more aggressive if they did. Better to have them fight each other than their neighbors. Still, the Retikkees have gotten the major clans to make smaller bids, typically within the range of five million. This is because they see the Kiltas as critical in their ongoing war with the Vijics and their allies and want the Kiltas to reserve more of their forces for the war effort.
Because of the Kiltas’ martial outlook, they have some of the most powerful none-Elder Race ships. Their heavy capital ships can mount two quantum phase cannons, a rarity. They are incredibly slow, both in normal space and in hyperspace, but the Kiltas favour brute force over speed. They have even installed neutronium tip bows so them can impale smaller ships. The triple hull design has given their vessels the nickname: clawships.
Kiltas are one of the few Mid Races that still believe in gods and an afterlife. They worship the moon goddess Huntress, which legend holds makes her home in the core of their world’s largest moon: the Huntress’ Moon. No Kilta has ever set foot on it, nor sent a probe out of respect for the goddess’ privacy, and it is against the law for anyone to go near it.
Kiltas believe that when they expire they go to the Long Hunt: a vast and eternal savannah where it is always nighttime. If they die in honorable combat or while giving birth, the Long Hunt will be full of game for them to track and eat, and the Huntress’ Moon is there to help them see. If they lived an honorable life but didn’t die in battle, the Long Hunt will have fewer game and they must rely on one of the lesser moons to hunt. The worst fate befalls those who die without honor. In this scenario, there is no game and both the Huntress’ Moon and the lesser moons are absent, condemning them to forever roam the planes in total darkness and be always hungry
The Arwarians are the most human-like aliens we have yet encountered. They resemble the elves depicted in fantasy novels. Their skin has a sparkly shine to it, which those unware of Arwarian physiology, might mistake for being silver dust applied for cosmetic purposes. In truth, it is the result of their cells containing high deposits of tin and mercury, the latter being toxic to humans, but the Arwarians seem unaffected by it. Humans don’t eat Arwarian food.
Aveo, the homeworld of the Arwarians, is not the planet they evolved on, though it was likely very similar. The Arwarians have no idea where their original homeworld is or how they found themselves on Aveo. In fact, it was only after making first contact with other alien races did they realize that they themselves were aliens. Aveo’s fossil record goes back only five million years, not four to seven billion as seen on all alien worlds, and the earliest Arwarian fossils are only slightly less evolved than modern Arwarians. Arwarian scientists are convinced that either the Retikkees or the Zelturians brought them to Aveo. The Retikkees have denied being involved and refused to comment on whether the Zelturians were behind it.
Still, the Arwarians couldn’t ask for a nicer substitute. Aveo is a rugged world known for its majestic mountains and waterfalls, as well as dense tropical rainforests and clear blue oceans. It is a little larger than Earth, and has seventeen percent more gravity, thus making the Arwarians stronger than we humans. It inhabits a star identical to ours, and Aveo is one of two inhabitable worlds in the system, the second being Thyum.
Arwarian society can be called egalitarian, with free elections every five years and a mix economy that incorporates both capitalism and socialism. That being said, monarchies were once the main form of government, and this is still apparent, with their version of the senate being similar to the House of Lords in Great Britain. They also have a high king, though his position is mostly ceremonial. You don’t have to be of noble blood to run for congress.
Living in a mix economy, necessities like housing, health care, and education are provided freely by the state, and everyone gets a basic income, regardless if they work. However, to purchase luxury goods (i.e. a larger house, a car, a boat and have enough money to travel overseas or off planet), they will have to get a job. About 64% of their economy is privately owned, with the rest being part of the public sector or a cooperative.
Arwarian legal system puts on an emphasis on rehabilitation rather than punishment. They understand that criminal behaviour is typically due to circumstance or mental illness. Their education systems screen kids for antisocial behaviour and provide additional training and assistance to ensure that those behaviours don’t lead to criminal actions later in life.
Those who are sent to prison are treated humanely and are offered every opportunity to better themselves through education and by participating in apprenticeship programs while behind bars, as well as receive counselling. Excluding those who have engaged in violent crimes like assault, murder and rape, or are considered a risk to minors, they get a full pardon after serving their term. They are not required to tell future employers that they were sent to jail, and it is against the law to deny someone a job for having a past conviction, unless the job in question requires that they work with vulnerable members of society. For example, a convicted pedophile cannot become a kindergarten teacher.
As is common for most races that have progressed as far as the Arwarians have, the majority of their population is made up of atheists. However, in their past, they held a multitude of beliefs, and there are still small pockets within their society who keep those old religions alive. Religious freedom is protected under their constitution, and believing in a god doesn’t hinder an individual’s ability to advance, both in the corporate world or in the public sector.
Despite their egalitarian beliefs, the Arwarians are not strict pacifists, though neither are they imperialistic. They have a sizeable military comprised solely of volunteers and dedicated to peacekeeping operations. Their starships are among the best of the Mid Races, with their heavy capital ships able to mount two quantum phase cannons. They have developed particle lasers, a weapon rarely seen deployed by Mid Races, and they have learned how to build their own warpgates. They have built a few destroyer-size warpships, vessels that when working together can generate a wormhole.
The Arwarians are among the oldest of the Mid Races and have begun making a concerted effort in unlocking their Elder Race powers. They have a long way to go. While they have extended their lifespans by thousands of years, and with technological assistance, can prolong their lives indefinitely, they are not true immortals, and have yet to achieve Elder Race level intellect. Without that, the Arwarians will never become an Elder Race.
Ghosts In The Machine
The Nor are sentient robots native to the Hark system, about fifteen hundred light years from Earth. They were once humanoids, but during their attempt to make themselves an Elder Race, they contracted a fatal degenerative disease. It ate away at their muscles, including those that kept their heart beating. They would have died out if they hadn’t uploaded their personalities into metal shells. Ironically, they are now immortal, but they will never become an Elder Race.
Each Nor personality resides within a sphere. They were once known for their warm, bubbly personalities, but their positronic brains are incapable of emotions. They are beings of pure logic, and yet they are still driven by the morals that defined them when they were flesh and blood. They are known for their hospitality, if not for their warm demeaners.
The outer shell is made from a composite that includes 0.007% neutronium, the hardest substance in the universe. It is extremely durable, able to withstand multiple plasma hits. Over a hundred eyes dot its surface. When a Nor needs to manipulate its environment, the outer shell cracks open, and long filaments extend that function like hands. It is kept a float by antigravity generators built into its chassis, and it is powered by an ultramatter/antimatter core.
Being machines, the Nor have no need for food or water, or shelter for that matter. They have allowed other aliens to move in and settle their worlds and make use of their farmlands in exchange for the raw materials needed to keep their systems running. They have a few cities that are off-limits to outsiders, and what they do there is unknown. Some speculate that they are working on cloning themselves new bodies, but that’s just hearsay.
Most Nors live within the confines of their core systems. While the Retikkees forbid the outlawing of AI within their domain, many races are suspicious of sentient machines, in part because of the Swarm Crisis three thousand years ago. A rampant AI, which the Retikkees now believe was driven mad by the Vijics, had devastated the Unk Sector, killing tens of billions. The Nor had nothing to do with that incident, but still face discrimination.
They do have their supporters in the galactic community. The older races remember the Nor when they were organics, and feel pity for them. Many have tried to help the Nor reconstruct their bodies, but the damage done over the eons as they recklessly pursued becoming an Elder Race is irreversible. They don’t even have untainted DNA samples to work with. Even if they did, their personalities had come from higher evolved Nor. Their earlier bodies, those that existed before they began tampering with their genes, could not handle their current personalities. It would be like trying to download the mind of a human into the brain of a dog.
The Octopus People
The Zuziii – the singular pronunciation of their name is Zuzii – are a Mid Race species from a star system located between the Cygnus and Perseus Arms, about six thousand light years from Earth. It orbits a binary star system and is one of five inhabitable worlds in that system. It is an ocean planet, with a few large island chains situated near its equator.
The Zuziii are mollusc invertebrates with thirty tentacles, six eyes and a mouth that doubles as their rectum, a concept most other species find disturbing. They have black oily skin, though with stripes: white, purple or green. They are roughly two meters in diameter, with tentacles ranging between two feet and seven feet, and which perform a wide range of functions.
The locomotive limbs, or tentacles, are the thickest and strongest, and become stiff when the Zuziii are traversing dry land. There are eight locomotive limbs in total and they connect to the beck-like mouth/rectum. Next are the feeler limbs. They are equipped with various forms of sensory devices, including jelly-filled canals that can detect electrical fields. The Zuzii use them to help them hunt. The longest and thinnest tentacles are the manipulator limbs. These tentacles end in tiny filaments that work much like our fingers do.
Like octopuses, the Zuziii have a brain that is dispersed throughout their body. One-third of all neurons, those that emulate the cerebellum in humans, are housed within their limbs. This allows each tentacle to act with a high degree of autonomy. The rest of their brain, the cerebrum and brainstem, is situated near the uppermost region of their bodies, near to where their protruding eyes are.
When in water, the Zuziii use their tentacles to propel themselves forward like an octopus. They are extremely dexterous and can reconfigure themselves to form many shapes. However, while on land, they will prop themselves up on their locomotive limbs, forming a tower-like structure. Sacs in their head can expand and siphon trace amounts of helium out of the atmosphere, which they use to stay erect. They can breathe both under water and on land.
Zuziii are telepaths. In ancient times, they would use their telepathy to influence the minds of the less intelligent lifeforms around them. Their telepathic senses, along with the microscopic filaments in their manipulator limbs, allowed them to alter genes. Rather than build armor out of iron or steel, they made it from chitin, a polymer found in the exoskeletons of anthropoids. They used coral instead of cement and steel to construct their dwellings.
Much later in their history, as they spent more time on their planet’s surface, they would begin to develop what we humans typically associate for technology. By then, they had already gain a mastery of genetics that far surpasses 21st century medical science. They have never stopped relying on it. Even today, their ships are a blend of organic and inorganic materials.
The Zuziii are one of the most advanced Mid Races and are well on their way to becoming an Elder Race, possibly within the next two hundred thousand years. They have already extended their lifespans by tens of thousands of years and are quickly reaching Elder Race level intellect. They are in the process of identifying the genes that will unlock their Elder Race powers. Initial findings suggest besides being psionics, though likely not to the same degree as the Retikkees, the Zuziii will be primarily weak nuclear force manipulators. What powers will manifest from this is anyone’s guess, though it could allow the Zuziii to generate radioactive fields and possibly cause rapid cellular mutations in others, both benign and malignant.
The Saranians are reptilian humanoids that evolved on the world of Nin, thirty thousand light years from Earth. Among the youngest of the Mid Races, having only become a spacefaring civilization seven thousand years ago, they are nevertheless ambitious and have made a name for themselves as traders and explorers. They prefer tropical or desert planets, but they will settle on an icy world if the planet in question has large deposits of natural resources.
Saranians are roughly the same dimensions as humans, with two legs, two arms, two eyes, two ears, and a single mouth. So closely resembling us, many humans find them attractive, even though their bodies are covered in scales, and like snakes, Saranians must shed their top layer once a month. Their front teeth are razor sharp and they mostly eat meat, but being adaptive, they have modified their genes, so they can now process fruits and vegetables. Unlike reptiles on Earth, Saranians breast feed their young and give birth like mammals do.
Saranians are cold blooded, but they have installed thermal implants to allow them to survive in colder environments. They are strong proponents of cybernetics, and it’s normal to see parts of their bodies, particularly around their eyes, covered by mechanical devices. These allow them to connect to the internet remotely, see in different spectrums of light and communicate long distances via tachyon waves among other things.
While Saranians are explores, they are not pacifists, having a military of three billion enlistees, which makes up just two percent of their total population. They are one of the few races that construct cruisers. They perform both the role of a frigate and a destroyer in a modern navy. Their heavy capital ships are also armed with long range plasma cannons, which is highly unusual. Normally, heavy capital ships only mount a single quantum phase cannon. The drawback of this design is that they have weaker shields than those of the other races, but the Saranians argue that it gives their captains more options on the battlefield.
Saranians are ultra capitalists. The importance they place on someone is determined solely by their net worth. The females of their species accessorize their cybernetic implants with diamonds and other precious gems. Their elites ride around on altis, a two-legged reptile the size of a horse, and which served as their primary means of transportation before the invention of the automobile.
Being ultra capitalists, their government is run by plutocrats. Only the super wealthy get a say in who is elected to the senate, and their leaders are primarily concerned with enriching themselves. Corruption is widespread. Still, the underclasses are not completely voiceless. They have the Retikkees, who use their control of galactic commerce to temper the plutocrats. Reluctantly, the plutocrats have met many of their demands and have implemented single payer health care and other welfare systems to keep poverty to a minimum.
It is believed that the Saranians are the bases for the kappa, a yōkai demon in Japanese folklore. In 305 B.C, a Saranian starliner crashed landed off the coast of Japan. Some of the passenger survived and made contact with primitive man. Given that the kappa is described as a demon that snatches children and drags them underwater, these encounters likely didn’t go well. It is unknown what ultimately doomed the survivors, but man likely played a role.
The Emissaries of the Zelturians are more an organization than a race, but because of the extensive genetic modifications they have undergone, some would characterize them as a subspecies of their respective races. Most Emissaries are humans, though there are reports of non-human Emissaries, including Arwarians, Saranians, Ojinians and even a Kilta. In the case of humans, all documented sightings speak of men and women with snow-white hair and who seem to never age, though one is described as ancient looking.
Emissaries are reported to be in possession of amazing supernatural powers. They can control the weather, even shoot lightning from their fingertips. Their crystal staffs generate a rainbow aura that cannot be penetrated, and that can also blind their opponents or disintegrate their weapons. Others speak of Emissaries teleporting from place to place, and one person claimed that he saw an Emissary accelerate the age of a tree, causing a tiny sapling to grow into a colossal oak in seconds. It is very likely that they have other abilities that have yet to be observed.
The mission of the Emissaries is a complete mystery. They are believed to be benevolent. In the tales of King Arthur, the young king receives help from Merlin, who is now thought to have been an Emissary. Other tales speak of them helping people escape natural disasters, though there are also countless reports of them being seen at historic battles, not participating, just observing.
Emissaries are also linked to UFO mythology. The Nordic aliens, as described by Ufologists like George Adamski and Howard Menger, are now almost certainly believed to be Emissaries. They were reported warning of coming disasters, particularly regarding the Vijic threat.
Emissaries are believed to take on a new name after joining the order, one that reflects their personality. Known Emissaries include the Old Man, the White Lady, the Archeologist, the Liberian, the Warden and the Traveler.
The Zampryz were an Elder Race believed to have gone extinct nineteen million years ago, though new evidence suggests that some may have survived into modern times. Given that Earth resided within their territory, it is not surprising that a few may have hidden away there. In fact, they were likely the inspiration for our myths surrounding vampires.
The most famous was Vlad Dracula III, better known as Vlad the Impaler. Between 1456 and 1462, he reigned over Wallachia as prince (or volvode). It is very likely that Vlad, his father, and grandfather were the same person: Thad Dracula, Patriarch of the Zampryz. Thad ruled the Zampryz Empire nineteen million years ago and was responsible for countless atrocities before the Zelturians ended his rule. Though thought to have perished in the final battle, the similarities, both in personality and likeness, between him and Vlad The Third are too great to ignore. It should be noted that the fictional Count Dracula was based on Vlad The Third.
The Zampryz evolved on a world orbiting Sol’s second closest neighbor, Proxima Centauri. The planet received far less sunlight than Earth. As a result, the creatures there evolved to live nocturnal lives, had paler skin, and weaker eyesight than we humans. Instead, they relied on echolocation, like bats, to see their surroundings. Many were vampiric in nature, meaning they fed off the blood of their victims, and the Zampryz were no exception.
Six to seven feet tall, they were humanoids with elven ears, sloped foreheads, jagged jawbones, and pointed noses. Bat-like wings extended from their shoulder blades, and they were powerful enough to allow them to fly. Their hands ended in three fingers plus a thumb, and they had six-inch claws. Orifices dotted their palms, and they used them to drain the blood of their victims quickly. They had long canine teeth that could pierce the jugular, and like vampire bats, their saliva had an enzyme that prevented the blood from coagulating.
Under the tutelage of the Zelturians, the Zampryz advanced and became an Elder Race. That was when things went wrong. Their Elder Race powers turned out to be tied to their vampiric nature. Though they no longer needed to feed on blood, though many still did, they now required the psychic energies of other species to sustain themselves. With their telepathy, they entered the minds of their victims and tormented them with nightmares. Their victims could only take so much, the strain of the assault eventually leading to seizures and death.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Zampryz also generated a negative psionic field around their bodies. NPE is harmful to organic life and prolong exposure manifests symptoms similar to radiation poisoning: burns throughout the body; the loss of white blood cells resulting in higher risk of infection; cellular degradation; internal bleeding; inflammation, scarring, and a higher chance of developing cancer in the lungs; and an increased risk of getting thyroid cancer. It was this exposure that resulted in the greatest loss of life on the worlds they’d conquered.
The Zelturians, sympathetic to the Zampryz’s plight, begged them to quarantine themselves from the rest of the galaxy. At first, they did. However, they quickly discovered another quirk to their Elder Race powers. Whereas most Elder Race power levels remain consistent, Zampryz’s powers scaled depending on the regularity of their feedings and what they fed on. Those who confined themselves to eating beasts were significantly weaker than those who preyed on sentient beings. Also, they learned that they could absorb the powers of other Elder Races.
At full strength, the Zampryz have the might, durability, and agility of a Vijic, along with the ability to take on the form of their victims. This was why Thad could mask his Zampryz nature from humans. He could appear as human. Also, they could go invisible by blending into shadows and could project psionic tendrils that they used to suck the life force out of others. Lastly, they could channel psionic energy through their claws, turning them into psi blades. Of course, a Zampryz would have to feed on either an Elder Race or many sentient beings to reach this power level. At lower levels, while still significantly stronger than a human, the Zampryz could be harmed by normal weapons like swords and bullets. And again, when feeding off Elder Races, they gain many of their powers, making them more formidable than their base form.
Realizing this, many Zampryz started to break confinement. The Zampryz government tried to stop them, but that just triggered a civil war, one that brought Thad Draculus to power. He established a government based on the ideals of Zampryz supremacy. He argued that their ability to absorb the powers of others made them superior to all, even the mighty Zelturians. They saw no reason to confine themselves to their home system, so began invading neighboring systems and fed off the natives’ life energies. Billions died.
This act brought them into conflict with the Zelturians and the other Elder Races: the preceding war, one of the bloodiest in galactic history, last twenty-five thousand years. Countless worlds were left in ruin. In the end, the Zampryz were driven back to their home system. The final battle went on for a hundred years and ended with that planet being transformed into a lifeless rock. How Thad and other managed to escape is a mystery, as is his current whereabouts.
Today, the Zampryz are a cautionary tale of the nature of Elder Race powers. Not all should be considered a gift. Those who feed off negative psionic energy like the Zampryz could even become a threat. That’s why the Retikkees, who were once enslaved by the Zampryz, monitor the younger races to ensure that they don’t develop such destructive powers.
The Az’jer, better known as space necromancers, are an offshoot of the Emissaries. Once dedicated members of the order, they have since been twisted by the promise of unlimited power by the dark god Uma’ja’a. Their corruption is so complete that they have lost their control over the elements, and instead, supplement their skills with command over the dead. They wield the most elusive and dangerous power of all: negative psionic energy.
Their pack with Uma’ja’a has granted them power over the dead. They have been seen raising legions of corpses. Skeletons, zombies, and wraiths will answer the Az’jer’s call and are bound to his will. They can twist the ether to generate green flame, an unholy fire that burns only flesh. They can accelerate the aging process in living beings, turning a healthy young male into a disabled old man. They can suck their life essence to regenerate from any wound, even restore lost limbs, and cause corpses to explode. They can warp spacetime to create impenetrable barriers and portals to distant worlds. Like the Emissaries, they carry a timestaff, but these have been turned black by the corrupting powers of negative energy. A subset of the Az’jer are called warlocks, and they have gained additional mastery over fire and can summon demons.
Having command over death, the Az’jer have achieved immortality. Of course, for them, immortality can take many forms. For those who didn’t start off as Emissaries, they are required to transfer their spirits into another body every few decades. This destroys the mind of the host, and it becomes a vegetable upon the Az’jer leaving to inhabit a new body. Other Az’jer become liches. These are powerful immortals who must constantly feed on the living to prevent the decay of their new bodies. Still, in this form, they gain even greater mastery over the dead and the ability to summon more powerful constructs. Creating a lich is difficult, since the destructive nature of NPE destroys living tissue. Typically, a lich is the amalgamation of several corpses, hacked and put back together, so to create something greater than the sum of its parts. This ensure that the host doesn’t decay too quickly that feeding become impractical.
Few in number and always being hunted by their Emissary counterparts, the Az’jer stick to the shadows of history. Reinhard Heydrich, Abramelin The Mage, Agnes Waterhouse, Eliphas Levi Zahed, and Jimmy Eagle are a few examples. They will often profess false allegiance to an ideology. In the case of Jimmy Eagle, he claims to be a man of God, though the only thing he cares about is power. It is uncertain if he worships Uma’ja’a. His grandfather, Fredrick Eagle – the first Eagle to make a blood pack – did revere the dark god, but Jimmy appears more pragmatic. He might believe that doing so will help him rise in status among the Cabal. His powers shield him from Supreme Inquisitors Abbot’s telepathy.
Az’jer, while living their double lives, will work towards the goal of Uma’ja’a’s return. They believe that both the Cabal and the Vijics are critical to their master’s plans, though why is uncertain. Some, like Jimmy Eagle, are so intertwined with the Cabal that the Emissaries fear removing him will reveal themselves to both groups. In cases such as these, they allow the Az’jer to live, hoping that doing so will shed light to Uma’ja’a’s end game.
It is debated whether Morgan le Fay was an Az’jer. Most believe she was a Prophet, like Lucifer Morningstar, Ares, Alexander the Great, and Attila the Hun. That would make her a vastly more powerful entity than any Az’jer. However, the chronicles of King Arthur and Merlin the Wizard make it clear that she was aided and abetted by several. It is likely that the Az’jer are drawn to Prophets. Prophets are, after all, the top lieutenants of Uma’ja’a. Helping them would accelerate their dark god’s plans, though it would also expose them to their enemies. The Emissaries prioritize locating and killing Prophets above all other objectives.
Most Az’jer are human, but like the Emissaries, they would be classified as a sub-species because of the extensive modifications that have been made to their genome. Az’jer can pass on their powers to their offspring; something Emissaries cannot. However, training and a pack with Uma’ja’a is required before they can make use of them.