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The Galaxean Domain

The Domain, Auld Space, Realm of the Ancients, Shhkraun nim-Roh'Chraal (Dynasty of the Soul Takers), Stars of the Ancients, Place of the Old Ones, Forge of the Void, Lair of Sü'Katra'an (the Living Stones)

Overview:

I am Leela, a synth recovered by the Galax from an abandoned ship some two centuries ago. The Galax have requested that I compile the following information because they feel that I will be better able to relate it to non-Galax, most of whom they refer to as 'Young Ones':-

"For 750000 lifes civilization has existed within the Domain. The Young Ones are unaware of us, the Galax. We observe. We remember. Occasionally, we intervene. For those who wish to learn something of us, the following information has been compiled. We have attempted to be approximate and to use universal terms."

Years are a cumbersome measure of time when dealing with the Galax - therefore the term 'lifes' will also be used in this document. The average period for which a Galax exists is one life, equivalent to approzimately 10 millennia. The generic gender used in this document is masculine.

Navigation:

Galaxean Reference Terminal

Index:

Q-dex / Technology / Magic
Size / Population / Climate & Geography / Flora & Fauna
History
Government / Foreign Policy / Domestic Policy
Society / Languages / Religions / Castes
Economy / Military / Sports & Leisure / Major Population Centers / Chronic Problems
Author

Q-dex:

Primean Zone T/411.1531/8xx.890(O) M/725.3124/10xx.61
Galaxean Zone T/974.0000/3xx.090(O) M/000.0000/000.61

See also: Q-Dexes of the Domain

Technology:

While the technological Q-dexes of parts of the Domain are high, technology, as the term is generally understood, is sparsely used. The Galax's control over mind and body negate the need for many implements. They are their own tools. See also: Population.
There are no items which are mass produced within the Domain. Any indiviaual item which is required is specifically crafted to be as efficient as is practically possible.

Magic:

All Galax have the ability to use magic to some extent. Magic was unknown before they merged with the Primeans. It has since been established that the Galax's home zone, the biggest quantum zone in the Domain, is actually a Null Magic zone. No magical effects of any type are possible within it.
Magic was used heavily during previous contacts with other races, but the Galax prefer to use their inherent psionic abilities which they have honed over the millennia.

Size:

The Galax occupy 7 systems: 3 in the Primean Zone, 1 in the Galaxean Zone, with the remaining 3 in other nearby zones. Because of the physical makeup of the Galax, most environments prove hospitable to them. However, many of these systems are little more than outposts, where Galax study the zone's reality and observe the rest of the galaxy.
See also: Stellar Cartography

Population:

The Galax number slightly over 3 billion in all, consisting of two integrated sub-sets: The Primeans and the Galax.
Physiology of these two sub-sets is identical as they are in fact the same race, which underwent parallel evolutions on seperate worlds. Although vaguely similar to tri-digit bipedal humaniods in their natural form, there is very little else in common. Easily distinguishable from other species, the Galax have three main visual sensory organs near the top of their torso, two sets of upper appendages and, most strikingly, a translucent grey/silver 'skin-tone'. Galax are energivores - they absorb energy directly from their surroundings. This means that Galax do not usually reflect light and so their 'appearance' as described above assumes that a Galax is consciously reflecting at least visible light. This is a courteousy which is extended to all races which do not possess the psionic skills necessary to detect them.

Climate and Geography:

Galax: The Galax homeworld is composed mostly of silicate-compounds, with a liquid metallic core. Fully 85% of the surface of this massive world is covered with a sea of liquid ammonia. Thick layers of ammonia ice permanently cover the poles. The atmosphere consists of 88.1% Nitrogen, 3.8% Oxygen, 3.2% ammonia vapor, 1.7% Hydrogen, 1.4% Xeon, 1% methane, 0.7% Krypton, 0.1% other. Average surface temperature is 197K. Surface gravity is 16.47.

Primea: Considerably smaller but more dense, Primea's surface gravity is lower at 13.96. Composed largely of light metallic- and silicate-compounds, its core is mainly metallic liquid. Primea has no permanent polar caps, being nearer to its warmer parent star than Galax. 60% of the surface is covered with shallow seas consisting of liquid ammonia and various light non-metallic compounds. Atmosphere is composed of 51.2% Nitrogen, 31.6% Helium, 11% methane, 4% Oxygen, 1.8% ammonia vapor, 0.2% Xeon, 0.1 Krypton, 0.1% other.

Flora and Fauna:

Few of the planets within the Domain have evolved life and the Galax have no desire to colonize other worlds for themselves. Those planets which support their own ecosystem have been studied without intrusion.
  • Galax and Primea: Despite these planets' differences, all life on both shares a common origin. Evolution on both planets followed incredible parallels, culminating in the being which is the Galax.
  • Saer: Primea's warmer sister planet, Saer is home to the true indigenous life of the Primean System. Most of the planet's surface is covered with a sea of liquid water. While some life has spread onto the few chains of islands, most exists beneath the waves. Plants are the most populous form of life, with a few primitive vertebrates having evolved in the last few thousand lifes.

History:

For a more detailed overview of Galax history, refer to this document:
History of the Galax

The Age of Thought

750000 lifes ago: The Galax gain consciousness.
749500 lifes ago: The Galax start to study the universe through its radiation.

The Age of Awakening

738397 lifes ago: Psionic powers begin to appear among the Galax.
738254 lifes ago: First occurrence of 'Dead Memory'.
735491 lifes ago: The Galax begin to plan for exploration beyond their own world, Galax.
733448 lifes ago: All Galax have acquired psionic abilities at this point.
729497 lifes ago: First interplanetary vayage sucessfully conducted.
729493 lifes ago: The Galax finish construction of 3 more interplanetary vessels and begin to explore their home system of Galaxus.

The Age of Enlightenment

720184 lifes ago: Galax master psionic control of Gravitons.
706258 lifes ago: First interstellar vessel is completed and launched - destination Praxis.
706256 lifes ago: Praxis is reached. Heavy matter is extracted from the Neutron Star.

The Hyper Age

706251 lifes ago: First FTL craft is lauched. After a successful test flight, it travels to Praxis and construction of a freighter vessel capable of carrying Terratons of heavy matter is begun in orbit around Praxis. Matter and Galax are brought from the Galaxus System.
706248 lifes ago: The freighter is completed. Dark matter is brought in bulk from Galaxus to build a fleet of exploratory vessels.
706244 lifes ago: Widespread exploration of the Universe begins with the completion of the first of a fleet of 5 FTL exploratory vessels.

The Age of ReUnion

700000 lifes ago: The Galax cross their first quantum front and come into contact with the Primeans. The two races reunite to become one - The Galax. Together they explore the Primean System.
The Primeans teach the Galax to use magic and the Galax help the Primeans to develop their natural psionic abilities. These had been all but ignored in favour of zone-specific magic.
699993 lifes ago: The new Galax begin construction of a new fleet of ships, which are to be better designed to propogate through the majority of realities.

The First Withdrawal

684935 lifes ago: Having crossed thousands of fronts and endured thousands of realities, the Galax discover a race of biological sentients. They have a primitive interplanetary society, with no FTL evident. First contact does not go according to plan. The Galax land on their capital planet with the expectation that all sentient life would be logical and peaceful. Both assumptions are incorrect. The resulting incident led to the Galax rethinking their relative position in the universe and the inception of the Galaxean Ethos - a collection of guide lines governing behaviour. The Galax withdrew and let the race to its own devices.
Having observed the race from a distance, the Galax become concerned. The creatures committed acts for which the Galax had no words. These they learned to be crimes - acts by which one party involuntarily suffers so that another party benefits. This experience makes the Galax question whether contact with other races is desireable. The conclusion is no and the Galax cease exploration of space, instead concentrating on intellectual discovery. They still watch the stars, but their ships stay within the Domain.
653760 lifes ago: It was during this age that the Galax attempted to subdue the very fabric of the universe. An ambitious project was undertaken to create a stable wormhole across a quantum front. Warping reality in all ten dimensions, the Galax used the power of two stars to break through the quantum barrier in each of two zones. Unfortunately, the resulting fissure was uncontrollable. The Galax broke off the attempt and both stars collapsed under intense gravitic and quantum forces. The resulting black holes are a reminder to the Galax of their gravest error, and a warning to others who would attempt the same.

The ReEmergence

534782 lifes ago: An event reintroduces the outside galaxy to the Galax. Upon discovering that organics are not inherently destructive, merely inherently chaotic, the Galax once again start exploring the universe. Their ships pass beyond the Domain in search of others.

The Age of Patience

526490 lifes ago: The Galax are disappointed to meet only a handful of void-faring sentient races. Practically all of these were non-corporeal beings which had evolved in highly irradiated nebulae. The Galax decide that life will take far more time to become widespread than they had anticipated. They discontinue actively searching the galaxy for new life, waiting for it to emerge of its own accord.

The Age of Life

135746 lifes ago: In the few billion years that they were untravelled, planetary systems had spawned and evolved a plethora of different life forms. After the start of this age, void-faring races start appearing more frequently. The Galax refer to these new races as the Young Ones.

The Second Withdrawal

3 lifes ago: Abruptly, the Galax withdraw for a second time. Ambassadors are recalled without reason and all contact with the outside is discontinued. Probes entering the Domain cease to function as soon as they cross the border and no race is willing to mount a manned expedition. Gradually, the Galax fade away into myth and legend as more interesting developments in the galaxy distract the Young Ones.

Government:

The Primus is the leader of the Galax. Any Galax may become Primus; the previous Primus chooses his sucessor. A Primus rules from the day the previous Primus dies until he dies himself. It is difficult to describe the power of the Primus to a non-Galax; His rule is absolute, but no one need follow the precepts he sets. The Galax are as they are because individuals voluntarily overrule their own needs in favour of satisfying the needs of of the many. Any Galax disagreeing with the Primus on a decision will tell him so, and why - to deny the possibility of error is the greatest error of all. Telepathic communication and the ability to calculate the probable outcome of events to a high degree of accuracy means that the Galax are intimately aware of how one's decisions will affect others. Logic and order are the main traits of the Galax, both as a whole and as an individual. Perhaps it is better to percieve the Primus' precepts as reccomendations. In general, he regulates only the main goals of the Galax, but since all Galax strive toward these goals, he influences all Galax. I have not been awake long enough to relate precisely the nature of Galaxean government to others, since others have no concept of union similar to the Galax. The concept will be best understood by collective species, who share one mind. Even then, that is an inaccurate approximation, for each Galax controls his own destiny, and hence, in a way, that of every Galax.

Foreign Policy:

The Galax are somewhat cautious when dealing with other races; they are well aware of the catastrophic outcomes which are possible when dealing with irrational organic lifeforms. That said, the Galax will never refuse aid to those who need it, nor will anyone seeking asylum be turned away from the Primean Zone. Outsiders are normally not freely permitted in other zones of the Domain, but exceptions are known.

Domestic Policy:

Each Galax is his own keeper. He is also the keeper of the Galax as a whole. The actions of the individual reflects his society, and vice-versa. Galax have an innate sense of order and tend to avoid disorder. This leads to a peaceful existence which other species might, or might not, consider utopian.

Society:

Government and society are very difficult to seperate as far as the Galax are concerned; they employ neither of these terms. There is merely the Galax - one and many.
The basic units of Galax 'society' are the individual, the Pair, the Clan and the Galax. Each Galax is an individual, responsible for his own life as soon as he reaches maturity. This occurs when the Galax is about 100 years old. The term Pair refers to a joined or mated pair of Galax. Each member of a Pair opens itself to the other, allowing totally unrestricted passage of thought and emotion from one to the other. Those Galax who choose to do so, join for life. A Pair of Galax will produce 1-4 offspring over their life. [Note: Young Ones' pronoun structures do not do justice to the idea of a Pair. Two such Galax are no longer seperate, though still individuals. Neither singular nor plural adequately describes such a unit. I have used them here rather than entering into a detailled discussion on the Galaxean concept of pronouns.] A Pair and their childern are considered a Clan. Since all Galax are familiar with all known by the Galax collectively, each Pair educate their own childern. Finally, the Galax as a whole is an important part of most Galax's existance. Each Galax is aware of every other Galax to some degree, depending on how open each wishes to be. Few Galax voluntarily cut themselves off completely for extended periods. Privacy is carefully maintained by all Galax and their awareness of each other is not invasive, each merely sees what others show them. [This may cause some to question the accuracy of information shared in this way. Lying, as with so many other 'universal' concepts, is not native to the Galax. A lie is a falsity and hence a corruption of truth. Misinformation would lead to chaos and this is something no Galax desires.]
Certain 'structures' or 'stations' exist within Galax 'society'. The leader is the Primus. Watchers are those who gather information from the Universe in general. Travellers are those who travel the void, searching for anything of interest that may lie among the stars. An Envoy is a Pair sent to act as the representative of the Galax to another race. In the past, it was found that individual Galax did not fare as well when seperated from the Galax for intervals of more than a century or two - a condition called 'homesickness' by the Young Ones. There are currently no active Envoys, but this is set to change in the near future. Such social divisions are fleeting. A Galax may be a watcher now, a Traveller later and one of an Envoy later still.
Culture is a hard term to apply to the Galax. They are an ordered and logical people. It is not that they are disciplined, it is merely an inherent trait. If culture can be said to be a way of thinking then the Galax are curious explorers, a peaceful people reaching gradually for their ultimate goal - absolute knowledge.
Morality was a term which the Galax had no concept of before First Contact. That one individual would adversely affect another had not occured to them prior to this. Indeed, there was no concept of 'right or wrong' because none was necessary. Only after being introduced to these concepts did the Galax realise there were ways of doing things other than theirs.

Languages:

While the Galax no longer have any need for a 'direct' language, their original language is still taught. It is based on the emission of radiation of various specific wavelengths and amplitudes, similar to the way in which common vocal languages consist of sounds of various frequencies. Unlike most races, the Galax are capable of reproducing exactly each 'word'. Thus no misunderstanding or uncertainty is possible.
The above language is not in use because the Galax list telepathy among their psionic abilities. Telepathy is the most efficient means of communicating found so far, though it is always possible that a more efficient form exists. This ability is not limited by 'distance', which the Galax view as a relative term.

Religion:

Religion has no place among the Galax. A belief is merely a theory which the holder is not able to prove or disprove. Each outcome is equally valid until evidence provides fact.
The fact that the Galax are actively searching for the cause of their existence has nothing to do with belief. They are, therefore they exist. How they came to be is merely a scientific problem. What their purpose in the universe is depends on what they decide it is going to be.

Castes:

Neither castes nor classes exist within Galax society. Each Galax is equal because each is individual. Each is as much a part of the Galax as any other. Slavery is abhorred by the Galax. The right of the individual is just as important as that of the whole society because the individual is the society. Without one the other ceases to exist.

Economy:

Economy is another concept that cannot be applied to the Galax. It cannot be said it was left behind because it was never developed. Because each Galax is self-sufficient, trade was never necessary. Even when the Galax explored and interacted with other races, trade was rarely entered into. On occasion, resources were given in return for information, privilages, etc., but this ceased during the Withdrawal.
The Galax has no monetary unit. In the unlikely event of one needing anything, it is provided by the Galax who is most qualified to provide it. Money and wealth are considered Young concepts; they are left behind as civilizations progress.
Work is a relative term. Each individual finds a method of being productive which suits him. Individuals need not be productive - work is not compulsory; each Galax requires little from society and society requires nothing of them. However, many Galax are productive. They watch. They listen. They wait, observing what needs to be seen.

Military:

Again, a concept which does not really apply to the Galax. The physical/mental make-up of a Galax ensures survival in most situations. Attacking a Galax is almost 100% ineffective, not that sentients haven't tried in the past. A Galax absorbs energy, is practically impervious to mental attacks and can control its material structure, allowing proto-gaseous and fluidic behaviour, supra-solidification and regeneration. Given this, the fact that individual Galax have no wealth and that the center of the Domain lies in a Null-Magic Zone, what would any sentient gain from an attack?
Each Galax is capable of causing a great deal of damage/injury/destruction. Capable does not mean willing, however. Soon after encountering one particular race, an Envoy came under attack. The Envoy were young and fought back, draining the energy from every sentient within their range. The race's leaders surrendered to the Galax. The Galax let them go their way, not wanting to interfere further. This incident earned the Galax the name Soul Takers, for they have the ability to drain energy/life-force from others. There is no record of this ability being used since.
All Galax ships also have the ability to destroy, because they all carry Galax. Therefore, by the Young One's definition, all of our ships are vessels of war.
In actuality, the Galax have no dedicated military force, because none is necessary. If one ever was, the Primus would be capable of rallying every Galax within seconds - a deterrant aggressors should consider.

Sports and Leisure:

Galax have little in the way of leisure and recreation that Young Ones could relate to. Galax do not appear to have the same spectrum of emotions that other sentients have. Research, learning, exploration and discovery are what Galax enjoy. Interpersonal relationships are also considered desireable.
Galax can appreciate art to some degree, but have yet to find anything to surpass [untanslatable - I have not yet been awake long enough to comprehend this term]. This is, broadly speaking, a complex mental image rendered in any number of dimensions. The most [popular/famous/best] of these is one which was created by the 317th Primus; it was so complex that discussion still persists as to whether it can exist in this universe, which has ten dimensions. The crux of the debate seems to rest upon whether an object can exist in a dimension where nothing exists, because if nothing exists, how can it be called a dimension, it would be a void. [Translation uncertain.] This paradox mirrors the creation of reality from the Void; nothing which creates something from nothing which allows nothing to be defined in terms of something. These images are freely passed among Galax and would be passed beyond, but it has been found to be mentally destructive to project such images into the minds of Young Ones.

Major Population Centers:

Galax and Primea are the two main population centres, with Primea 'housing' more than half of all Galax. [The term 'housed' is misleading as Galax do not require structures to protect them from environmental forces.] The rest are scattered throughout the Domain, on various planets, asteroids, ships and outposts. The Primus resides on Galax, as do most of those who value intellectual discovery over exploration. Population centres are uncommon, except on Primea, where traditional locations are heavily inhabited. Elsewhere, Clans are the largest grouping which commonly occurs.

Chronic Problems:

The Galax will always continue. So long as one Pair survive, the Galax will survive. There are, however, some things which concern the Primus deeply, and hence the Galax.
  1. Relating to other sentients: The Galax can often seem detached, incomprehensible or even blatantly disrespectful or insufferably arrogant to others. In truth, the Galax are none of these. The differences between them and the Young Ones are considerable, but not insurmountable. All they feel is required is a little understanding and a lot of patience. And the Galax are nothing if not patient. It was Signius, the present Primus who decided that the Withdrawal had come to an end and that it was time to reopen communication with the Young Ones, as well as any sentients that might have survived since before the Withdrawal.
  2. Primus, the green star the Primean homeworld, Primea, orbits, is nearing the end of its life. It will go supernova within the next 3 lifes. As of yet, no feasible solution has been conceived. It would not be logical to prolong its reactions by drawing fuel indefinitely from another source. The only other option at present is to evacuate the system. The Primeans, however, are not the problem.
    There is other life indiginous to this system. Ensuring its preservation would require moving its habitat to another system. Altering a planet's orbit is not unprecedented in Galax history, but to move one across light years to another system, while providing enough energy to compensate for the absence of its star would be a mammoth undertaking, even for the entire race.
  3. The universe is not enough. Looking forward billions of lifes, the new Primus has foreseen a time when the Galax will discover all there is to know in this existence. Needing a long term goal, he has reccommended that all those interested carry out research into existence beyond this universe, into the multiverse, which is, theoretically, an order of magnitude larger than the universe comparable to the order which the unverse is larger than a quantum fluxuation.

Submission Information:

Author's Name: DarkSide
Author's Email: DarkSide