Species Template: Zalkonians
By Kurt McCoy

A highly advanced and militant species from the fringes of Federation space, the Zalkonians were once great explorers and travelers. Unfortunately, when their species began to evolve into a higher form of life with enormous psionic potential, their conservative government pulled back to the homeworld and instituted a repressive effort to prevent this evolutionary "next step" from taking place. Zalkonians who evidenced signs of "transfiguration" were segregated from the general population and treated as "infected" or dangerously criminal aberrants. The government focused increasingly on controlling the burgeoning evolutionary crisis and became isolationist and xenophobic. Zalkonians are very humanoid with rippled dermal layers on their cheeks and foreheads, in many ways reminiscent of the Zakdorn, but with less stout physiques and more attractive features.

Attributes
Fitness 3 [6]
    Vitality +1
Coordination 2 [5]
Intellect 2 [6]
    Logic -1
    Perception +1
Presence 3 [6]
    Will +2
    Empathy +1
Psi 1 [6]
    Focus +2

Skills
Athletics (choose any specialization) 1 (2)
Administration (choose any specialization) 1 (2)
Culture (Zalkonian) 2 (3)
Language, Zalkonian (3)
Law (Zalkonian) 1 (2)
World Knowledge (Zalkonia) 1 (2)

Typical Advantages & Disadvantages
Evolutionary Potential (Zalkonians have the potential to evolve into Pure Energy Beings of immense psionic ability); Strong Willed; Rapid Healing; Intolerance (-1 to outsiders, -3 to those showing signs of imminent "transfiguration"); Arrogant

Zalkonians who are on the verge of making the evolutionary leap that their government is so frightened of first show signs of the impending change by an increase in their Presence, often up to the species maximum, in very little time. Psi potential also begins to rise at a less observable pace. The evolving individual will begin to manifest psionic skills, even without any training at all. Receptive and Projective Empathy come first along with prodigious healing abilities soon thereafter. Full Telepathic powers manifest as the "Transfiguration" takes place as well as Teleportation and the ability to directly affect energy fields. Evolved Zalkonians do not appear to possess "Q" or Doud level abilities, but their maximum potential has yet to be revealed.

Zalkonians to not possess a default Skill in History (Zalkonian) because the government wants to obscure the true nature of their evolutionary condition and wants the populace focused on the present, on Zalkonia, rather than on past glories that may prove dangerously stimulating. Athletics may well be used as a kind of safe cultural distraction. Even Art may prove too dangerously provocative to be freely indulged in. Zalkonians almost certainly live with significant levels of censorship and media control by the government.

Author's Notes
The similarity between the Zalkonian and Zakdorn appearance, along with linguistic similarities in their names and a general tendency toward rigid militancy in both cultures leads me to speculate that there may be an, as yet unrevealed, connection between the two species. In my own campaigns, I am speculating that their relationship is similar to that between the Vulcans and the Romulans. The Zakdorn represent a segment of Zalkonian society that broke away at some point before the mass withdrawal back to the homeworld occurred. The Zakdorn are more cerebral, but less physically inclined and less interested in interpersonal skills than the parent culture. There are no signs of emergent evolution among the Zakdorn, so they may represent a more "primitive" version of the Zalkonian genotype. Both species possess formidable military capabilities, but, despite their shared arrogance, neither seems to be interested in expansionism. The Zakdorn are content to be arm-chair generals par excellence, while the Zalkonians are obsessed with preserving their traditional culture and avoiding outside influences which may destabilize them.

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