Grey are a species of vat-grown bipedal humanoids. Little is known of their origins.
Grey and YOU
Greetings, esteemed crewmember!
In an effort to encourage inter-species cooperation and workplace efficiency, NanoTrasen has compiled a series of helpful guides on the various species that you may be working with!
(NOTE: If you are a member of the species this guide pertains to, please give it to the nearest crewmember of another species)
This particular guide refers to the species known as the Greys (singular: Grey, Plural: Greys).
Grey Naming Schemes
Greys lack a language of their own, communicating with their kin telepathically. Though their formal names used through telepathic communication lack a written counterpart, many Grey adopt written names for the purposes of interacting with other species or record keeping. Due to their lack of a spoken language, however, these names do not normally follow a scheme or pattern, varying greatly from individual to individual.
Grey physiology is unique in several ways. While they have similar respiratory and vascular systems to humans - breathing oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide - it is important to note that instead of producing hemoglobin to transport oxygen, Greys produce hemerythrin, which causes their blood to take on a violet colour when oxygenated. Hemerythrin is unfortunately much less effective at distributing oxygen throughout the bloodstream, which lead to issues of hypoxemia in the Grey population aboard non-Grey facilities. If you notice one of your Grey coworkers looking abnormally tired, lacking balance, or prone to fainting, it is recommended to immediately bring them to a highly-oxygenated environment. Furthermore, due to high salt concentrations, the cells in a Grey's body are known rapidly undergo cytolysis when brought into contact with water - a reaction which can prove immediately fatal.
Greys are physically weaker than many of their coworkers, both due to a significant lack of muscle mass as well as a particularly brittle bone structure. Their bodies are thin and somewhat gangly, standing noticeably shorter than their human coworkers. Due to their unique physiology Greys fare poorly at labour intensive tasks but are far more adept at mentally taxing or stressful work such as research, record keeping, and management. Due to their bone structure and low muscle mass it is posited that Greys may have originated from a planet with low gravity, though this is as of yet unconfirmed.
Grey eyes are almost triple the size of those of most other species, and their sclera, iris, and pupil are completely indistinct from one another. The large size of Grey eyes is believed to be an adaptation to shield the ocular nerve against ultraviolet radiation with their unusually monotone complexion providing a similar degree of protection. This has lead scholars to believe that in addition to likely being low gravity, the original homeworld of the Greys likely had a poor magnetosphere or was unusually close to its star. While Grey eyes are protected against high levels of ambient ultraviolet radiation, they are still susceptible to bright lights such as those caused by welding arcs. Grey crew members are advised to always wear welding protection in the presence of intense light.
Unlike other observed sapient species observed by Nanotrasen, the Grey population appears to be wholly sustained via a form of advanced cloning; due to this abnormality Grey family structure typically consists of a single parent. Greys are often cited as being highly-reserved and independent, and appear to be able to go with little to no social interaction for extended periods of time without suffering any ill-effects. Though Greys are not sexually dimorphic, they often adopt male or female accoutrements for the sake of clarifying communications with other species.
Since the Grey species has always communicated solely telepathically, they lack a written or spoken language. However, Greys employed by NanoTrasen are required to be fluent in Galactic Common. Some Grey are also known to speak in a peculiar and incomprehensible dialect. This dialect is believed to be caused by deficiencies in a Grey's speech organs and the difficulties these typically underused organs pose when a Grey speaks non-telepathically.
Greys are believed to originate from outside the Milky Way. Due to this their origin world is unknown and is a point of speculation for many scholars. From observing the anatomy of various Greys, xenobiologists have come to the conclusion that Greys likely did not go through a natural process of evolution, but were instead engineered, likely by another master species, in a similar fashion to the Vox Primalis commonly found aboard Nanotrasen stations. The true origin of the species appears to be unknown to even the Greys themselves, who are believed to have arrived from a distant galaxy cluster after a long period of extended cryosleep. Due to these peculiar circumstances many Grey have elected that Mauna-b, which has a high population of Greys, act as a stand in for their home planet.
Mauna-b is a relatively small exoplanet with a close orbit to its sun within the Mauna system. Much of the planet is a sprawling and desolate tundra, with scorching deserts on its southern and northern poles. However, the equator of Mauna-b contains a long, temperate strip of land with relatively stable temperatures and seasons. Various enclosed colonies dot the surface of this ring of habitability, connected by high speed transportation networks. It's interesting to note that Mauna-b is almost completely devoid of standard communications equipment, due to the Greys ability for limitless psychic contact with one another. While advanced methods of data storage, computation, and transportation do exist these communications equipment present on the planetary surface has largely been established by various corporations operating on Mauna-b’s surface. The Greys have been observed to excel at scientific research, with many of the latest breakthroughs in bluespace technologies originating from Mauna-b.
It is important to note that unlike many planetary governmental systems, Mauna-b is governed by an appointed meritocracy known simply as The Technocracy. A panel of the brightest minds with the most psychic and mental potential are the decision makers for the entirety of the planet's policies and research direction. There are no known term limits in this system, and it is believed that the Grey appoint new members to this council via the importance of their scientific contributions or the breadth of their existing research. While Mauna-b acts as a base of operations, most of the Grey population lives in space - either inside space faring vessels or facilities. Grey fleets are known to vary in size, ranging from large collectives of ships to solitary vessels deep within unexplored space.
Originating from outside the galaxy, little is known about the origins of deeper history of the Grey species. Many scholars have looked to Grey legend and mysticism to provide insight on their history, with many stories telling of how the first Greys descended from another Galaxy, roughly one thousand years ago. Of how the Grey were transported by their "masters", to settle new worlds and space and given cryptic instructions to study the species of the worlds they found. While many of the details of these accounts are missing, such as who their masters were, the exact date of their arrival, or what form of transportation they were given, it appears that the Grey species have followed these purported instructions given that their species houses some of the best and brightest xenobiologists. While a hotly contested topic among many scholars, most agree that the technology the Grey possessed upon their arrival dates to a post-nuclear era.
Whilst humanity was making its first steps into space, the Greys had already established contact with or observation on many, of the sapient species in the galaxy. Thanks to both internal records with the Grey and anecdotal accounts from Vox Primalis, first contact is believed to have been with the Vox. A small Grey scout ship, searching a region of deep space for sentient life began their drive, preparing for a bluespace jump, when abruptly, their systems malfunctioned and shut down. The crew complained of splitting headaches, interference with telepathic communications, and night terrors. After being stranded for two days and while awaiting rescue from a larger, military vessel, the small ship found itself in the middle of a swarm of Vox skipjacks, as well as the prominent, moon sized Arkship the Vox call "First". While the details of this first encounter are not fully understood, it is believed that the Grey vessel was eventually retrieved and formal diplomatic relations were established.
First contact with Nanotrasen, and subsequently humanity, is a recent affair - having only occurred fifty years ago. The NSV Violet, a large cruiser sized research vessel, was reporting on unusual bluespace readings in the vicinity of the Mauna system which eventually lead them to Grey hubworld of Mauna-b. Nanotrasen ambassadors seized the opportunity when the initial reports were aired, arriving in the hundreds to set up communications before any other corporation or government could. While establishing proper communications proved challenging at first, given the Grey's preference for telepathic communication, both time and the expertise of Nanotrasen's diplomatic staff eventually eroded these communication barriers.
While Grey culture on Mauna-b is largely ubiquitous, the culture in spacefaring collectives or vessels varies wildly. The population of Mauna-b is held fully equal in terms of wealth and living conditions, with only slight discrepancies awarded depending on the importance of certain researchers and their scientific work. Issues such as poverty and homelessness appear to be non-existent on the world of Mauna-b and this is undoubtedly to strictly controlled population growth. Greys typically occupy themselves with mental tasks and research, involving the study of specimens brought back from deep space ventures to other planets, or the research and control of bluespace. Intellect and the pursuit of knowledge are two of those most important things in Grey society, with those who go engage in other pursuits typically being shunned. Difficult physical labor, such as farming, the upkeep of sanitation systems, and construction, is managed synthetic worker units or automated systems. While some rights movements have sprung up vying for the freedom of these workers, the involved units are typically decommissioned enmasse.
Life upon spacefaring vessels, in contrast to Mauna-b, is far more militant and hierarchical. Multiple fleets, split into smaller squadrons, patrol the galaxy with a strict command structure being enforced within these fleets. Every fleet is headed by a Research Director, with the lowest known position being known as a defence officer - with typically five of them per ship. Jobs that involve maintenance are manned by smaller synthetic units that are cyclically decommissioned to prevent issues with self-awareness. These structures are one of the few examples of established hierarchy within Grey society, with importance assigned to an individual Grey not on their individual contributions but on their rank. Due to this strict naval, almost militaristic way of life, Greys who have served on spacefaring vessels often make exemplary command members, able to give and receive commands efficiently and effectively. While a Grey's appreciation of formality and ordered systems can come across as aloof, stuffy, or needlessly bureaucratic, crew members are assured that this is merely a cultural difference and that Grey employees are valuable contributors to Nanotrasen facilities.
Due to their methods of re-population, namely cloning, the concepts of maternity and paternity are entirely foreign to Greys, with either a lone parent or a collective responsible for the education and upbringing of a single Grey. As Grey families consist of a single parent, automated complexes that house and educate thousands of young are not only common, but seen as a necessity and a staple of Grey life. Greys grow to full maturity after roughly twenty years, at which point they typically live for another thirty to fourty years.
Grey architecture and communication bare striking resemblances to teams of "Abductors" that have occasionally terrorized Nanotransen facilities. Some Nanotransen xenoanthropologists have speculated that due to these cultural and biological resemblances that these so-called Abductors may in fact be close relatives to the Grey species. While unpopular in Grey scholarly circles, it's possible that both Greys and Abductor teams share a common origin or came from the same master species. However, these theories rely largely on speculation and aren't backed up by more than circumstantial findings.
Currently the Grey species is one of the leading civilizations in bluespace technology. While Greys rarely settle in foreign systems, their presence is one of the most widespread in the galaxy due to their wide-reaching exploratory fleets and The Technocracy often acting as an interlocutor in various diplomatic engagements.
The Grey, in their infinite curiousity and ever-growing drive for science have left their mark on the galaxy, as researchers, diplomats, and explorers.
Remember, crewmember, intellect and organization are the cornerstones of success and productivity!