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El-Aurians were a humanoid species of "listeners" originating from the El-Aurian system. Data once speculated (going from appearances) that El-Aurians had an awareness that superseded the normal flow of time and space, since, as Jean-Luc Picard commented, there are many inexplicable things about them. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise"; DS9: "Rivals"; Star Trek Generations)


The El-Aurians were a widely-traveled people who spread themselves across many parts of the galaxy. It is known that at least one El-Aurian visited Earth in 1893, before Humans had any official knowledge of alien species. (TNG: "Time's Arrow", "Time's Arrow, Part II") Around 2265 the Borg launched a major attack on this species, assimilating all but a handful. (TNG: "Q Who", "Ensign Ro", "I Borg") The survivors scattered throughout the galaxy, finding homes amongst many species.

In 2293, a group of El-Aurian refugees were coming to Earth following their escape from the Borg. The two El-Aurian ships transporting the refugees, the SS Lakul and the SS Robert Fox, were caught in and destroyed by the Nexus energy ribbon near the Sol system. The USS Enterprise-B was able to save some of the refugees, including Guinan and Dr. Tolian Soran (at the cost of one James T. Kirk's life, or so it was thought)


Externally, the El-Aurians were physically identical to Humans, in structure and even the range of racial phenotypes. The only significant physical difference between Humans and El-Aurians was in the aging process, as the extremely long-lived El-Aurian lifespan covered many centuries. (TNG: "Time's Arrow")


El-Aurians prided themselves on being a race of listeners, and appeared to have a form of limited empathic ability. Some used this to help others, acting as advisers or confidants. A few turned their talent to more dubious pursuits, becoming con men and tricksters, such as Martus Mazur, while Dr. Soran used his abilities to help bring his genocidal plan to re-enter the Nexus to fruition. (DS9: "Rivals"; Star Trek Generations)

Much of their seeming reticence came from the El-Aurian racial character. They appeared to be natural lore-keepers, and used their phenomenal lifespans and memories to collect the stories and life experiences of various sentient beings. They preserved this knowledge for their own kind, and only occasionally shared it with non-El-Aurians. They were a highly personable and empathetic race, and as such were very willing to help other sentients work out their problems. It is possible as an offshoot of their prodigious memories and mental facilities that El-Aurians were extraordinarily sensitive to the space-time continuum itself. In 2366, Guinan was able to perceive an alternate timeline which occurred because of a disruption in the starship USS Enterprise-C's history. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

It was unclear if Guinan's special abilities and perceptions in regard to time and her ability to perceive Q were completely the result of her lineage, or if they were an extra side effect of her experience with the Nexus. According to the novel The Buried Age, Guinan's abilities were due to the echo of her left within the Nexus. This concept originated in an unfilmed scene in the Generations screenplay.

If Guinan's presence on Earth in 1893 is any indication, El-Aurians often travel across the galaxy seeking out interesting stories to listen to. Guinan herself traveled to Earth before it developed spaceflight, and ultimately sought out the company of local luminaries and literary greats such as Mark Twain.



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