Every hardened spacer knows the ixar, the space-rats: small skittering creatures with seven legs and a hide that’s hairy between plates of chitin. Incredibly adaptable and able to withstand environments from a vacuum to a hothouse, they are regarded as pests aboard ships and ruthlessly eradicated. Populations of ixar have become established near most spaceports, though their original world of origin is unknown.

Far fewer know of the nuuixar, and even those tend to be tall tales passed around spacer bars after a few rounds of drinks.

For all intents and purposes, the nuuixar resemble the ixar and are easily mistaken for them. Whether this is a natural mimicry adaptation, an evolutionary relationship, or some form of shapeshifting has never been established. But unlike the ixar, the nuuixar are deeply intelligent and are capable of sophisticated tool use and communication on psionic wavelengths.

Hence there are dark tales of nuuixar posing as simple ixar in order to steal secrets, selling tradeship routes to pirates or sabotaging key components of stardrives. There are no confirmed cases–what pirate would admit to purchasing information from a space-rat?–but many a spacer adrift in a lifepod has blamed a nuuixar, real or imagined, for their plight.

As creatures of psionic capability, nuuixar reportedly are able to form a gestalt intelligence, exponentially increasing their powers when in close proximity. Some say they use this power to overtake unwary ships and pilot them deep into the galactic core, where they are preparing a massive fleet to make their presence one day known.

Something to consider the next time you set a trap loaded with Ixar-B-Gon.