The Tenarphians were discovered by Galactica and the Fugitive Fleet, when the Colonials entered an uncharted system looking for an opportunity to replenish hydrogen oxygen and other consumables. The remains of the Tenarphian civilization first came to notice when Viper recon patrols noticed the abandoned moon base. Further investigation revealed the remains of cities, transportation systems and other technological artifacts dotting the surface of the planet which the moon orbited.
Xenologists from Galactica made contact with the Tenarph population, which exists at a much lower technology level then the ruins and other structures reflect.
Below is a transcript of the report given to the Council of Twelve on Galactica by Dr Leo and Dr Saffis…
Dr. Leo reporting:
“They are bipedal, averaging a bit less then two metrons in height.
Their limbs, all four, are similarly designed, muscled and jointed as
are ours, though there appears to be greater flexibility and motion
range in their primary joints then ours. Their hands consist of four
fingers, or digits…” The image zooms in on a shot of an alien’s
right hand extended towards the sky. “As you can see what would be our
first and second fingers is replaced with a single, muscular, digit.
They do possess an opposable thumb.”
“Their bodies are covered with a fine but thick hair of varying
colors. The hair is particularly thick in the area of the ‘mane’ and
thins out to virtually nothing at the feet and hands.” Using a light
pointer Dr Leo indicates the various body parts as she speaks.
“They are sexually dimorphic, however the male genitalia are withdrawn
into the body cavity when not required, making initial gender typing
difficult until more subtle signs are learned.”
A new picture, showing an alien in profile appears.
“Internally they have most of the standard organs and systems we have.
Though there are design and placement differences. There is however,
one group of organs different from our own. Note the hump on the
back, here…” She uses the pointer to indicate it.
“This area houses several organs whose exact function is still being
worked out. However, from what we can see, the species is able to
hibernate for extended periods of time. These organs seem to function
as nutrient storage and system maintenance for the body.”
The image focuses on the aliens head.
“The cranium is large, the brain is well developed. They are obviously
equipped with high intelligence, at least equal to our own. They are
omnivorous, though favor a high protein diet, as evidenced by the
sharp incisors and fangs they have.”
“We have completed the dissection of the alien corpses, determining
the cause of death to be shock, trauma and vacuum exposure resulting
from injuries sustained by metal slugs launched by a projectial
weapon. Scanner analysis of the aliens on the planet, compared to
those of the dead ones taken from the moon base, show little or no
divergence beyond statistical variations. This, combined with
technological analysis, leads us to conclude that the destruction of
the moonbase and collapse of their civilization, occurred within the
last 3,000 yahrens.”
Dr Saffis reporting:
“As Dr Leo indicated, tentative dating indicates that the alien
civilization was destroyed about 3,000 yahrens ago.
We have been able to firm up that figure, it actually
occurred 3,239 yahrens ago. We have derived this
figure from subatomic analysis of the decay of
biological tissue and by interpreting data obtained
from the alien’s surviving archives.”
“Yes, we have deciphered their languages, both past
and current. The languatrons are being used by our
Xenologists to begin studying the culture of the
current generations living on the planet and to aid
our engineers in analysing the surviving technology.”
“One issue I want to put to rest now is this, there is
absolutely no evidence of a Cylon attack or presence
in any of the archives or from examination of the
planet or moon base.”
Dr Saffis’ briefing continued….
“The aliens, they called themselves ‘Tenarph’ had a
sophisticated and advanced culture. Without going into
a detailed list of all their accomplishments I will
point out the highlights…”
“As we have seen they obtained space travel. They
harnessed the atom, developed advanced metallurgy
techniques, had a sophisticated medical technology,
designed intricate computers and electronic hardware
and used their technology to fight an utterly
devastating war that sent their civilization crashing
back into its most primitive level.”
“One technology that they did not achieve, was faster
then light space travel. More about that in a centon.”
“We have determined that 3,245 yahrens ago, the planet
was dominated by several rival groups of Tenarph. We
are still trying to determine if these rivalries were
religious, economic, political, genetically based,
culturally based or what.”
“The planet was heavily industrialised and beginning
to sustain long term ecological damage, the scars of
which are still visible to expert analysis. At that
time one of the groups decided, why we aren’t sure, to
utilise the existing moon base to construct a giant
colony ship for interstellar exploration. This colony
ship was constructed inside a large asteroid. It was
designed to house thousands, tens of thousands, of
Tenarphians. They were placed in suspended animation,
a science that they developed to a very high degree,
building off their innate abilities of hibernation.”
“The ship took almost ten yahrens to build. It was a
huge undertaking, both technologically and economicly.
It also inflamed rivalries on the planet. Again we
haven’t worked out all the subtleties, but the whole
idea of the colony ship seemed to infuriate large
numbers of Tenarphians. This seems to have been the
catalyst for the war.”
“Evidence, in the form of hastily abandoned cargo pods
indicates that the technicians on the moon base knew
that war was imminent. Where before they had carefully
sorted and stored the empty cargo pods, they began,
towards the end, simply dumping them at random.”
“The attack when it came, was two fold. Agents and
saboteurs inside the moonbase combined with massive
missile strikes launched from the planet. The
moonbase had defenses, in the form af anti missile
batteries as well as the ability to strike back. The
saboteurs did their work well and much, though not
all, of the base’s defenses were neutralised.”
“The bodies we recovered for study were one of several
teams found throughout the base. They carried
explosives and, or, projectile weapons. Their actions
were clearly directed at the base’s internal
infrastructure and defenses.”
“The missile attack was only partially successful. It
did impact the asteroid ship and it did wipe out all
the Tenarphians in the moonbase.”
“As we know from our own experiences, the Cylons
employed asteroid ships in the early phases of the
war, asteroid ships are very tough. The colony ship
survived the missile attack, though with damage, and
left the parking orbit around the base where it was
“The enemy had prepared for this possibility by
building a small fleet of space craft. These ships,
armed with nuclear weapons and space mines, began to
attack the colony ship.
“From what we can determine, the attacking fleet had
previously deployed the mine field, using much of
their reaction mass in the process. They sought,
through their attacks, to either destroy the asteroid
ship outright, or force it into the mine fields they
“The colony ship was not without its own defenses
however and the attacking craft suffered heavy losses.
We believe that they were successful though, in
forcing the asteroid ship into the mine fields.”
Dr. Saffis paused to take a drink of water.
President Arthos spoke, “So they succeeded in
destroying the colony ship.” It was more a statement
then a question.
Saffis put the glass down.
“No sir. We have located the colony ship. It is
proceeding on course towards its destination system.”
An immediate babble of questions and comments come
from the Council.
“The colonist? what of them?”
“Where is it?”
Saffis waited for quiet.
“Yes, it survived. We knew its planned course from
the star charts we recovered from the base. A Viper
patrol was vectored towards it and made some long
range observations. They were ordered to keep their
distance lest the asteroids defenses were activated.
We don’t know what the status of the colonists is.
They may all be dead and the ship is simply running
its pre-programmed routines.”
Another round of murmured discussion interrupted the
Commander Apollo stood up, “If I may, Doctor?”
Saffis nodded and stepped back from the podium.
Apollo spoke, “We have many decisions ahead of us.
What to do about the Tenarphian’s ship is only one.
Let our experts complete their briefings before we get
too far into any one topic.”
The talk died away and Apollo relinquished the podium
to Dr Saffis so he could resume…
The talk died away and Apollo relinquished the podium
to Dr Saffis so he could resume…
“I’m sure most of you have seen the images of the
alien cargo pods, but for those of you who haven’t…”
The screen behind him began displaying a series of
shots of the abandoned pods found in the craters near
“They come in several sizes, but the ones that concern
us the most are the two largest sizes. Before
detailing their possible uses I’d like to address the
concerns expressed by some regarding the materials.
The alien metallurgy, though inferior to our best
works, is superior in many ways to our average, or
common, hull materials. Without getting too technical,
I will summarise the points of interest…”
Saffis immediately became too technical for most of
his audience. Launching into a comparative analysis of
molecular structures, composition, hardness, tensile
strengths, structural stresses and a host of other
details that seemed to stupefy his audience.