Benzite

Benzites dwell on the planet Benzar, a starkly beautiful world with an atmosphere high in gaseous ammonia and low in oxygen. Elaborate crystalline rock structures dominate its landscape. Small, heavily armored animals skitter across its surface, feeding on tough-skinned plants and one another. Blue and orange clouds streak its violet sky. Massive charges of static electricity in its atmosphere periodically discharge, filling the sky with light and emitting a cracking sound so loud that people on the surface can feel it vibrate in their bones. Of the nine planets in the Securis system, only Benzar sustains complex life. According to Starfleet’s planetary classification system, Benzar has an atmosphere similar to Class M norms, but contains a mixture of gases unique to the planet. Most humanoid species could not survive here without life-support suits or domed structures with oxygen-rich atmospheres. Benzites likewise can’t breathe unaided in the Class M atmosphere preferred by most Federation species. Benzar became a full member of the United Federation of Planets in 2369.

The Benzites descended from a vastly different, now extinct, species, remembered only as ‘The Forebears.’ The sacred myth says that the Forebears fell from the sky in the wake of a catastrophe that slew the gods. Deprived of the milk of the gods, the Forebears were dying. They could not survive on Benzar, but they made children who could. Those children were the Benzites. They could breathe the world’s air and take sustenance from its plants and animals. Before they died, the Forebears built the first birthing chambers. [A birthing chamber is a fluid-filled tank in which Benzites are placed for further development after they are first born. A Benzite deprived of this treatment will be weak, sickly, and thin-skinned. He may even appear deformed.]

The Benzites eventually made copies of the birthing chambers. Many generations later, they grew wise enough to make improvements to the chambers, which would make the people developed in them stronger, faster, and smarter. The wisest of them all, Andragov, devised the rules of life by which achievement could be encouraged, measured, and recorded. Inspired by his doctrine, Benzites built the great crystalline cities called geostructures.

The Golden age ended and violent wars broke out when it was discovered that a quirk of Benzite biology allowed any individual’s organs or limbs to be transplanted into another individual’s with no fear of rejection. Geostructures went to war with one another to capture victims for organ harvest, until scientists altered the birthing chambers so that people from one geostructure could not use organs from someone raised in another. A second virulent outbreak of warfare occurred when birthing chamber scientists found ways to ‘improve’ on Benzite anatomy, breeding warriors with armor plates, poison sacs, spiked knuckles, and other martial modifications. After two hundred years of mutually destructive warfare, the geostructures banned these procedures.

The Belaxalar geostructure built the first warp drive in 2350. First contact with a Federation vessel occurred in 2360; by 2365 they were engaged in officer exchange programs with Starfleet. When the achievement-oriented Benzites decided they wanted Federation membership, they lobbied hard for it, gaining admission in 2369.

Benzites are cultural conformists; almost all of them devotedly follow the millennia-old Doctrine of Andragov. To Human observers, Andragov’s principles seem more like an efficiency manual than a philosophy. The doctrine holds that Benzites exist in order to achieve. In order to achieve, one must follow a system. Benzites compose daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and decade long objectives and use a scoring system to mathematically determine whether they are successes or failures. Their emphasis on measurable achievement should not be construed as a lack of emotion; Benzites care passionately about their scores and their standings in comparison to others. Low-scoring Benzites may go so far as to commit ritual suicide. Ritual suicide, once common in Benzite society, is a tradition in flux. Competing philosophies argue over its usefulness as a consequence.

Benzites possess smooth, hairless skin; it may range in color from bluish-purple to green-blue. A thick protrusion of the Benzite skull extends down over the face, displaying a prominent nasal lobe and brow. Two fish-like barbels [worm-like whiskers] droop down from above the upper lip. Benzites are highly resistant to poisons and other noxious substances. They can digest and derive nutrition from almost any organic compound. All Benzites from the same geostructure are physically similar, so much so that they are indistinguishable to a non-Benzite. This is because each geostructure tunes all of its birthing chambers to the same settings.

Until recently, Benzites needed special respirators in order to breathe the air found on Starfleet vessels and most Federation planets. In 2370, a breakthrough in birthing chamber technology allowed them to dispense with the respirators. Adult Benzites who could make use of the modification returned to the homeworld for a spell in the chambers. [Newborn Benzites are actually identical to the old Forebear species. Through birthing chamber development, they become the Benzites as we know them. The Federation exempts the Benzites from its usual strictures against genetic enhancement technology because their own social taboos tightly control its use.]

Benzites are highly competitive, preferring to work alone in order to claim credit when they achieve an objective. They find failure deeply shameful, and may conceal the results of their work until they are sure they are right. They’d rather act than react. Thoroughness is a high virtue. Things that can be measured are good. Tightly defined, exacting processes breed success. Benzites in Starfleet must work to downplay certain of these traits. They struggle to learn how to work as team members, to share preliminary results, and to respect the chain of command, acting only when instructed to. Benzite officers hunger for commendations, medals, and positive performance ratings. They respond to contests with fanatic zeal, going all-out to win any and all available awards.

Benzite Species Template
Attributes
  • Fitness 2(5)
    • Strength -1
    • Vitality +2
  • Coordination 2(5)
  • Intellect 3(5)
    • Logic +2
  • Presence 2(5)
    • Empathy -1
    • Willpower +2
  • Psi 0(5)
  • Force 0(5)
  • Essence 0(5)
Skills
  • Culture: Benzite 2(3)
  • History: Benzite 1(2)
  • World Knowledgde: Benzar 1(2)
  • Administration [Logistics] 2(3)
  • Engineering: Any 1(2)
Typical Traits
  • Language: Benzite [Fluent/R/W] (+4)
  • Curious (+1)
  • Resistant (+4)
  • Competitive (-1)
  • Obsessive Tendencies (-3)
  • Medical Remedy: Respirator (+3)
    • After 2372, Benzite medical science makes the use of the respirator unnecessary.
  • Medical Problem: Cannot breathe standard atmosphere (-3)
    • After 2372, Benzite medical science makes the use of the respirator unnecessary.
Notes

All Benzites from the same geostructure appear identical, at least to non-Benzites, which opens up some interesting ideas, such as allowing a player to play multiple Benzites from the same geostructure.

Example Names
  • Geostructure Name: Belaxalar, Codanadal, Moriden
  • Male Names: Laporin, Mendon, Mordock, Salpan
  • Female Names: Candar, Kerpel, Poltob, Qizten

Benzite

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