A White Paper
By: Paul Hollingsworth
At the very nadir of the Federation Treaty
Zone, in an unexplored region of space, lies an unimpressive star
system with three planets. The star is a category F2 star, hot and
bright. All three planets are within the star’s Habitability Zone;
the first planet just within the inner boundary, the other two
farther out in the system.
Sentient life evolved on the first
planet--a hot, humid, tectonically unstable place. The Hsssttsk
(translated as "The People") are reptilian in form with a violent
culture. The Hsssttsk are voracious carnivores and prefer their food
still alive. Cannibalism, especially of the injured, is common. They
have bred another lifeform, called Ghugh ("Food"), and keep these
smaller reptilian creatures in large fenced pens on every continent.
There are four castes: The Queens, Guidons,
Warriors and Drones.
Queens are omnipotent and must be obeyed
immediately. Other than giving orders their prime function is to
produce eggs—hundreds at a time. These eggs are separated from the
Queen and fed a special diet which will turn them into one of the
Guidons make the Queens’ wishes and
desires reality. They, in the name of The Queen, control the other
two castes, and are the scientists, politicians, accountants and
administrators of the planet. Their position is roughly equivalent
to a "white collar worker."
Warriors are slightly larger in size and
are quick, agile and fearless. They fight to the death and will
suicide rather than be captured by a rival.
The Drones are simple-minded slaves who
exist only to serve The Queen, Guidons and Warriors.
When a new Queen is hatched she is guarded
carefully by Warriors until she is able to establish her own Swarm
(the name for the followers of a particular Queen). At that time she
is taken to another locality as far from her birth Swarm as possible
and provided a nucleus of Guidons to serve her and mate with her.
The new Queen rapidly builds another Swarm to do her bidding.
The Hsssttsk developed spaceflight in
order to expand their population to the other two planets in the
system. Continued population pressures have resulted in the
development of faster-than-light travel and the Hsssttsk are now
leaving their home system with the imperative to expand their
No other information on the Hsssttsk is
available and this report is based upon broad conjecture and the
result of a single archeological discovery on an orphaned planet far
outside the FTZ.