The Kai'emē race (Taxonomy xenodracidae sapiens) is an ancient extraterrestrial species, with known records dating back several billion years.
Kai'emē were first encountered by humanity in the Contact Decimation of the 2040's.
Kai'emē are humanoid, but have draconic and cephalopod features. They stand 11 feet tall, with digitigrade feet. They have five fingers on each hand, but six toes, including the dewclaw on either side of each foot. There is a bone in the hand mirroring the thumb, which is capable of being extended outside of the body in a manner similar to a Hairy Frog. This bone is then used as a claw or knife, in a stabbing motion.
Kai'emē have two sets of jaws, one within the other. The outer set is edged with a beak, which helps shear food. The inner jaw has a radula attached, with another on the roof of the mouth. the teeth on the edge of the radulae are larger than the teeth in the center, and resemble vertebrate teeth. The radula are largely immobile, but the lower radula can extend from the center like a tongue.
Kai'emē have scales resembling those on the wings of Lepidoptera, being very small individually. Similarly, Kai'emē scales gain their color from structural coloration; and the color itself varies between even twins. In addition, Kai'emē have a crest that resembles human hair. Quill-like scales or hairlike feathers make up the crest, and can come in various colors.
Kai'emē eyes are cephalopoid, in which the eye is part of the skin rather than a separate organ. The pupil is T-shaped, and can expand and contract in response to light. Their irises are as colorful as their scales.
Kai'emē differ from terrestrial life in that iridium replaces the roles that iron and calcium usually play. In addition, they are anaerobes, and undergo alcoholic respiration, where sugar is broken down into energy, with ethanol and carbon dioxide as waste products. The elements composing a Kai'emē are 11% H, 22% O, 8.5% Ir, 22% C, 2% N, and 34.5% other elements. On average, Kai'emē weigh 400 kg (881 lb).
Ichor in Kai'emē is more viscous than in other lifeforms. It is hypothesized that this is because Kai'emē can move nutrients more efficiently as a result. To compensate for this, a Kai'emē's blood pressure is higher. Eleven hearts maintain the pressure, with three four-chambered hearts forming a cluster in the lower abdomen, and eight two-chambered hearts throughout the torso managing flow to the limbs and head.
Ichor is created in an organ near the central cluster, and is largely inactive.
The skeleton is made out of iridium, with a few minor elements to increase durability. Proportionally, the bones are smaller, as they are solid. In addition, Kai'emē have reflective subdermal bone plates, which act to prevent short-wavelength lightwaves from penetrating the body.
A Kaiemē's nervous system is decentralized, as the hindbrain is located in the base of the neck. As a result, the skull has room for a larger brain. In addition, there is a 11% greater surface area of grey matter, which gives Kai'emē an encephalization quotient of 9.5. Rather than cerebrospinal fluid, the skull has a layer of spongy bone to act as a shock absorber.
Kai'emē are hypocarnivorous, with 17.5% of the diet being meat. After breaking food down in the mouth, food travels down the esophagus into the stomach, which resembles the outline of a teardrop. The food enters the loop, is digested, and any indigestable material is condensed into a pellet. This pellet travels back up the esophagus and is removed from the body through the mouth.
Kai'emē have several separate bladders, located in the chest. Metabolic waste and dead cells are accumulated in the kidneys, and Ichor in particular is broken down to release pure iridium. The waste moves from the kidneys to the bladders, and is then subconsciously expelled from the mouth. The iridium, along with metabolic alcohol, combusts the waste in contact with air.
A genetic trait held by a minority of Kai'emē is where waste is stored in the bladder until a conscious effort is made to expel it. The greater amount of waste creates a fireball when it combusts, and is used as a weapon by some.
Kai'emē have superior sight than many species, in part by lacking a blind spot, but mostly for being hexachromats, or having 6 photoreceptor types. One photoreceptor type is designed to see polarized light, and thus reduce glare and differentiate distant objects. The other five allow Kai'emē to see a wide range of color.
Hearing is the second-strongest sense. Kai'emē have external tympanic membranes, as opposed to an internal eardrum, and have a ear structure that moves to funnel sound to the eardrum. While not sensitive, Kai'emē can hear infrasonic sounds, and can discern specific sounds.
Kai'emē olfactory receptors are located in two grooves in the face. As they can't forcefully move air across these, along with a low amount of receptors, the sense of smell is poor.
Taste is decent, but there are a lack of sour tastebuds, with Ichor tastebuds in their place. Ichor has been said to taste like a mix or sweet and savory. These tastebuds are in between radula teeth, and food has to settle in order to be tasted.
Touch is nearly nonexistent on the skin, aside from pressure sensors. This is due to the environment making touch inefficient resource-wise. Instead, Kai'emē have an electroreceptive sense. Objects from up to a meter away can be felt remotely, and is stronger in humidity.
Kai'emē reach sexual maturity at roughly 65,000 years, or 26 cycles. Before maturity, the body lacks reproductive organs, including gonads. During sex, all egg cells are fertilized at once, but halt development. A chemical released from the mother when she wills it reactivates a clutch of eggs. Kai'emē are ovoviviparous, and gestation takes roughly 3 years. A newborn weighs roughly a pound, and there are between 3-9 newborns in a clutch.
Kai'emē are individualistic, and lack the need for interaction. This is a boon, as the disinterest in the emotions of others results in less violence. Despite their individuality, Kai'emē remain in close proximity to one another, largely due to their population density.
Much of Kai'emē culture is borrowed from the Kai'mē, including language, cuisine, and mathematics.
Kai'emē normally follow a federal commonwealth system, where individual nations answer to a higher echelon, and so on up to the Supreme Parliament. A few fringe nations have differing governments, and may or may not answer to the commonwealth. Officials are normally elected on 250-year terms, with requirements of naturalization and the ability to fulfill the term.
Kai'emē are raised from birth in communal classes for the first few cycles of their life. These classes are made up of 3-6 clutches that were born at the same time, and can either be publicly or privately taught. After 5 cycles, Kai'emē enter a profession school for 10 cycles, which trains them for their chosen career. A complete training is equivalent to a doctorate.
Kai'emē technology is reliant on Hēukaȳele technology, which implement the Unified Field Theory for various purposes. Limitless energy, artificial gravity, and subatomic 3D printers are all made possible.
Kai'emē housing is much smaller than what would be considered comfortable by humans. A single room, with a bed, bathroom, and storage makes up an apartment.
Kai'emē structures are minimalistic, keeping detail simple. Greebles are considered a waste of resources.
Cities are built in a hexagonal pattern, and this extends to buildings. Towers can reach 3 km in height, and have their own power grids and gardens.
Kai'emē grow plants with aeroponics, which requires less water than hydroponics.
Spacecraft are built on a massive scale, interstellar models reaching hundreds of kilometers in length. Kai'emē capture neutron stars as a power source.
Kai'emē lack invasive medical procedures, and medicine isn't advanced beyond basic methods. A few herbs have been categorized, and are grown for treatment centers. However, the general ideology among Kai'emē is that medicine is generally unnecessary, limiting progress.