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The Double Helix (Telarumcancer sapiens) are a sapient race of carbon-based brachyurid arthropods which largely communicate through scents and pheromones. The name "Double Helix" comes from the shape of their spacecraft; their actual name (if they have one) remains unknown. Initial contact between the Confederation and the Double Helix was made by Probe Number H227, which was sent through an Avalon Sector jump-point into Wild Space by the Confederation Committee for Interaction with Alien Intelligences. The probe later returned to Confederation space on 2654.072 carrying artifacts and data from an encounter with their ships; this encounter was by far Terrankind's most significant extraterrestrial contact since the discovery of the Kilrathi. By 2681, several unsuccessful attempts had been made to communicate directly with the Double Helix, including one notable fatality.

  • Personality: Not much is really known about the nature of the Double Helix largely due to their modes of communication, namely scents and pheromones. Attempts at replicating their form of communication have failed thus far, with the most notorious incident being the death of famed xenolinguist Dr. Justin Klein - he fried his cerebellum due to improperly calibrated Freneli-complex harmonic samples in the holo-link transmissions through which he was attempting to communicate. The lack of ability to communicate with the species has lent itself to some wild stories about them, none of which can actually be substantiated with any level of authority (for example, one story says that they haunt the wreck of TCS Tiger's Claw and are attempting to take over what's left of the ship's AI core). Probe Number H227's contact remains the best authority on their nature; the probe observed them to be generally pacifist though somewhat excessive when it came to preparing their food for consumption.
  • Physical Description: Double Helixes are large decapods that resemble a disk-shaped crab roughly 12 meters in width and averaging about 175 kilograms in mass. Their carapace is dark with a light plastron; it is thick in the middle, thinning out to a razor sharp edge. Along the edges are curved serrations, patterned similarly to those of a circular saw. They are known to be carnivorous, attacking prey creatures by launching themselves with their powerful legs. Once in the air, they give their bodies a ferocious spin by expelling gas with great force from holes their shells, aiming their bodies towards their prey and usually shredding it cleanly in the process. It stands to reason that they could use this same effect in self-defense, but none have been observed doing so. Like most brachyurids, Double Helixes are capable of manipulating objects with a set of overgrown forward pincers. Cutting ability aside, their body structures aren't particularly strong. The Double Helix are obviously possessed of great intelligence; how they can build a starfaring culture without auditory communication remains a mystery. Sleeping and reproductive habits remain unknown, though it's suspected they are ovoviviparous.
    • Motor Appendages: 2
    • Visual Organs: 2
      • Field of Vision: Optimal 80 degrees forward, Peripheral 120 degrees forward.
    • Auditory Organs: None
    • Olfactory Organs: 2
    • Gustatory Organs: 1
    • Propulsive Appendages: 8
    • Reproductive Organs: 1
  • Relations with Other Races: The Double Helix are relatively new players in the local interstellar community and have not yet made direct contact with many of the other races, particularly the ones that are non-starfaring or have only recently achieved FTL capability. They have had contact with the Confederation but no formal diplomatic relations have been established owing to the aforementioned ongoing communications problems. It's suspected that they may have some knowledge of the Mantu and possibly the Nephilim, though the nature of their relationship with those races is unknown.
  • Territory: The current territory of the Double Helix is unknown; it is not even known whether they possess Faster Than Light drive technology, let alone any substantial interstellar holdings (Probe Number H227 did not detect anything that looked like a standard Akwende or Morvan drive on the ships it encountered). That said it is generally believed the location of the Double Helix homeworld is somewhere coreward and spinward of Avalon Sector; any interstellar territorial holdings would be in that same general region.
  • Onomastikon: Without a spoken language, there isn't much upon which to base the onomastics of Double Helixes. The data collected from Probe Number H227, however, suggests that each individual has a unique odor which is used as a form of identification. The best way available to Terrankind to describe these odors is through the use of descriptive words (a crude system at best), using a modifier based on the intensity of the odor and how it is received by the Terran brain. Double Helix "names" consist of two words, one used as a "prefix" and the other as a "suffix". Any other information on the topic is unavailable.
    • Prefixes: Very Weak, Weak, Distinct, Strong, Very Strong, Intolerable.
    • Suffixes: Aggregation, Alarm, Aroma, Camphoraceous, Epideictic, Ethereal, Floral, Fragrance, Information, Mint, Musk, Odor, Offensive, Perfume, Primer, Pungent, Putrid, Reek, Release, Reproductive, Signal, Stench, Stink, Territorial, Trail.
  • Motivation: Without a clear mode of communication, the motivations of Double Helixes remain a mystery (like most aspects of this race). So far they've only been encountered a few times and those encounters have been peaceful, so it may be that they are simple explorers. It could also be that they are patrolling their sphere of influence (if one exists) to protect against any outside threats. It can only be speculated if their motives are more sinister than that or not.

  • Basic Characteristics:
    • Size Class: C6
    • Base HP: 30 (+50 AHP)
    • Base HD: 49/46/55
    • Physical Attribute Building Point Pool: 75
    • Mental Attribute Building Point Pool: 175
    • Discipline Building Point Pool: 270
    • Genders: 2
    • Life Stages: Adolescent at 16 years. Adult at 21 years. Middle age at 51 years. Old Age at 76 years. Venerable Age at 92 years.
    • Lifespan: 94 + 13d5 years.
    • Girth: 9.08 + (2d5 x 0.61) meters.
    • Mass: 127.5 + (same 2d5 from girth x 8.5) kilograms.
    • Speed: Runner (Multiped) - 36 kph (61 m/rd); 12 (short-range combat), 2 (long-range combat)
    • Trade Value: ¤2,200
    • Racial Abilities and Restrictions:
      • Saw-Like Carapace. The body of a Double Helix is capable of both attack and defense; it acts as First Class natural Armor and can be used for attack (Slam; 4 Lethal Damage).
      • Math Whiz. Double Helixes appear to be able to handle complex mathematical equations easily; they have Math Expert at +10.

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