Alien Profile: The Zaefer

The following alien profile was submitted by Eric Holland and Alex Hamrum, creators of the Dan’s Voyage webcomic. The Zaefer are one of the alien species that populate the Dan’s Voyage universe.


The “Zaefer” were a once-advanced race that dominated the western reaches of the Orions Arm. Their civilization dwarfed that of all the current civilizations combined, unfortunately 80 years ago their civilization crumbled and refugees scattered in all directions.

Naturally the League of Suns, Mastodian Rift, Midgard Line and the myriad of unaligned human worlds east of their region received their fair share of refugees. Many of them were not educated in what happened, or refused to talk about it, and these days public knowledge of the fall of the Zaefer is scarce.

The Zaefer have found a niche on colonial and developing worlds with low human populations, avoiding the more developed worlds in fear of prejudice towards their kind. Many of them live in poverty but they have become integrated well into the League of Suns where the bulk of their population lives.

Their culture in many regions has come to resemble that of North American folk-people, who were often referred to with the term “redneck” thus the common word for the Zaefer amongst the other races “Greynecks”.

One Zaefer world was annexed by the League of Suns with the hope of restoring it so the Zaefer could have a homeworld. In other star-nations the Zaefer are not treated as well, in the Midgard Line they mostly live in the swamps of their various worlds, and in the Mastodian Rift they were granted several moons for colonization but they are watched over carefully and not allowed to own ships.

Biologically the Zaefer are suspiciously similar to humans, with identical major organs and dietary needs. They are shorter than humans on average and posses no specialized adaptions or abilities, they live slightly longer on average (203 years compared to humans modern 190) but they do not seem to require as much medical care as humans do as they age.

As with humans they are racially divided, because their stellar civilization spanned over 3000 years some groups developed unique traits on different planets and systems. The three main races of their homeworld were the Grey, Green, and White peoples, there were other minor differences (such as the whites being taller on average) but not too many significant differences.

They reproduce sexually the same as humans with an 11 month gestation period, the infants are smaller than humans at birth and age at a slightly quicker but barely noticeable rate.

Because they closely resemble aliens from some human fiction and their suspiciously similar biology there have been many inquiries and investigations launched into whether or not they had influence on humanity before it achieved star travel, with inconclusive results. Today the Zaefer are what they are, people, and they mostly live at peace with other people.


zaefer botsBefore the fall of the Zaefer, robots were not exceedingly common in their society, but they did exist. Small saucer shaped robots that performed menial tasks were preferred. Many law enforcement agencies employed some of these robots to assist in apprehending and pursuing breakers of the law. Thus fueling a stigma towards robotics. These robots are rare and highly prized within human space, both for their extreme endurance and for their collectible value. Many zaefer still maintain robots their families brought with them when fleeing their homelands.

Behind the Scenes

We knew we wanted there to be the occasional alien in the Dan’s Voyage universe so we figured it would be best to introduce them as early as possible. We came up with the Greynecks because most alien reports seem to come from people who the term “redneck” could be applied to (no offense) we thought it would be an interesting twist on the concept of the greys. We also thought it would be a good species to use to mix things up every now and then with characters. We have a few other races in the Dan’s Voyage universe, each of them with their own unique history and culture.


Written by Eric Holland.

Artwork by Alex Hamrum.

Eric Holland and Alex Hamrum are the creators of the sci-fi webcomic Dan’s Voyage. Read the comic free at

  • Love the concept, I like the idea of discovering these oddly human-like aliens and the kinds of questions that might be asked without it being a conspiracy-theory type story.

  • Nathan Hall

    When you created the Zaefer, did the movie Paul inspire you to some extent?