Hemmoians

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Hemmoian.jpg

Type: Fungal Semihumanoid

Galactic Age: 2nd Generation

Expected Height: 1.3 to 3.0 meters
Lifespan Duration: Varies (Infinite through artificial means)
Skin Color(s): Yellow, Dark Yellow, White
Breathing Mixture: None

Original Homeworld: Orceron
Current Homeworld: Aldaain

Ethnic Groups:


Name of Government(s)


Evolution

Single-celled organisms

Billions of years ago in the warmth of the Great Sea of Orceron, single-celled organisms began to develop from organic acids after a cataclysmic asteroid impact drastically altered the conditions prevalent on the planet so that it could support life. From these primitive life forms, the multitude of species that are now collectively referred to as the Orceronian Hypergenome evolved, one of them being the primitive sea-dwelling species of fungus later known as the Pre-Hemmionids.

From Pre-Hemmionids to Neurohemmionids

At some point in their evolution, through some twist of fate, a Pre-Hemmionid strain adapted to living on the shores of the forest continent of CCHemmo, slowly evolving into a species of their own. The mid-sized continent was completely separated from the Orceronian mainland, where the other soon-to-be dominant species, the Orcs, were developing. Thus the two species never came in contact with each other as they evolved into sentience, separated by the vast ocean between their continents.

The diverse forest environment of CCHemmo provided a boost for the Terrahemmionid evolution, forcing them to adapt to work with a complex ecosystem with countless different types of life, as opposed to their previous ocean environment where only a handful of different species prevailed. The Terrahemmionids of this time were symbiotic that formed relationships with trees and other plant life, exchanging nutritions and growing vast multi-kilometer mycelium networks, interwoven with the roots of other plants. The fruiting bodies formed by the mycelium were slowly increasing in size in this period, as there were no limiting factors for their growth.

The mycelium networks, allowed to grow freely deep into the soil, soon became unbelievably complex. Flowing with various chemicals, nutritions and digestive enzymes alike, forming colonies and breeding grounds, they began to develop a new feature; bio-electric pulses running through auxiliary "neural hyphae" that could transmit crude packages of sensory input from one part of the mycelium network to another, helping it coordinate its growth and organization. The first Hemmoian nervous system had been born, and along with it, the new species of Neurohemmionids.

For thousands upon thousands of years the Neurohemmionids flourished in the forests of CCHemmo, spreading their influence all over the continent. At this point, the fruiting bodies could easily reach heights in excess of two meters from the ground, and developed additional sensory organ-like growths, like membranes that could analyze light stimuli, just like eyes.

Environmental changes

But the tides of time were about to change, and yet another new leaf was about to be turned over in Hemmoian evolution. As the CCHemmo tectonic plate entered a period of increased seismic activity, their peaceful existence came to an abrupt end. The massive seismic shifts caused catastrophic volcanic activity in the seas around CCHemmo. Young new volcanoes would rise from the oceans and explode with incredible rage, raining down fire and ash that would darken the entire continent and set it ablaze.

Food chains were breaking down as whole species became extinct in the CCHemmoian forests, their old habitats turning into pools of molten lava, and the sun in the sky no longer providing them with energy or warmth. The mycelium network was in constant pain. The Neurohemmionid nerves spread around the mass of land would feel every earthquake and every explosion as they rocked it around, writhing in agony. Large portions of mycelia were severed, forming isolated islands.

The cataclysmic events would continue for untold millions of years. It was during this time that the single most important stage took shape in Hemmoian evolution. The mycelia, no longer an interconnected network, was reduced to small mycelium islets that covered an area only a few meters in diameter, and even then, the mortality rates were high. The Neurohemmionid species was on the brink of extinction.

Self-contained myceliums

But during the era of disarray, some of the isolated northern races were showing signs of adaptation. The chitinous, tomentose surface of their fruiting bodies became tougher and tougher over time, and soon it was rigid enough to allow an incredible feat to be performed: mobility. The fruiting bodies, once mere launching platforms for spores, became protective vessels for the mycelium instead, as it withdrew its hyphae from the soil. The Hemmoian mycelium nervous system had found itself a body, with each fruiting body containing a self-contained mycelium of its own.

Anatomy

Hemmoians are tall yellowish beings with a stipe (body) of vaguely humanoid shape, with two arms on each side both with six fingers per hand. Hemmoians do not naturally have legs separate from the main stipe, although they are a common cybernetic enhancement. In their natural state, Hemmoian mobility is limited to slow shuffling speeds.

As they were evolved from fungus, they lack a rigid skeleton. Mobility is achieved solely by tendon, muscle and cartilage equivalents.

Normally a Hemmoian has two heart muscles, one bigger than the other, but as technology became more advanced, some have had extra hearts installed. Instead of veins, Hemmoian blood fluid is soaked directly through their spongy muscle tissue. The sticky fluid is colored orange.

Sensory and cognitive abilities

Vision

Hemmoians have two big, slightly protruding eyes with a combined field of vision of 280 degrees. Their eyes are often of different colors. Most of the time, an individual Hemmoian's eyes have long since been replaced with cybernetic enhancements; natural eyes are a rarity. Ocular implants offer Hemmoians command over a wide range of wavelengths, ranging from the natural visible light range to infrared, ultraviolet and beyond.

Speech & hearing

See also: Hemmoian languages

The Hemmoian speech organ is located inside the head of the individual, in the forehead region over the eyes. Unlike humanoid species, Hemmoians do not have vocal cords and the production of sound is not linked to breathing or the shape of the mouth, which the Hemmoians lack. Instead, the speech organ consists of a membrane that can be vibrated much like an electromagnetic speaker, capable of producing a wide range of sounds. Thus, the Hemmoians do not have to exhale in order to produce sound.

Hemmoian hearing is linked with their sense of feeling. The entire outer surface or "skin" layer of their bodies acts as a receiver for resonations in the gas around them, which translate into sensations of sound.

Mental faculties

The Hemmoian brain is highly advanced and has several "parallel processing" centres; some have characterized the Hemmoian brain as a "network of brains". The natural abilities have been further boosted with cyberorganic implants, such as the ubiquitous Cranial Implant, which maximize the usage efficiency of neural matter. As a downside, the unique construction of the Hemmoian mind makes them more susceptible to mental illnesses than many other sentient species.

Digestive system

As mobile fungal systems, individual Hemmoians can no longer rely simply on the immediate surrounding environment for a continued source of nutrition. Evolution has led to the fruiting body itself developing a large "fermentation canal," the equivalent of a stomach in non-fungal life forms, in which the Hemmoian gathers matter of nutritional value to be broken down and processed. Special enzymes are released to facilitate decomposition. Nutritients are then absorbed into the circulatory system.

The fermentation canal, basically an organic compost system, is emptied rarely; matter that is no longer useful to the decomposition/fermentation process is typically removed through the base of an individual once in a standard month.

Hemmoians require carbohydrates and especially glucose as a source of energy and are unable to utilize fats or proteins in energy production. They first produce pyruvate from glucose through glycolysis in 10 step process as many other life-forms. After this, however, they cannot utilize the citric acid cycle as their native environment had little or no oxygen. Because of this they utilize fermentation which is an anaerobic energy production method. During fermentation process pyruvate is first converted to acetaldehyde and carbon dioxide. Acetaldehyde (C2H4O) is then converted to ethanol (C2H6O). The overall process is then as follows:

Glucose + 2 ADP + 2Pi → 2 ethanol + 2 CO2 + 2 ATP + 2 H2O

Technology

Hemmoians are always known to have advanced ships, shields, propulsion systems and computer systems. Their Federation has some of the greatest inventions in the galaxy, including short-range time travel and limited inter-galactic travel, devices that can transform organic creatures to pure energy, and lots of other interesting machinery.

For further information, see Hemmoian tech.

Government

Main articles: Hemmoian Federation, Democratic Hemmoian Republic, Republic of Rilet

Most citizens of the Hemmoian Federation live in an artificial collective network, connected to the Collective by their cranial implants. The Collective is ruled by the Great Council.

The Federation does not have a single leader, however there is the Overhemmo, whose personality has been compiled from the minds that are in the council.

Another government was recently founded in the Delta Quadrant by a group consisting primarily of renegade Hemmoians, known as the "Democratic Hemmoian Republic", which does not share the Federation's strict Collective-based ideals.

For historical Hemmoian governments, see Hemmoian Unity and the Independent Hemmoians.

Reproduction

In their natural state, Hemmoians reproduce asexually, maturing in the soil like fungi. They do not have genders, which is why they are referred to as the gender-neutral pronoun xe (object: xem, possessive: xer, reflexive: xerself).

Reproduction Ban

In their current state, most Hemmoians do not reproduce. Since the advancements in computer implantation and mind/computer interfacing technology allowed accurate recording, backing up and restoring of entire minds, the death rate of Hemmoian personalities dropped to a near zero. This, in turn, allowed the population figures to skyrocket out of control on many urbanized worlds that were unable to keep up their infrastructure with the exponentially increasing birth rates.

Finally after the Census Bureau, despite advanced forms of automation, could no longer come up with accurate numbers for the total population of the Collective, the Federation officials declared reproduction through natural means illegal without a specific Government-sanctioned approval. To enforce this, special Reproduction Locks were installed on all members of the Hemmoian species, making it impossible for them to grow new spores. Cloning was also tightly regulated.

The Reproduction Ban laws are still in place today in the Hemmoian Federation; both birth and death rates are at a near-zero, as whenever a Hemmoian dies, xer mind is restored from backups in the Collective archives and implanted in a new clone body, unless xe specifically wishes otherwise. To avoid confusion with the different "versions" of a single Hemmoian's minds, a numeric naming scheme has been adopted.

The first consciousness is called, for an example, Dev 1 Lineet. If Dev Lineet would for some reason perish, enter a new body, or in some other way get altered to the point where a new copy of xyr mind must be constructed, xe becomes Dev 2 Lineet. Thus, the older the Hemmoian, the larger the number in xyr name. Some of the oldest beings in the Collective have been known to reach hundreds or even thousands. The Overhemmo, the symbolic leader of the Federation, has been recompiled over two thousand times.

The policies of the independent Democratic Hemmoian Republic differ greatly from Federation conventions. Their citizens do not live in a strictly controlled artificial computer Collective, and thus, do not necessarily need to adhere to the numerical naming convention. But since the vast majority, over 99%, of the Hemmoian population of DHR are actually defectors from the Federation, most of them still carry the Federation-mandated computer implants in their heads, and have been known to use them for back-up-copying and reimplanting their minds. However, there is a growing naturalist movement in the Republic that insists on removing the implants, reverse engineering the Reproduction Locks and leading a natural existence, living, dying and naturally giving birth to children. Thus in the DHR, a new generation of young Hemmoians is growing for the first time in a long while.