Enciclopedia Xenobiología: Veetans
Size: Average 1.9 m tall, 160 kg
Color & Markings: A physically imposing species by any standard, the Veetans vary most notably in the size, coloration, and distribution of their head and arm crests. Dress and beard styles vary widely, and change according to fashion.
Reproduction & Development: Emperor Pablo I famously remarked that the Veetans have a "Zen Optimism" in their everyday life, finding great joy in even the simplest of things, despite (or perhaps because of) being born into an existence of relative hardship. Veetans live very short lifespans of 15-25 years, suffer chronic leg and hip pains, have recurring digestive troubles... yet remain unflaggingly cheerful throughout their lives. Reproducing during one of only three mating periods in their life, Veetans raise their children communally, with a socially reinforced tendency towards self-sacrifice for the greater good. Following a childhood of 2-to-3-years, adolescent Veetans strike out alone to discover and experience as much of life as they can. Traditionally, this would've meant a decades-long "walkabout" from their home village, before settling down for their final years. But since the introduction of interstellar travel to Veeta, this tendency to explore has translated into a species of interplanetary wanderers and knowledge-seekers.
Lifespan: 15-25 years.
Language: Hundreds of regional dialects are spoken across the planet, but share the same written format.
Social Structure: Veetans' traditional social structures have almost completely disappeared following 100 years of assimilation into the Empire's norms. (For a description of traditional social structures in pre-Empire Veetan life, see: Yu, Han "Veeta, Before the Alliance," Imprimátur del Imperio, 2345.) With their intense curiosity and a willingness to dive into any task, Veetans have found countless successes as imperial scientists, administrators, and engineers. However, Veetans rarely (if ever) serve in military roles, as they are firm pacifists. This is, in part, attributable to their short lifespans: Veetans believe that conflict wastes life's preciously rare opportunities. (Nevertheless, Veetans are incredibly strong -- as Veeta has a radius similar to Earth's, but with 119% the mass -- and Veetans have been known to fight with incredible force when pressed.)
Intelligence Rating: Extensively tested. November/Oscar range.
Interaction with Humans: Following the famed "first alien contact" in 2273, Veetans have always found a peaceable co-existence and camaraderie with humans: First, in the Veetan/Human Alliance, and continuing as part of the greater Empire. They are now firmly rooted in the day-to-day functioning of the Empire: Notably, there are 23 million Veetans on Earth itself, as of the last Imperial Census.