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|Intelligent Lifeform Index|
|Four Letter Code||CENT|
|Planet of Origin||Velestus, Beta Quadrant|
|Encountered||TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday" & "Metamorphosis"|
|Current Tech Level||N|
|List of Named Centaurans|
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The Centaurans, also known as the "Alpha Centaurans", are a species indistinguishable from the Human race, hailing from Alpha Centauri IV. They are the fifth species to join the Federation following it's founding.
- See also: Alpha Centauri IV
The current population of Alpha Centauri is around 3 billion people, plus a small human and Vulcan population. Unlike Earth, there are no truly large continents on Alpha Centauri IV. The sum of the landmasses are numerous islands: large and small. No land-bridges nor any small straits connect any of the islands to each other. There is but one polar continent, in the northern hemisphere and two major oceans. Because of this physical isolation from other landmasses, each island would develop one large city, which would form the center of power for that island. And the Centauran people would develop a great deal of pride in their own city-state. So of course tensions would arise as exploration occurred. Searching around for resources only to find another people occupying that land, people fiercely loyal to their city-state. Rampant factionalization highlights the ancient history of Alpha Centauri IV.
Many of the humans living on Alpha Centauri are descended from the first immigrants from Earth, dating all the way back to the 21st century.
During Earth's 19th Century, the Centaurans faced the threat of extinction. Many city-states experimented with biological weapons following a worldwide nuclear weapons ban. Either by design or accident, a genetically engineered retrovirus was released on one of the northern continents. This retrovirus quickly mutated into several deadly strains and spread to the four corners of the globe. Millions sickened and died. The different city-states declared war on the virus and on each other. World leaders desperately searched for an antidote or a vaccine. When that search failed, governments looked for scapegoats.
The Centaurans refer to this time of death and disease as The Plague Years. It lasted over a decade. Strains continued to mutate, exacting a terrible toll in lives. Billions of Centaurans would die before the plague ran its course. The different governments of Alpha Centauri eventually ceased fighting--armies died faster than they could be trained--and began pooling their resources to combat the virus. The best scientists and doctors gathered in an Emergency Medical Council to coordinate their efforts in fighting the plagues.
Finally, in Terran Year 1871, this international team developed an effective antiviral agent and vaccine. The Centaurans stopped the plagues, but they did not forget the lessons The Plague Years had taught. The Emergency Medical Council became a full-fledged world government only five years after the end of the Plague War, as every surviving Centauran city voted to make Dr. Kulei Asephas, the discoverer of the vaccine, its leader. Despite Dr. Asephas' objections, she became global president by popular acclamation. Her government outlawed biological weapons and laid the foundations for a lasting time of world peace. This time of horror made the Centaurans realize how easily conflict could result in the destruction of all life on their planet. They learned to put aside their differences and work for the common good of all.
The people of Alpha Centauri never managed to break the light barrier on their own. First contact between the Terrans and the Centaurans was in the Terran Standard Year 2066, when a human scouting vessel detected radio transmissions around the fourth planet. Approaching, they saw an advanced satellite network, and a moonbase, and, much as the Vulcans had done with them, they made first contact.
The Centauran impact on Earth is immeasurable. While the Centauran's had never managed to develop warp drive, their terraforming capabilities were well beyond anyone else's, and were instrumental in reclaiming the ruin that was Earth. They were equally as instrumental in helping the Earth develop a single world government. After 2066, the various Terran nations, now that the Earth was being rebuilt, turned their attention to the stars, racing to colonize various planets, both within their own system and in other areas. Such races led to conflict, and the people of Alpha Centauri were enraged when a South American spacecraft fought with one from the European Hegemony in orbit of Alpha Centauri. With that, the Centaurans withdrew their terraforming technology, and along with the Vulcans, stated that they would be willing to deal with "any single unified Earth government." When Zefram Cochrane, Earth's number one citizen at the time, emigrated to Alpha Centauri, stating that he would sooner not see the Earth go through another world war, this shocked the Earth into action. Once the United Earth Government was started, relations resumed and the Centaurans returned with their terraforming equipment.
The other major advance of the early days of the proto-Federation was a simple esoteric one, but one which has much impact. The Centaurans were able to make the early scouting ships much more livable, so that the long treks between stars became actually bearable. These livability touches continue to this day; it was a Centauran who invented the Federation Holodeck, which aid modern starships in training and recreation.
Centaurans are outwardly indistinguishable from Humans. One thing to note, however, is that as a whole, the Centauran people are considered by most to be a very attractive people. This comes, probably from having had a few more centuries of evolution wherein good hygiene was figured out.
With minor differences in organ placements and DNA in comparison to Humans, Centaurans and Humans are able to interbreed with little difficulty - as such, it requires only minimal medical supervision.
Centaurans are capable of manifesting empathic or telepathic abilities anywhere from E1 to E4 and T1 to T3, though most Centaurans do not.
Centaurans, as a rule, tend to be artistic, contemplative and analytical. Many are pacifist and think deeply about any significant action before taking it. Of course, as each city-state is distinctive, this stereotype can change radically.
They are, as a rule, the most invisible people in the Federation. While carrying a great deal of pride in their homes, they also know that they are members of the Federation, as is everyone. Thus asserting their own race above being a Federation citizen reminds them of the city-state patriotism that led to the Plague Wars. Because of this belief, and a lack of assertion of their own racial identity, they are often mistaken as either Human or Betazoid. Many do not seem to mind - they know the truth in their hearts, and they know that just because they aren't rubbing peoples' faces in their culture doesn't devalue it. This is evidenced by the fact that they let themselves be called Centaurans. Such is a Terran term; they call their planet Velestus. They know it is Velestus though, so they don't need others to call it such.
Though a small percentage of Centaurans are capable of empathic and/or telepathic abilities, they tend to shy away from revealing them.
Without usurping the rights of the individual, the Centaurans have managed to find a fine balance in a loosely structured communal society. The population is spread out into self-contained communities across the planet's many island -- each settlement known as a da'den can exist alone but they regularly trade goods and knowledge and breeding stock.
Family life on Alpha Centauri is very loose -- traditional families giving way to a very cautious breeding plan that allows the genetic material of the population to be as diversified as possible. Couples might pair-bond for life, but more than one child is rarely born to the same couple.
Children on Alpha Centauri are raised in a grouping that translates as a crèche until they are five years old and are then either raised by their biological family or, if the parent or parents are not interested, by some other pairing to be supervised and mentored. It is not as cold as it seems -- the Centaurans are naturally affectionate, if at times a bit intense. They take pride in what they can contribute to the community and that pride shows up in their children.
Starfleet Intelligence Files
A good source on Alpha Centauri A & B: http://www.glyphweb.com/esky/stars/alphacentauri.html
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