|Average Male Height:||165 cm (5 ft. 5 in.) to 193 cm (6 ft. 4 in.)|
|Average Male Weight:||59 kg (130 lb.) to 104.3 kg (230 lb.)|
|Average Female Height:||157 cm (5 ft. 2 in.) to 188 cm (6 ft. 2 in.)|
|Average Female Weight:||49.9 kg (110 lb.) to 90.7 kg (200 lb.)|
|Minimum Academy Age:||19|
- Note: This is an NPC Rated species.
- This article was written by the player of Xan Macleod, and is based on the TV series "Alien Nation".
The Tenctonese, or Newcomers, are a humanoid species with a pale terracotta skin that feels slightly spongy to the touch. They are hairless but have spot patterns over their craniums that go down their neck and trail down to a point at the base of their spines. The patterns vary according to gender: females tending towards smaller more delicate patterns, males elongated and slightly wider spots, while catalysts (see below) have very large spots that clearly identify them.
They are a resilient, adaptable and long-lived species who, for the most part, are deeply emotional and spiritual. As former slaves, bred aboard a ship, they value freedom of solid ground and a sky above them very highly. Only the younger generations, who hadn’t reached adulthood before their release, are tempted to venture back among the stars.
Despite their long enslavement they have managed to hold on to their beliefs and culture, including their own language, both written and oral.
- 1 Physiology
- 2 Psychology
- 3 Society and Culture
- 4 History and Politics
- 5 Tencton
Tenctonese are physically superior to humans, at least partially due to forced breeding. They are stronger, more adaptive, quick to learn and highly intelligent. Despite this they often struggle with human slang and humour, and one major weakness is their reaction to salt water, which burns them like acid.
They also have highly developed senses, which make them sensitive to strong smells and loud noises. Tenctonese do not have ears that protrude from their bodies, but hear through delicately shaped ear valleys set in a small mound in roughly the same area as a human ear.
A typical Tenctonese will live to around 140 years. Their growth rate parallels humans through adolescence, but at the age of about 20 their aging slows by about half.
They have two hearts, spaced like the human lungs, positioned near the top of their chest cavities. Blood is a light pink and their stomachs cannot process cooked food. The Spartiary Gland regulates their metabolism and accelerates healing.
Tenctonese have very sensitive nerve clusters, or axials, just underneath their armpit that are the physiological equivalent of human temples. Striking them there has the same effect as kicking a human male in the groin. If precisely struck, with enough force, a blow to the axial can be fatal.
Tenctonese spines are erogenous zones, which are so sensitive that merely humming along the line of their Potniki spots is intensely pleasurable. Certain tones (e.g. F# above high C) are also very arousing to a Tenctonese so humming is considered the basis of foreplay and is often referred to when discussing the possibility of sexual activities. Other sensitive areas are the bridge of the nose, shoulder blades and the backs of the knees.
Displaying the spots patterns is overtly sexual and Tenctonese female might have a dress that reveals her back in the same way a human woman would wear a low cut top.
When a Tenctonese is embarrassed their eyes change colour and flu or cold like illnesses cause them to blink instead of sneeze. When stressed, their feet ache in the same way a human’s neck might.
The temple plays an important part in the Tenctonese way of life (See Society and Culture,) but their customs have a grounding in an instinctive physical need for (non sexually related) contact, a lack of which in a baby or young child can have a negative physical effect. . A hormone can be extracted from male newcomer blood and used as a steroid in a human.
Tenctonese react badly to tobacco, experiencing muscle seizures, though the effects are not permanent and do not have lasting effects unless it is used repeatedly.
Tencto-nip balls are like catnip, they can be rubbed between their hands to produce a soothing effect on their nervous system.
Tenctonese require UV light and will spend time under a lamp for extra energy. They will be irritable if they have a deficiency and it may cause their spots to fade slightly.
There are three Tenctonese sexes:
The Gennaum resembles a human male, (though the sexual organ is generally larger,) and has a pouch like an Earth marsupial. Referred to as ‘he’, he provides the sperm and half of the genetic material required to produce a child.
The Linnaum resembles a human female. Referred to as ‘she’, she provides one half of the genetic material required to produce a child, but is unable to conceive without a catalyst.
The Binnaum (or third one) resembles a human male though their genitals are significantly different. Referred to as ‘he’, he provides the catalyst the Linnaum and Gennaum require to conceive. Binnaum do not contribute genetically to the child.
Less than one percent of the population are born as Binnaum and therefore each one is called to serve around six to seven hundred females per year. They are traditionally sequestered and it is very unusual (and frowned upon) for a Binnaum to become involved in a romantic relationship, though not entirely unheard of.
Tenctonese are not genetically compatible with other races, but Gennaum and Linnaum physiology is compatible for a physical relationship with humans.
A normal Binnaum prefixes his name with the term Bin. The leader of the Binnaum order is called the Drevny and it is he who overseas the welfare and distribution of the catalysts, though a couple will often request the same catalyst for each child they conceive and consider that Binnaum as a member of their extended family.
The Tenctonese gestation period is four months. A pregnancy begins with a formal ceremony of conception, the size of which is at the parent’s discretion. It should be noted that Tenctonese consider this to be a joyous occasion to be shared with friends and family and do not understand the human concept of embarrassment in such circumstances. They will however be very hurt and offended if their invitation is refused.
The Presentation of the Binnaum
If following a typical Celinist ceremony (Celine and Andarko wrote the law of the Binnaum, See Religion), the Gennaum will invite three friends that are important to the livelihood of his family to the Presentation of the Binnaum. Some days before, he gives them each seeds to carry in their trouser pockets, which are then collected at the ceremony and mixed together.
The men must touch their palms to the forehead of the Binnaum, and then the head of the Gennaum’s workplace washes the Binnaum's feet.
On the night following the Presentation, the Binnaum prepares the couple’s house for the coupling. A bath is prepared for the Linnaum with the herbs of Celine and after she has taken it, she will wear a special robe, with a veil.
During the coupling the Linnaum and Binnaum have their faces covered by veils and the Gennaum and guests stand around them in a circle (backs turned) holding candles in one hand, while the other rests on the shoulder of the person next to them. A prayer is said for a successful coupling.
It is the Linnaum’s choice how much of this is observed, she may even choose to be catalysed in private, with her husband waiting outside.
After the catalyzation is complete, the Binnaum formally gives the wife and husband back to each other, and they go somewhere private to have sexual relations. Note: they do not consider what the Binnaum and Linnaum do to be sex unless they are involved in a romantic relationship.
The Tenctonese female in her first quarter of pregnancy gives off a scent known as the Razviti hormone, which is extremely attractive to the males. Husbands often become very jealous during this time.
The female requires cellulose during pregnancy to stop the build up of mucus, for this she will normally eat woodchips or newspaper. She will give birth to a pod, which the male then carries to term in his pouch, or ‘lingpod flap’.
As they approach the time when the female is to eject the lingpod, the couple become biologically in sync. The Tenctonese are no more telepathic than the average human, and this is a chemical process started during conception, although it is not unusual for close family members, including other offspring to have sympathetic symptoms. Symptoms include, aches and pains, an increased emotional state and dilation sickness.
In preparation to receive the pod, a male Tenctonese will begin to massage his lingpod flap and twist his nipples to strengthen them. They may also do physical workouts designed to prepare their pouches. Since all Tenctonese view this as a simple biological process there is no embarrassment about doing this in public.
A birthing case is prepared at this time containing a Mallet, Ground Charcoal and Matches.
At the First Birthing the oil of Celine is burnt and a prayer is said to ask Celine for a blessing for the new life. It takes place in whatever environment the couple have chosen but it will be designed to promote relaxation and harmony, close family and friends may be invited.
The parents sit facing each other and the female gives birth from her navel, first the tentacle emerges, followed by the lingpod itself. Charcoal powder is sprinkled over the female’s navel after delivery, to help it close up.
A mallet is used to break off the pods hard outer covering and the parents will eat some of it. At this point they can tell the sex of the child from the shape of the pod.
The lingpod’s tentacle attaches itself to one of the males nipples and he tucks the pod inside his pouch.
Two phases of male pregnancy
Towards the end of the first phase of his pregnancy a male will become very sensitive. His hormones run wild and he experiences backaches, swollen ankles and a ringing in his ears.
In the second phase the baby gets higher as it moves towards the entrance of his pouch, it should also turn so that it emerges head first.
It is said some newcomer males don’t feel truly masculine until they have given birth
A circular rotating motion is important to a baby’s development and the parents will get a specially made oscillator for the purpose. The infant must also receive ‘the touch’ to its temples at least ever hour. This consists of making a fist and holding the backs of the fingers to the baby’s temples, it is how Tenctonese give love and a child may become restless and even sick if it is not done.
Tenctonese are by nature a peaceful and benevolent people and it was that trait that made them easy to conquer. They have a tendency towards naivety because they do not always understand how differently a human thinks. In truth they are very literal and straightforward but they are very intelligent and have a great capacity to learn, especially younger generations that have been born on New Angeles or were but children on the ship. They are adapting well to their new environment.
On the slave ship, there were officially two types of Tenctonese, slaves (Dregna or Cargo) and the Overseers (Kleezantsun/ also means Demon). (See History)
The Kleezantsun/ were Tenctonese specially trained to manage the rest of the Cargo. They were separated from their families as children and deprived of affection and ‘the touch’. Their temples were even covered to prevent them receiving love, which left the children who were rescued from them during the crash with severe behavioural problems. They were taught to despise the others as inferior and were allowed the luxury of developing their minds, though that often took the form of sick games. The test of a Kleezantsun/ child was to have them kill the adult they were closest to, thus forever severing the bonds of love.
On New Angeles, the Kleezantsun/ have proven themselves able businessmen and women, but are often behind criminal activities where the exploitation of others is the key to their success. They can be identified by the tattoo around their wrist, a profane phrase in Tenctonese that contained something that negated the effects of the gas.
The majority of Tenctonese on the ship were, of course, Dregna. Over time, and without the restrictions of the gas, they have started to move out of that mindset and learning from their human neighbours to begin to demand equality. It has been easier for some than others to make the adjustment, which is partially the reason that the vast majority are still in menial positions. Those that do have the will to seek positions of responsibility often encounter resentment from their human colleagues because of their superior abilities and for the most part they deal with it with understanding, but it is possible to provoke them to anger.
They are grateful for their freedom but the inequality has begun to chafe, especially with the young who seek to rediscover their Tenctonese heritage rather than conforming to the Terran way of life. Ironically one of the ways they have of dealing with those feelings is a very human one: they have begun to run in gangs.
As in all species, there is a criminal element, though since their lives have been dictated for so long it is a sad fact that other than the mentally disturbed, they have learnt this behaviour from the humans of New Angeles.
Within the Dregna, there were the Elders who kept the spiritual beliefs alive and who even the Kleezantsun/ were wary of crossing. They have a deeper understanding of the universe, they are the keepers of knowledge and old technologies, and seek to help their people learn and understand. The most mystic of them can assert a physical control over their bodies that cannot easily be explained, such as being able to walk through the sea without being burned. They are not however magic, or telepathic and are most definitely mortal.
Society and Culture
While the Tenctonese have learned to shake hands with a human, their own natural greeting is to touch the backs of their index and middle fingers together briefly.
The temple is the place emotional love is received in Tenctonese culture, and they often express comfort and love to their friends and family by gently pressing the backs of their fingers in a closed fist to the temples of the other person. This is especially important in the development of babies and young children as it helps them to connect to their parents and the world around them.
Pressing temples together would be the equivalent of a kiss on the cheek.
Tenctonese are complex people with their own art forms and music that is difficult to describe, but they appreciate human music as well and have gone so far as to translate some of it into their own language.
Religion is an important part of the Tenctonese life, but their beliefs vary greatly.
Celine and Andarko are probably the most important religious figures in the Tenctonese culture, however they are a comparatively new religion.
The religion is based on two Tenctonese who lived a long time in the past and sacrificed themselves to save millions. It is said that they wrote the law of the Binnaum, which suggests that they were the one’s who segregated the catalysts and set them in revered position in Tenctonese society, most likely to help preserve their species since so few are born.
Their followers try to live by their example and pray to them for blessings, help and guidance.
An example of a Celinst prayer form, as explained by a follower: “We touch our fingers to each of our two hearts [crossed arms] then reverse them to show that the male and female are interchangeable. We touch our heads [temples] to bring their purity and goodness within us.
This is an old matriarchal religion, which predates the Celinist. It is followed by many of the Elders who hold a great reverence for all living things and preach oneness with the world around them.
Venda Crystal’s are given to each other to help them through difficult passages. They pray to Luibof to guide them, marking each other’s bodies with a charcoal like substance after ingesting a drug to bring on visions. It is their custom to cremate their dead in an open-air ceremony.
Not much is known about this religion, including its proper name, however it resembles the Eastern religions of Earth.
Male and female pairs do marry. It is rare but not unheard of, for a Catalyst to pair. On the ship their partners, or breeding pairs, were selected for them and so the freedom they have found of New Angeles has made other types of relationships possible, including same sex pairings and intermarriage with humans.
Some Tenctonese chose to deal with their inability to select their own partners by taking Sardonac. Sardonac is a drug that creates a tremendous attraction for the first person you see after taking it. When a couple has sex under its influence, it bonds them in eternal monogamy. If they don’t have sex it wears off in about a month. Some couples still choose to take it when they marry.
Day of Descent
This is a new holiday, created to mark the day the Tenctonese slave ship landed on New Angeles. A typical blessing on this day is. “Aim see terrata yas rifym vacwa vots tla” or ‘May the earth stay firmly under your feet’
The holiday lasts for three days, starting with a party on the first day. During the holiday, each Tenctonese selects a creature of New Angeles (human or animal) to do nice things for. They call their selected creature, the \Dork.
The third day is spent with friends and family and at some point they will come together to hold hands and take turns to reflect on their deliverance. “I am beholden to New Angeles for…”
No organs are removed after death, it is considered desecration, though some religions prefer cremation to burial.
In the Celinist religion the friends and family sit around an open fire sharing memories: Again there is a formality to the occasion as each person in turn offers a phrase. “I remember…” Afterwards they say a prayer together.
Tenctonese is a complicated language that includes gloteral clicks at the beginning and end of certain words.
Some examples of Tenctonese names are; Vessna, Jelana, Finiiksa, Moodri, Stangya, and Klensa
Insult - Mother/Father hummer
Polite term - Newcomer Derogatory name for Tenctonese – Slag, sponge head Derogatory name for Humans – Tert
Food is eaten raw, since a Tenctonese stomach cannot digest cooked food. Some examples of Tenctonese favourites are:
- Pig Spleen
- Frog with Vaseline
- Muskrat pie
- Raw pancreas
Sour milk is like wine to a newcomer. They can drink wine as well, but it does not have an alcohol like effect on them.
A Daruk (Present) is a pure expression of thanks – it cannot be refused without insult and it cannot be sold.
A Muatibuti is a spiritual centering for those who have recently been blessed with child. (It is a like a Christening, welcoming the child into the family.) It is presided over by the Binnaum. Each family member picks something they will be responsible for teaching the child: Love, Honour, Tradition, Spirituality etc. On the days leading up to the ceremony, each family member puts an item that represents what they will teach, into a collection vessel. At the ceremony they retrieve the item and give it to the child saying. “In your life I shall be the one that teaches you…”
The legend of Tagdot inspires a deep seated fear in the Tenctonese Dregna. The legend tells of a killer who arises every few generations to kill by severing the hands of his victims and allowing them to bleed to death. On the ship, the Kleezantsun/ used the legend to inspire obedience by showing a severed hand in a metal basin on the anniversary of the event.
History and Politics
Strong and adaptable, the Tenctonese became a slave race controlled by selected members of their population that were trained from childhood to be Overseers. The rest were bred like livestock and used as labourers on many Dominion held worlds.
When the order for the withdrawal back to the Gamma Quadrant was issued, the Elders of the Tenctonese race, who had been trying very hard to keep their culture and beliefs alive under the oppressive rule of the Founders, saw their chance and took it. The ship was sent off course, presumed lost by the Dominion, it crashed onto the remote human colony world of New Angeles.
The human inhabitants, though cautious, welcomed the 250,000 newcomers into their society…
Life on board ship
The Kleezantsun/ controlled the general population by use of a gas, while an element included in their tattoos kept them immune to it. The gas made them docile and prone to suggestion.
A description of the life on board ship, from one of the slaves: “We lived in our bed racks, thousands of corridors of bed racks, stacked a hundred storeys high, all fanning out like the spokes on a wheel, from a central hub. The overseers were charged with keeping order. They pumped gas to keep us submissive.”
Children were allowed to stay with their parents until they were ten years old, then an overseer would assign them to their future duties, sometimes another section of a ship, sometimes another planet. Some children were chosen to be Overseers, they would be denied love and conditioned to their job.
Despite this, a rich cultural background survived amongst the Tenctonese, preserved by the Elders of the Tenctonese race who functioned like a secret government keeping order and tradition intact.
There was also a rebel faction called the Udara whose actions brought severe punishment to the general populace in retaliation from the Kleezantsun/. Because of this, the slaves viewed them with mixed feelings, though many allowed themselves, and their children to be recruited and used by the Udara because it was the only hope they had.
New Angeles is a class M Planet on the edges of Federation space. Colonised by humans a few centuries ago, they were almost forgotten until they notified the Federation that an unrecognised alien starship had crash landed there, with around 250,000 Dominion slaves.
Dealing with the aftermath of the second Dominion war, the Federation advised New Angeles to deal with them as best they could until a relief ship arrived.
The ruling body of New Angeles quarantined the Newcomers and tried their best to understand what had happened, but the Tenctonese were confused and frightened and the universal translator struggled to make sense of their language. In the end it was the Tenctonese themselves that bridged the language gap, their genetically enhanced brains making the final connection that allowed them to learn Terran Standard English.
Compassion motivated the New Angeles government to begin moving their guests into better quarters and working with them to learn about their species and technology. Little Tencton was little more than a slum when it was first cleared for the Tenctonese, but still they thrived, adapting to their new environment. More prosperous Newcomers have been able to move out into the nicer parts of New Angeles, though some still feel safer remaining with their own kind.
Immigration assigned human names to each of the Newcomers but there were so many, the officials soon became creative, labelling them with names that ultimately singled them out as much as their race; Nicholas Nickleby, Edgar Allanpoe, Surak, Albert Einstein, even some that were purely intended to be humorous such as Polly Wannacracker. It is a shame they took that line since many Tenctonese value their human names as a badge of freedom and are grateful for their new homes.
Despite being welcomed by the society as a whole, they still encountered a lot of prejudice and were openly opposed by an organisation calling themselves ‘Purists’ Even twenty years later, the Tenctonese do not have the same rights as other Federation citizen’s on the planet. Some claim this is because of their Dominion background, some claim it is mere jealousy on the part of the humans.
The Federation have yet to make a ruling, choosing to recognise the colonies independence, though like any non-Federation species, they can join Star Fleet if they are sponsored by a Federation member.
Tencton was a beautiful blue planet with green trees, under three moons.
It is poetically described as “Silver Mist with meadows of a thousands stars”
Some of the Elders claim to remember living there but they give few details and little else is known.