All Sixliss have patterns of livid blue across their bodies. These patterns vary widely from person to person. When they are excited or aroused the blue will brighten. The blue areas are a symbiotic bacterial life-form that lives in patches of the skin. The Sixliss equivalent of adrenaline causes them to brighten in color. The bacterial lifeform cannot survive outside the Sixliss body and is instrumental in photosynthesizing needed nutrients for the Sixliss. Should a Sixliss lose their bactiods through disease or trauma, they must take dietary supplements, and they will no longer have blue areas on the skin. Success has been had in replanting the bactiods from living relatives. Their eyes have a six pointed iris and can be from a light yellow to a dark brown in color. Mucus membranes are a purplish color. Lifespan is 90 standard years on average.
The young are born live, semi-helpless and able to digest anything an adult can eat. They could possibly survive without adult care within six weeks of birth. The time from which they are fully mobile. Once mobile the young are everywhere they can get. Curious about the world they find themselves in, they explore everything they can reach. The adults must be fully on their toes to keep ahead of the young one. Baby-proofing is a Sixliss concept. Their family is a loose clan of 4 to 8 adults that cares communality for the children birthed by the clan's females. Pair bonding is unknown. Careful track is kept of who bred whom so that accurate records of a child's sire and dam are known. In a small population this is vitally important. For the first three years the young one is allowed to play and enjoy childhood, socialization is informal and relaxed.
By the age of four the child's mentation and discipline are up to the task of more formal learning. They will join in the common schools of their ship. School is also a time of exploration, for the first time they will see many children and adults from outside their own family. It is a time if excitement and trepidation.
Formal education in the common schools will last for an additional five years. By that time the child will be a physical adult. Sex outside of breeding is possible, but not as popular as it is with Humans.. Females (and anyone with a good nose) know when they are fertile. And they are taught from an early age to avoid mating during this time if children are not desired. Sixliss libido is not urgent. And keeping discipline among the young adults is not a difficult task if there are interests enough to distract them from sex.
When a Sixliss has finished their time in the normal schools they must solicit an apprenticeship. The training of professions is done in this way. Each section recruit is put under the command of a master that trains them. The help of all hands is required and both males and females will train equally. When they are fully trained in their profession, usually around the age of 17, they are considered ready to join Sixliss society at large.
All adult Sixliss will seek a clan to join. Clans are the accepted environment to raise children and breeding is considered a duty. Genetic diversity must be maintained, and each person must do their part. The clan is divided evenly by gender. It will typically number between 4 and 8 breeding adults. When a clan member becomes to old to breed they step aside, and allow the clan to pick another breeding member. They do say on with the clan and continue to raise the young and support the clan. Clans may have as many as five generations within them, but only the current breeders are considered the "clan" proper.
One breeds children, does the work of the ship and pursues one's interests. When the time of breeding is over you continue to do what work you can and in time enjoy the leisure of old age.
Sixliss medicine is not as advanced as the Federation. Diseases that plague the old are common and little can be done for most of them except support and pain relief. Death when it comes is generally from one of these aliments or the general failing of the body. Sixliss have no concept of an afterlife, and death is fought to the last. However, the reaper will win. The dead are mourned by family and friends. Unless they died of some disease that makes the meat unhealthy to eat, their body will be consumed at a funeral feast in their honor.
Sixliss are gregarious to a fault. They do not do well alone, but thrive within the company of their fellows. Sixliss are believed to be descended from ancient pack omnivores that wandered the fertile grasslands and light forest of the ancient homeworld. Any evidence to back these theories is long destroyed, other than what little scholarly work the Sixliss themselves brought with them, and precious few fossils and ancient tools. Any proof was seared to ash in the nova.
To the Sixliss the good opinion of one's neighbor is good as gold. To be shamed before the community is the greatest punishment. The good opinion of the community one's highest reward. Shame is the control in Sixliss society. For the Sixliss death is better than shame, and only dishonesty is worse. Truth, no matter how harsh must be told. The Sixliss themselves note that the adherence to absolute truth is an artifact of the Exodus. Lies can endanger the entire population of a ship, and truth must be placed before any level of personal or community shame. Sixliss will otherwise go to extreme lengths to not be shamed, or to not shame others.
Historically the seeking of family and public favor has meant a low interpersonal crime rate among the Sixliss. Criminal behavior when it happens is found to be the work of an individual who is a stranger to the community, or rejected by it. Finding that too much shame has driven one of their own to crime will shame an entire community. The responsibility for social misfits is borne by the community at large.
As a result, there is a good deal of effort to see that anyone new in your neighborhood is quickly brought into the social circle. You need only fear outsiders, and once someone is no longer an outsider, they are not to be feared. Things like the community welcome wagon are serious affairs. It is important to quickly make new people part of the community, and important to the new people to become part of the community.
War is a rare event under such circumstances, but again the difference between community and non-community have played major roles in Sixliss intercede warfare. Conquests are brutal affairs, with the defeated being driven completely off the conquered land. Armies turned loose among conquered strangers will wantonly murder, rape (a crime otherwise unheard of in Sixliss society*), kill and eat children. "Them" have no rights, are not sentient beings and what you do to them doesn't matter. "Us" are to be protected at all costs. Under the circumstance is it well that war has been rare among the Sixliss. The Rape of Nanking is child's play in comparison to how Sixliss at war treat the enemy.
Sixliss can be seen as exclusive in their behavior towards others, but inclusive in that it is easy to become one of them. Indeed they feel safer about you once this is done. They will doubtless prove an easy mark for the Frengi and Orions. It will be necessary to impress on the Sixliss that what is a rule for you, is not a rule for others.
Sixliss must have other Sixliss around them. A Sixliss removed from the company of their own kind, die. It will take months, but they will lose the will to live, and allow themselves to die. It is not yet known if Sixliss can adapt people of other races as substitute Sixliss. A circumstance in which this would be necessary has not occurred.
- Of note is the general reaction to rape. The raper is afterward solicitous to the ravaged female and protective of her. Once the female has overcome the shock of the act, she is likewise demurring to the attacker. The sex act no matter how violent forms a bond between the male and female. They cannot be enemies afterward. So strong is this reaction that orgies, unheard of in any other aspect of Sixliss society, were a common feature in the peace process in ancient times. It is believe that this was done in the inter-tribal warfare of the pre-civilized eras to bring the captured females into a band. It can likewise be argued that a forceful female can render a potential attacker an ally by mating with him. Again the loss of the evidence will render this question to be without a final answer.
Art and CultureEdit
Sixliss enjoy a wide and varied cultural heritage. They have their share of great writers, poets and philosophers. They possess about 5000 years of recorded history, a bit spotty in the beginning, but known of. Regrets are heavy here as they know that any earlier history was lost forever. Drama, music, and visual arts are all well established and practiced.
The church is the handmaiden of the state. A true statement in Sixliss society. Sixliss religion better resembles modern psychiatry than any current form of religion.
While a large pantheon of gods does exist, each is tied to an emotion or aspect of the being corporate. Any Sixliss on the street will admit, with some prodding that perhaps the gods don't exist as separate beings, but they will insist that each person has the gods within them, and needs to balance their urges. "The gods" exist in part as a safe and impersonal method of discussing with the Counselor-priest what is troubling a person, and as a handle for the priest to give advice. One can speak without shame of the troubles that "Lust" might cause, or the difficulty one is having with "Sloth" and the "drink daemon" without saying "I am too lusty" or "I am lazy and prone to drink too much". Both shameful statements. Likewise the priest can detail means of dealing with these "outside forces" without telling one to their face that they have a problem, also a shameful act. Along with this is a large body of teaching myth wherein the gods personified act out various moral lessons, such as what happens when Want rules over Reason, or "The Day Curious Went too Far" a cautionary tale commonly taught to young children.
The priesthood of the Sixliss religion deal little in ceremony. Their small role in this is to mark with ritual that which is to be remembered. A priest urges, "pay attention" or "look here and be aware" when events of community importance are to take place. The more common role of the priest is as public health workers. Priests are sworn to never reveal a persons problems unless the safety of the Ship is endangered. A priest is considered as important a profession as that of Engineer or Food Technician. Because of the intermingled nature of the body and the mind, priests and doctors have become interchangeable. The Priesthood are the doctors of the Sixliss.
Social structure outside of the family is arranged in a quasi-military organization required for the smooth functioning of the ship. Advancement is by merit and ability. Captains of ships are selected by the senior section masters from among their own number. How this system will survive once planet fall is made is not yet known. Each ship regards itself as a separate nation cooperating with the others, but sovereign.
The ruling body of law is "The Legacy" A selection of what the elders thought was the best in custom and law from the days before the fall. The Sixliss regard this document as sacred. Captains must swear to abide by it, and surrender all power when "the sky is open".
Law is lenient in most respects. Most penalties under law involve some form of public shame. A situation that Sixliss avoid. Only endangering the ship calls for death, and then only if the act was one of forethought.
The ships themselves called "Great Houses" are one of the most remarkable achievements of any culture. They are propelled by chemical rockets, and powered internally by a tidy and simple electrical system. Technology is the equivalent of Earth's mid 20th century, however no atomic theory is known. Sixliss scientists cling to the model of the Bohr Atom. Electrical technology is well advanced, with the development of the integrated circuit shortly before The Departure. This technology has been refined in ways seldom thought of. Semiconductors are widely used, and they specialize in the custom chip. Almost all programing is hardwired. A computer is built to do its tasks in the hardware. Two computers are seldom alike. These are limited but sophisticated analog systems.
The introduction of Federation technology has been swift and welcome. The Sixliss hold no nostalgia for the technology of their fathers, but eagerly lean anything that anyone is willing to teach. Sixliss cadets are already enrolled in Starfleet Academy and are expected to return to their Fleet after short tours of duty.
Little of importance has happened to the Sixliss since the Great Departure 188 yeas ago. Shipboard life is best when little of note happens. The event still fresh in everyone's mind is the Great Contact. The arrival of the USS Kongo NCC-10455, and the revelation that the Great Exodus would be over within a lifetime.
The Sixliss, still with the majority of their population in the Great Houses, has petitioned and been accepted as a full Federation member in record time. In an unprecedented move the issue was put to a full vote of the Sixliss people, and the vote was unanimous for membership. The only recorded incident of an unanimous vote from any race. They have been ceded the world of Garmar 3, now named New Home. The first ships are scheduled to arrive shortly with civil populations.
The Ferengi have objected to the sudden move, and the Cardassians have likewise called it a Federation conquest. The Romulans have registered an interest in meeting Sixliss, and Klingons noted them and have paid them no further attention.
The location of the Exodus Fleet has been kept a secret. However with a regular run to and from the fleet, Starfleet does not anticipate that secret can be maintained. A number of reserve units are being shuttled to the Fleet for their use, and the Great Houses are being repowered and armed to handle aggression should it come. Starfleet currently as an unknown number of patrol units assigned to protect the fleet. The USS Terra was seen loaded with four Defiant class escorts at Starbase 88. Those escorts were delivered to an unknown destination, believed to be the Exodus Fleet.
With the majority of the Great Houses empty, the remaining crews are shutting down and prepping the Great Houses for recycling the Behemoth class transports that moved the population are being reconfigured to haul materials.
After considerable study the Sixliss decided on a Vulcan style direct democracy to replace the rule of the Captains. A move the Legacy called for. NewHome is a vibrant cross between frontier colony world and developed Federation planet.
Starfleet has become, the default destination for those Sixliss with agoraphobia. They have a higher than average per capa participation in Starfleet. Captain Canda Ikosic of the Norway class USS Defender is the first Sixliss to command a ship in Starfleet.