Zeritoicus is a planet orbiting Sirus C, it’s land masses are more like small islands then whole continents. Over 90% of the planet is an ocean. The Zeritoigans are an amphibious people, who can direct thoughts and communicate with each other underwater with no words. A highly empathic people, it’s both one of their greatest strengths and weaknesses. They feel each other’s pain and share in each other’s joy, just by swimming or walking close enough to each other. With a touch they can transmit mental images, memories, desires, anything. While so many other planets in the sector looked to stars for other worlds, the Zeritoigans went to the depths of their own oceans in a way most never have.
Zoh was the nearest habitable planet to Zeritoicus, and they unfortunately, have been more successful then Earth in colonizing other worlds. It is thought that the rate of their consumption combined with wars that never seemed to cease drove the Zoh to other galaxies. When the first starships landed on Zeritoicus, they called it “Waterworld” and claimed it for themselves. The Zeritogans fought back, but had no weapons to compete with seemed like a Zoh army. The ones that survived were forced to live underwater, or as second-class citizens in the Zoh Empire. In time the Zoh would manufacture a drug to “help” the Zeritoigans with their “problem” of empathy and telepathy, the vulnerablity that in actuality made them so strong. It was a highly addictive, mind numbing substance that came in a powder you breathe in with your gills. It turned Zeritogans to shadows of their former selves, it inhibited their telepathic strengths and in general made it hard for them to feel anything. Yet when a sprock addict is coming off that high, they can smell the drug from a mile away, they can see what they smell, and will do almost anything to get it. The Zoh use this to control the Zeritoigans, it was a kind of enslavement, and they refused to even acknowledge the Zeritoigans true name. Instead, they were called “Exo”, a slur used by the Zoh against any of the indigenous people from the worlds they colonized. Some of the Zeriotigans, the Nsil, and the Appos adopted the term “Exo” to describe themselves too, and while some argued it was a sign of an internalized inferiority complex, others saw it as a way to stand unified in the fact they while they lived in the Empire, they were not of the Empire. In truth, it was probably a combination of both.
On Zeritoicus an underwater resistance is growing, and in the face of Zoh tyranny a new kind of society is being nurtured, one that honors all the indigenous Zeriotigan languages, belief systems, and complete ways of being. “Zer” meaning mother, “ito” meaning water, “ica” meaning father, “us” meaning the land. For the Zeritoigan diaspora the time has come to return home.