Interstellar Bridge Network (IBN): A group of space folding stations that allowed the orhatea to travel between stars. Using it they colonized a dozen worlds and interfered with developing civilizations on a dozen more. It failed spectacularly leaving a small group stranded near Earth’s solar system.
Kit is an energy field that adapts to the properties of surrounding material. A generic term that orhatea apply to any technology they use to hide, hack, or otherwise deceive others. With kit, orhatea create invisible doors, cloak spaceships, and hack electronic and artificial intelligence systems. Kit is also a power amplifier, capable of turning a small current into a powerful charge.
Orhatea (Or ah tea): Fundamental Being of the Universe.
Humanoid in appearance, orhatea range in size from 122 cm(4’) or less for sexless drones to as tall as 244 cm (8’) for the Amah. They have a hardened exoskeleton instead of skin and bones, but otherwise appear humanoid. Aside from their exoskeleton, their most distinguishing feature is the oblong length of their head, and eyes that glow blue in the sexed orhatea and white in the sexless drones.
Their hard exoskeleton and ability to retain water and air in bladders along the length of it, allow for the orhatea to survive in any atmosphere that is not caustic to their shells. They equally at home in the vacuum of space as they are on a planet’s surface or beneath its oceans.
The orhatea look down on any species that cannot survive in space, or has not developed interstellar travel.
Orhatea social structure is divided into two broad categories; the sexed and the sexless. The sexless are gray and stand less than 122 cm (4’) in height. The sexed are divided into the black shelled female and the white shelled male that are between 122 cm (4’) and 155 cm (5’) in height. There are stories of sexless drones migrating between the male and female sexes, their shells changing colors as they do.
All orhatea share an empathy with others in their colony. This connection allows for a weak communication between drones, warning of danger, or indicating location.
Sexed orhatea have a telepathic connection to all sexless drones. Bonded male and female pairs have a stronger telepathic link that enables two-way communication.
Orhatea speak their own language that is a combination of physical and mental ques combined with vocalizations made with air sacks under their shells. The language is not effective without an empathetic or telepathic connection and cannot be spoken by other species.
Unsexed orhatea can live a century, the sexed extend that to three centuries, with the Amah an Earah living up to one-thousand years before meeting the Angatam.
According to the Book of Engaro, there is a crystal capable of holding the psychic essence of a male and female orhatea. Once joined in the Seed the two are—in effect—immortal. As long as one is able to create a body for the other, they can transfer a retained essence to that body.
In practice, the Seed is a crystalized storage unit. Grown in the shell of the Amah it records the life experiences—engrams—of the Amah and her male. Once stored these engrams are available for instant retrieval. This allows the pledged pair to study a wide range of subjects without having to retain that knowledge through traditional mnemonic devices.
Space and Multiple Atmosphere Craft (SMAC): A vehicle capable of operating in a variety of atmosphere’s or none at all. The ships have powerful engines capable of rocketing the craft into space, or they can climb atmosphere layers with alternative engines. When descending, they use a combination of powered and gliding techniques to eliminate stress on the passengers.
Developed for exploring new worlds, the SMAC’s have a sophisticated AI paired with a variety of drones. When parked the ship’s can double their living space with a canvas, or framed structure. A built-in medical system can diagnose and treat wide variety injuries.
Tamo (ta mow): Warrior. All male orhatea are some version of Tamo. Their level and importance to the Colony is decided through combat. Tamo have limited telepathic abilities that are enhanced when they pledge themselves to a female. Unlike females, however, they can manipulate computer systems with their thoughts. In addition, they can turn their shells into weapons, generating a current that acts a shield, and makes the Tamo impossible to touch.
Tomo (toe mow): Infiltrator, female. Female orhatea (not reserved for the expansion of the Colony) are adept at creating clones of lesser species to undermine, or manipulate intelligent species until they are willing to accept the orhatea as their rulers.
To create a clone, a Tomo implants genetic material into one of her eggs and places the egg in a tank of arotea. With careful attending, the Tomo can create a clone of any species. A combination of aro and arotea grows the clone at an accelerated pace. Once created, the Tomo controls the clone through a telepathic link. With some planning, memory, and personality of one clone can be transferred to a new body.
Waiotea (way oh tea): The Song of the Universe. The language of the orhatea. Since the orhatea are adapted to a variety of atmospheres, including a vacuum, the waiote can be transmitted through a multitude of expressions. Including telepathy, vocalizations, and whole body signing. The preferred method is telepathy with a combination of musical notes created by air sacks beneath their shells.