The Marasan race originated on the planet Marasai, and developed the ability to travel through space on their own. Using strange anchorpoints - similar to jump gates, but known only to the cyborged Marasans - within the Marasa Nebula, they were able to travel to 20 colony worlds. This ability was desired by the Empire, which sought a way to shorten the Trellen Trade Route. They forced the Marasans to assist in the movement of Imperial starships through the Nebula by torutring them. The Empire developed a device which could send out immense electromagnetic waves tuned to the Marasan cyborg implants. The resulting pain could be spread out across nearly the entire Nebula, were the Marasans to disobey Imperial orders. The Alliance was powerless to assist: to incite the Marasans to rebellion would bring down the wrath of the Imperial wave device, while the willful stranding of Imperial ships in the Nebula would bring on the power of the Imperial fleet.