The Formians are a relatively low tech level race native to Formalhaut 2. In 2032, human radio astronomers detected a plea for help from this dying race. Formia was a heavy (1.4 earth normal gravity) hot world with a high oxygen content. Industrialization increased global particulate levels and resulted in a planetary ice age (ironically designated "global cooling" by humans).Worse than the cold, climate change turned much of the planet's free water to ice. As population increased, and farmland decreased, more and more coal was burned to produce fertilizer and operate greenhouses. Planetary ecology was on the brink of collapse.
The most advanced Formian technology was approximately that of 1900 AD earth. The age of steel was well established and electrification was beginning. Nuclear power (and weapons) were being conceptualized. Formians dreamed of space travel, but the best they could do was helium-powered blimps.
Formians are quadrapods with two legs and two arms, each with five prehensile fingers. They are about the same size as humans, with shorter legs and longer backs and arms. Formians are mammals but lay eggs and are completely covered by grey hair that closely resembles penguin feathers. Male Formians each resemble one another. Female Formians are somewhat smaller and with somewhat more variation in body shape.Formians live several hundred years. They are approximately as strong and fast as humans and are very durable and difficult to injure. They are very heat tolerant and not very cold tolerant. Formians must use oxygen masks if they venture above about a mile over sea level.
Formian intelligence is variable. Formians have photographic memory so "intelligence" often equates to experience and access to education.Formians have the ability to mimic most sounds they hear, including human speech.
Formians are carnivorous but can't eat Terran food and generally rely on "artificial" food grown in tissue vats. Formians must take allergy pills while on Earth. These expensive allergy pills are illegal for humans to possess because they are addictive and hallucinogenic.
Mankind did not have high capacity faster than light space travel when they learned of the Formian's plight. The Zyan refugees shared the theory behind their FTL drive, but it was apparent that even with heroic efforts, a rescue mission could not be succeed before "global cooling" resulted in a collapse of Formia's plant life and a multi-species extinction event -- "Chlorophyll Death."
Then came Quantum Man. He was one of mankind's first super-powered Uniques and he had the ability to teleport. In fact, he could travel instantaneously and he could carry hundreds of pounds with him.
Quantum Man worked with the Tech Cops in CURBIT and was fitted out with a space suit, an automated telescope and navigation computer, and was sent on his way. It took ten jumps to reach Formia. It only took one jump to return to Earth with three Formian scientists. Thereafter he could easily jump back and forth.
The salvation of Formia came down to math. There were about 7 million Formians. Quantum man could carry four Formians back with him. He could make the round trip in four minutes. He could work sixteen hours a day. Two hundred forty trips a day would evacuate 960 Formians. It would take him nearly twenty years.
Uniques are a diverse lot, but tend to agree on one thing and one thing only -- Quantum Man was the greatest hero of all time. One can only imagine how he maintained his dedication and focus for nearly twelve years. In 2042 the plants began dying and the oxygen levels began to fall. There were still more than two and a half million Formians left. Quantum Man began carrying oxygen tanks on his outbound trips. He began carrying back five Formians. He began taking stimulants and often worked for twenty hours at a time.
In 2044, with about a million Formians left, the problem solved itself. Formian scientists couldn't produce nuclear weapons, but they could produce radioactive "dirty bombs" and biological warfare agents. One continent use one approach and another continent used another. Only about 10,000 survived Formia's first and only World War. Quantum Man evacuated some of these survivors but most decided to stay, living in underground industrial redoubts.
The evacuated Formians prospered on Earth, either forming enclaves or integrating with human culture. Formians are not particularly common in the Hundred Suns, but they are by no means rare.
And what of the Formian Redoubts? What of Quantum Man himself? Tales for another day.