Originating on the world of New London, the Heliothane came from the Umbrathane civilization. Originally a fairly low tech civilization with survivalist leanings, they deliberately stayed away from some of the higher tech options that the Transcendentals gifted mankind.
The fall into a cargo cult came from diseases. They'd established and maintained a society easily equivalent to Earth before the Nanotech wars, but like Earth, they battled diseases. And just as on Earth, those diseases became resistant to their treatments. Eventually, a new a virus emerged, one that attacked the brain. It had symptoms not unlike advanced syphilis - something that stripped the victims of language and cognitive ability, leaving them alive for a time. Given its rate of spread it broke their civilization because they'd deliberately turned their backs on much of the technology that could have helped them. Only a small group that extensively used neural meshes and lenses were able to improvise a solution and that by using the meshes and lenses as a 'neural prostheses.' These at least allowed useful victims of the disease -able to function and use tools. With the collapse of much of their civilization, they had to concentrate on maintaining themselves, rebuilding the industrial base and then eliminating reservoirs of the virus. The last they accomplished by exterminating all the infected (and then all) higher primates they could not assure themselves were clear of the virus. These survivors became the Umbrathane.
Since that time, they rediscovered, repaired and recreated much of the Transcendental technology. Initially, they used it to spread through their solar system, terraforming one world and harnessing the power of their sun with solar taps. Then they moved beyond, colonizing other worlds and stars.
At this point, the factions within the Umbrathane erupted into civil war over issues of political power and doctrinal purity. Several years of fighting generated a new faction - the Heliothane. These were the engineers of the society and in charge of power generation and transmission. The war crippled their systems and ruined projects. When they realized that by controlling the power that they could control other things, and that many of their high efficiency power systems could double as weapons, it didn't take them long to defeat the Umbrathane and become the new masters of their solar system.
Since then they've quietly colonized several solar systems, emerged into the larger human community and established a reputation for successful brute force engineering techniques.
While the Heliothane were more peaceful than their predecessors, they still had the Umbrathane at their roots. This makes them an odd civilization. As a whole, they tend to be fairly quiet, technologically advanced, touchy, violent and extremely Darwinian in their outlooks. As a group they believe they should not coddle those that make bad decisions (bad decisions can include living in a disaster prone area without an evacuation plan, drug addictions, to "breathing my air" or "being in my space"). Reactions to bad decisions range from snubbing, to fights to active euthanasia. This also means there is an alarming lack of safety devices in their civilization.
With this attitude, and access to a lot of power thanks to solar taps (wormhole and physical), their cities are interesting and dangerous places. They spend power freely using antigravity to elevate structures and build floating heavy ones. Their arcitecture tends to be at a scale that makes one feel insignificant in the face of it.
They are also very averse to treating diseases with treatments the diseases can evolve immunity to before a replacement becomes available. This gives Heliothane medicine a 'rough and ready' feel to it, with a debriding and amputation common (but since limb regeneration is common -either unassisted or with medical help - this isn't a major issue).
One expression of that touchiness and violence is the way they guard their names. They are living personifications of "Your name is in the mouth of others: be sure it has teeth." If a Heliothane tells you his or her name, one can be sure that you have earned respect. Don't use it casually until invited by the Heliothane though - at best the result is painful, fatal at worst.
Heliothane government is a brutal meritocracy. If one is good at what one does, then one rises to the top of the field - or beyond. If not, a more capable counterpart or subordinate will take your place. Add in their touchy and violent nature and bad decisions by political leaders are seldom repeated.
Today they are lead by the Great Architect Goron Thote. He has held the position and title for 80 years and is actively looking to step down and retire to his hobby of the genetic recreation of Old Earth dinosaurs. Oddly, his hobby has influenced a large portion of Heliothane society and it is not unusual to see recreations, or near copies, of dinosaurs as pets, guard animals, working animals and zoo exhibits.
As a civilization they can be dealt with, usually by the diplomatically adroit, or very durable. This means that Tao and Mechanicans get along best with them, followed by Spacers and Logicians. The Darwinian, Hyperevolute, Heterolinguists, Organized Crime and Survivalist societies can be found in Heliothane controlled areas.
Common Name: Heliothanes
Emblem: A stylized hand grasping a sun.
Inspector Status: Equivalent to local law enforcement with special consulting powers due to cultural issues.
Benefit: Neural Mesh for all members of the civilization
Survival of the Fittest: Heliothanes believe that natural selection is still a necessary force and will not coddle the weak or unfit.
Efficiency: That which is unnecessary or holds us back should be trimmed away.
Other common core values: Good breeding, Continuity, Control, Diligence, Power, Responsibility