There is a world, twelve pipes from here, where the people are soft and covered in a very fine fur, from top to bottom. At first glance, they all look very alike except for pigmentation but some grow their fur longer or shorter in accordance with their religion. They are descended from animals who walked on the plains of their world, who in turn descended from more primitive creatures who lived in the trees. They bear some shame in their heritage as they cut their fur and attempt to keep it covered even when the environment is not hostile.
They do not live long, but they scurry around and fill their short lives with meaning. They do not hibernate, but some choose to enter storage and wait out the years. They do have a hibernative state which they enter frequently in order to process and meditate on the events of the past and plan for the future. During this time they are insensate and extremely vulnerable and will secure themselves away from others (other than their mates or immediate family) while in this state. They cannot regrow a limb without the use of technology and, more amazingly, seem intelligent despite having only one brain. They breathe a mixture of gases which would be poisonous to us and their outer surface is dry and sloughs off a constant stream of matter. They balance on two thin limbs, a holdover from their plains-dwelling ancestors, which afforded them height so they could keep an eye out for predators. They only have two upper limbs which have one manipulator each which means they are very limited in their ability to multi-task and enhance this through the use of technology. By all accounts they are a very reactive and intuitive species and enjoy solving puzzles, responding well to rewards.
Internally they are much like us – organs and glands and blood. Through an unfortunate accident of evolution, their reproductory organs are situated in the same flesh coverings as their excretory organs which must lead to terrible problems. And some of them have died because they share the same pipe to eat and drink as they do to breathe. Much of their capacity for sensual enjoyment is linked to both these regions and is linked to their reproduction, which they control chemically. They don’t have any capacity for ####### (translation missing). Their bodies are a balance of symbionts and they are highly susceptible to parasites. Their mastery of chemicals is quite astounding and they use them for medical and recreational purposes. This again led to conflict as a significant proportion of their society used to believe that pleasure for the sake of pleasure was the downfall of a species and many were persecuted or killed for having fun.
Their history is not unlike our own. They had a brief, though more recent spate of petty wars about resources but at the same time maintained a very rapid rate of technological and social development though their primitive roots were never truly released as even when they reached out to touch other worlds, they still believed in gods in the sky and performed regular apostheosis rituals on some members of their upper castes. We cannot judge as this was important in our own development. Their socio-political unification is very important to them and is central to their development of their present culture. They are a social species, developing complex relationships and with a marked preference for beauty and aesthetics. They express themselves in everything they do which has led to conflict in the past due to differences in belief systems. Their expression is often the only way they leave their mark on the universe and what they create is often revered by others after they are long dead.
Contact with the Traders took more than eight of our years, equivalent to four of their lifespans as they reacted at first with fear and violence. By the time they had matured enough to respond with reason, they had rid themselves of most of their primitive trappings. The Traders did their usual work – taking some of their culture to share with the universe, in return for a map of the universe.
I have not yet seen a Human but I wish to.
Seren is a member of the Able, a term for their species on their planet. The Able at first glance resemble Earth molluscs and crustaceans. They are semi-aquatic, returning to pools for a hibernative stage in their development which they refer to as their childhood. They can have several childhoods in a single lifetime. Their world orbits their sun very slowly in comparison to Earth and an Able is fully grown at one of their years. Most never live beyond six years of age but there are some who reach ten years.