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Ministry of Integrationary Culture: Ik’Tae Report 001
Background of the Ik’Tae
Not much is currently known about the Ik’Tae home system Isstosseffifil due to it’s co-ordinate loss after the collapse of the 2nd Federation, but some historical records, combined racial histories and myths allow us some understanding of their origins. We do know that the Ik’Tae hail from their birth planet of Asassiff, and that the system contains at least 2 other habitable worlds due to historical colonization of these by the Ik’Tae. The system itself was found somewhere in the mid-rim, most likely in the plane closer to the core, due to their earlier discovery during humanities outward expansion.
From these historical reconstructions and intensive biological, anthropological, and psychological study of the Ik’Tae, we can without a doubt claim that they had evolved on an arid, near EarthStandard (ES) gravity world. This world most likely had a rarefied atmosphere offering less protection against stellar radiation bombardment from their own sun, due to the Ik’Tae predisposition for subterranean dwellings, their reliance on environmental heating for core temperature regulation, and a high level of melatonin-analogue chemicals in their skin. No knowledge exists of the native flora and fauna, although inferences can be made due to the Ik’Tae diet and preference for their environmental surroundings (most likely ES desert-analogue flora and fauna of a low amount).
The rest of the system, from what we know of it, supported no other life-forms, and no lunar systems, although mention is made of the outermost planet having 3 large asteroids in a lunar-type arrangement. Due to the theorized environmental conditions on Asassiff, we can theorize that the star was a younger star still in the throes of burning off it’s plentiful fuel.
These beings seem to have developed from a reptile-analogue species native to Asassiff. They are characterized by a height of between 1.1 and 1.3 metres, most likely due to the fact that the body surface versus body volume ratio is decreased in animals with less need to regulate their body temperature, so resulting in their comparative diminutive size (also taken as evidence for their development on a hot world).
The Ik’Tae are a bipedal species, with a light, one could almost say, “graceful” gait (giving rise to the popular expression “graceful as an Ik’Tae”), and a body weight typically between 40-45 kg, due to their small stature. Their poor eyesight is compensated by their acute sense of smell and a development of their auditory senses which allow them to sense vibrations via conductive bones in their legs (again inferring a dry, rocky, arid homeworld with a poorer atmosphere less capable of conducting sound). (note: reference geography)
Their wide paddled prehensile hands with strong claws were mostly likely an evolutionary result of their need to burrow and construct “sets” (much like badgers).
The Ik’Tae possess a poor ES vocal range, instead communicating in a grammatically-poor medium of clicks and rudimentary vocalizations. The clicking is mostly provided by means of 2 opposed smaller bones rubbing against their lower jaws. Due to the difficulties in human-Ik’Tae communication, physical translation devices are required for all but the most simple of communications.
The Ik’Tae are asexual beings who can reproduce entirely on their own, without recourse to another genetic donor, as development on their world seems to have made it difficult for 1 mate to support another with few food resources. Yet they do possess both male and female-analogue sex organs, and impregnation by another individual was possible but not common. It seems that environmental pressures (higher incidents of still-births of deaths due to genetic monoformity, or increased availability of resources such as food) encourage biologically and psychologically, the heterosexual exchange of genetic material in the form of impregnation. (note: reference culture)
Children are born live (an unusual deviation from the reptile-analogue), and raised communally. Although asexual, the Ik’Tae are commonly referred to as “he” by bi-gender species.
Their reptile-analogue nature means that Ik’Tae are by nature quite changeable with the environment, e.g. lethargic and sluggish in colder climates (24-46 degrees centigrade), and energetic and impulsive in their naturally hotter environments (+46 degrees).
The Ik’Tae seem to have no long history of centralized governmental control due to their evolutionary and environmental conditions, instead they appear to be organized around agreed codes of behaviour- this may explain their almost fanatical adherence to the Orthodoxy by the majority of the species.
Societally, the Ik’Tae operate quite individually, but their behaviour codes have been replaced with what they consider the more galactic behaviour codes of the Orthodoxy for the most part, leading them to mostly espouse Orthodoxy positions on behaviour, standards, policies, etc. They have at times (particularly by the Heterodoxy) as the most “enthusiastic slaves in history”. Individual Ik’Tae, while normally following the precepts of the Orthodoxy, are quite willing, and some would argue, happy, to use violence to defend their beliefs, at times descending into frenzies of verbal and sometimes physical abuse against anti-Orthodoxy speakers.
Aliens are on the whole encouraged and welcomed by the Ik’Tae, typically so long as they do not actively speak against, or denounce their beliefs.
Ik’Tae society is today noted for it’s austerity, with the exception of percussion instruments and various incenses and aromatherapy oils (pleasures derived via stimulation of their dominant senses). The most likely expressions of culture and colour to be seen are of the religious persuasion, usually of the Orthodox kind.
Within Ik’Tae society, the Orthodoxy religion permeates almost all aspects of life for it’s adherents (approx. 90% of the species), with members of this species being seen as loyal church members, and reliable upholders of Orthodoxy hegemony and dogma.
Approx 6% of the species are identified as members of the Heterodoxy faiths, with the majority of these being followers of the pre-contact indigenous multi-avatar/god faith (much like pre-Orthodoxy Hinduism), and a further 4% self-identifying as “non-religious”, the majority of which are actually postulated to be Heterodoxy worshipers trying to avoid discrimination, and a smaller number of atheists.
Due to their natures (note: reference psychology) the followers of the Orthodoxy amongst this species are heavily involved in discrimination against the Heterodox members of their race, including unofficial segregation, barriers to self-improvement (e.g. employment, education, equal opportunities, etc.), and some cases of influenced-influenced assaults and murders. The much smaller numbers of the Heterodoxs means that they have little defence against the vast majority of their population, and the refusal of the Space-Pope to condemn these practices has been seen by many as a silent consent to their continued treatment. The non-religious members of the Ik’Tae are themselves also subjected to discrimination, but not on such a widespread or blatant basis as for the Heterodoxs, due to the perception that most non-religious are not seen as directly challenging the supremacy of the Orthodoxy.
Within the wider galactic community, the Ik’Tae are perceived as second-class citizens, on a par with less-developed civilizations, and in an almost “free-slave” fashion. Members of this race rarely successfully enter the middle-management levels of the CorEmp, and members are rarely seen among the military or police forces due to their smaller stature, and perceived citizen-status. Some members may be seen on custom built patrol vessels, and in desert-recon marine units, but rarely in large numbers. They have on the most fully assimilated themselves into human culture, with the exceptions of their obvious biological needs, and maintain little of their original indigenous culture.
The Ik’Tae do maintain 4 colony worlds of their own, but the Governors of each of these world’s are normally human, whilst the Lt. Governors are the few Ik’tae found at this level of bureaucracy.
The exception is found within the hallowed halls of the Orthodoxy, where their devotion to the Space-Pope, and their “eager” willingness to fight heresy within their own species has given them respect and unseen levels of influence and power. Two notable Ik’Tae have even been consecrated as Cardinals- Cardinal Sffaloua’ts, and Cardinal Huaa’shoo’falan, it goes without saying that these 2 highest ranking Ik’Tae are strict and dogmatic in their approach to the application of Orthodoxy hegemony. It is a seeming contradiction to find that the institution which promotes uniformity at the highest level, is so welcoming of an alien species into it’s highest levels of power.
Currently the Ik’Tae species is still reacting to their new conditions within a larger galactic community- with the increases in resources available, more Ik’Tae are responding to their biological conditions are performing heterosexual matings. Whilst encouraged by the Orthodoxy, certain outspoken members of the Heterodoxy claim that with the loss of their home system, and their subsequent loss of their identity and biological heritage, only a search for, and a return to their home system can save the essential things that make them Ik’Tae.
As previously stated, we known little about Ik’Tae before the RB, but this is what we do reasonably know:
- 2.1-1.7 million ES years ago the distinct species known as Ik’Tae diverged from their ancestor precursor species (as evidenced by mitochondrial DNA analysis)
- We assume they went through the standard evolutionary phases of technological and societal development, and they had a similar level of technology as the humans who first discovered them.
- Approx. 328 PRB (Pre-Rebirth) human explorers entered the Isstosseffifil system and recorded a large space battle between opposing alien ships of similar designs (and most likely origins). Retreating, SolGov was informed of the first discovery of another sentient species with a similar level of technology as humanity, engaged in a devastating battle. Between military, Orthodoxy, and scientific diplomatic maneuvering an agreement was reached to dispatch a remote observation team into the system, whilst the military guarded either side of the Jump-point.
- Approx. 326 PRB 1st and 2nd Border Fleets deployed to opposite ends of jump-point, whilst science team enters system and begins observations. Earlier battle now seems to be over, with a smaller number of ships displaying uniform markings seen patrolling the system.
- Approx. 323 PRB observation team sends in report findings, detailing space-stations and naval docks, satellite communications systems, and 3 inhabited planets with most settlements consisting of small underground towns, and a scattered handful of surface cities.
- Approx. 322 PRB observation team announces that they have translated the basics of the “Ik’Tae” language, and recommend the initiation of relations. They also reveal that the large battle seen was the result of religious division as 3 separate factions gained evenly matched power, and fought for the supremacy of their ideals.
- Approx. 322-319 PRB, various SolGov bodies debate making contact, finally approval is granted for a dreadnought to act as first contact vessel. Under scientific protests against the militarism of this, a scientific staff is embarked, but purely in an advisory role. The following historical records show what happened next:
- The military called for "gunboat diplomacy" in which they sent the Missile Dreadnaught Arrow of Darkness (one of 6 built, largest vessels in human history, 850mX50mX50m) in and start diplomacy with a show of force. The science team asked for a smaller vessel such as a frigate or corvette to be used, but the government agreed and the Arrow of Darkness arrived over Asassiff, much to the surprise of the local military.
- They soon started hailing the Arrow and started yelling at them franticly. The science team had brought along their translator which translated the alien's speech and translated the human's speech into the alien's words. The first words between a human and Ik'Tae were as follows:
- Ik'Tae: "Demand: knowledge. Who: you? Where: from? Break: Clan deal. Surrender."
- Human: "This is Admiral Nagala of the Arrow of Darkness, we will not surrender, we have come to negotiate with your government. If you try to attack us we will retaliate."
- Ik'Tae: "Surrender: clan rule. Name clan: punishment come. Fleets arrive: your pain."
- Human: "We are not your clan and will not submit to you."
- Ik'Tae: "Fleets: here. Clan dishonour: yours."
- After this the Ik'Tae fleets had all been sent for and were moving in on the Arrow of Darkness and so Admiral Nagala order a salvo of nuclear missiles to be launched over the arguments of the science staff. The nuclear weapons detonated and the ships disappeared in huge balls of fire. When the explosions dissipated, the ships were found floating listlessly in front of the human ship. The nuclear weapons had detonated without touching the alien ships, and the electromagnetic pulse from the nuclear weapons had knocked out their electronics.
- The Admiral ordered marines to board the ships and detain anyone found onboard. The marines went off on boarding shuttles and quickly returned with all the crews of the ships. These crews were found comatose and suffering hypothermia due to the 18C (64.4F) temperatures in the ships. In the short time that their vessel's power had been knocked out, much of the heat had escaped from the ship, and the creatures entered a hypothermic state. They were rushed into isolation rooms which had their temperatures turned up to 65.5C (150F). After a few minutes the creatures started to awake, somewhat groggily at first but becoming more aware as they got warmer.
- Approx. 319-284 PRB occupation of the Isstosseffifil system, as more is learnt of this race, they are gradually absorbed by SolGov.
- Approx. 282 PRB, SolGov approves Orthodoxy missionaries to convert Ik’Tae. Orthodoxy missionaries highly successful due to the perception by the Ik’Tae that their defeat demonstrated the weakness of their “Behavioural Code”. By 259 PRB 60% of population is listed in the census as Orthodox. For the next 27 years various insurrections by Heterodoxy Ik’Tae are violently suppressed until the Orthodoxy is the defacto religion of the majority of Ik’Tae.
- Approx. 241 PRB, approval given by SolGov for Ik’Tae to settle mid-rim planet of Shantaz.
- Approx. 215 PRB, approval given by SolGov for Ik’Tae to settle outer-rim planet of Oomahtay.
- Approx. 187 PRB, approval given by SolGov for Ik’Tae to settle outer-rim planet of Leschow.
- Approx. 112 PRB, approval given by SolGov for Ik’Tae to settle outer-rim planet of Wakkplas.
- 89-0 RB the Fall Of Humanity, contact lost with Isstosseffifil system, and jump coordinates also lost. Currently the Ik’Tae colony planets are the only known planets of the Ik’Tae.
Even on their on colony worlds, the Ik’Tae are considered 2nd class citizens, the only places to find them in any positions of power is normally within the Orthodoxy church.
- Meaning "forbidden Lands" in the Ik'Tae language, the Ssslor'fiff is not a territory but a species found beyond the outer reaches of Human/Ik'Tae exploration. When colonists jumped to a set of stars they were given beyond the outer reaches of the second Federation, they set up colonies and thrived for 5 months before communication with them went out, one by one, as if candles just winking out. Traders and family members who arrived before a government Investigation Team (aka Search and Destroy Squad) were also never heard from again.
- When the team arrived at the first colony to go missing they found the planet stripped of life. Nothing lived, not even microbes, and the planet had been stripped of almost 10% of its mass. They quickly sent a message and jumped to the next system which had disappeared, and then the next, but both were in the same state: barren and with all their biomass and much of their metal removed.
- When the ship arrived in the 4th system, it caught the tail end of an alien fleet of unknown origin on the outskirts of the system. After sending word of the encounter it engaged and was pronounced "missing and presumed dead" when the nearest sector fleet arrived to investigate and could find no traces of the ship, its crew, or the alien fleet. Exploration of nearby systems found similar results; planets with all biomass and most metals stripped.
- Ik'Tae started talking about an ancient legend known as the "Forbidden Land" in which any tribe who settled there would disappear, and a great evil would come and wipe out all civilization. The legend followed them into space, as every new front was believed to hold the "Forbidden Land." When humanity had come they believed for a short period that humans were the great evil. The name Ssslor'fiff stuck with humans and Ik'Tae, and so the unknown creatures were know as such from then on. The entire region was marked off limits, and military patrols were stepped up in bordering systems.
- the oldest and most prestigious of the Ik’Tae colony worlds, it has a population of approximately 26 million, and it’s main industries consist of publishing and research of religious matters, some small-scale agriculture, light mechanical construction. A typically arid Ik’Tae desert-world, but considered lush and temperate by their standards. Almost 100% Orthodox population, and considered an Orthodoxy stronghold.
- the 2nd settled colony world focusing mostly on heavy industries, mining, ore-processing, it has the largest population at 60 million Ik’Tae inhabitants, with only 1.5% Heterodox and 0.4% non-religious population.
- still considered too hot for most humans, this world was known as the “Breadbasket of the Ik’Tae” before the Fall. Mostly consisting of intensive agricultural industries, some light construction, and a reasonable-sized pharmaceutical research and development centre, it possesses a population of 49 million Ik’Tae, with again almost 100% Orthodox population.
- the youngest of the colonies, and considered by some to be the most liberal of the Ik’Tae worlds has a population of 36 million inhabitants. It has a large focus again on heavy construction, and also possesses a naval design shipyard. This world is notable in that it includes 1 continent with a majority of Heterodox members. This continent is known as “Kaalsland” and contains a Heterodox population of 6 million (or approx 3% of the whole species of Ik’Tae). Kaalsland also contains a non-religious population of 2 million (or approx. 1.5% of the whole species of Ik’Tae).
- Other Populations
- Approximately 7 million Ik’Tae are dispersed through the rest of CorEmp with 6 million of those being Orthodox, the remaining 11 million consist of Heterodox and non-religious emigrants and refugees to other governments more friendly to their beliefs. A total of 189 million Ik’Tae are known to exist galaxy-wide (excluding those who may still remain in their now lost homesystem).
- referring to a religion of human worshippers of the Ik’Tae, these cultists believe that the mythology of Dragons in many human cultures, and stories of abduction by “reptilian creatures” in early human mythology proves that the Ik’Tae, or their ancestors were either Gods, or the beings who created humans (depending on which group of cultists one follows). They believe that the Ik’Tae are waiting for humanity to prove itself to them, to be worthy of their notice. Several cultists have been involved in terrorist attacks against members of the Orthodoxy and government, for what they see as a degradation of the Ik’Tae divine nature. It goes without saying that the Orthodoxy considers these cultists a challenge to their authority, and prominent amongst the Orthodoxy opponents of these cultists are the highly Orthodox Ik’Tae species themselves. Even the Heterodoxy itself tends to shun the Dracarians.
- Alliance for Alien Rights
- essentially a group of human liberals who view the treatment of the Ik’Tae to be a serious injustice. They make their views known through peaceful protest and lobbying, but certain radical members have allegedly joined forces with Dracarians to take “direct action”.
- Covenant of the Fathers
- A small number of extreme Heterodox members (approx. 1.2 million) who believe that they must reclaim their heritage by rediscovering their long-lost system. They are involved in funding explorations and research into their origins.
Although treated as 2nd class citizens, and denied most civilian positions of power, the Ik’Tae seem very happy with their lot, and have mostly found a home within the Orthodoxy. They continue to provide a valuable asset to CorEmp as a pool of skilled workers, and a bastion of our faith. But we should take care to make sure the Orthodoxy maintains it’s hold on them, as can be seen from our first contact with them, and shifting of power between Ik’Tae factions results in extreme aggression and violence from them. The Orthodoxy must just not rule their lives, but also their hearts.