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In outward appearance, Ardanans were largely identical to Humans. One key difference, however, was in brain chemistry: specific Ardanan neurotransmitters were relegated to certain discrete areas of the brain. (CoE eBook: Signs from Heaven)
Ardanan culture put a high importance on intellectual pursuits and the arts. To this end, Ardanan scientists attempted to heighten their artistic and intellectual abilities by creating a bio-engineered parasite, which had the effect of connecting disparate areas of the host's brain. One of the first Ardanans to take advantage of this new creation was a man named Soske Busk, and soon after, developed the anti-gravity engines used to realize his father, Moran Busk's dream of building a floating city dedicated to the arts.
Over the centuries following the building of this cloud city, Stratos, sharp divisions in their society developed between the Stratos City Dwellers and the laboring class, called Troglytes, who performed menial tasks, including working in the planet's zenite mines.
Constant exposure to conditions in the zenite mines led to a lowering of intellectual ability in the Troglytes, and also increased violent tendencies. This led to the rise of a group called Disruptors, who directed their violent acts against Stratos. The government responded harshly, using torture and capital punishment against suspected Disruptors.
"The Great Disruption"Edit
In 2269, the USS Enterprise visited Ardana, in order to obtain zenite needed to cure a botanical plague on Merak II, and Captain James T. Kirk witnessed the inequalities of Ardanan society first-hand. It was at this time that Dr. Leonard McCoy discovered the detrimental effects of zenite gas. Kirk related this discovery to Ardana's leader, High Advisor Plasus, as well as offering filtering technology which would protect the miners from this gas. Plasus, however, dismissed these findings, forcing Kirk to instead negotiate with one of the Disruptors' leader, Vanna. Kirk was finally able to secure the zenite, and offered the services of the Federation Bureau of Industrialization to mediate between the City Dwellers and the Troglytes. Plasus was initially dismissive of this idea, and threatened to press charges against Kirk for his actions on the planet, including holding the High Advisor captive for a time in the zenite mines. (TOS episode: "The Cloud Minders")
Though Plasus temporarily backed off from his threats, once the Enterprise left orbit, he made a formal complaint with the Starfleet Command Appeals Board against Kirk. When the board ruled Kirk's actions were justified in protecting a subjugated people, Ardana withdrew its membership in the Federation.
However, the Troglytes, now supplied with protective breathing masks, formed their own government, and requested the Starfleet Corps of Engineers's help in terraforming the planet's surface. The City Dwellers responded by declaring war on the Troglytes, a conflict called the Great Disruption.
After nearly being defeated, the Troglytes were able to seize the City Dwellers' transmat technology, and invade Stratos. The government fell, and Stratos itself was abandoned.
Much Ardanan knowledge and history was lost in this conflict. However, the Ardanans were able to rebuild their society over the following century, with help from the Federation, reaching a cultural level similar to 22nd century Earth. The planet's capital was relocated to Droxana, one of three cities built on the surface, along with First City and Lejico. (CoE eBook: Signs from Heaven)
Societal rifts re-emerged in the 2370s, when Stratos's anti-gravity engines began to fail, threatening First City as well as the entire surface. While some wished to save the city, which had been preserved as a museum and tourist attraction, others favored its destruction. In 2377, the S.C.E. team from the USS da Vinci were forced to attempt a controlled landing of the city on the planet. This failed when factions fired explosive armaments at the descending city, destroying it. (CoE eBook: Signs from Heaven) The civil unrest sparked by this incident continued though 2380, exacerbated by widespread crop failures that year. (ST novel: A Singular Destiny)
The following year, Ardana was one of the worlds targeted as part of the Borg Invasion of 2381. The planet was saved through the sacrifice of the IRW Verithrax, a vessel in the fleet of the Imperial Romulan State. (Star Trek: Destiny novel: Lost Souls) The near-tragedy had the effect of uniting the Ardanan people, and the sacrifice of the Romulan crew inspired a strong interest in Romulan culture. One way in which this interest manifested was in the popularity of Romulan hairstyles in the months following the invasion. (ST novel: A Singular Destiny)
The Ardanan government, known as the Plutocracy of Ardana, (ST reference: Star Charts) was led by an executive High Advisor and a legislative Council. (TOS episode: "The Cloud Minders") The Council was represented by a Council Spokesman. (CoE eBook: Signs from Heaven)
- This date appears at odds with the claim in Signs from Heaven that Ardana was one of the Federation's oldest members.
Following the Great Disruption, the seat of government was moved from Stratos to Droxana. Also, the full title of Ardana's leader became Elected High Advisor, suggesting a shift toward a more democratic form of government. (CoE eBook: Signs from Heaven)