On my webpage, there is a description of how the plot for Remnant in the Stars came about, well, a short version anyway. The rest of that story is a convoluted mess.
A story, though, is nothing without the characters. Remnant stars not only humans, but a couple alien races as well. One of the alien races has been around for a while.
Aolanians are meter-high, often somewhat portly, tailless reptiles. They have a limited-range telepathy that allows them to communicate with members of their own kind and pick up general impressions and emotions from other species and individuals they know well.
Their telepathy is pervasive enough in their own society that they communicate concepts of time telepathically. To humans, they appear to speak only in present tense, and most Aolanians become very confused when speaking with humans because of the verb tense issues. With practice, they can become reasonably fluent. Some humans have been able to learn Aolanian well, at least the spoken aspects of it.
They are not born with their telepathy intact but gain the ability when they reach 50 years old, still a youngster by their standards. Training involves learning the basics from the same-gender parent then fine tuning with the help of the opposite-gender parent.
As a rule, Aolanians are non-violent. They have good defensive capabilities, but they shun violence and tend to rely on humans for military support.
In exchange, Aolanians provided humans with interstellar travel technology and astrogation assistance. Aolanians have a facility for numbers, often doing complex calculations in their heads, so calculating safe, complex courses poses no problem for them.
Although on favorable terms with humans, Aolanians often stay to themselves. Humans are hard to communicate with, and some Aolanians don’t appreciate the human interest in combat.
Next time, the other major alien race in Remnant in the Stars: the Numodyne.