Betazoid
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Planet: Betazed

Betazoid

Betazoids are from the planet Betazed, and are characterized by their telepathic abilities, enabling them to read most minds. Their strong ethics, however, prevent them from abusing their powers. They are peaceful and altruistic, and usually become ship's counselors, doctors, or diplomats.

1.1) Background

Home Planet: Betazed

Appearance: Humanoid, but they have black irises. Height – 5’5” to 7’0”

Physiology: Telepathic/Empathic

Society and Culture: Because of their mind reading abilities, they are honest to bluntness and usually dislike liars.

Government: Democratic, they are ruled by a council of the high houses. There is no one leader.

2.1) First Contact Date: 2236
2.2) Joined the Federation: 2294

3.1) Appearance:

BetazoidAppearance.jpg
Deanna Troi

Humanoid, indistinguishable from humans usually with dark hair and pale skin. They have black irises and look like they have the human disease of aniridia, or where the human eye has no iris. Built more like cats, betazoids are usually more limber and agile than their human counterparts.

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Betazoid Black Iris

Average Height: 5’5” to 7’0”

3.2) Physiology:

The Betazed people are almost indistinguishable from humans, in biological appearance they are in fact identical, but internally there are a few minor differences in organ placement. However, they have the same nature of life, carbon based, and with an iron-rich blood system. The most significant biological difference is the slightly longer 10-month term of pregnancy for a Betazed woman. Another note should be made about Betazed females, is that they undergo somewhat of a second "puberty", experienced in the late fifties and early sixties, this stage of increased sexual maturity, known as "the Phase" can often quadruple a Betazed woman's sex drive.

Their mind contains the paracortex, their telepathic lobe (See Telepathy and Empathy below), which is highly capable of recovery from injury, and includes the "metaconsciousness," or a trauma filter. Psilosynine is the neurotransmitter involved. In addition, their REM sleep frequency is different than for most humanoids.

3.3) Telepathy and Empathy

All Betazoids develop telepathic abilities at some point in their lives, the most common time is during the age of puberty, which for Betazed children is usually around 10 or 11, though children have been known to be born with their abilities and resultantly need extensive early therapy (e.g., Dayton Le’Raye and Tam Elbrun). These children have been known to work through therapy and become productive members of society. These individuals are almost always extremely talented and powerful in telepathic terms, but also unable to screen out the noise of other people's minds, so they generally suffer mental problems of varying severity depending mostly on when the problem was diagnosed… On the other end of the scale are a few individuals who develop psionic abilities which are far below average for this species (e.g., Lon Suder). Those Betazoids are barely able to sense even strong emotions of other people, not to speak of thoughts.

Having telepathic abilities have dramatically affected their culture, and above all else, honesty is one of the most important traits on Betazed, and in a society of telepaths, lying is almost impossible. Betazoids are unequivocally honest by nature, and are distrustful of anyone who is lying to them. An ancient Betazed saying states "One who speaks one thing, and thinks another, is fighting a war inside"

Betazoid telepathic abilities do not work on the Ferengi and their genetic equals, who share a four lobed brain such as the Dopterians. Efforts at probing the Breen also proved unsuccessful.

4.1) Society and Culture:

Betazoid society, by nature of their telepathy, is very open, outgoing and friendly. They genuinely enjoy helping others. This, as well as their telepathic/empathic abilities, makes them excellent counselors and diplomatic negotiators. The Starfleet position of Ship's Counselor was created with Betazoids in mind. They have very few prejudices, however they tend to dislike, or at least distrust, any race whose mind they cannot understand. Betazoids also have a strong dislike for liars, due to their own strong sense of honesty. They themselves seldom lie; after all, what is the point of telling a lie when your society around you can read your mind?

The Code of Sentience gives strict guidance on the use and treatment of a Betazoids telepathic powers, and because of this code, other races have no need to fear these powers. A Betazoid may not pry into another's mind unless it is with permission and absolutely necessary. It has been abolished for so long now, that it has actually become physically straining for a Betazed to use his or her powers in such a way.

The great noble houses of Betazed still maintain a privileged status on Betazed, even though their power has waned over the years. Their origins are intertwined with the inception of the priesthood and Betazed spirituality. A cultural distinction still exists on Betazed. While there are laws preventing discrimination based on lineage, a noble title still carries weight.

Betazoid society is also matriarchal and matrilineal, though they do not discriminate based on gender. However some adhere to the old ways and prefer to wait for a daughter to give off inheritances and social standing.

They practice a traditional style of marriage arrangement called 'genetic bonding', where children are promised to each other for marriage by their parents at birth. Politics plays a role in this selection, but typically such genetic pairing has been for the purpose of creating healthy, intelligent children. As part of this, or perhaps because of it, marriage and love are viewed differently. Betazoids are known for their ability to love more than one person, without losing their ability to love their mate. They also are not bound by their marriage customs. These traditions are practiced most strongly among the noble houses, or First Houses, which hold the political clout of Betazoid society. Marriage ceremonies are typically performed in the nude, as a symbol of the culture's openness and high regard for love. Presently, many young Betazoids of recent generations have started to refuse their genetically chosen mates, to marry their 'Imzadi'. The term Imzadi loosely translates to 'beloved', yet goes far beyond that. The relationship often also involves a psychic bond between the two. It is a deep connection which lasts a lifetime, regardless of what direction each partner takes in life. Once Imzadi, always Imzadi.

4.2) Love and Marriage

The Betazed view on marriage also differs dramatically form other cultures, in that the wedding ceremony is conducted in the nude, during the exchanging of vows. This is seen as an outward expression to the open nature of the Betazoids telepathic society, both partners coming to each other in a open and honest fashion.

Children from Betazoid families are genetically bonded at birth, often for political relations between two families to become more amorous, the children of those families will be bonded for marriage. A suitable genetic partner must also be chosen, in order to produce healthy children who can contribute to society. It is somewhat of a genetic selection mechanism, which cuts down on the possibility of genetic mutations, meaning learning and medical disabilities on Betazed are extremely rare. Traditionally, love and marriage are considered as two separates in Betazed culture.

A Betazoid can form a telepathic link with another with whom he or she is close, and this individual is referred to as Imzadi, or beloved in Federation standard. The tie between a Betazoid and their Imzadi is difficult to understand, but it goes beyond mere closeness and an understanding of one another's mind, and it is a bond, which lasts for a lifetime. Many young Betazoids are now marrying their Imzadi, as opposed to those who were chosen for them at birth, this has caused much unrest in the noble houses.

4.3) Spirituality

The Betazoids are a highly spiritual people. Their spiritualism guides them every day. Their mythology centers around the Four Deities, which also represent four apsects of Betazoid life. These four deities are not anthropomorphic, but rather spiritual concepts that they worship and adhere to.

The Four Deities are named after the Betazoid words for the spiritual concepts: Altha (Peace/Stability), Imza (Love/Compassion), Fana (Nature), Tholta (Truth/Honesty). While all four have equal 'weight' as deities, there exists a structure to them in a diamond shape. At the top is Altha. Imza and Tholta are the middle points of the diamond, for without Truth and Love, there can be no peace and stability. The bottom point is Fana, or Nature, symbolizing the roots of the faith. Two central points represent the 'base' of the Betazoid civilized society. The bottom point of the diamond's association to the natural is a reminder that it is something that is often a delicate balance.

4.4) Thirteen Houses of Betazed

The Houses of Betazed is the top most social class of Betazed society. All of the individuals in this class are considered to be actual descendents of ancestral Betazoids. The Houses of Betazoids are numbered, and they can also be classified in the qualities that the Houses are supposed to hold. There are a total of about 13 seperate houses, based on ancestor and qualities.

First House – House of Honesty and Truth
Second House – House of Love and Compassion
Third House – House of Health
Fourth House – House of Natural Art
Fifth House – House of Nobility
Sixth House – House of Poetry
Seventh House – House of Courage
Eighth House – House of Stability
Ninth House –House of History and Knowledge
Tenth House – House of Perseverance
Eleventh House – House of Spirituality
Twelfth House – House of Balance
Thirteenth House – House of Peace and Protection

5.1) Native Home System: Betazed

Capital Planet: Betazed

The planet of Betazed is highly respected in the Federation, as they have achieved a significant degree of importance among Federation affairs. Most notable are the biennial Trade Agreements Conference that is hosted there, where the economic strengths of worlds are weighed against the Federation credit. The negotiations are fierce, but the Betazoid's shrewd but fair dealings have earned them a great amount of respect from their Federation peers.

Betazed itself is in a system of five planets, orbiting a yellow star. Betazed is the second planet in the system, and has three small moons, named Avandar, Merandar, and Keylandar. It has a gravity of 1.0 G. It is Oxygen-Nitrogen in atmosphere, with a pressure equivalent to Earth's. The climate ranges from tropical to arctic. There is no weather-control technology due to the Betazoid belief that it is unnecessarily tampering with nature.

5.2) Medara

Medara is the capital city of Betazed, and it is located on the largest of the continents. The city's districts branch out like the spokes of a great wheel, and in the center of this is the Plaza of Contemplation - the center of Betazoid spirituality. The design is greatly integrated into the natural environment, and a thriving swampy ecosystem exists side-by-side with the Betazoid inhabitants. Medara is also a sacred city, sporting many holy places and shrines. Many of the Great Houses tend to these with great care, as many of their members have religious duties as well as temporal ones.

Just outside the city's center are the governmental and bureaucratic complexes. The planet is governed from this location by The Ruling Council. The Great Houses of Betazed also maintain residences in this district.

Beyond the governmental complexes are commercial, industrial, and eventually residential districts.

5.3) Other Places

Lake Cataria is one of the most scenic spots on the planet, and is frequented by thousands of tourists every day, with its extensive resort. The shoreline of the lake is vast, and its many twists and turns provide ample privacy for its visitors in small coves. The waters of the lake are crystal clear, and though the Lake is very deep in parts, it is said you can never lose site of the bottom. With boating, swimming and fishing all favourite pass times, a day on the lake can be enjoyed further by sampling some of the fine cuisine on offer in one of the many hotels and restaurants which are dotted around at various locations around the lake.

The city of Dalaria is home to the largest spaceport on the planet, with thousands of shuttles leaving and arriving each day. Dalaria has vast transporting facilities and is the main trade route for the entire planet. The city also serves as the host for the biennial Trade Agreements Conference, and arbiters from all across Betazed come to aide in the important economic conference.

The University of Betazed is one of the most famous in the entire Federation, students come form all cultures and forms of life to study at the vast facilities of the university, spreading across the entire planets, the University maintains offices in all the major cities. The University is particularly well known for its scientific department, and its psychological studies department is without doubt, the best in the Federation. The University has an active research program into the Behaviour of almost every species in the federation, and offers advanced courses in adapting telepathic skills, both for Betazed people, and other telepathic races, such as Vulcan's.

The Betazoid people are extremely spiritual, and there are many standing stones and shrines scattered across the planets surface, some in the most obscure of locations. Unlike many other modern cultures, the Betazoid people still cling to their mythical traditions, and regularly celebrate important spiritual dates. They prefer to mesh their technological advancement with their spiritual belies, this has left them somewhat less technologically advanced than other races, but it has kept their spirits, and their culture, full of life.

5.4) Government

The Ruling Council of Betazed is a democratically elected body from the thirteen high houses, which governs Betazed. Within the Council Hall, all debate and discussion is conducted telepathically. Although council members may shield their thoughts, it is frowned upon. Betazoids see their legislature as sacred and believe that complete openness allows the best decisions to be reached. Failure to participate fully means that a councilor is shirking his duty to his constituents.

Unlike other planets, Betazed has no single leader, instead it has a vast bureaucracy which serves under the ruling council, this is divided into many departments known as Relzari, such as the High Office of Defense, which commands the Betazed Defence Force; High Office of Finance, which handles planetary economics; Office of Domestic Affairs, which works to maintain the quality of life for all Betazoids. The council itself is responsible for appointing its ambassadors, such as Lwaxana Troi. Below the planetary level, Betazed is organised into provinces which each are run by governors, who handle affairs on a day to day basis, and ensure that the rules passed down by the council are implemented.

6.1) History

The ancient history of Betazed is shrouded in Myth and legend, and the Betazed people seem to prefer it this way, much to the annoyance of historical professors across the federation. Much of the Betazoids Myths centre on the races gift for telepathy, which were given to them by their spirits, for the excellence of the peoples stewardship of the Natural world. But the legends also speak of a vicious enemy who shared these telepathic powers, and was the cause of great wars on the planet.

Every Betazed is told the legend of Khrysaros, a mystical hero, who used his vast mental powers to defeat the shadowy enemies form the stars and usher in a new golden age. His teachings lived on through his followers, notably the acolyte Rixx, who was granted a set of holy rings which were said to have the power to summon Khrysaros during the time of Betazeds greatest need, these rings are the ancestral property of the fifth house of Betazed, and currently the property of Lwaxana Troi.

Khrysaros is credited with the unification of Betazed, before his time, Betazoids were organised into various kingdoms and city-states which often fought each other. Eventually, a theocratic oligarchy, a religious group gained control of the planet, and only nobles were allowed to enter the priesthood, who then dictated life on Betazed. As the planet advanced technologically, the need of a more secular government became apparent, and while then priesthood had brought the feuding nations together as a unified world, their resistance to social freedoms and technological advancement became a hindrance to the society.

Betazed was still ruled by its strong spiritual and ethical beliefs, and as the dawn of the space age came to the planet, a conflict between the religious and technological section was inevitable. The coming troubles appeared in the form of a priest named Dainara, who as a member of the third house, spoke out openly that Betazed had grown to the limit of its spiritual roots. He thought that the priesthood was no longer able to govern the world effectively and he advocated a radical separation of the secular and the spiritual. He spoke out against the casual acceptance of the telepathic abilities of his race, and the inherent responsibilities that came with the technological advancements, which his people were making. He words feel on many ears, and he earned a great deal of followers, though he had no support form his fellow priests and nobles.

The first Betazed space flight occurred the following year, with the blessing of the priesthood, despite the spiritual ramifications of space flight, they saw this as an opportunity to spread their teachings beyond their own world. First contact with an alien species occurred for the Betazed people several years later, when their first warp-capable ship found another culture, the Terebian, less than four light years away. The Betazed and Terebian cultures were very different, and the Betazoids were startled about the lack of telepathic ability in the Terebians, so much so that the priesthood took this to be a sign of inferiority. the Betazed people had more advanced agrarian technology, where the Terebians excelled in material engineering and electronics, this led to a vast exchange of culture and technology between the two races.

As the years passed, several form each race began to settle on the others worlds, and interracial marriage was becoming more and more common, initially the Terebians had been curious of the telepathic abilities of the Betazoids, but it soon turned to distrust, particularly as the views of the priesthood that telepathy was a spiritual gift and should be used freely and widely fell deafly on Terebian ears. Terebians began to resent what they saw as the Betazeds superior attitude, and traders began to bicker, Terebians accusing Betazoids of unfair practices and advantages, the Betazoid predilection for honesty is now well know, and these rumours were likely untrue. However, at the time this rumor was all that was necessary to fuel the start of fire on Terebia.

Betazoid inhabitants of Terebia were quickly rounded up and placed into makeshift internment camps, and fearing retribution for their acts on their home world, the Terebians launched a pre-emptive strike against Betazed itself. Whilst neither side had amassed significant military powers, the ensuing war lasted for seven long and brutal years, before the Terebians finally agreed to sit down and negotiate with the Betazoids, after neither side had gained an upper hand in the war. It is speculated by historians that the Terebian change of heart, came about form a greater understanding of the Betazoid powers gained from the prisoners they held on their home world.

The Betazed priesthood finally realised that its ways were outdated, and in the wake of the war they could no longer ignore the obvious. Thus in their time of need, they turned to Dainara, who then took to heading the negotiations. He successfully negotiated the Terebian Armistice, and afterwards a provisional council was put in place on Betazed. Large-scale reforms took place and discrimination form social class was abolished in terms of the government, though even today the heads of the larger houses are given more special treatment that others.

The ruling council was formed in the wake of provisional rule, and the long process of rebuilding was begun. The most lasting contribution to come form the spiritual arm of the provisional council, was what is known as the Code of Sentience. Spearheaded by Dainara and influenced heavily by his teachings, this codeset down indelibly the duties, responsibilities and prohibitions on the Betazed telepathy. The telepathic abilites were indeed a gift, but this gift had to be respected and used wisely, especially during the new ge of exploration and contact. The code ensured that the mistakes made during contact with the Terebians were not repeated.

After a century of rebuilding and forming new agreements with the Terebians, first contact with the federation occurred, and only shortly afterwards, Betazed applied for membership. Whilst this century or rebuilding and peace was seen as a near Utopia by the Betazed people, most welcomed entrance into the Federation, and the planet has ultimately benefited form its inclusion into the UFP. Since joining, the Betazed people have distinguished themselves in several fields and the Starfleet position of ships counsellor was made, specifically with the Betazoids in mind to fill that role. The talents of the Betazoids, plus their honest and outgoing natures, have gained them many friends across the Federation.

Unfortunately, there are still some races and people who do discriminate against Betazoids, and other telepathic creatures, but their is an extensive Federation program in operation, based in fact around Betazed, which helps to educate the average citizen about telepaths, and also help dispel any prejudice against telepathic powers they might have.

After many years of peace in the Federation, Betazed feel victim to the circumstances of war. It has always been a strategically important system, due to its closeness to both Earth and Vulcan, but it also lies near to the former Cardassian borders, and when war broke out with the Dominion, it was a prime target. The twelfth fleet, assigned to the Betazed sector, was mislead away form the planet, and a Dominion invasion force successfully managed to take over the system, which had very few of its own defences against such a force as that which the Dominion employed.

Betazed was occupied for greater that a year, and there was only one escape attempt which was known to be successfully, over half a billion citizens of the planet were murdered in prison facilities whilst experiments were done to test their telepathic powers. It is said that other teleptahic races on the other side of Federation space heard the scream of the planet.

Once again, today, the planet finds itself in a time of rebuilding, with Starfleet being called in to erect a new orbital space station, this has helped quell some of the fears that the federation could no longer protect the world. But it is a time of much unrest on the surface, and several anti-federation organizations are beginning top become apparent, most notably one calling themselves the Enlightened Mind Movement. This movement had been present on Betazed for some time, feeling that their planet is being ruined by the influences of other cultures alien to their own.

Members of the Enlightened Mind tend to have a somewhat xenophobic nature, and this leads them to feel its many alien visitors poison their planet. They feel that their people have forgotten the teaching of Dainara, and are forgetting the nature of the conflict with Terebia, fearing the same will happen with the federation. The EMM wishes Betazed to return to the golden age of the time before they joined the UFP, and unfortunately with the recent devastation from the Dominion occupation, their words are being heard by more and more people each day.

Whilst the EMM generally keeps to peaceful demonstrations, more extreme faction has been involved in terrorist activities, and Starfleet intelligence and fleet security have interfered with attempted assassinations. One such planned assassination of the prominent ambassador to earth Lwaxana Troi, was foiled just a few short weeks before the war with the Dominion broke out.

One extreme faction lead by Crispen Myron of the Fifth House, lead a fail coup on the planet of Surnia to over throw Empress Azereal. The mission was to get Surnian support for Betazed for the federation to remember the power of the planet and her people. The coup was thwarted by Kelly, Ethan, Jack Corrigan and the crew of the USS Presidio captained by Dayton Le’Raye. All the cohorts of the coup have been exiled from Betazed as the council is trying to control the out bursts.

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