- For other uses, see Rigelian.
The Rigellians, formerly known as Bodas, were one of the many races native to the Rigel system. They were a grey-furred and prehensile-tailed species inhabiting Rigel IV. They had a reputation as master traders, and controlled much of the trade within the Rigel system through the Rigellian Trade Authority. (FASA RPG - The Orions modules: Book of Common Knowledge, Book of Deep Knowledge)
Formerly, they were Bodas, a species of intelligent near-humanoid creatures which had been kept as house pets by the race known only as the Masters of Rigel. The Bodas were hastily genetically advanced into a humanoid form with an upright posture, while their skulls were enlarged to enable full intelligence, sentience and the capability for speech.
The Rigellians bore the signs of this crude genetic manipulation, appearing as hybrid creatures barely evolved from animals. Their legs were too short, causing them to stoop and walk with a shambling gait. Their speech was harsh, lacking the capacity for labial sounds (those formed with the lips) such as 'b', 'm', 'p' and 'v', while giving most vowels a buzzing inflection. By the Masters' dubious standards, they also suffered imperfect reasoning and faulty morals. In addition, the race was plagued by muscle and bone problems, a deliberate artifact of the genetic engineering that could not be cured.
- These bone problems may be related to the Rigellian bone-stress condition.
The Rigellians were hastily genetically engineered from the Bodas, creatures that had been kept as pets by the dying race known only as the Masters of Rigel, around 998,000 BCE (reference stardate −10000/00). Their purpose was to succeed them and serve as caretakers for their vast stores of knowledge, memorials and great works of the Rigel system, all telling of their achievement and glory. They did this for 10,000 years, until they came to a complete understanding of the long-dead Masters, their works, the engineered nature of themselves and the unstable alterations to their home star Rigel, which would eventually nova and obliterate the system anyway. Offended by the sheer arrogance of the Masters, and finding the idea of preserving them to be abhorrent, around 988,000 BCE (stardate −9900/00) the Rigellians destroyed almost every trace of them.
To make amends for the Masters and redeem their own consciences, the Rigellians decided to work to ensure that no one followed the Masters' way of cosmic vandalism and self-aggrandizement. To these ends, they began by opening the Rigel system to all races for trade and development, and in approximately 968,000 BCE (stardate −9700/00), the Rigellians sponsored several cooperative ventures, with the aim of educating other races, regulating trade and correcting the damage the Masters had done to other star systems. These all failed, with only the Rigel Trade Authority having any success.
The Rigellians learned that they could not teach alien cultures to avoid making attractive mistakes, even if their intentions were noble. By 948,000 BCE (stardate −9500/00), they had withdrawn from public view and settled for making occasional 'corrective measures' from afar to sort out the more visible and worst problems of surrounding space. Though practically invisible to interstellar affairs, they earned a reputation for their longevity, wisdom and restraint. Even after destroying the wonders of the Masters, they made their own mark on the galaxy, turning Rigel IV into an interstellar crossroads for trade, knowledge and civilization, and establishing rules for land use on Rigel III that survived into modern times.
By 498,000 BCE (stardate −5000/00), the Rigellians had become cynical and complacent, and increasingly withdrawn from interstellar affairs. When the civilization of Arret, whose people had also thought of themselves as gods, destroyed itself in war, the Rigellians watched, uninvolved, and were pleasantly surprised. The terrible event renewed their faith in natural justice.
In 148,000 BCE, Rigel had begun to develop signs of instability, as predicted long before. The Rigellians rediscovered the stellar engineering technology of the Masters and drained the star of its helium ash and replenished its hydrogen atmosphere, enabling it to burn for another million years before it would need fixing again.
When the ecosphere of Rigel IV finally died completely (with not a plant, animal or microbe remaining) in 50,000 BCE (stardate −520/00), the Rigellians accepted its fate. They simply leveled the mountains, paved it over and turned it into a vast starport for trading vessels.
In 33,000 BCE, (stardate −350/00), the Rigellians learned of the frequency of humanoid races around their part of the galaxy, though they didn't suspect why this should be so, though the Preservers had traded at Rigel 50,000 years before.
On 15th July 17,273 BCE (stardate −192/7307.15), a Muark Tan, a Glath starship captain, visited Rigel IV and showed the Rigellians evidence of the sentient humanoids discovered on Rigel VIII: photographs, tools, weapons, clothing and three live specimens—Orions. It was too late to undo the interference, and Orion slaves were already valuable on the open market.
When the Treaty of Kammzdast was signed in 15,956 BCE (stardate −179/56), governing the use of Orion slaves by alien races, the Rigellians became signatories too, in order to preserve peace in the Rigel system. However, they never traded or used Orion slaves, passing up a potential fortune, which inspired a deep and reverential awe in the Orions.
In 9050 BCE (reference stardate −110/50), the Rigellians detained an Orion slave, a Grey named Talduk Sik who was part of a technical working group about to leave the Rigel system, and kept him for a few days of interviews, questioning and study. This was the first Orion that the Rigellians examined, and they began to feel forebodings about them. The Grey Orions found it to be a mystical experience, and to modern times some continued to think of the Rigellians as their Makers. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
When the Orion Dawn of 1508 BCE (stardate −35/0811) saw fledgling Orion pirates steal their first ships, the Rigellians had complete information on the event, but claimed ignorance to the other Kammzdast Signatories who asked for their aid. The Rigellians later used their subtle influence to allow Orions to work as clerks in their Trade Halls, giving the slaves more influence.
At the beginning of the Orion War, when the Nine Worlds Confederation sent a fleet into the Rigel system to crush the growing Orion rebellion, the Rigellians ordered them to withdraw of suffer the permanent revoking of trading rights. However, they were ignored and the fleet approached Rigel VIII, leading to the Battle of Botchok. This began the Orion War that saw the liberation of the Orion people. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
The Rigellians made first contact with the Tellarites on stardate 0/3008.03. Through them, the Tellarites later learned of the great wealth of the Orion Colonies, in stardate 0/3109. (FASA RPG module: The Federation) Following information from Tellarite traders, the UNSS Marco Polo visited Rigel IV in 2079 SFC (c. 2150), the first Terran ship to do so. There they met Rigellians and began the first trade between the two races. Captain Lorenzo Malfatti swapped his titanium belt buckle to a Rigellian trader in exchange for a load of Saurian brandy.
The Rigellians later became involved in negotiations for the founding of the United Federation of Planets, at the First Babel Conference. The Tellarites bullied the Rigellians, while the Andorians laid claim to some of the Rigel territories, despite never having even been within 10 parsecs of them. The Rigellians were terrified of Andorian aggression, but remained neutral on the issue of UFP membership. They requested 10 billion credits from Earth in exchange for a pro-incorporation vote, which the Earth ambassador Humphrey Stannis felt to be blackmail. The Rigellian ambassador later revised this down to 8 billion credits (ST reference: Spaceflight Chronology), to cover their administrative costs of joining. (TOS novel: The Final Reflection) They were accompanied by an Orion delegation, who'd requested 10 trillion. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
The United Federation of Planets was founded with the signing of the Articles of the Federation at the First Babel Conference, in 2161 (2087 SFC, or stardate 0/8706.06). The Rigellian delegation stood with the Orion delegation as interested parties and made good impressions as members of older, wiser races. They both observed the signing, but remained non-signatory. (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge) However, according to the Rigellians, crude threats of Andorian reprisals forced their signature to the Articles (TOS novel: The Final Reflection), and the Rigellians became, by some counts, a founding member of the United Federation of Planets. (ST reference: Spaceflight Chronology)
- In the continuity of the Spaceflight Chronology, which was followed by The Final Reflection, these Rigellians were founding members of the UFP, along with Alpha Centaurans, though this was later contradicted by Star Trek: Enterprise, which left these two races out. The FASA RPG normally follows the SFC time-line, but in this instance explicitly made the Rigellians non-signatory. It may be that the Rigellians signed shortly afterwards, and so may or may not be considered a founding member.
The newly formed Federation sent its first delegation to Rigel to negotiate diplomatic and economic relations with the Rigellians and the Orions. On stardate 0/9101.13 (c. 2165), Starfleet Lieutenant Kathleen Wenzel became the first Federation citizen to meet the Rigellians on Rigel IV. (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
Prior to the Second Babel Conference of reference stardate 1/7701 (c. 2238), the Rigellians computed that the originally requested 8 billion credit amount, invested at a modest rate of four percent annual interest and compounded annually, would come to equal 273 billion credits. However, the Federation still refused to pay, and they now felt threatened by Klingons. At the Second Babel Conference, the Rigellians were one of a number of members in favor of dissolution of the Federation. In the lead-up to the conference, the Rigellian delegate met with Klingon Captain Krenn sutai-Rustazh, proposing relations with the Klingon Empire. For this, the delegate requested the 273 billion credits, again for administrative costs. Intimidated by the Klingon, the delegate revised the value downwards and finally discarded the interest. Krenn had no interest in dealing anyway, and ended the meeting. (TOS novel: The Final Reflection)
When Klingon Admiral Kentin epetai-Kazu led a fleet consisting of over 100 warships in a sudden invasion of the Rigel system on stardate 1/9301.04 (c. 2250s), the Rigellians were not caught by surprise. Federation ships were seized, though there were less of these than expected, perhaps due to Rigellian preparations. (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
Following the Organian Peace Treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire in 2267 (stardate 2/0801.24), the Rigellians engaged in a heated and pointless debate with the Organians over it, concerning some matter in their ancient records. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
With a million-year-old culture, the Rigellians were known for longevity, and they had a reputation for wisdom and restraint. However, their ancient history had also left them reclusive, cynical and complacent.
At the core of Rigellian beliefs was a strong sense of humility, which found the arrogant self-glorification of the Masters to be abhorrent and utterly offensive and led them to destroy all trace of them. Even after millions of years, they never became comfortable with their genetic alterations, not even intelligence and language. They saw themselves as a living testimony to pride overwhelming dignity and purpose.
The Rigellians possessed complete records of the history of the Rigel system and the Masters, the identity of the Preservers, the true origins of the Orions and so on—and kept this knowledge secret from everyone, even the Orions. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
Rigellians managed the Trade Halls of Rigel IV and the Rigellian Trade Authority, and through these they controlled the majority of trade within the Rigel system. However, they preferred to stay out of sight, while their Orion employees managed operations.
On Rigel IV, Rigel Space Control hailed an approaching vessel and asked it the Sixty Questions, regarding the ship, its cargo, crew, and place of origin. These also include some rather strange topics, probably added because of events and disasters in the distant past, but later almost forgotten. In orbit, the ship was visited by a robe-wearing and regalia-wielding Inspection Party, who performed purification rites alongside a thorough and more practical examination of the ship, from official papers to crew quarters. Once passed and after a quaint ceremony, the ship was granted the Certificate of Performance and access to Rigel IV. Those who failed the inspections, didn't stick to the ceremony and procedure or angered the party might be forced to endure an even more complicated and probing purification rite and another inspection. The very worst offenders could be ordered to leave the system immediately, and forbidden from ever visiting Rigel IV again.
Successful applicants were directed to land at the Port of P'nam, though if this was once a real place, it no longer existed by modern times, effectively become wherever on Rigel IV that a ship was sent to. Under the stern control of the Sutler and his retinue, more rituals followed, covering the unloading of cargo, the connection of water, power and sewage lines, and the granting of liberty to the crew. These officials were all Orions. Finally, merchants were permitted to visit the Trade Halls and begin their trade. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
- Though Rigellians are dominant on Rigel IV, they seem to employ Orions for these tasks. Thus it is not clear if these quasi-mystical trade procedures are Rigellian or Orion. Both seem likely given their depictions in the source. This article assumes they are Rigellian.
Orion legends told of faithful Orion servants being allowed into the depths of Rigel IV to meet with ancient and wizened Rigellian elders, or even alleged millennia-old Masters kept on heavy life-support or uploaded into a computer. They would be gifted with wisdom and knowledge: mainly financial advice or confused accounts of Rigel's history, which would form the tenets of various Orion religions. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
The Rigellian language was adapted by the Rigellians from some older tongue (probably that of the Masters) to suit their needs and speech difficulties. It was often mistaken for an Orion language. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge) 'Discount goods' was the translation of the Rigellian word for things that did not work or were non-functional. (FASA RPG module: The Klingons)
A simplified form of the Rigellian language was Rigellian Trade Lingo. It was used by all merchants dealing in the Rigel system. A simple tongue that was easy to learn and use, hard to misunderstand, and quick to communicate, it had a large number of adjectives and adverbs designed for describing cargoes, and each word had a single, unmistakable meaning. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge) It was also called Rigellian Trade Dialect. (TOS novel: The Final Reflection)
Rigellian Trade Lingo even absorbed the word 'okay' from Earth's English language, with the word spreading to worlds a thousand parsecs from Earth. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge) It also used the suffix "-ese" to turn a nation's name into its language, e.g., "Klingonese". (TOS novel: The Final Reflection)
Orions tended to revere and hold in awe the Rigellians, due to the subtle aid that they gave them during their long slavery, and by never trading in them and passing up a potential fortune. Some Orion religions thought of the Rigellians as their Makers. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge)
"The Rigellian Question" was a matter of great interest for archaeologists and anthropologists who sought to explain their development and history. Meanwhile, popular legends claimed that they'd evolved from the pets of the race that paved over Rigel IV. The puzzle went on to cover the discrepancies between the apparent ages of the star Rigel and its worlds. For all these things, the Rigellians knew the real truth but refused to share it. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)
These Rigellians were based off an appearance in Spaceflight Chronology and developed in the FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge and finally appeared in the TOS novel: The Final Reflection. However, they've had no known appearances outside these sources.
However, the Rigelians who appeared in the ENT episodes: "Affliction", "Demons", "Terra Prime", with their faintly animalistic appearance, apparent focus on trade, their Trade Commission and role in negotiations for the Coalition of Planets bear a resemblance to the rat-like Rigellians above, with their focus on trade, Rigel Trade Authority, and involvement in negotiations for the foundation of the Federation.