The Solanae are a mysterious race of humanoids whose molecular structure is based on solanogen, a substance that is only stable in subspace. They reside in a tertiary subspace manifold, and cannot survive unassisted in normal space. They are a servitor race of the Iconians and will often abduct and study other lifeforms for an unknown purpose, sometimes conducting lethal experiments on those they capture.
The Solanae are vaguely humanoid, characterized by bulbous eyes, beaks, and clawed, three-fingered hands. Most of their bodies are hidden by hooded metallic robes. Their language consists of a series of rapid clicks.
- In 2369, the Solanae discover the U.S.S. Enterprise-D when new sensor modifications allow the Enterprise-D to scan deeper into subspace. Drawn by the sensor signals, the Solanae began to secretly abduct numerous crew members from the Enterprise-D and perform experiments on them. They attempt to create a pocket of their native domain aboard the Enterprise-D by causing an expanding spatial rupture that threatened the ship. The rupture is eventually sealed with a graviton pulse but not before the Solanae can send a burst of energy through into normal space.
- In 2409, the Solanae are encountered again when the player visits the Solanae base in subspace. Database entries found in this region reveal that the Solanae serve the Iconians and the base is used by the Iconians to monitor not only various worlds in preparation for an invasion, but also the entire Iconian gateway network. While experimenting on a pair of captives, the player arrives which causes the Solanae to flee. The player takes command of a Solanae ship.
- Information provided by a Voth called Nelen Exil details how the Solanae Dyson Sphere found in the Delta Quadrant was built by the Solanae for the Iconians after the Iconians were driven from their homeworld 200,000 years ago. Nelen also believes that the Dyson Sphere was abandoned following a large scale industrial accident which occurred thousands of years ago when the Solanae activate the Sphere. The survivors were exposed to so much tetryonic energy that they were forced to retreat into subspace to survive. This implies the Solanae did not always originate from subspace as believed by the crew of the Enterprise-D but in fact originate from normal space, their molecular structure changed by the accident. The Iconians abandoned the Sphere due to its flaws but apparently maintain their connection with the Solanae.
The Solanae use similar technology and tactics to the Elachi, such as the way they transport people from normal space into subspace and the experiments they conduct on people. This may be due to both races being servitor races for the Iconians.
The Solanae are a technologically advanced race that uses automated drones, has the ability to manipulate tetryon particles, uses invasive medical technology and has the ability to transport individuals from normal space into their subspace domain for study. They also constructed the Solanae Dyson Sphere which is capable of traveling vast distances across the galaxy through subspace, this "jump" ability fueled by Omega molecules generated by the Sphere.
They appear to have a close relationship with the Iconians, as Storage Facility Z98 has the ability to reset the entire Iconian gateway network, implying the Solanae also understand the technology behind the gateways.
- “Sphere of Influence”: Several Solanae are encountered in a subspace base discovered when a group of Starfleet officers, Klingons and New Romulans use an Iconian gateway. They use automated drones to capture most of the group for study but flee when directly confronted by Ambassador Worf and the player.
- “Unlikely Neighbors”: The player learns from the Voth scientist Nelen Exil that the Solanae Dyson Sphere was built by the Solanae for the Iconians after the Iconians were driven from Iconia.
- “Unsafe Practices”: Nelen Exil reveals evidence that a large scale industrial accident occurred on the Solanae Dyson Sphere thousands of years ago. The accident left traces of tetryon particles which are still detectable in the present, suggesting that any survivors would have been forced to take refuge in subspace to survive.
- The Solanae were first seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Schisms". They joined Star Trek Online on October 30, 2013, with the release of “Sphere of Influence”.
- The Solanae do not seem to be considered a faction in their own right: their faction logo is identical to that of the Iconians, and they do not yet field any NPC Starships.