This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and thus may contain spoilers.
In ancient times, the founders of Majalan society developed technology that would allow them to build a civilization on levitating platforms high above the hostile surface of their homeworld. However, this machinery required the neural network of a child to function, and once connected that child would be irreversibly condemned to a slow, painful death. The reasons for this design, and the exact workings of the machine, were eventually forgotten.
Despite centuries of searching, the Majalans were unable to find an alternative to using a child to sustain their society. Believing nevertheless that the suffering of one was worth the benefits to the rest of their people, they decided it best to face this bargain openly. The sacrifice of the child was elevated to religious significance: a sacred "ascension" to be carried out willingly by the "First Servant", a holy figure to whom all Majalans were devoted and grateful.
Those Majalans who rejected the practice of sacrificing the First Servant established a colony on the neighboring planet of Prospect VII. Many Majalans regarded the colonists as traitors who sought to destroy their way of life, though there were also some who sympathized with their cause.
In 2249, the Federation made first contact with the Majalans when Lieutenant Christopher Pike saved the future Minister Alora from a near-fatal encounter with a pulsar. This incident led to an invitation of Federation membership, which the Majalans declined.
Ten years later, on the occasion of a new First Servant's ascension, the Prospect VII colonists attempted to save the child by using a neural dampening device to render him unsuitable for the machine. Though they were aided by the boy's father, Elder Gamal, they were ultimately thwarted by the crew of the USS Enterprise, who were conducting a cartographic survey in the system.
Upon later witnessing what the ascension process actually entailed, Captain Pike threatened to report the matter to Starfleet. However, Minister Alora reminded him that the Federation had no jurisdiction on Majalis. (SNW: "Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach")
Society and culture
Majalan culture centered on their maxim of "Science, service, sacrifice." This was embodied by the First Servant whose self-sacrifice made their advanced civilization possible, hence another Majalan saying: "Let the tree that grows from the roots of sacrifice lift us where suffering cannot reach."
The First Servant was chosen by lottery at birth; they forswore their biological family, as all Majalans were considered their family, and were sequestered in an ancient retreat on a moon for training. The First Servant was protected by the Linnarean Guard, who wore oath coins as a symbol of their sacred vow.
The ascension of a new First Servant was an event of great pomp and circumstance. On the day before, an opening ceremony was held, followed by a tree planting at the Sky Garden, and finally a Festival of Gratitude in the evening. On the day of, there was a procession in which the First Servant was escorted to the Sacred Chamber and, after their final consent was obtained, connected to the founders' machine.
Majalan law forbade the sharing of technology with non-affiliated races. As of the 23rd century, Majalan medical technology was far more advanced than that of the Federation. They utilized quantum bio-implants that could repair biological functions on a subatomic level. As a result, they never suffered from disease.
The Majalan colony on Prospect VII was much less developed, existing at barely above a subsistence level. They employed combat cruisers with limited capabilities. Due to centuries of separation, the colonists' dialect had diverged from that spoken on Majalis. (SNW: "Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach")
- Unnamed Majalans