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The Kek


Line art by the Author


Background


The Kek are the newest Star Union member species, contact having been established only 50 years ago. At that time, their civilization had progressed to the point
that they had a permanent orbital presence about their world and were beginning to expand out into their star system.

Physiology

Kek are endothermic bipeds averaging 165cm in height, with an average mass of 55kg. Their bodies are covered with fine down, colored mottled brown at birth and
changing first to brighter colors and then changing to gray as the individual ages. Males and females both sport prominent crests; both sexes have bright plumage
but females have a somewhat smaller beak.

For reasons that are not well understood, coloration among Kek populations correlates with geographic location: plumage is most brightly colored in areas near the
equator, growing progressively more subdued as latitude increases.

A Kek's head is equipped with a strong, sharp beak, and tops a long, slender neck which can rotate more than 180 degrees. The eyes are large, and surrounded with
a fringe of fine cilia which serve as olfactory sensors; a pair of curved antennae aid in maintaining balance while running over uneven terrain.

Kek shoulder joints are more flexible than human shoulder joints, and the arms terminate in clawed hands with two pairs of mutually opposable digits. The legs are
very strong, and the average Kek can run at a sustained speed of 65 kilometers per hour, with sprints in excess of 80 kilometers per hour.

Psychology

The Kek have been in contact with other sapient species for a relatively short time; the xenophobia index of the general population is still somewhat high, and is likely to
remain so for several more generations. Individuals who elect to leave the homeworld are most often considered insanely brave or simply insane by their fellow Kek, but such
individuals have proven most adaptable to the inter-species community.

Kek are also highly claustrophobic and can become catatonic if forced to stay within an enclosed space. This has created problems for Kek traveling aboard spacecraft, and
most have to be given anti-psychotic drugs; extreme cases may have to be anesthetized for the duration of the voyage.




A Kek dressed in traditional lancer garb.
Line art by the Author




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© 2017 Gerald and Angela Blackwell.