Star*Drive: Visions of the Verge
The third sentient species to be brought into humanity’s fold, the aleerins were discovered and adopted by a young stellar nation just as the weren were. For the aleerins, though, the meeting took on a different, though benevolent, tone. Rigunmor diplomats were astounded by the wonders of Aleer, and paid the natives a compliment by sparing no expense to demonstrate the advantages in an alliance with the Rigunmor Star Consortium. To the amazement of the Rigunmor delegation, prepared for months of arbitration, the aleerins signed a commercial agreement after only a few days.
Although the Rigunmors attributed the aleerins’ haste to their appreciation of Rigunmor society or to the aleerins’ ability to communicate quickly through their Grid, the truth was that the aleerins were especially vulnerable at the time. Three centuries previously, the warlike and expansionist aleerins had discovered and fought a sentient species within their own star system. The complete annihilation of this species produced a revolution on Aleer and a radical change in aleerin culture. The aleerins vowed to put aside their violent ways.
More radical pacifists, the uncompromising Negationists, swore that their own biological components were incompatible with peace. Shedding the last remnants of organic life, the Negationists became one with their computers. After stripping aleerin military vessels of their weaponry, they departed in the aleerin fleet. Those who remained on Aleer still felt the impact of their departure for decades afterward, as the fleet slowly sailed out of radio communication range.
Though it wasn’t obvious on the surface, the Rigunmors had encountered a species just recovering from incredible internal turmoil. And though it never became an issue, the aleerins had no fleet. The Rigunmor proposal to incorporate Aleer within the Rigunmor sphere of influence met no resistance. The aleerins even accepted the name that humans gave them: mechalus. Shedding their old name seemed to serve as the last element of the revolution.
The mechalus’s unique abilities and technology have contributed to the Star Consortium’s growth as an interstellar power. Though most mechalus refused to fight in the Second Galactic War, the indirect effects of mechalus assistance proved essential to the Rigunmors, especially against computer-savvy VoidCorp. Even the most pacifistic mechalus, it turned out, did not consider Grid warfare a form of violence. The mechalus don’t speak about their contribution to the war effort often, but surely they had something to do with the Consortium’s freedom from crippling electronic attack.
Today, the mechalus are recognized as the unquestioned masters of computer and Grid technology; they are the front-line defenders of Rigunmor Grid sectors against hostile tampering. In fact, their skill at manipulating the Grid is so advanced, only the best of Insight and VoidCorp can match them. For the Rigunmors and those lucky enough to secure mechalus labor con- tracts from the Consortium, mechalus technology provides a powerful source of efficiency and protection.