The Chenjesu are a race of silicon-based, crystalline beings that are native to the Sapphire World of Procyon II. Possessing vast intellects and advanced technology, they were the de facto leaders of the Alliance of Free Stars.
Unlike most other sentients, the crystalline Chenjesu are photo/chemovores existing on electric energy and have neither natural predators nor need for prey. Another distinguishing feature is the electromagnetic energy fields that they naturally produce, which create the characteristic Chenjesu crackling noise from minor corona discharges. However, when experiencing strong emotions, Chenjesu have been known to cause visible and audible electrical breakdowns in air, which often interfere with nearby electronics.1 Along with these innate electric fields, the Chenjesu can produce sustained, controlled electrical discharges.2 They also have highly sensitive, natural HyperWavereceptors and transmitters, which gave them the first inkling of the Ur-Quan invasion. While silicon-based, they are not at all like the Taalo — Chenjesu are crystalline rather than rock-like. But the Taalo did have silicon blood that flowed though them but were not fully Silicon like the Chenjesu.
Due to their unique niche in their native ecosystem, they are naturally non-hostile, preferring instead to engage their vast intellects in philosophical discussions and other pursuits of knowledge. Their culture's greatest achievement, a philosophical text, is The Book of Bzzbezzu Kzaaz. Avid explorers, their star charts of HyperSpace are the standard for Alliance races.
Their technology is electrical and crystalline in nature, similar to their own physiology. Images of the Chenjesu captains during the Ur-Quan Slave War (which the Chenjesu name "the Great Crucible of Sentience") imply that they interface with their equipment through creating controlled electrical discharges. Their starship, the Broodhome, possessed more raw power (and raw material) than any other Alliance ship, even if, in general, it was not the most effective in combat. Some of their technology bears similarities to late Precursor technology (namely the Utwig Bomb).
Their rare physiology, advanced sentience and peculiar evolutionary path leads some to speculate that they are the product of an ancient, peaceful culture. An alternate explanation is that they are mostly software, interacting with their environment through some kind of field manipulation mechanism.3
The Chenjesu are one of the oldest of the space-faring races, and so have had interactions with a number of the other alien races in this region of the galaxy. A little less than a thousand years prior to the War around c.1200 CE, the Chenjesu established amicable relations with the nearby and recently arrived Mmrnmhrm. Part of this relationship was a defensive military alliance that later deflected an initial attack by the Ur-Quancirca 2111. It is theorized by Earthling scientists in the 22nd century that the Mmrnmhrm had arived in the Local region of space as part of a colonizing effort for a unknown race of some kind thats name has never been revealed or disclosed in any of the games. So where the Mmrnmhrm came from who built them or what there makers looked like is all up to speculation. It remains unclear why the makers of the Mmrnmhrm have not arived in the local region of space yet after all its been nearly a thousand years but its been speculated by Earthling scientists in the 22nd century that the reason for this is becasue they were destroyed already. This comes from the idea that both types of Ur-quan the Green and Black and also the Mrmrnhrm and there makers all originated from a region of space thats located in that outward direction from the Local Region of space. so the leading theory was the the Urquan had killed off the Makers of the Mmrnmhrn at some point in the past. But regardless of who made the Mmrnmhrm they are a very intrigal part of the Chenjesu and there war effort against the Ur-quan Hierarchy.
The Alliance of Free stars (2111 -2134) Edit
Although the Earliest origins date back to about c.1200 when the Mmrnmhrm and the Chenjesu made there Military defense pact, the Alliance of Freestars began in 2111 after the Earthlings and the Arilou joined their forces with the Chenjesu. After the Syreen joined the Alliance in 2120, the alliance was fully formed in 2120 and lasted for 14 years until 2134. This alliance formed the basis of what became the New Alliance of Free Stars and later in Star Control 3 the League of Sentient beings around 2164 and Including the Green Ur-quan as members. although the League of Sentient beings is located in a distant region of space that does not include the home world of the Earthlings or the Chenjesu. and the New Alliance of free stars continues to operate in the local region of space and remains at war with the green and black Ur-quan and also the Lurg as of 2164.
Around 2120 the Chenjesu now had knowledge of 16 space-faring Alien races and 3 non-space faring or extinct races. It still remains unclear if they had made formal diplomatic contact with each of the 14 races that made up the Hierarchy and the Alliance of free stars by 2120. As far as the Hierarchy race goes For example, they were aware of the Umgah and the technologically-primitive Ilwrath, and had occasional friendly encounters with the Spathi (while on missions of exploring the coreward regions) prior to these races being subjugated by the Green Ur-Quan and being made part of their hierarchy.
The Chenjesu have also been knowledgeable about, if not in contact with other, more primitive races that were part of the hierarchy but they were also knowledgeable about other races beyond these 14 races they had contacted Zoq-Fot-Pikand the Pkunk, bringing the number of known races in the local region of space to 16. Also the Chenjesu had knowledge about aliens that had existed in the prehistoric times such as the Precursers ,Taalo and the Dyanari for a grand total of 19 sentient races that the Chenjesu had knowledge about including themselves during the Hierarchy war. Though further relations appear to have been halted by the events of the War. The Yehat and Shofixti joined the Alliance sometime before 2115, but the extent of their contact with the Chenjesu leading up to 2120 when the Syreen joined the Alliance and the Mycon joined the Hierarchy remains unknown. Most notably, the Chenjesu were the first race to officially contact Humanity.
After the Sa-Matra was deployed against them by the Ur-Quan, they and the Mmrnmhrm requested to be shielded together on the Chenjesu homeworld. The Ur-Quan permitted this, and once on the planet, the two races began a synthetic hybridization of their species, which they called "The Process". However, the Process was interrupted prematurely by The Captain using the Sun Device in the late 2150s decade, instead resulting in the hybrid race, the Chmmr. It is not known whether any Chenjesu or Mmrnmhrm still remain, especially considering that, as the Chmmr state, "The Process is incomplete" which would indicate that their still are some technical details or bugs to be worked out.
The reasons for this are fairly clear for the Mmrnmhrm, as that race had lost the ability to reproduce on its own. The motivations of the Chenjesu are still unclear. The Chenjesu likely decided to undergo this transformation because they felt that their culture had become so advanced that it had stagnated entirely, and they hoped that the modification of their species into a trans-Chenjesu synthesis would reinvigorate their society.4 Their motivation also was an attempt to defeat the Ur-Quan. If it were not interrupted by The Captain (or the Kohr-Ah on their Death March), The Process would have created a even more powerful version of the Chmmr race with a technology powerful enough to single-handedly defeat the Ur-Quan and their Sa-Matra battleship. Even so, the Chmmr are still considered one of the most powerful races in this region of space and a entire fleet of Chmmr can easily destroy all of Defenses of a Sumatra but not kill the Sumatra which requires a large bomb detonation to finish it off. By the year 2165 with the creating of the Explorer class flagship Discovery and the re-population of Chmmr space with Chmmr ships, the Chenjesu/Chmmr now say that the Process is fully complete.
Post Process (2165 -2169)Edit
After the Creation of the Chmmr Flagship by 2165 the Chmmr now say that the Trans-Chenjesu merge process is complete. Chmmr Individuals have a secret project that they are working on called Project 6014. This project that the Chmmr have come up with is not being revealed to the Earthlings. The basic theme of this Secret project is that they want the Captain to comand the Chmmr Flagship and then travel to the Lost Shofixti scout areas and find areas with precursor activity of some kind wheter past or present. So basically this project is really ment to be all about the Precursors even though the game player or the captain is told that its all about the Shofixti. by the end of 2169 there will be 3 significant Precursors sites discovered by there Chmmr Flagship they are , Gamma Janus (Stolen artifact), Beta Messier (homeworld), as well as Beta Naos (Curent artifact).
Due to the fact that the Post Process period is being shown on a demo game much of the following information is subject to change if a full version of the game ever comes out. If the Game player is unsuccessful the Kohr-Ah will go on a second Death March in 2169 and by the end of the year kill off any Space fareing race. For some reason the Kohr-Ah dont kill Starbases or Lower slaveshilds so conversations can still be had with the Chmmr even if they are killed of by the Kohr-Ah and also minerals can still be sold at certains space stations. Acording to the end of Star Control II there was a Mark II precursor ship mentioned during the end credits and at Beta Naos a Precursor ship is discovered which could indeed be the Mark II. on the other hand 2 crashed Precursor vessal sites are found in the game with one having been plundered already, its thought that if Beta Naos is the Mark II then theres still the posibility that Aliens unknown also will posess a Precursor Ship as well and a grand battle will eventually insue similar in scale to what the first two Iron clads fighting during the American Civil war in terms of rareness of event of these kinds of ships fighting in a head to head battle must have been like.
- 1Star Control Manual, pg. 4
- 2Based on the animated image of a Chenjesu captain during melee
- 3From the 1998 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (Fwiffo is both Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III here):
- <_Stilgar> <zenir> Q: how did the chmmr/taalo evolve.. especially to sentients?
- <Fwiffo> Adaptation and evolution require the ability to change in response to the environment. The Taalo and Chenjesu must either be the product of a previous culture, or they must be mostly software with some kind of field maniulation [sic] ability.
- 4Role Playing Resource Guide, pg. 23