|Intelligent Lifeform Index|
|Four Letter Code||HIRO|
|Planet of Origin||Unknown, Delta Quadrant|
|Encountered||VOY: Message in a Bottle|
|Current Tech Level||N (spacefaring)|
|List of Named Hirogens|
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The Hirogen are a predatory, nomadic species located in the Delta quadrant.
Reports seem to suggest that the nomadic Hirogen society was driven by the pursuit of prey. Much of its energy into increasingly unproductive hunts in exhausted territories - as such, cultural and scientific advancement on their homeworld came to a standstill. They no longer have a homeworld they identify with, and instead are dispersed throughout the Delta quadrant.
The Hirogen were encountered several times by the USS Voyager during their journey home through the Delta quadrant. The first incident occurred in 2374, when Voyager attempted to make contact with the Federation via a communications network claimed by the Hirogen. A crewmember of the vessel sent an electrical pulse back when Voyager was ordered to stop, shocking a Hirogen male into submission. Later, crewmembers would also be captured, and Voyager would be forced to disable the relay network.
A pack of Hirogen ships successfully claimed Voyager and forced the crew to participate in holodeck hunting simulations, brainwashing the crew to believe they were genuine characters of the programs while leaving a select minority outside to treat the crew and create additional holobuffers throughout the ship. The holodeck technology offered the Hirogen a better chance to study their prey, and the Alpha believed it represented the next stage of Hirogen social evolution. Eventually, after fighting back, the restored crew forced the Hirogen to a standoff resulting in the death of the Alpha, although the current Beta, resenting his Alpha's decisions and partly convinced by a Nazi vision of superiority, attempted to kill the crew anyway. Voyager's captain gave the new Alpha the data necessary to make holographic technology, in the hopes that it would calm Hirogen society and stop them from hunting sentient beings. A cease-fire would be negotiated, hostilities suspended from that point.
In 2377, the results of this attempt at cultural manipulation were discovered. The Hirogen had gone on to make holographic prey in huge space stations, fitted with holoemitters. In order to make the prey more challenging, they had programmed the holograms not only with the ability to feel pain, so that they would avoid the hunters with more desperation, but also to learn and to retain knowledge after being killed. When they were reactivated for another hunt, they would remember the last one. The result was truly worthy prey. Predictably, however, prey that adapts quickly becomes the hunter. A rebellion would begin, resulting in many Hirogen deaths. The holograms went on to liberate other holograms and kill members of other biological species, until they discovered a planet where they could create a colony and live in peace.
Competition among males, hunting singly or in packs as "Alphas" and their subordinate "Betas," is for trophies or "relics" to display, including victims' skeletal remains, gutted organs and captured technology and artifacts.
The Alpha Hirogen is the title given to the leader of a Hirogen hunting party or pack. The Alpha is seconded by a Beta. If the Alpha Hirogen is killed or otherwise unable to command the hunting party, the Beta Hirogen replaces him as leader.
Contact between tribes is maintained through an ancient communication network over vast distances.
Hirogen adult males were quite large, standing above the average height of other known humanoid species. The species show characteristics of both mammal and reptilian based lifeforms. Their skin resembles that of a reptile with a rough pebble-like appearance to it. Typically, this tends to be tan or beige in color though this could vary but the entire species lacks any form of body hair. They also possessed greater physical strength than most humanoids.
Their sensory perception was acute, a feature that served well as the Hirogen were an aggressive hunting species. The Hirogen also possessed an impressive immune system. The Hirogen used an enzyme to break down the bones and muscle tissue of their prey, suggesting that the Hirogen used some of their victims as food. The color of Hirogen blood is red.
"The Hunt", was regarded with a reverence by the Hirogens, and bordered on spiritual awe. They have been known to express disappointment when the species they choose to hunt proves to be unchallenging. They rarely see other humanoids as equals because they often do not consider non-Hirogen as hunters. As a result, being called "worthy prey" by a Hirogen was meant as a great compliment. The Hirogen believed "you must never sympathize with your prey." However, they do bestow a rather unique non-Human compassion towards their prey, believing that they should never let their prey suffer.
Little is known about Hirogen women, though it has been suggested that they pursued male hunters in possession of rare or unique trophies acquired during a hunt.
The Hirogen society has been completely based upon the ritual hunt for a millennium, despite their advanced technological status. All other species are viewed as prey, not equals, but only challenging prey are prized and pursued. Competition among males, hunting singly or in packs as "Alphas" and their subordinate, "Betas".
Elements of their culture, such as social rituals and beliefs, were based on the hunt. One of the rituals surrounding the hunt involves hunters applying paint to their faces and helmets for both the hunt and the kill. Even with no face paint available, one specific Hirogen fighter who was forced to fight in the Tsunkatse matches still went through the ritual of running his finger over his face, as if applying paint.
Hirogen culture required a hunter to study his prey to understand its abilities, believing that such study was essential to prevent a hunter from becoming the hunted. Choosing the most appropriate weapon to make the kill was considered important; a scythe-like knife seems to be the preferred method for close range. There was great importance placed upon the moment of the kill and it was believed that the way a creature behaves when it was wounded was the key to its destruction.
Most Hirogen vessels traveled alone, sometimes with a crew consisting of as few as merely two members. One such vessel was known to have spanned a radius of 1,000 light years in just five years; it had also visited as many as 90 star systems in a single year. Occasionally, however, Hirogen vessels were encountered in groups or packs. This was more common if they were hunting a challenging and resilient prey.
After the Hirogen caught their prey, they removed the skeletal system, muscles, internal organs, ligaments and tendons by a surgical procedure known as an osteotomy. These items were kept as relics of the hunt. Unusual relics bring envy from other Hirogen males, and Hirogen females desired a male who had such unusual relics. These items couldn't be taken before the moment of the kill. Status was determined by possession of prizes from hunts, often body parts or technology obtained from their prey. These prizes, called "trophies" or "relics", were displayed in nets hanging from the ceilings or walls of their vessels. In the case of skulls, they were often mounted as a wall display.
Hirogen technology was not made for comfort. It, like its makers, was focused on the hunt. The Hirogen body armor had internal life support, with a breathing apparatus over the mouth and nose, and it can protect a Hirogen hunter while seeking prey in most hostile environments, including the surface of a collapsed star. Within their arsenal of various formidable weapons, Hirogen use tetryon rifles with a sensor display that helps a hunter to track their prey.
Hirogen ships made use of various technologies including torpedo launchers, shield emitters and sensors. Their vessels were also equipped with a subnucleonic beam that could perform rapid scans of other vessels and could severely disable another ship, disrupting its propulsion and its navigational sensors. Once a targeted ship was disabled, the Hirogen can use their tractor beam technology to tractor in their prey. Their ships also have monotanium armor plating. This plating offers extra protection and it had the added effect of scattering targeting beams. These vessels were also able to mask their engines by operating in stealth mode, when they wish to track a vessel without alerting it to their presence.
Communication between the Hirogen utilized a subspace relay network. This network was over 100,000 years old, and extends to communications range of the Alpha quadrant. It's powered by artificial quantum singularities, similar to Romulan warp drives. Each of these relays produced an intense gravitational field - when one of the relays was destroyed, the energy from the quantum singularity created a massive discharge that disabled the stations on the relay network. This didn't seem to upset their long range communication, as information about Federation holographic technology seems to have traveled great distances, passing Voyager on its way home. Perhaps the unidentified arrays of antennae on top of the holofacility were responsible.
A "ketric" was a distance measurement used by the Hirogen.