In a remote corner of the galaxy exists the Drak'gora Commonwealth. A small empire by any standards, their influence however, spreads across the galaxy. Sometimes the locals know, sometimes they don't. What is this dark conspiracy? Salvage.
The Drak'gora are a peaceful plant-like race, but harbor a single dark secret. Those that know them, although personal opinions tend to vary, know the Drak'gora as expert salvagers. Some accept it, others see them as the worse kind of thieves, but they always carry out their operations according to a strict code of salvage rights. While they can get very competitive, they are never directly dishonest. However, there ARE certain loopholes in their honor. The Drak'gora maintain small salvage depots all over the galaxy. Their main purpose is to sort and ship salvage back to their home space, anything from parts to entire ships. Many depots are privately hidden in out of the way systems, but public depots can be a great place to shop. Salvage is such a major part of Drak'gora society, that it's the only thing most races remember them for. But the truth is, all the aspects of their civilization come from their reproductive process, which they go to great lengths to keep secret.
Drak'gora are parasites. In their natural form, they are a simple flowering plant. It's not until they take a host that they can function as part of their society. Almost any sentient species is compatible. The incomplete plant will grow runners into a sleeping or restrained victim, eventually merging with the body. As the host is taken over, the body is converted to a more energy efficient female form and takes on the plant-like Drak'gora features. The hands and forearms become brown and root-like, and the feet are replaced with root-like tendrils. Dark green spots spread across the body, these are sensory organs, each one is sensitive to light, heat, and touch. The body takes on a color in range from brown to pale green, depending on the host's original skin color, while the hair turns bright green. Although the transformation is partly uniform, there are obvious differences based on the host species. Despite this, a Drak'gora is no longer easily recognizable as any other species, allowing them to keep their secret. The host's mind is unharmed, allowing the new owner access to all their technical knowledge, among other things. To prevent any mental uprising, the victim's consciousness is moved out of the head. Incidentally, the most suitable network of nerves outside of the brain is the main erogenous zone. This makes an ideal place to store the body's former owner. With this last step, the victim has been fully "snatched" and is now completely a Drak'gora. Since their true biology is a secret, it is unknown whether a snatched victim can be cured. Public records however, state that they share the same simple reproductive process as most terrestrial plants, growing from a seed.
Their parasitic nature bleeds over into their habits in many ways. Drak'gora believe that nothing should go to waste, which is why they salvage absolutely everything. They have no technology of their own, and no drive to develop it, but they will research and enhance any technology they are already using. Because they retain their host's knowledge, they are immediately prepared to do any job their host was qualified for. This is one of the reasons for their style of government. On the outside they are an openly friendly communist empire. For their entire history they've never shown any sign of selfishness towards their own species, resulting in minimal government and the lasting peace of the communist ideal. Every Drak'gora knows their responsibility, based on the knowledge they end up with, and performs it without complaint. They keep the secret of their true nature, because they know that most wouldn't approve. They prefer to live with the land on a planet, building their cities and spaceports without disturbing the landscape. Their fleets are composed of any ship they can get their hands on, with a fresh coat of paint, and highly tuned systems. They don't aggressively colonize, yet they continue to slowly expand their empire planet by planet.
They do this by taking victims from places no one will notice. A lost survey team here, an off course transport there. A major source of population comes from their salvage. With so many wars in the galaxy a fair share of ships are left derelict, some even with crew. The Drak'gora are happy to salvage both. This is even more important in the case of Herapi ships. They are considered the biggest prize, but also the hardest to claim. A Herapi capital ship can be transported to special salvage depots where they are nursed back to health. The sentient components of the ship are removed and restored back to their original form, then snatched. This population boom is often enough to start an entire new colony. The shell of the ship can then be retrofitted with conventional technology and added to the fleet. Aside from Herapi ships however, to keep up appearances, crewmembers of many races are routinely rescued and delivered to safety by Drak'gora salvage crews. In most situations, dealing with them is perfectly safe, as only a very small percentage of the galactic population is ever snatched.
When they aren't working salvage, Drak'gora can be found in many professions, not all of them stay with their empire. They tend to be positive and charismatic, which makes them excellent traders. Their leathery hands make excellent built in work gloves, and they're not shy about getting dirty. With their instinct for repairing and improving existing technology, they also make good technicians. They can live almost anywhere habitable, and when food is scarce can take root for nourishment. In combat, the Drak’gora use their own voice. On its own it the high decibel scream can stun less resilient species, but in more serious conflicts they use a sonic amplifier to greatly increase its potency. They prefer to capture an enemy alive, for obvious reasons. Since sonic weapons are useless in a vacuum, they fall back on their usual method of salvaging weapons technology.
K'N'Tara weapons have no effect on Drak'gora, due to their plant celluar structure. However while the K'N'Tara have already devised the proper modification to the transblaster in case of emergency, they do not consider them a big enough threat to warrant upgrading.
The Herapi consider them thieves, after all, anything they have, they stole first fair and square. It also annoys them to no end that the Drak'gora seem so interested in salvaging their ships.
The Medieza haven’t found any particular reason to dislike the Drak’gora, yet.
By: The Lurking Tentacle