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Sheliak

A Sheliak

This is an article about the Sheliak race. You may also be looking for the star Beta Lyrae also known as Sheliak in the real world.

The Sheliak were an intelligent non-humanoid classification R-3 lifeform whose homeworld was located in the Shelia star system. They were warp-capable and their governing body was called the Sheliak Corporate.

Unlike most humanoids, the Sheliak preferred to exist in an environment that was the same temperature as their bodies. (TNG: "Starship Mine")

While the Sheliak had learned several Federation languages, the Sheliak language had never been learned by Federation linguists. Even telepaths had tried to communicate with Sheliak without success.

The Sheliak were xenophobic, and therefore avoided contact with other lifeforms, especially those they considered inferior. This included Humans (often pejoratively describing them as "creatures" and the presence of humanoid life as an "infestation").

The Treaty of Armens was established in 2255 between the Sheliak Corporate and the United Federation of Planets which ceded several Class H worlds to the Sheliak. The Sheliak insisted on a level of complexity in the treaty which would eliminate ambiguity. The Sheliak did not contact the Federation after that for 111 years.

In 2366, the Sheliak decided to colonize one of their planets, Tau Cygna V. Having found a Human colony there, they sent a message to the Federation to remove them. The USS Enterprise-D received the message and confirmed the presence of the colony. The Sheliak gave them only a few days to relocate the colonists, but logistically that was impossible for the Enterprise. The Sheliak showed no concern for this, and initially refused to grant the Federation any additional time, eventually relenting after Captain Jean-Luc Picard asked for third-party arbitration in the treaty, and used it to force the Sheliak to cooperate. The Sheliak colonists referred to themselves as "the Membership". The Sheliak withdrew from the planet to return after three weeks. (TNG: "The Ensigns of Command")

Treaty of Armens 1

The use of Sheliacs, in Section 21166.

In Melinda Snodgrass' original draft of the script for "The Ensigns of Command", the Sheliak were instead named the "Hrathan".
[1]
The Treaty of Armens also at one point referred to them in plural as "Sheliacs".
In a blooper from "Starship Mine", Brent Spiner, as Data, stated, "There is only one way to measure the body temperature of the Sheliak and, uh, I can't say it in mixed company." ("Gag Reel", TNG Season 6 Blu-ray special features)

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