Hivers are a Major Race, with a modified six-fold radial symmetry bearing a superficial similarity to Terran Starfish, who control a large federation trailing the Imperium.
Physiology & Environment (Ecology)
Hivers average 1.5 meters from ground to top of upraised head and weigh about 150 kg. Hivers exhibit a modified six-fold radial symmetry; the body has a calcareous internal skeleton consisting of a series of rings supporting the limbs and a fused carapace protecting the brain and internal organs.
The head is a modification of one of the limbs and contains six eyestalks and six manipulative tentacles, plus paired infrared sensor organs. The other five limbs are identical (except for slight modifications of the hand opposite the head) and are used as arms and legs indiscriminately. Each limb ends in a six-fingered radial hand. Fingers are very flexible and have muscular suction cups on the lower surface about halfway to the tips. Hiver arms and hands are generally weaker than a human’s but are very tough and difficult to injure.
The mouth or cloaca (digestive and defaeative opening) is on the lower surface of the body. There is no sound-producing organ, but hivers do have three ears placed around the neck near the head.
Descended from omnivore gatherer/scavenger stock, they are the most alien of the major races.
Hivers like planets of size 6 or less, with thin or standard atmospheres and unvarying climates.
Reproduction & Parental Instinct
Hivers have only one sex. Reproductive cells are exchanged each time that Hivers meet, using the modified rear hand, the process has been termed by humans “shaking hands”. The cells are kept in a reproductive pouch on the lower body surface where they conjugate and exchange genetic material. Once every forty days or so, a cell will develop into a larva, which then drops from the parent’s body.
Hivers go through at least three and sometimes four life stages: 1. Hiver Larvae 2. Hiver Yearling 3. Hiver Adult and… 4. Nest Leader.
The strong Hiver parental instinct can be considered an offshoot of the Hiver instinct for racial survival. To humans, this parental instinct seems somehow warped. For example, Hivers are horrified by the idea that their larvae might somehow find its way to a world where there is no nest to receive it. To prevent this, Hiver ships are carefully fumigated to kill any hiding larvae before landing or docking, and extreme measures are undertaken to ensure that no Hiver crewmember deposits larvae where there is no nest.