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.
The Solanae serve the Iconians as a scientist caste, 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.
- “Sphere of Influence”: In 2409, several Solanae are encountered in Storage Facility Z98 in subspace 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.
- “What's Left Behind”: On an Elachi subspace station in 2410, Solanae and their equipment are found, although they disappear whenever approached. The Doctor realizes they are converting captured humanoids into Elachi and also bio-engineered the neural parasites, which were used to control the Vaadwaur. Sela eventually confirms, that the Solanae are a sort of scientist caste working for the Iconians.
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 is 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. It is possible that the Solanae also constructed the Jenolan Dyson Sphere as the internal architecture is the same as that seen in the Solanae Sphere.
They have a close relationship with the Iconians, acting as scientists for the Iconians and bio-engineering the Neural Parasites for the Iconians to use as a means of controlling other races. Storage Facility Z98 has the ability to reset the entire Iconian gateway network, implying the Solanae also understand the technology behind the gateways.
- 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.