First off, I've posted a separate page with some drawings I made of "my three aliens" and I want to apologize for their crude, cartoonish style. They are some of the first drawings I did using the Word drawing tools and I have no training as an artist -- it's strictly folk art! The top drawing of the three was done as a birthday card for a friend in 2002 and the bottom for the same reason in 2003. I can't get it to post any bigger, so I'll tell you what the text at the top says.
In 2755 the first flight that used TQ technology to jump large fractions of light-years took place; later 2755 became the Year 1 of the new calendar. However, a major disaster in the interstellar program delayed the first mission to a nearby star until the year 2769, with Capt. Robbin Nikalishin commanding the Bridge of the ship Ariana. There was a debate as to whether the mission should tackle Alpha Centauri (4.36 ly from Earth) or the more distant (10.5 ly) Epsilon Eridani. Capt. Nikalishin argued for the latter, since he had had a dream of going to that system ever since he was a small boy. It turned out, however, that they had bit off more than they could chew for an initial voyage; they ended up crash-landing on a moon and getting marooned. And then just as they were about to open a canister of cyanide gas and put an end to dying slowly from starvation and oxygen deprivation, they saw something moving against the stars ... and it wasn't a meteor.
It was the Birds, flying in a ship called the Firebrand, on their own mission of exploration.
Capt. Nikalishin maintained until his dying day that the hand of fate was instrumental in his stubborn insistence on making Epsilon Eridani the first destination. Two lines crossing a vast universe converged in that place and the whole future of humanity was changed. The Birds -- more properly known as the Krisí’i’aidá, from the name of their planet (Krisí’i’aid) -- rescued the crew of the Ariana and accompanied it home to Earth, shocking the world.