The Regulans
by S. John Ross, part of the Untaken Treks

Homeworld

Regula II ("Dralaph" in the native shanifir tongue) is a heavily-forested world with several dozen small continents and thousands of large islands. The climate is on the cooler edge of temperate; the equatorial regions straddle the line between subtropical and tropical conditions. Nearly every island on Regula II is inhabited, and the world features many fine cities and excellent starport facilities.

While unquestionably the Regulan homeworld, Dralaph is only one of more than a dozen long-settled Regulan worlds, clustered across seven sectors of Federation space.

History

The felinoid Regulans were a sizeable interstellar culture for more than a century before the Federation made First Contact with them, having discovered warp travel at around the same time as humanity. Fourteen systems inhabited by Regulans were as populous as any of Earth's colonies at the time, and each sported a stable, global government. However, Regulan worlds lacked subspace radio. By necessity, each world was an independent entity, most of which fancied themselves the "new center" of Regulan culture and commerce. When the U.S.S. Pardalis first entered Regulan space in 2240, those worlds were locked in a vicious interstellar war.

The bone of contention - at least at first - had been the highly limited supply of Regulan dilithium, but the war had sprouted tangles of racist and religious intolerance in that fertile soil. The Regulans - who pride themselves on their distaste for war - found that their distaste for each other was the more powerful force. The Regulans went to war as ashamed as they had been proud, and fought all the more bitterly.

Armed to the teeth and sick with regret, the war had been driven by the petty hatreds of a few key leaders, but developed into an economic fact of life. After a few years, the Regulans had war and starvation as their only pastimes.

The arrival of the Federation proved a godsend. Although the Pardalis was crippled and ultimately destroyed by a nuclear warp-missile launched by an overzealous Regulan gunner, a core of survivors returned to the Federation with assurances that the missile had been fired despite orders. The initial truce found parties on all sides nervous, but eager to be friends.

A lot has been written in the decades that followed about the "Federation Effect" that brought peace to the Regulans, and resulted in the creation of the Regulan Trade Alliance less than three years after the loss of the Pardalis. But most now agree that the Regulans desperately wanted to break the cycle of war - they just lacked the focal event needed to bring them to the table. The Federation provided that, along with FTL radio technology, and enough economic incentives to encourage even the most prideful Regulan to stop shooting for a while to talk. Introduced to their many neighbors via the subspace waves, the Regulans set their talents to the long-term project of building what is now one of the most prosperous alliances within the larger umbrella of the UFP.

Culture

The dangerous racism of their interstellar war is happily abandoned, but the wide variety of coloration, fur type, and body-shape of the Regulan races is still the basis for hundreds of Regulan subcultures. The Regulans are sensualists in every sense, but they put particular store in their eyesight and sense of smell. Each shade of each color carries with it a set of connotations, and an innocently-chosen alien wardrobe might strike a Regulan as comical, absurd, or even mildly offensive, for reasons they're always willing to articulate. Regulans are critical of others, but equally so of themselves, and have surprisingly tolerant, gentle natures, considering their recent history.

Regulans prize physically creative artwork above the ephemeral. A Regulan might enjoy dancing as a kind of sport, for instance, but don't really regard it as art unless it makes something permanent that can be touched. Each of the Regulan allied worlds prides itself on local variants of the strovothra, a form of organic-matter sculpture meant to stimulate the nose as well as the eye. A 60-meter column of twisted fruit-bearing vines, bonded by damp clay, was erected as a centerpiece display at a Regulan exhibition in Paris, on Earth.

Physiology and Psychology

The Regulans are felinoid bipeds with height and weight comparable to humans (some are slightly heavier). Their fur ranges from the short and glossy to the thick and shaggy, with any number of colors and patterns possible, organized by a bewildering variety of races and subspecies.

Regulans are born as twins or triplets, a fixed number depending on subspecies (the female Regulans are either double- or triple-breasted, accordingly).

Regulans are moved by beauty, horrified by violence and anger, and wrestle constantly with their potential for each. On the whole, they are a peaceful people, who turn nasty only when their feelings are seriously wounded.

Regulans have blunt claws that can be sharpened as dangerous brawling weapons, but most Regulans find the practice abhorrent and repulsive. Regulan fur is highly sensitive to both touch and temperature, though the Regulans themselves are adaptable to a wide variety of climates.

Noted Accomplishments

Regulans have achieved minor celebrity in nearly every area of endeavor, from the artistic (shehi pleth's bio-sculptures are gawked-at and sniffed in every part of the quadrant) to the scientific (the Sethessa Project, for example, which advanced the programming of the modern Universal Translator to levels of accuracy undreamed of before Regulan science got hold of it). Their most valuable contributions to Starfleet have been in diplomacy; a well-motivated Regulan is capable of great tact and understanding, and their personal warmth provides a much-needed complement to the cool logic of the Vulcans, especially in the touchy conferences which follow First Contact with new species.

Noted Characters

Pahtrek (2216-2270), linguist and programmer who spearheaded the Sethessa Project. R'moa, the celebrated head chef at the President's Mansion in Paris. Vandor Shen, heroic commander of the U.S.S. Pardalis-A.


Contents of this page are Copyright ©2000 by S. John Ross

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