Iums are an intelligent species native to Betelgeuse-6, they were given their name by humans based on the sound that they make.
The Iums have an extraordinary anatomy, they have skeletons but their four limbs are boneless, instead of bones they have a sort of very supple cartilaginous tube surrounded by powerful muscles. They are amazingly strong.
They have a peculiar digestive system, their energy source is a battery that they carry in their stomach cavity. It allows the Iums to survive without eating as they have no mouth or digestive system. The only thing they consume, apart from the air they breathe, is a little water through their nostrils from time to time.
For the most part the Iums are primitive, they do not have overly complex tools or weapons, mostly using stones and their incredibly strength for defense. They have constructed temples withing caves, and know how to use fire (although have little use for it).
Communication & CultureEdit
Between themselves they seem to use sound to communicate, although the noises they make are not very diverse and can mostly be simplified as "Ium". They live in social groups and are generally passive.
Because of their unique biological system their survival is dependent on the Cave Mantris which they seem to worship, or at the very least greatly respect. They spend much of their time gathering fruit for the Cave Mantris, and in return it produces their stomach batteries for them.
To the Iums the Cave Mantris is in some ways their mother, they have built a temple to it and bow to it. In their temple they follow the lines in the artwork with their eyes, and burn hellucinogenic plants to induce a trance-like state.
The Iums were created by the Cave Mantris, modified from a native species on Betelgeuse. The Iums have a symbiotic relationship with the Mantris and are biologically dependent on it.
When the first human shuttle arrived on the planet the group encountered the Iums. The opinion on the creatures intelligence was divided, some of the group thought they were merely intelligent animals like Gorillas or Dolphins, while others thought they possessed superior human-like intelligence.
Although there was little evidence to suggest the species had a human-like level of intelligence, no roads, buildings, or tools visible to either the scouting part or the unmanned probes that had previously explored the planet.
Initially the Iums were friendly towards humans, until an incident occurred. It began with a poor attempt, against the opinions of part of the team, to catch an ium to give it a more thorough examination. The animal resisted violently, and one of the men shot it.
Since the Ium died any attempts made by anyone to approach them invariably set off a violent reaction amongst the group. Except with the young girl Mai Lan who made friends with the Iums.