"They" are apparently malevolent extradimensional entities, though whether this refers to a specific alien race or a broad class of hostile races is unknown. What we can surmise about "Them" is mostly taken from the mad rantings of Science Officer Bukowski during an exploration of the ruins on the Androsynth homeworld. Bukowski, having reconstructed the computer records at various Androsynth research stations, learned about the Androsynth efforts in Inter-Dimensional Fatigue and their contact with an alien life-form from another dimension. After ten hours of examining the intact computer records in the third set of ruins, he became noticeably agitated. Bukowski then proceeded to destroy the computer records out of fear of "Them".
According to his lander crew mates and their Crew report about his actions,
- HE SAID THAT NO ONE COULD EVER KNOW WHAT HE HAD LEARNED. THAT JUST KNOWING WAS ENOUGH TO ALERT `THEM'
- HE KEPT TALKING ABOUT 'THEM', CRAZY STUFF, SIR, ABOUT HOW 'THEY' COULD SEE HIM NOW, AND 'THEY' WERE MOVING TOWARD HIM. THEN BUKOWSKI STARTED THRASHING AROUND THE ROOM, SCREAMING THAT HE HAD TO DESTROY EVERYTHING BEFORE 'THEY' SAW US TOO.
Though skeptical of Bukowski's claims, Ensign Hawthorne of the lander crew admits that Bukowski appears to be in worse shape and more cut up than when they subdued him, possibly implying physical harm inflicted by "Them".
The cryptic Arilou Lalee'lay also mention, but refuse to name, hostile extra-dimensional entities, referring to these beings simply as They. These nameless creatures are described as parasites that would like to find the Humans, which the Arilou imply would be disastrous for the human race. Similar to Bukowski's warnings, the Arilou claim that ignorance is the best protection against these unknown "creatures who dwell Beyond". The Arilou further intimate that the destruction of the Androsynth civilization may have been because the Androsynth exposed themselves to extra-dimensional creatures identical or similar to "Them", and warn The Captain about Humans following a similar path to destruction.
Some believe that "They" are none other than the Orz. This explanation is based upon the Orz's present location in old Androsynth space, their reactions when questioned about the Androsynth, and the Orz and Arilou comments on *smell*/"smell". And indeed, it has been confirmed that the Orz is part of "Them".1
Notes and references
- 1From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
- 23:55 <+Cap`n`Kyth> One thing I've wondered - is Orz the same
as 'Them', or is Orz "competing" with 'Them' over the Androsynth (like
food?), or protecting the Androsynth from 'Them' - by *pulling* the
Androsynth away before 'They' can find the Androsynth again?
- 23:57 <+PR3> The Orz is part of Them, the projection of Them into TrueSpace.