This is Russ’ next and hopefully final draft of his species. This review is open till 18th Aug, 2018.
Author’s note: For far too long this species has been sitting in cyberspace doing nothing but gathering cyber-dust, which makes me sad. It was a few years ago that then Librarian/Archivist Larry Garfield returned it to me for an update based on the reviews of it provided by Krys Bromilow and Amanda Noon. Sadly, I didn’t save the link to the thread as it was in Drupal Webspace, so I no longer have their thoughtful and helpful reviews. However, I am certain this captures all the points they raised, as it was commenced soon after their reviews.
CHANGELOG FROM FIRST DRAFT TO SECOND DRAFT
1. Adjusted the weight downwards.
2. Corrected spelling and grammatical errors in the entry.
3. Addressed the evolutionary issues identified.
4. Discussed their stomachs and dietary requirements.
5. Expanded details on clothing, mating ritual practices and nesting privileges.
CHANGELOG FROM SECOND DRAFT TO THIRD DRAFT
1. Reworked start of 2nd paragraph of Overview.
2. Completed the details of birth months for the birds.
3. Rewrote the 4th paragraph of the Cultural Practice section for clarity.
4. Attended to minor grammatical and spelling mistakes on read through of entry
The Avisarites (Struthious Sapiens)
DATE: 12 August 2018
AUTHOR: Russell Watt
HOMEWORLD: Avi II
HEIGHT: 1.8 – 2.75 metres (6 – 9 ft)
WEIGHT: 40-50 kgs (88 – 110 lb)
LIFESPAN: 90 years
CLASSIFICATION: Custom (Shared)
The Avisarites are large bipedal flightless sentient birds which evolved from large flightless birds on the planet, Avi II. The Avisarites are a social species and achieved warp speed in the year 2367. The USS Icarus, an exploration vessel commanded by Captain Caroll Edwin Spinney, was in the system when they were experimenting with warp drive. Within ten years, the Avisarites joined the Federation, with their first Starfleet officers graduating the Academy in 2388.
Residing in large communal groups referred to as roosts, adult male and female Avisarites take multiple partners during their mating season. Avisarites in Starfleet have mainly been in Engineering and Science, although there is no reason that they couldn’t be successful as Doctors or Security Officers. Due to their recent membership of the Federation, no Avisarite has reached a rank higher than Lieutenant as yet, and the three that have done so are all Chief Engineers on their respective vessels. In time, it is likely that they will reach XO, CO and beyond, and one day may even have a member of their species reach the exalted rank of President of the United Federation of Planets.
The Avisarites have features which identify them clearly as having evolved from birds. As is the case with birds from earth and the other worlds of the Federation and beyond, the Avisarites are covered by feathers. Unlike most birds, and sentient bird species, the Avisarites can’t fly, and instead rely on their strong eyesight, manipulative necks and fast running speed to escape from predators and other dangers. However, their wings have evolved into arms with two digits at the end of them … one ‘finger’ and one opposable ‘thumb’. As a result, Avisarites have developed their own versions of pads and consoles that members of their race use in Starfleet and their own facilities.
Avisarites have a beautiful comb on top of their heads, which change colour depending on the time of year and age of the individual. The size of the comb depends on the age of individuals as well. Young Avisarites typically have smaller combs than older Avisarites, although the most elderly among the Avisarites have lost most of their comb and it’s colours.
The Avisarites have large round eyes, sized on a par with the ostriches of Terra. Their eyesight is extremely strong, some of the best eyesight of all the Federation species. Their eyes are shaded from sunlight falling from above. Eyes of the Avisarites are typically green, blue, yellow or red in colour, although the occasional brown eyed Avisarite is not unknown.
As is the case with other bird species, the Avisarites have a beak in place of a mouth and nose. Their beaks are grey in colour and are flat and broad with a rounded tip. As with the case with other bird species, both sentient and non-sentient, the Avisarites do not have noticeable ears, instead they have a pair of slits, one to either side of their heads.
The neck of male and female Avisarites is nearly bare, though covered by a thin layer of down. The neck is long, and together with their long legs, account for much of their height. The Avisarites have the ability to twist their necks so that their head can face in every direction, allowing them to see dangers coming at them from every side.
The skin of females is pinkish gray, while males have a blue-gray pigmented skin. There are variations on the strength of the two constituent colours depending on what part of Avi II an individual Avisarite was born and raised – those in cooler climes have a more intense pink or blue pigment, while those in warmer climes have a more intense grey pigment. Avisarites born and raised off planet tend to follow these same general colourings.
Males and females both have long sinewy legs that end in a foot with two toes on each foot. The lower legs are unfeathered and show bare skin. The upper legs have scales on them, the females have pink scales, and males have blue scales. The inner toe is larger than the outer toe on each foot and has a nail on it that appears to be a hoof. The smaller toe doesn’t have a nail on it. It is believed that like the ostrich of earth, these toes enable the Avisarites to sprint quickly for short periods of time, the fastest of them being recorded at over 70kph for up to 30 minutes. Avisarites have a feathered tail, they refer to it as their plumage, and their Avisarite dress allows for this plumage to be seen. As a result, Starfleet uniforms are modified slightly for members of this species serving in Starfleet.
Anatomy and Medical
As previously stated, the Avisarites are evolved from large flightless birds and are therefore susceptible to diseases that affect bird populations. Inoculations against such diseases are well known, and prior to departing their home world, Avisarites are given a full set of the necessary medications. The Avian flu of 2380 that was introduced to Avi II by the pet parrot of a human scientist devastated the population, and since then, off world birds are not permitted on Avi II.
The bone structure of the Avisarites is close to that of birds, particularly ostriches, and their bones are light compared to humans. That means they are more likely to suffer injuries than most other species. However it also means that they require much less time to recover from their injuries. The Avisarites have three stomachs, and each plays an important part in their digestion. A common problem for Avisarites who live and work off world is that they need to replenish their levels of heroglymacis, a naturally occurring enzyme found on Ari II. Fortunately, this can be administered by trained medical personnel at Federation facilities quickly and painlessly through a hypospray.
Amongst themselves, the Avisarites speak in a rapid language filled with a variety of calls and trills that sound common to many birds. The linguacode provides the ability to translate their language into universal standard so that it can be understood by fellow Federation and non-Federation species. Theirs is a musical sounding language, and even when translated by the Universal Translator, the musical nature of the language is clearly evident. Avisarite is the Singular and Avisarites is the plural for the name of this species. Their scientific name comes from the fact that they appear to be sentient ostriches.
The Avisarites are a social species with males and females copulating with many partners during their mating season in December, January and February each year. Most matings take place within the one Roost, however it is not unknown or considered a taboo for them to occur between members of different Roosts. During the mating season, the males and females engage in a ritualistic dance, during which time they show off their plumage and combs to potential mates. Then, the males go behind the nest that they have made during the previous few months, and females choose nests to visit, laying eggs in as few or as many of the nests of the males who capture their fancy.
The eggs take anywhere between sixteen and nineteen months to hatch, so Avisarites all have a birth date between March and August each year on the old Terran calendar. Female Avisarites are ‘clucky’ during this time and it is said that they can identify their eggs in a nest of eggs composed of eggs from multiple females.
During the nesting period, male and female Avisarites take it in turns to sit on the nests, gather food and entertain the other gender.
Raising the young among the Avisarites is a social affair, with all members of Avisarite Roosts taking part in the process. Knowing one’s biological parents and siblings are not important considerations for the Avisarites. The importance placed on such concepts by other species confuses Avisarites, and this has caused problems between the Avisarites and other species both within, and outside of, the Federation. All adults within Avisarite society who are part of the one roost are referred to by the general honorific of ‘Brooder’ by the members of that Roost. Familial terms such as mother, father, cousin, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild (and so forth) are unknown concepts within Avisarite society.
Education takes place as part of everyday life of the Avisarites with all Brooders within the Roost teaching the Hatchlings, as the Avisarites refer to the children in their society, the important parts of life for them. By the time the Hatchlings reach what humans call ‘adolescence’ the Hatchlings are referred to as Fledglings and are encouraged by the Brooders to leave the nest and flap their own wings.
Further education is ongoing at this stage, and is when the Avisarites decide on what they’ll do in their later lives to support their Roost and wider community. Some of the more senior members of the Roost refer to Avisarites at this stage in their lives as being ‘bird-less brained’, as they are said to lose all sense and want to try things against their own best wishes.
Fortunately though, the Avisarites grow through this stage, or at least most of them do, and reach full maturity. During the part of their life prior to their first mating season as a fully blown Brooder, are referred to as ‘Empty Nesters’ as they are forced out of the nests that they had spent the previous years of their life in and are forced to make their own nest.
When Avisarites get past their prime, and grey touches their comb, they are known as Greyfeather (plural Greyfeathers), a term of great respect from within Avisarite community. Death is not a sad time, but a happy time for these social beings as all members of the Roost and those of neighbouring Roosts attend to celebrate the Greyfeather’s life and their afterlife, when the Avisarites believe the Greyfeather will be able to fly. For those who have died prior to becoming a Greyfeather, death holds a different path. The Avisarites believe those members of their Roost are to return again to either their Roost or another Roost on Avis II to attempt to reach the honour of being a Greyfeather.
Fights are rare between members of this species, due to their social and friendly attitude towards each other and the importance they place on community and communal agreement. This is from the time following their world wars when their differents Roosts sent representatives to their central group known as ‘The Aviary’.
As a member world of the Federation, the Avisarites of Avis II have a central world government, comprised of representatives of the Roosts from all over Avis II that form a body called The Aviary.
The representatives of each individual Roost discuss issues and come to a decision on which of their Brooders will join The Aviary. These individuals flock together and choose one of their own to lead The Aviary and indeed their world to give voice to the communal decision that they have all made. As a human observer to the decisions of The Aviary once remarked, “birds of a feather flock together.”
A warp capable species, the Avisarites have developed technologies similar to those in use elsewhere around the alpha and beta quadrants. Most noticeable are their scanners and consoles, designed for ease of use by beings with two digits on the end of each hand. These designs have been used by Starfleet to ease the Avisarites process of integration into everyday life in the Federation The Avisarites never developed a version of the transporters, however, they are not technophobic and are willing to use transporters, after an initial reluctance to do so. As their weaponry is used for defence against wild animals on their home world, the Avisarites also never developed energy weapons of any kind. As with transporters, Avisarites are not opposed to the use of phasers where necessary.
The Avisarites evolved on Avi II from large flightless birds, quite similar to Earth’s ostriches. As with many of the other Milky Way galaxy species, in millennia past, the ancient humanoids spread their DNA to the Avisarite ancestors and the primitive Avisarites gradually developed a language, spoken and written and community groupings that reflected their world and their features. The Avisarites developed as just about every other race developed, and in time, spread across their entire world, building community groupings that were called Roosts from the beginnings of their recorded history. After engaging in world-wide wars that almost devastated their world and their way of life, the Avisarites decided that a better way was needed, and started sending representatives of their individual Roosts to a central group that became known as The Aviary. One of the first tasks of the group that would become their world’s central government was to limit the use of weapons, so that they would be used solely against the predators that saw the Avisarites as a food source and not against other Avisarites. This worked well, almost too well, as it soon came apparent to The Aviary that these animals would soon die out, and so they stopped that for a while, to allow the numbers to increase again. This is an ongoing practice from throughout the history of the Avisarites.
In time, the Avisarites developed technologies that allowed them to fly. Despite the arguments by some in their society that “had our forefeathers wanted us to fly, they would have seen to it that they could,” the Avisarites decided to take advantage of this, and, before long, flights were seen across the surface of Avi II, winging back and forth between Roosts and between Roosts and The Aviary. Such flights became almost commonplace for the Avisarite people and eventually led to a desire by the Avisarites to discover ”what was out there” beyond the skies of Avi II. Engineers and Scientists from their people worked on and developed technologies to answer these questions.
Missions were sent to the moons that orbited Avi II and then to the nearby Avi I and Avi III. They discovered that they were the only sentient beings in the three planet system, even though the other two worlds were class M like their own world. Establishing additional roosts on the other two worlds, the Avisarites expanded their influence in their system. More was to come, however. Convinced that there must be a way to travel faster than light, the noted Scientist C’raw and his team of researchers made several tests until quite by accident he stumbled upon warp theory. In the year 2362, the Avisarites tested the ship’s engines, and discovered that they had finally managed to fly faster than light. Returning to Avi II, C’raw and his team proceeded to develop safer and more efficient ways of achieving the warp speed in the coming months and years.
It was in July 2367, when the Avisarites made their first contact with alien life. They were about to attempt to make a trip to a nearby system to see what they could find there, when an alien ship was spotted on their monitors. They returned to Avi II, and suddenly, out of a set of sparkles, 5 individuals appeared, all of them different … all of them had 5 digits on their arms, not 2, they didn’t have feathers anywhere, they didn’t have beaks … they had weird things on the sides of their heads, and they didn’t have combs on their head. The Avisarites were surprised and shocked and scared, but they stood there, looking at the … aliens. One of them, one in red and black, and with golden and black dots on his shoulder started making noises at them, and the Avisarites became confused and scared. The noises were awful. They couldn’t talk!
Then another one, this one wearing blue where the first one wore red, pointed a device at them, and continued making the noises at the Avisarites. That one was then making motions with their hands at each of the Avisarites.
“Maybe we should talk to them,” Scientist C’oucou suggested, and the device made a noise. The Avisarites were scared but the second alien seemed to smile and nod its head and motioned again with its hands. The Avisarites began talking in their musical language, and from time to time, the aliens made their noises back at them.After a while, the Avisarites began understanding what the aliens were saying, and it seemed they were being understood by the aliens as well. It turned out that the visitors were from “The United Federation of Planets” and they had been watching the efforts of the Avisarites to break something called ‘the warp barrier’, and that these efforts had been successful. In time, they joined the Federation as fully fledged members, including a member on the Federation’s Council and since then had graduates through Starfleet Academy and tourists and others who decided to travel through the quadrants and spreading their way of life elsewhere, trying to find another species that looked somewhat like them.
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