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The Selm were an intelligent ocean-dwelling cetacean race who bore a slight resemblance to Terran porpoises. Like them, they were playful and friendly. They possessed an advanced civilization despite not having created a single artifact. Their language was equally advanced and highly complex, relying on a wide range of sounds transmitted through water. By the late 23rd century, universal translators did not allow for conversation with the Selm beyond that of crude pidgin.
They were first discovered by the Federation when the USS Kitty Hawk carried out a routine survey of Hodunk. The Prime Directive automatically protected the Selm, and a team of fifteen Federation scientists were then stationed on the planet to study them. As ocean-dwellers, the Selm were unaffected by an unapproved inland colony from neighboring Bensonia.
The Selm, meanwhile, were too busy to care about the affairs of the surface-dwellers, who were regarded as being only semi-intelligent due to their poor language skills. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge)