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Heshar
Alien
Homeworld:
Heshar, Sector 28  
Ecology:
Nitrogen-Oxygen-Water (H:F:0:7)  
Biology:
DNA I  
Languages:
High and Low Heshar, Federation C  
Human Contact:
3221CE  
FTL Status:
5742BC - Indigenous macrojump  
Current Status:
Grand Federation Secondary Race 5742BC, Grand Federation Primary Race 5004BC, Grand Federation Prime Race 4832BC-732CE, Remanent population 814CE to present  
   
Environment
Ideal
Tolerance
 
Atmosphere:
.30B O2 .15-.40B O2; CO2 < .04B  
Temperature:
300K 260-325K  
Gravity:
1.43G .35-1.80G  
Other:
Humidity 50% Humidity 02-100%  

Overview

The Heshar are an extremely intelligent telepathic race that once dominated the Grand Federation of Races.  After their overthrow and near annihilation in the War of Liberation six thousand years ago, the Heshar withdrew from interstellar society.  The last documented sighting of a Heshar was in 3418CE.  For the last three thousand years, sightings of remanent Heshar have remained unconfirmed.

Physical Description

Heshar are upright bipedals with a head and two arms ending in five manipulative digits, but are hardly humanoid in appearance. A blunt coppery diamond-scaled head with two eye slits and one ingestive slit is attached to the Heshar's thin cylindrical crystalline spine.  Massive tan arms emerge from the silvery spine below the head's ventral breathing gills and are braced by web-like tendons extending halfway down the spinal torso.  The spine ends in a large flared pelvic region, support two thick legs ending in hardened pads.  Size varies according to age and sex-like caste, with adults of the two reproductor castes reaching two meters in height and massing over 160 kilograms.  Incubator caste adults average 1.5 meter in height and mass closer to 110 kilos, but have a thicker spine fitted with slits for supporting young.

Physiological and Social Development

The Heshar evolved evolved from omnivore stock on a planet with high (1.43g) gravity and extreme (53) axial tilt, producing an environment of extreme variation and severe weather.  The dominate animal forms on Heshar have three sexes, two that provide reproductive material, and a third that incubates, then cares for the young for its first three years of development.  Among the Heshar, the two reproductive sexes are fully telepathic and possess the rare ability to discern the surface thoughts of many intelligent and semi-intelligent life forms.  The incubator class is not telepathically aware, and has lesser intelligence than the reproductors, but should be considered fully sentient.

Heshar society was centered on extended family clans, and was extremely competitive, both at the individual and clan level.  Heshar had a great interest in pursuing wealth and power, but had adopted mostly peaceful and manipulative methods for attaining these ends.  Heshar incubators were generally considered dependents by Hehsar society, a loved and respected part of the family unit, but unconcerned with the affairs of reproductive castes.  Actual differences between the castes seem more hormonal than genetic, with development and ratios maintained by the incubators after fertilization and implantation.

The Heshar developed technological and biological means to extend their lives indefinitely.  Unfortunately, the demise of nearly the entire incubator caste during the the initial M'kkiae assault on Heshar in 732CE, has limited new births.  The Heshar remained very ritualistic and tied to their homeworld for reproduction and nurturing of young.  Eschewing all forms of artificial reproduction as perverse, their remaining numbers continued to fall during their period of Human contact in the fourth millennium.

History

As clan-based omnivores, the Heshar suffered through a violent pre-history and continued to experience warfare though their atomic age, fighting two nuclear wars before achieving a world government in 5904BC.  Located near the Grand Federation border, the Heshar uniquely discovered the existence of the Grand Federation of Races before they were themselves discovered, and had monitored Federation communications for over twenty years before they made contact with a Federation outpost in their first macrojump expedition in 5742BC.  Given immediate Secondary status, and soon coming to dominate the Federation's Rimward flank, the Heshar became a Primary race in 5004BC.

The Heshar did not establish colonies or even permanent off-world habitats, preferring a traditional family life on their homeworld, which supported nearly four billion Heshar in a balanced urban/natural setting during their Grand Federation period.  The Heshar did establish trading, exploratory and military stations off-world, and were avid traders and explorers.  They strongly believed that the Grand Federation of Races was in decay, and in 4832BC enlisted the help of numerous Secondary and Tertiary Races and the Founders themselves to manipulate the Grand Federation Primary Council into appointing them to a position of Prime authority, similar to that once enjoyed by the Founders.  The Grand Federation and the Heshar prospered for more than five thousand years, but many races, including once close allies, found the Heshar to be arrogant and likely to put their own interests first during disputes.  The use of loyal Tertiary races like the M'kkiae and stateless transplants from beyond the Federation, like Humans, to enforce the Heshar Peace and administer the Federation also caused much resentment.

The Primary races finally decided to overthrow the Heshar dominance and carefully plotted an overthrow.  Subverting the M'kkiae, they used the launch of the Great Expedition to Sagittarius in 732CE as their trigger.  The M'kkiae mutinied, destroying over three thousand Heshar vessels in a near suicidal attack at the edge of Sagittarius, then launched a massive bombardment and chemical attack on Heshar itself, destroying the world's defenses and killing nearly half the population, including all but a handful of incubators.  In the subsequent War of Liberation, the Heshar lost most of their outposts and most of their allies, agreed to terms of surrender in 814CE, and withdrew from participation in Grand Federation affairs.

At the end of the war, several tens of millions of Heshar remained on their homeworld.  By treaty, interstellar travel was limited to unarmed vessels, and the Heshar could not trade with other races.  The Heshar remained in good standing with the Founders, and often traveled to Hallowed, but over time, contact between the Heshar and the shrinking Grand Federation became sporadic.  By the third millennium, only occasional Federation expeditions, mostly of a scientific nature, traveled to Heshar.  Humans from the Empire of Humanity reached Heshar in 3220CE and established contact with the remanent Heshar in the follow year.  On Heshar in 3236CE, Imperial Humans made first contact with a Grand Federation expedition.  In 3241CE, the remanent population, now numbering only in the thousands, helped negotiate the first treaty between the two states, over research access to Heshar itself.  When that arrangement broke down in 3413CE and led to the first war between the Empire and the Federation, the Heshar helped negotiate an end to the conflict five years later, and after the Heshar delegation departed aboard worm drive ships from the signing of the Treaty of Heshar in 3418CE, they were not seen again on their homeworld or elsewhere.

Current Status

Despite over three thousand years without a confirmed sighting, the Heshar are not considered extinct.  First, the Founders claim that Heshar still exist, and second, the number of unconfirmed sightings both on Heshar and of alleged Heshar worm ships (such as the White Rabbit sightings) in deep space, leads most observers to believe that some Heshar must still exist, perhaps even in some hidden enclave on their homeworld.

Notes

Heshar itself was protected by the Ministry of Science during the Imperial Era, and became a quarantined protectorate of the Star Kingdom of Orpheus in 5717CE.

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