Waucquez

An adult Waucquez.

An adult Waucquez.

The Waucquez are a peaceful, lithotrophic species from the Alpha Octant.

History

The Waucquez have had a continuous culture for over two billion years, the oldest culture yet discovered.  Their culture valued complexity of knowledge and simplicity of action.  For almost all of their history, they lived peaceful lives ranging from thousands to tens of millions of years in length.  Death is largely a choice for the Waucquez, and, at certain periods, many of them chose to die at once, leaving a less-familiar world to discover for their offspring as they returned to the rock from which they came.

First Contact

The human Tribarium mining outpost on Ianua VII was established during one of these periods of “cultural renewal”.  The continent upon which the mining outpost was established held the Waucquez “Cathedral of the Ages”, an ovary in which the eggs of the new generation had been deposited.  It was guarded by a lone Waucquez adult.

Genocide

The Waucquez were nearly wiped out in an unintentional incident of genocide when Tribarium miners began to destroy the Waucquez eggs left in the “Cathedral of the Ages” without realizing what they were.  The Waucquez adult began to kill the miners as they continuted to attept to mine the rock and destroy the “worthless silicon nodules”.  The NSS Albatross of the United Stellar Commonwealth Space Navy was sent to investigate.  Captain Eaglais and his Haephestian science officer Commander Naph investigated.

Second Contact

Commander Naph was able to initiate a Haephestian Mind Merge with the Waucquez adult and learned what was happening.  In the informal Treaty of Ianua VII the inadvertent genocide was immediately halted.

Physiology

The Waucquez are silicon-Carbon-based organisms with extremly unusual metabolic processes.  They are capable of withstanding pressures up to those of the core of an earth-sized planet.  Their bodies consist of irregular, crenellated mats of silicone and fused silica of three different types (Pseudopod, Respiratory/Circulatory, and Limb) surmounted by a collection of “life nodes” which centralize sensory, energy storage and reproductive functions.

A Waucquez hatchling

A Waucquez hatchling

Waucquez reproduce by activating the germinal tissues in their life nodes and separating them.  Life nodes so separated can be considered the Waucquez’ analog of eggs.  This can occur before or after a process of phenotypic mixing analagous to bacterial conjugation.

Waucquez are virually indestructable by processes which do not directly vaporize matter.  They are also capable of undertaking prolonged periods without oxygen or water input – up to several millenia – during which they engage a state of cryptobiosis in their carbon-based metabolisms and rely on the nucleosynthetic processes which power their locomotion .

Their method of locomotion involves the excretion of an extraordinarily powerful chemo-nuclear solvent.  By causing some of the hydrogen in its locomotive acids to undergo fusion, the Waucquez is capable of melting through solid silicate rocks as though they were air.

Culture

The Waucquez culture revolves around several concepts which can be roughly translated as “Form”, “Emptiness”, and “Humor”.  The basic communications of life’s short term are handled by short-term signalling analagous to humanoid language.  Their larger ideas, philosophy, and culture are primarily transmitted via architecture.

In a species whose very movement creates architecture, the shapes and forms of the rock in which the Waucquez live are attributed a great deal of meaning.  The Waucquez describe the process of appreciating their culture as a three-dimensional dance in which the dancer participates in the re-shaping of the dance which others will later engage in.

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