A Very Ugly Xenoform
The VUX hail from the Luyten constellation, though their sphere of influence also extends to the nearby constellations. To an Earthling, a VUX resembles a bipedal, one-eyed cross between a hideous green octopus and a banana slug, with a snout like an anteater and a rigid, or possibly nonexistent, neck.1 They are most often seen wearing well-decorated suits and sitting at a rather ornate command console. In mindset, the VUX are a bigoted lot, judging entire races off their appearance alone.
Much of VUX history is not known due to the VUX's staunch unwillingness to communicate with other races. However, the events in the recent two wars are common knowledge to many species. Prior to the Great War, the only other race with any knowledge of the VUX were the Yehat. At the beginning of hostilities between the Alliance and the Hierarchy, the VUX and their enormous starship fleet seemingly kept to themselves. The first official contact between the Alliance of Free Stars and the VUX occurred when a Human captain, Jeffry L. Rand, encountered an Intruder squadron in VUX space. Many historians regard the encounter as the single biggest mistake the Humans committed during the war. Captain Rand opened communications with a VUX commander, and when the commander appeared on the viewscreen, Rand made a disparaging remark to one of his officers about the VUX commander's appearance, unaware that the advanced VUX translator devices were already operating and relayed these words to the VUX captain. The VUX were incredibly offended, and cut off communications there and then. It is possible that Rand's comment is also the reason why "VUX" is sometimes treated as an acronym for "Very Ugly Xenoform."
With the Alliance's diplomats scrambling to atone for "the Insult" and to convince the VUX to join the efforts against the Ur-Quan forces, the Ur-Quan themselves seized upon this confusion and delay and promptly subjugated the VUX. The VUX chose to become battle thralls (possibly to gain revenge against the Humans), and their Intruder fleets under the command of Admiral ZEX played an important part in the Hierarchy's eventual victory over the Alliance. Shortly afterwards, the Ur-Quan were pulled into the renewed Doctrinal Conflict against the Kohr-ah, and the VUX were left to their own designs. They seemingly did little other than patiently wait for the return of their masters.
During Star Control II, the VUX are steadfastly uncooperative, despite The Captain's attempts to remain polite and reasonable with them. The VUX are known to cite Rand's insult and their subordination to the Ur-Quan for their reasons why they refuse to listen to The Captain's requests for diplomacy; however, it is not as well known that eventually, after The Captain persistently attempts to reason with the VUX, one of their commanders eventually snaps out of sheer fustration and admits that the VUX's real reason for hating humanity is that they find the appearance of a Human to be so horrible that they are simply unable to tolerate it and feel the need to regurgitate uncontrollably whenever they set their eye on one.
Despite the VUX as a whole refusing to listen to reason, they do on occasion direct The Captain to speak with Admiral ZEX, who had been exiled from VUX society after the Great War was over, for the reason that ZEX, in his own words, "enjoys" humans. Unlike the other VUX, ZEX is very cooperative with The Captain, if in a somewhat overbearing and uncomfortable manner. ZEX has been keeping a menagerie of various beasts from around the galaxy that he considers to be beautiful - yet one beast has eluded him and his men, much to his fustration. The Captain strikes a deal with ZEX; if he could recover the VUX Beast, then ZEX would give his cryogenically frozen Shofixti Maidens to The Captain in exchange. The deal is done; however, ZEX attempts to betray The Captain, as it was really The Captain himself that ZEX wants to put in his menagerie of beasts. The VUX Beast manages to break free from its holding cell however and goes on a rampage that eventually results in ZEX's death. After The Captain recovers the Shofixti females from an installation on the planet surface, his dealings with the VUX are over.
After the end of Star Control II, it is not known whether the VUX will join with the New Alliance, or remain neutral as they did during the early parts of the Great War.
Culture and Society
In VUX culture, concepts of appearance and fashion are of tantamount importance, and their mindset seems to be stuck in a "Victorian England" kind of thinking. To their eyes a lifeform as bizarre looking as a humanoid is a new dimension in horrifying ugliness, a monster. So it's no surprise that they view the other humanoid races, Syreen, Androsynth and Arilou with equal disgust. Despite all of their clearly bigoted views towards other races, the VUX claim that they are an open-minded, rational species, though this could all be explained simply as their narcissistic, high image they have of themselves. Any deviants from this norm are punished; Admiral ZEX, in spite of his importance, was exiled to Alpha Cerenkov due to a secret, presumably taboo fetish for humanoids. It is not known what happens to lesser VUX who betray the standards of VUX society, but one can presume it is not pleasant.
Relations with other races
The VUX hate the humans with a passion, due to both the VUX's inability to withstand the humans's staggering ugliness, and the insult by Captain Jeffry L. Rand made. The Captain actually found out that it is the former reason which takes precedence, and the latter was merely a cover story to take away some of the embarrassment from the former, which even the VUX themselves realise is unreasonable and immature.
The VUX encountered the Orz early after they had entered this dimension, coinciding with the disappearance of the Androsynth. The VUX managed to anger the Orz by asking too much about what had happened to the Androsynth, prompting the Orz to attack. In The Captain's conversations with the Orz, they refer to the VUX as *silly cows*, which is known as a term for someone they will attempt to kill on sight.
Perhaps due to visible similarities to Humans, the VUX have also known to be hostile towards the Syreen. The Syreen fleet, composed mainly of habitat starships, was attacked several times by VUX raiders as they traversed space looking for a new home. In an attempt to save themselves, the Syreen maneuvered their fleet into Human space and had little choice but to join the Alliance.
The Yehat were the first Alliance member with any knowledge of the VUX. However, they apparently never offerred up this information, possibly since they consider the VUX to be not only ugly monsters, but also self-indulgent and prejudiced. Given their low opinion of the VUX, it is likely that the Yehat never engaged in any kind of meaningful interaction with the VUX prior to the Great War.
Notes and references
- 1The VUX state, "Now if you don't mind, stop nodding your head like that. We VUX do not share this range of motion and it appears as though your neck is broken and you are a jabbering corpse. Ugh."