Star Federation Database: Arkin Species

SF Database Header

One of the most versatile species in the galaxy, arkins are winged, feline creatures that are capable of adapting to almost any environment. Most studies of the species show that when introduced to a new habitat, the creatures are able to naturally breed to near-perfect standards within a few generations. They have been observed to survive even in single-biome worlds such as the desert planet Yuna, provided there is prey for them to feed on, though when they are not the apex predator, their ability to flourish is severely diminished and the species tends to die out rather than strike a balance. Their versatility has led to a broad spectrum of arkin breeds, ranging from the smaller and subjectively prettier show beasts to the massive, powerful Storm Rider class. Coloration and markings vary across each breed, but with definite trends based on each individual arkin’s lineage.


Natural breed variations include:

Mountain

  • uncommon
  • large, powerful creatures better suited to running than flying, though their wings are large and strong enough to keep them airborne for long stretches of time
  • wings are too large to fold completely against the body and often rest partially unfurled
  • not as agile as other breeds, trading muscle for speed

Forest

  • common
  • smaller than most other breeds, but still strong in their own right and very intelligent
  • a very agile breed, capable of making tight turns and steep dives
  • best suited for short flights and bursts of speed

Desert

  • uncommon
  • smallest known breed
  • very skittish in nature, utilizing camouflage to hide from and observe potential threats, then most often flees from danger that draws too close
  • when cornered or protecting a mate or their young, however, this breed will stand its ground and fight to the death

Tundra

  • common
  • not as large as Mountain arkins, but still one of the larger breeds
  • naturally has a longer, denser coat than other breeds that sheds with the seasons
  • very hardy creatures capable of medium to high flight speeds, but better suited for ground-based tracking and hunting

Storm Rider

  • rare
  • one of the largest known breeds
  • stands taller than even the Mountain breed, but with a more proportional wingspan
  • capable of long, fast flights over great distances
  • very powerful and intelligent
  • lifespans are short compared to other breeds, maxing out at 16 years as opposed to the average 27

Natural variations and cross-matings in the species have led to a wide range of body structures and traits, but a “standard” arkin is a sturdy, powerful creature capable of flying at high speeds and / or long distances, though their distance flying can be severely limited if they are unconditioned to carrying a rider. Markings can vary, but coloration firmly pulls towards neutral hues, as would be expected in most natural habitats.

Comparison
A comparison of three arkins with natural lineages. The smallest, Blade, is of mixed descent with predominantly Forest blood, but there are some Storm Rider genes in her. The middle, Orion, is of mixed Forest, Tundra, and Mountain lineage, and was selectively bred for fighting, resulting in slightly smaller wings and a stockier build than would otherwise occur in the species. The final, Jet, is of nearly purebred Mountain lineage, with the size and more muscular build to show for it.

Private and selective breeding of arkins has led to further specialization classes, bred to exaggerate traits not normally found in wild arkins. These classes are regarded as separate from natural variations and showcase an even broader range of qualities and characteristics. Some of the most common classifications brought about by selective breeding include:

Domesticated Arkins

  • bred specifically to guard the homestead and an individual family
  • comparable to dogs from Earth, and were in fact initially bred by Earthborn humans
  • smaller and sleeker in build with disproportionately tiny wings, having been bred away from flight in order to create a more indoor-appropriate pet
  • require a lot of discipline and training, and can have violent tempers if not properly reared
  • not a pet for the faint of heart

Racers

  • bred for speed
  • this classification was originally intended for transport over long distances, which led to travelers racing each other prior to the organization of official arkin racing leagues
  • two subsets of this classification came about when the Racing Class was further bred for speed and agility, resulting in: the Sprinters, very fast creatures best suited for sprinting and short-distance races; and the Rangers, better suited for endurance and distance racing but still capable of high speeds
  • speed races rarely involve riders due to the creatures flying far too fast for anyone to keep their seat
  • not the most intelligent of classifications, this breed demands a steady, patient trainer who can foster their natural love of flight and speed

Show Arkins

  • specifically bred to have the most universally appealing traits
  • coloration has the widest range in this classification, pulling towards unnatural shades and hues with increasing frequency
  • typically longer-haired and fluffier, though some subsets emphasize sleekness
  • wings are too small for flight but are large enough for short-distance gliding
  • lines of the body are focused on from a breeding and judging standpoint
  • usually much more docile than most other classifications, Show Arkins can make good pets, but are terrible guardians as they are far more likely to run from danger than stand their ground

 

Show Arkin
An arkin bred for show, with a longer, glossier coat and more eye-catching color scheme. The proportions are not as even as would be found in the natural lineages.

Hunters

  • branched off from the Racing class lineage
  • endurance and speed are important qualities, but the former more so than the latter
  • planetary police forces sometimes use this breed for tracking and sustained pursuits, though due to a natural tendency to hunt to the death, they are not well-suited to tracking down individuals that must be captured alive
  • coloration is pushed towards natural hues best suited for camouflage
  • further specialization led to the Stealth class, a smaller breed often used for territory scouting
  • Hunters are a very aggressive breed and require intense training in order to bring them to heel, demanding a steady hand and head as well as respect for their power and danger, but they are one of the most loyal breeds once fully bonded to a handler

The Star Federation allows soldiers who have demonstrated a strong bond with an arkin to keep the creature as a companion, sending the pair through training together and then on to service. The first ever officer-arkin pair was Admiral Gabriella Montoya, one of the original five commanders of the Star Federation, and Hurricos, a Storm Rider classification arkin. Current pairings within the Star Federation include:

  • FCrd. Lance Ashburn (Spaceborn human) and Orion (mixed lineage)
  • Cpt. Lo Firus da Zanke (Xandurian) and Ba Fakra (Hunter Class)
  • Cpt. Rasharada Vinettanadan (Vareesi) and Ravennora (mixed lineage)
  • Maj. Andrew Fletcher (Earthborn human) and Kirk (purebred tundra lineage)
  • Lt. Arluxari (Araxian) and Arox (Stealth Class)
  • Lt. Asim Samaha (Earthborn human) and Leila (Racer Class)
  • Lt. Marissa Shen (Terraborn human) and Aquila (Racer Class)


END



This post is related to my science fiction series The Star Hunters. Both those novels and this post are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


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