The Scalantrans are a non-human species who originated outside of our galaxy. They are the traders in the Aurora Universe and their trading connects the various worlds of the Aurora Universe. Because of this, the Scalantran Calendar is used as a Universal Calendar.
Although non-humanoid, the Scalantran body shape follows that of humans: two legs, two arms etc. They stand over seven feet tall and are covered with fine, brick red fur. They have six fingers on each hand with two opposable thumbs. Their eyes are very large and round and are a startling yellow color.
Sexual Characteristics and Reproduction Edit
Humans have difficulty telling male and female Scalantrans apart. Females have smaller ears and very small earlobes. Males have large ears with elongated earlobes, similar to those on the Easter Island statues.
The Scalantran reproductive system is similar to those of marsupials. Gestation is completed in the females pouch, which is known as a tlax.
Social Structure Edit
The social/sexual/family structure is the "mate-group." This consists of a group of males and females of various ages. The sexes are fairly well balanced. Although sexual relations can be with anyone in the group, couples who are more or less exclusive can form within the group for various time periods. An exculsive couple is formed for the purpose of conceiving a child and bringing it up until it can leave the mother's tlax.
During rituals, however, the couples dissolve since sexual relations are a form of bonding within the group and rituals involve various types of group sex. Joining the group is assumed to be for life, but one's group can be changed under certain circumstances. It is unheard of to have sexual relations outside of the group.
The children are brought up by the group and are thought to belong to the group as a whole. At puberty, they will leave the group and join a more or less amorphous youth group. This is the time for sexual experimentation. When they reach adulthood, they well be courted by representatives of mate-groups and willl eventually be invited to join a mate-group. It is obvious that they may not join the mate-group into which they were born.
They have long known how to prevent conception. Children are only conceived when it is time for a new cohort. There are two cohorts of children on a ship. There are approximately six Earth standard years between cohorts.
Youth Worlds Edit
When the older children's cohort reaches sexual maturity, they are sexually initiated by young adults who are are specially selected. It is considered an honor to be so selected.
Shortly after that, they will be taken to one of the Youth Worlds where they will complete their education.
After the ship leaves the youths on this world, the infants will be ready to leave the tlaxim permanently and form a new cohort.
Trade Operations Edit
Scalantran ships call at seeded worlds opened to trade by the Seeders. Trading routes are long circuits, similar to the itinerary of Marco Polo on Earth but on an interstellar scale and with regularly scheduled stops. Some worlds may be assigned to only one ship; others to several, depending on the volume of trade or the length of the circuit. Details are usually worked out at gatherings on Meetpoint worlds, known only to Scalantrans. Trading operations for each ship are overseen by the Trade Captain, whereas the Travel Captain is in charge of the operation of the ship. Scalantrans maintain permanent trade offices on more advanced worlds, each headed by a Factor General. To serve the needs of humans and other species affluent enough to travel beyond their own worlds, the Scalantrans contract Adopts from those species to their crews. Use of Adopts has increased greatly since the Quantum Electric Drive speeded interstellar travel, and some commercial operations such as resorts in human-inhabited systems have been spun off to them.