The True Neutral Aquarians
The Aquarians are the galaxy’s true neutral race. This causes members of all of the opposing races to be split about how to deal with them. Every race has a faction that argues that the Aquarians should be viewed as friends and that they are just keeping any one race from dominating the galaxy. At the same time, every race has opponents that say the Aquarians are vile intruders that need to be wiped out of the galaxy. This is a problem for all of the races since the Aquarians live on planets composed entirely of water and therefore almost impossible to destroy. As a result, most races do their best to avoid conflict and confrontation with the Aquarians, although none are totally successful.
At any one time an Aquarian fleet may be assisting an outnumbered Terran outpost while on the other side of the same sector an Entomolian scout ship is being rescued from a Terran superior force and allowed to move on without any concern.
The most unique feature of the Aquarian forces is that they prefer to cripple ships and leave as much of the crew alive as possible. It is not unusual for the scene of an Aquarian battle to resemble a huge ship graveyard full of wrecked ships emitting emergency beacon signals.
The Other Races
None of the other galactic races considers the Aquarians allies or even friends. That being said, each race has their own formal doctrine on how to deal with the Aquarians. The most benevolent of these races are the Avarians who see the Aquarians as annoying, but since the Aquarians are not of fond planets with wide-open spaces and the Avarians love such planets, the two races rarely find themselves at odds with each other. The Terrans and Entomolians are pretty much ambivalent to the Aquarians, taking their assistance when given and avoiding situations that would increase the probability of bringing the Aquarians in on the opposing side. The Carnivorans, on the other hand, hate the Aquarians and since the Carnivorans pride themselves on setting up situations where they have the upper hand they often find themselves opposed by Aquarians forces.
Aquarians are very small in stature and although they are one of the oldest spacefaring races, they are still dependent upon an aquatic environment. An average Aquarian stands only four feet tall and resembles a bipedal fish with thin arms and legs. They are grey in color with a fine coat of scales that covers their entire body. Both genders of the Aquarian race look identical to all but the Aquarians themselves.
The entire Aquarian race views itself as one single large ‘school’. Each planet and system within the alliance has a representative that sits on the council and debates which systems (or events) the alliance should intercede in and which they should not. This does not mean that the entire alliance has to agree on any individual event; instead, several individual systems might agree on a situation to intercede upon and send their individual fleets to perform the required action. Many races view this as a weakness; most often, the Carnivorans have made this mistake. On several occasions a pride of Carnivoran ships have used this belief to give them courage to attack an Aquarian system. Once or twice, the Carnivorans have even made the mistake of capturing an Aquarian system. When these events occurred, it has given the other races a respite because all Aquarian ships in the alliance return to the captured system and destroy the offending forces. Their “school of piranha” mentality has served the Aquarians well and to anyone’s knowledge, no race has ever captured and held an Aquarian planet for more than a few weeks.
Aquarian Technology and Ship Designs
Aquarian ship construction has advanced beyond that of the other races in many ways. The other races have speculated this is due to the role that the Aquarians have given themselves in the universe. Since the Aquarians view themselves as the universes’ balancing force, most of their ship designs are maximized for defense and crippling other ships. That does not mean that Aquarian ships cannot destroy other ships or go on the offensive, it is just that they prefer not to.
This philosophy affects three different aspects of their designs. First, the Aquarian armor designers have found a way of implementing swarms of nannites to reinforce damaged armor by moving undamaged armor from other areas of the ship to help cover damaged sections of armor. The second innovation developed by the Aquarians is their field dampening missiles. These missiles are used to limit the effectiveness of enemy weapons fire. The final different system on Aquarian vessels is their sonic pulse cannons. These cannons cause serious damage to the exterior of enemy vessels while still leaving life-support and internal structures intact. Through these technologies, the Aquarians have become a major influence in all systems and many believe that if they ever showed interest in conquering non-aquatic worlds, they could become a serious threat to any race they focused upon.