The Xanians (Xanian: Jâ-Xâkömârī; Latin: Crudelis venator) are a humanoid species of apex predators native to the planet of Zhakar in the Zhevon system. The Xanians possess a relatively small interstellar government known as the Xanian Empire, which has been functioning since at least 580 BC, and spans a total of 756 habitable planets within seven hundred fifty lightyears of Zhakar, thought many are inhabited by subjugated slave races. The Xanians carved out an existence in their homeworld's violent, predatory life cycles, not helped by the planet's harsh and punishing climate and environment. With the advent of numerous technological advancements some four thousand years ago, allowing the Xanians to thrive and focus on more peaceful endeavors, the Xanians have since taken to the creation of an interstellar empire which has been successful. The zhakarforming of newly discovered worlds and expansion of the Xanian population throughout known space have been the major focuses of the Xanian species, along with the usual political intrigue of the Great Households of Zhakar.
Xanians are average height, dark-skinned humanoids, not unlike humans in physical appearance. They have golden luminescent irises surrounded by black sclera, and pupils which alter in shape to reflect the emotional state of the Xanian. The Xanians possess a second set of translucent eyelids, which they use rather than blinking, giving the Xanians a disturbing, wide-eyed stare. All Xanians possess the same black hair color, and the same skin tone throughout their species, showing a unique, yet odd level of homogeneity within their species. Therefore, they are exterminating other species for being “different”, the most sinful thing within Xanian religion. All Xanians tend to be heavily-built physically, with high levels of muscle definition, though in nadirs, not so much so that they appear masculine. Rather, they possess what many humans would call an "Amazonian body figure", maintaining an attractive figure without the stereotypical masculinity in human females of the same body type Xanians are aware of the similarities between themselves and humanity, but do not regard themselves as relatives of that species, and hold themselves up as the paramount humanoid species in the galaxy.
Xanian nadirs also produce a highly toxic black, ink-like substance from their eyes similar to tears. Apex Xanians do not produce these toxic black tears, and lack the ability to cry. The tears in nadir Xanians also appears to be a defensive mechanism as well, increasing in volume and toxic potency when they are in danger or in fear. The Xanian nervous system is x (name Human type of nervous system). The Xanians possess a number of redundancies within their nervous system, most famously the secondary "brain" located within their spines. This second "brain" is a dense cluster of nerves and synapses that function as a "backup" for the Xanian brain in the event that their head is severed from their bodies. Given the numerous large and dangerous predatory creatures on the Xanian homeworld, scientists have classified this as a necessary advantage over the wildlife on the planet of Zhakar.
This system consists of the Xanian skeleton and attached muscles. It gives the body basic structure and the ability for movement. In addition to their structural role, the larger bones in the body contain bone marrow, the site of production of blood cells. Xanians typically tower over their human counterparts, with nadirs standing at about 221 cm (7'3") and weighing 111.1 kilograms (245 lbs) on average, and apexes standing nearly 254 cm (8'4") in height and weighing about 215.4 kilograms (375 lbs). Both Apex (Hermaphrodites [Male]) and Nadir (Asexual [Female]) Xanians tend to possess the same proportion of muscle mass, though nadirs tend to have more fatty tissue around the hips, breasts, and bottom, more in line with the human female archetype (low hip-to-waist ratio). The Xanian skeletal system is dense and metallic in nature, with a black noirium metallic coating and a strong honeycomb-like interior structure, increasing the strength and endurance of the Xanians bones to steel-like levels with only a fracture of the weight and mass.
Xanians can survive falls from great heights or blows with little physical trauma, and recover from the even within a generally short period of time. Xanian teeth are also coated in the same metallic substance, and notably possess large upper and lower canines. Furthermore, their teeth are also sharp and serrated, and appear to be self-sharpening. Likewise, the Xanians possess claws which are extensions of their finger bones. Additionally, the teeth of the Xanians are coated with the same material as the bones themselves. Nadir claws are longer than those of Apexes, however, though both genders have pronounced canines at the top and bottom of their mouths. Xanian claws and teeth are both black in coloration as with the bones, and are sharp and serrated, as well as self-sharpening, serving as fitting natural weapons. All Xanians possess a long, prehensile tongue, about forty centimeters in length, which is black in color and strong enough to firmly grip objects with, and an opening in the tip that can be used to drink liquids with.
The Xanian skeletal system is dense and metallic in nature, with a black noirium metallic coating and a strong honeycomb-like interior structure, increasing the strength and endurance of the Xanians bones to steel-like levels with only a fracture of the weight and mass. Xanians can survive falls from great heights or blows with little physical trauma, and recover from the even within a generally short period of time. Xanian teeth are also coated in the same metallic substance, and notably possess large upper and lower canines. Furthermore, their teeth are also sharp and serrated, and appear to be self-sharpening. Likewise, the Xanians possess claws which are extensions of their finger bones. Additionally, the teeth of the Xanians are coated with the same material as the bones themselves. Female claws are longer than those of males, however, though both genders have pronounced canines at the top and bottom of their mouths. Xanian claws and teeth are both black in coloration as with the bones, and are sharp and serrated, as well as self-sharping, serving as fitting natural weapons. All Xanians possess a long, prehensile tongue, about forty centimeters in length, which is black in color and strong enough to firmly grip objects with, and an opening in the tip that can be used to drink liquids with.
This comprises the heart and blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries). The Xanians possess two hearts, both of which propel the circulation of the blood, which serves as a "transportation system" to transfer oxygen, fuel, nutrients, waste products, immune cells, and signalling molecules (i.e. hormones) from one part of the body to another. The blood consists of fluid that carries cells in the circulation, including some that move from tissue to blood vessels and back, as well as the spleen and bone marrow. Xanian blood is jet black in color, with the oxygen-binding protein in their blood known as hemombranin, being responsible for this unique property. The blood possessing an oily, grainy texture to it from the bits of metallic noirium substance in it, and is very toxic and acidic to most native and non-native species of Zhakar, to whom it causes painful burns and scarring. Hemombranin can carry considerably more oxygen than hemoglobin, lending the Xanians their great stamina and endurance. A notable feature of this protein is the effect it has on Xanian muscles.
With a higher level of oxygen provided to their muscles, the Xanian muscular system is on average four to five times stronger than the human muscular system. Their muscles are also considerably denser as well, meaning that certain blows do not harm Xanians as much as they would humans. Additionally, Xanians can run faster and longer than humans as well, and possess a higher level of flexibility and agility. However, this comes with several complications. Xanxians experience a bell curve of this, as they reach peak strength and slowly decline. To deal with the cooler winters on the Xanian homeworld of Zhakar, Xanian blood doubles as an anti-freeze, keeping the blood and other bodily fluids from freezing during the most frigid periods of the winter months, and helping the Xanians to survive in a range of cold and sweltering environments. The internal body temperature of the Xanians is about 86ºF (30ºC), heavily regulated by the higher amount of oxygen in their bodies and the anti-freeze they naturally produce.
The Xanian respiratory system does not differ much from human. There is a nose, tubes, cavities, and lungs. The Xanian larynx is unable to achieve a diverse set of sounds, and is relatively deep. Xanians are noted for the higher levels of oxygen their body can carry, which allows them to achieve a greater level of stamina without succumbing to fatigue immediately. The Xanians possess a unique trait which prevents choking in their species. When an object is lodged within the larynx, an extremely corrosive form of stomach acid is released into the larynx, quickly dissolving the lodged object without harming the tissue around it.
The entire digestive system’s lining is twice as thick as humans. They have no large intestines, though their small intestines are instead connected to their bladders, which obliterate solid waste and refine them into liquids. Nadir Xanians can vomit on demand, often using such an ability to vomit highly caustic stomach fluids onto large predators to maim or kill. The waste product produced by Xanians is refined into a silver liquid, not unlike mercury in appearance and movement. So powerful are the chemicals used to refine the waste into liquid matter, that the liquid waste itself is deemed extremely toxic and dangerous to any non-Xanian life it comes into contain with, causing burns and scarring if not treated immediately. It is surmised that this helped to prevent predators from using Xanian waste products to track the individuals on their homeworld, and was more likely to scare away potential threats than to attract them. While most Xanians can survive on the same calorial intake as humans, and even less when they are required too, the ideal calorial requirements for a Xanian is typically twice that of a human adult.
Nadirs lips which are coated in an oily black lipstick-like substance called notomin, which leaves black residue on any objects their lips have touched, much akin to lipstick itself. While still having this, apex lips do not begin to produce a thicker version of this lipstick-like substance with the onset of puberty, and instead appear dark brown rather than black in color. The purpose of this is to attach the Xanian equivalent of white blood cells to pathogens entering the body. There is a less effective variant pasted onto the nasal cavity. The effect is strong enough for Xanians to track the residue miles away. All Xanians possess an organ known as a tuera, which produces millions of undifferentiated stem cells which can heal damaged organs, tissue, and even body parts. However, the tuera cannot heal itself, and damage to the organ can result in a Xanian losing the ability to regenerate organs and body parts. The organ would have to be repaired at a hospital for full functionality to be restored. And particularly deep wounds tend to leave scars that can only be removed with plastic surgery. Aggressive viruses are still dangerous and even lethal to the Xanians, and though the immune system they possess is strong enough to lessen the lasting impact of the virus, proper medical treatment is still required from a hospital. Xanians have a much less powerful equivalent of white blood cells, taking upwards to three weeks to fight off a cold, but in return can heal better in the long term, with a short list of illnesses that can actually kill them.
As children, Xanians mature very quickly mentally, and can grasp information a human of the equivalent age would not. Likewise, Xanians thus deem their children to be adults in all but name long before they reach physical maturity. This system is composed of equivalent organs of the human kind, except producing different hormones. As a species, the Xanians are long-lived, with apex Xanians living for well over four hundred years, and even longer should they continuously add harvested genetic material from younger Xanians to their systems. Nadir Xanians have equally long lifespans, but their violent behavior and lifestyle, combined with the desire for the attention and mating privileges from an apex bringing them into competition with other nadirs, lead to them dying well before their time. This has resulted in nadirs living no more than two hundred years at best. This comes out to an average of three hundred years for the species as a whole.
The Xanians can produce a liquid substance from glands located within their palms and the soles of their feet, which serve to increase the van der Waals forces between their body and surface of an object, allowing them to scale objects in spite of their mass and center of gravity. This is also useful in helping the Xanians maintain a vice grip on any object they can hold. They are psychrophiles, thermoacidophile, oligotroph, xerophile, and radioresistant. In order, Xanians are capable of surviving in extreme cold, extreme heat and acidic conditions, thrive in nutritionally-starved and bone dry environments, and are capable of surviving in extremely radioactive conditions, able to absorb a single dose of 15,000 sieverts of radiation of all known varieties. All of these traits can be traced back to the hostile conditions on Zhakar, which has been attributed as the primary factor in the overall survivability of the Xanian species, and in particular, their robust intergumentary system.