For good SF, like most works of fiction, there needs to be a source of conflict, and there’s no better source of conflict than a recognizable villain.
The problem with villains is that plausibly, they shouldn’t think of themselves as villainous: I’m sure the Daleks of Doctor Who are just plain mean-n-nasty pieces of work, but they don’t see themselves as evil, just doing whatever it is that their species does to survive and flourish – at the expense of everyone else.
It’s important to have bad guys who don’t sound like something out of silly 1980s animated toy commercials.
This time around, I’ll discuss one of my species of antagonists, a horrific elder race that for lack of a humanly pronounceable name for themselves, I’ll use a corruption of it instead – Suthidruu – an innately insane species consumed by love – a twisted, murderous love that drives them to bring the gift of merciful extinction to every intelligent species they come across.
Suthidruu are essentially a priestly species, who worship a group of remote, godlike entities known in their theology as the Nine who are One, who artificially evolved, or uplifted them, from worm-like colony organisms billions of years ago into intelligent beings to serve as priests and enforcers of the ancient and now defunct Grand Civilization and Empire.
Suthidruu physiology is based on the number nine as is their religious symbology: with three sets of nine tentacular limbs: 9 limbs for eating and speaking, 9 limbs with sensory clusters for smell, sight and hearing, and 9 limbs to serve variously as arms or legs depending on posture and whim.
Having been uplifted as clergy, the species has a strong tendency for fanaticism, and for most purposes possesses only the emotion of love.
A perverse, inhuman, psychotic love for all the universe’s creatures.
Suthidruu see the universe as a place of unending misery and sorrow, and see it as their holy mission to send all other species to paradise in acts of mass mercy-killing, one planet-buster bomb or nova-trigger at a time.
They generally make no attempt to communicate with the doomed species, until conducting last rites before their victims’ home star explodes and their planet is vaporized.
Why not kill themselves?
Because they don’t see themselves as worthy of eternal bliss until they send everyone else in the universe there first, only then will they have ‘earned’ it, and only then will they bring about their own extinction, in a single orgy of species-wide suicide.
NOT extermination — THAT would be Daleks!