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Trinocs are sentient, bipedal alien species, so named for their three eyes (trinocular).
Trinocs have 3 eyes, 3 fingers, and a triangular mouth. Methane breathers and culturally paranoid, they are extremely secretive and suspicious of aliens.
They can turn their heads about similar to an owl.
Trinocs evolved in a planet rich in methane and ammonia and colonized several planets of similar atmosphere. Having been spacefaring before Humans they had relationships with the Puppeteers for centuries.
First contact was between a Trinoc explorer and Louis Wu. It was brought about as both Louis Wu and a ship Flown by Trinocs lay claim to an object that returns a full return on deep radar. Assuming the return is coming from a stasis box all haste is taken to retreive it. One Trinoc challenges Louis to a game. Whoever wins the game gains possesion of the Stasis box. The game involved a single coin toss, the relation to chance apparently a large factor in Trinoc decision making. However as the coin toss is complete this Trinoc reveals that the game was a hoax to distract Louis long enough for his associates to secure the box.
Unfortunately the object turned out to be a neutronium sphere. The Trinoc ship and all inside were quickly obliterated and drawn into the sphere leaving Louis and the one other Trinoc as the only survivors. Following this the same Trinoc as then became an ambassador to humanity.