Ximians are a strong, tough insectoid species.
Ximians evolved on a world with more desert than most named “Xim”. They quickly became the dominant species on the planet, and from that time knew very little conflict, excepting the struggle to feed their increasingly large hives. Ximians developed their sciences very early in their evolution compared to Humans, and began tracking celestial bodies and doing astronomical calculations. They developed a good understanding of how gravitational forces work between planetary bodies and realised that, if calculated accurately enough, a trajectory could take an object from one star system to another without propulsion. For thousands of years, their scientific efforts turned towards making this dream a reality. When Essus left their star system, it was just the latest in a long line of “colony ships”, although it did travel further than most. After a 50,000 year-long journey, it arrived in orbit of Viscious, and the Ximian colony began to prepare for expansion.
Ximians are separated into three subspecies, which are treated as a caste system, and have very different physical attributes: Workers, Brains and Politicians. It is clear at birth which caste the Ximian belongs to, due to differences in size and shape. Matings between castes is both possible and permitted, and whilst one caste’s genes are dominant over the other, it is random which achieves dominance.
Worker Caste Ximians are large and powerful, and mass more than the other castes, though stand slightly shorter than both Humans and the other castes. They are well-muscled, easily able to lift a Human bodily off the ground and rip them apart – in fact, this is frequently the way they approach combat. In combat, this caste tends to be more brutal and single-minded. They generally favour unarmed and melee combat, where their great strength provides the most advantage. In Ximian hives, Workers do most of the maintenance work – from maintaining the plants to looking after the hatchlings.
Brain Caste Ximians, on the other hand, are slightly smaller and weaker, but have much larger brains and higher intelligence than the other castes. They stand at over two metres tall, despite their bowed neck. They are thin, and weaker than the average Ximian. Their front legs deform and atrophy over the first few years of their life, and their back legs carry their entire weight. In combat, this caste tends to be more cognitive and tactical. They generally favour ranged combat, where their inferior strength (relative to other castes) will not restrain their abilities. In Ximian hives, Scientists design and repair the systems, along with improving technology used within, and are always working on expanding the boundaries of Ximian science.
Political Caste Ximians are tall and slim and, for the last hundred years, have worn robes to blend in with Human society. They are taller than other castes, standing around 2.5 metres (8½ft) high. They are moderately muscled and walk on all four legs, but in a more upright position. They tend to be less intelligent than the brains, though they are clever and adaptable in manipulation and intimidation of others. When a member of this Caste is born, it stands like the Worker Caste Ximians, but is quickly taught to stand upright in order to improve its presence. In combat, this caste tends to be more adaptable. They favour various kinds of combat, usually based on personal preference. Their strength is still significant, potentially equal to Workers. They are less intelligent and socially adept than the other castes, and tend to think of the hive ahead of themselves even more than the other castes. In Ximian hives, politicians direct the others of their race, controlling resourcing, politics, and ensuring relations with others on the planet run smoothly. This gains them great respect within the Ximian community. Since contact with the Consortium, the responsibilities have extended to interspecies relations.