BUBBLES-UPON-DISTANT-TIDE, A K’TARR’I
Natives of 'Fluidic Space’, the K'tarr'i are perhaps best described as alien in its truest definition. A non-humanoid species with an exotic biochemistry only vaguely similar to the more famous inhabitants of their alternative dimension, the Undine, attempts to neatly categorize the K’tarr’i have proven a challenge to Starfleet's scientific corps since their introduction to the Federation during the recent Undine invasion.
Bearing a passing physical resemblance to the Risian reef seal, observed K’tarr’i specimen have been documented as averaging a meter in length from snout to tail and bearing a largely pinniped physique, however the similarities are entirely superficial. Having adapted to the curious conditions of Fluidic Space the K’tarr’i respiratory system has adapted to extract oxygen from the organic perflourohexane environment of their bioships. Physical examinations have found that a K’tarr’i individual may take as little as a single 'breath’ in the span of a minute.
The exact nature of this oxygenation however is more akin to digestion than traditional respiration, with K’tarr’i only recycling the fluid within their pseudo-lungs when the oxygen content has fallen to near-zero. Individual K’tarr’i have been known to survive limited exposure to gaseous nitrogen-oxygen environments, though they have described such incidents as extremely unpleasant. Their anatomy also makes it difficult to properly oxygenate in a gaseous environment, forcing the K’tarr’i to hyperventilate to prevent severe hypoxia.
Neurologically, the K’tarr’i display a sort of empathic network, detecting and transmitting emotions, thoughts, and entire concepts with perfect clarity between themselves. More often than not, K’tarr’i carry on multiple layered 'conversations’ amongst multiple individuals simultaneously, an act they refer to as 'singing’. Interacting with known empathic and telepathic species has proven mentally taxing, however it is not entirely impossible. This does mean that, as with other purely psychic species, verbal communication is entirely alien to the K’tarr’i. Some individuals have shown the ability to verbalize with the help of an interpreting device capable of rendering their 'songs’ through a modified universal translator.
Their unique neural and sensory adaptations, including an almost instinctive understanding of subspace mechanics, makes K’tarr’i especially suited for astrogation, warp theory, and other tasks typically attributed to Cetacean Ops divisions within Starfleet. Outside of wholly fluid environments, K’tarr’i are dependent on modified environmental suits. While their native biotechnology is known to spawn semi-symbiotic creatures capable of fulfilling this role, the cadre of K’tarr’i stranded aboard the Solanae Dyson Sphere are known to use modified Voth power suits to fulfill the same role.