The Taltakets were a carnivorous species from the super-earth Zkaniaz in the Girdo Galaxy.
The evolution of Taltaket civilisation was fairly typical, with the development of agriculture amongt Taltaket tribes leading to the establishment of city-states and later nation-states and eventually colonial empires. The large habitable surface area of Zkaniaz, with many large and fertile peninsulae and subcontinents kept isolated by steep mountain ranges and wide deserts, meant that the Taltakets had at least twenty-four distinct cradles of civilisation, with the concept of Westphalian sovereignty being formalised on no fewer than ten independent occasions.
Taltaket attempts at space colonisation were delayed by the high gravity of their homeworld, which not only made it more expensive to reach orbit but also exacerbated the negative impacts of low-gravity environments on Taltaket physiology. Although initially reluctant to use nuclear rockets and genetic engineering to alleviate these problems, the discovery of Zuckhs artefacts in 2539 led to a species-wide conversion to Zealotry and resulted in a desire to explore Spode's creation first-hand and help spread his word to other species.
Unfortunately for the Taltakets, this revolution was cut short by a Fectonian invasion, who wished to take advantage of Zkaniaz's rich purple spice deposits and the ready-built infrastructure for mining it. In 2735, the Fectonian Navy destroyed Zkaniaz's defences from orbit and an army of Cyber-Fectonians - robotic Fectonian androids engineered to withstand the planet's high surface gravity - were deployed to subjugate the native population.
In 2750, Fecton's colonial empire was in turn conquered by the Girdo Empire, and under their rule the Taltakets were given equal rights. As with all Girdo species, the Taltakets became part of Apalos after the galaxy was destroyed.
Biology and Appearance Edit
The Taltakets were short eight-limbed predators. Usually they would walk on all eight limbs and only use their front two or four as hands when necessary, but in lower-gravity environments they were able to support themselves entirely on their hind pair of legs, with the front pair of specialised feet being freed for manipulating tools. Adaptations for a predatory lifestyle included thick torso armour, twenty sharp claws, and diamond-like crystals in their jaws.
Taltaket skin was filled with a green protein capable of efficiently utilising energy from ultraviolet light for the synthesis of several important vitamins, along with brown fatty deposits in which excess vitamins as well as lipids were stored. As this photosynthesis was their only source of these vitamins, the skin also contained ultraviolet sensors in addition to mechanical and thermal ones, which served to encourage sunbathing when blood vitamin concentration was low and discourage it when continued exposure to sunlight was likely to result in skin damage.
Society and Culture Edit
While Taltaket religion was rigidly dogmatic in terms of theology and morality, it was highly liberal in other aspects, exerting little control over executive government, natural science and the arts. Indeed, due to the large size of Zkaniaz and the isolation that its geography afforded its myriad indigenous cultures, Taltaket art was some of the most varied in the Girdo Galaxy, although from the 2550s onwards it was primarily dedicated to the glorificiation of Spode.
Different forms of Taltaket art were designed to engage all sensory modalities: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, thermal and ultraviolet. The most common subjects were static or repeating renditions of scenes, either literal or abstract. In two dimensions these took forms such as paintings and animations, in three dimensions they were predominantly sculpture and holography, and they could even be found in one dimension with elaborate literary descriptions, either written or spoken, and scent- or taste-based representations (in particular, most culinary art involved the creation of foods that evoked a particular sacred ritual or shrine). Also common, albeit less popular, were performance arts ranging from literal reenactments of historical events through to abstract thermal-and-musical interpretations of philosophical arguments and mathematical theorems.
The development of theological calculus in the 2610s saw a resurgence in the perceived mystical qualities of certain combinations of low-frequency vibrations combined with gentle ultraviolet stimulation, which was used with great effect in works such as Newove's Dedication of Divine Law (2640) and Soehinq's Into the Depths of Unformed Reason (2661), with the passing of those two artists in the Maihirril spaceport disaster of 2690 being widely held as the end of the golden age of their unique brand of art. However, it saw a brief revival between 2750 and 2765, thanks to the rapid exchange of cultural ideas between Zkaniaz and the rest of the Empire which in particular saw Fectonians developing a new appreciation for the Taltakets' idiosyncratic metaphysical ideas.
Notable Individuals Edit
Notable Taltakets in the Girdo Empire include Commodore Diamoinu of the starship Sunlight, and Lieutenant Niestor and Ensign Sarkhai, who served on the starship Zkaniaz during the Girdo Campaigns.