Alien
Generic term for any non-terragen sapient being.


alien small
Image from Bernd Helfert

For centuries (from the late Industrial/early Atomic Age to the late Federation period) the idea of Aliens exerted a tremendous attraction on the human psyche. Entire mythologies and religions developed around supposed aliens and contact with them (including ufoism, x-philanity, nuagism, rhaelism, askarism, conspiricism, etism, cosmism, dannikan progenism, and more). Almost all of these experiences, where genuine, turned out to be spontaneous shamanic episodes (mythopoeised or distorted out of body experience, etc.), while others were shown to be fakery, shared delusion, wishful thinking, or (where revealed under hypnosis) false memory syndrome. Real alien sophonts, when finally discovered during the late Interstellar Era, proved to be nothing like the anthropomorphic greys of ufoism, the benign space brothers of nuagism, or the ultratech beings of cosmism and progenism. Almost without exception, aliens were technologically inferior to the terragens, or, where equal (as with the Muuh), reclusive and in decline. Not one race of alien sophont, living or extinct, is known unambiguously to have visited Earth before the Terragen expansion into space.
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 10 September 2001.