Ssri'Kai

The Ssri'Kai were first introduced as the hosts of the Apostates in book 71: The Lesson. Although little information has been released about them in the series, capnnerefir has discussed them at length with his sometime co-writer John3Sobieski, who was instrumental in the creation of the race.

History

All information in this section comes from personal communications from capnnerefir and cannot currently be found within the series.

The Ssri'Kai once inhabited Kelbrid Space and gained sentience and interstellar travel only a few centuries before the Kelbrid arrived to seize that area of the galaxy from Crayak for the One. At the time of the Kelbrid invasion, the Ssri'Kai were a well known race in the galaxy functioning as a sort of peace keeping force. They ensured that conflicts between races did not get out of hand and violently put down any that did. For this, they were respected, liked, resented, and/or feared throughout the galaxy.

The Ssri'Kai were the first race to encounter the Kelbrid invaders. The Ssri'Kai tactics proved superior to those of the Kelbrid and their technology seemed to be evenly matched, the Kelbrid numbers eventually overwhelmed their forward ranks and the Kelbrid began to attack the rest of that sector of space. Many races fell to the Kelbrid, though that almost seemed to be incidental. The Kelbrid focused mainly on the Ssri'Kai who, though they were repeatedly defeated, inflicted catastrophic damage on the Kelbrid army.

After nearly three generations of bloody warfare, the Kelbrid had subjugated approximately half of the sector of the galaxy in which the Ssri'Kai once maintained peace. At that point, the Kelbrid were in a position to attack Ssri, the homeworld of the Ssri'Kai. They did so and, after a long and bloody campaign, they were defeated by the Ssri'Kai and what few allies they had left. The Kelbrid army, then crippled, withdrew to the part of the galaxy that it then controlled and began consolidating power.

It was because of the massive losses they suffered against the Ssri'Kai that the Kelbrid made peace with the Andalites in the neighboring sector of the galaxy. As the Andalites had just finished a war with the Pythagi Conglomerate. After this massive galactic war, the Ssri'Kai remained on the border between their sector of space and that of the Kelbrid. It is because of the intervening Kelbrid space that the Andalties and their allies know almost nothing of the Ssri'Kai.

It is unclear how the Ssri'Kai became hosts for the Apostates, though capnnerefir has promised to explain it in future works. he has hinted that Guraff 427 was involved. He has also stated that only a very small number of Ssri'Kai are Controllers.

Biology

The Ssri'Kai are very tall, though their exact height is not given. It is estimated that their main bodies are about six feet tall. They have necks that are as long as their bodies, making a Ssri'Kai nearly twelve feet tall. They have dome-shaped feet, the bottoms of which are covered with more than a dozen small suction cups, which allow the Ssri'Kai to attach themselves to vertical surfaces. They have two legs, which are capable of moving a full-grown lion without much difficulty. They also have a pair of very muscular arms that are longer than their legs. At the end of each arm is a hand with four long, claw-like fingers. Three of these claws are slender, though strong. The forth is longer than the others and hooked at the end. It is stronger and covered in tiny barbs, making it a very deadly weapon. Ssri'Kai necks are as long as their bodies are and extremely strong. Their necks consist of a layer of cartilage cartilage, followed by muscle, then more cartilage, and then a large vein. Their heads are actually a blade shaped like an arrow, which can be thrust forward by the neck at blinding speed, usually killing the target. The mouth is on the underside of the head and is triangular and rimmed with sharp teeth. Their eyes are on the sides of their heads.

A Ssri'Kai's body is covered in small, sharp, barbed quills that will become stuck in whatever they touch, though capnnerefir has stated that the Ssri'Kai are able to retract these quills into their bodies for ease of movement. These quills alternate between a dark shade of blue and black, giving the Ssri'Kai it's coloration. There is a foot of space behind the head (on the neck) and behind the claws (on the forearms) where the Ssri'Kai have scales instead of quills. The purpose of these scales is that blood is far less likely to stick to scales than to the quills and these particular areas are frequently covered in blood during battle. The Ssri'Kai also have thin, asymmetrical lines of color running across their bodies.

capnnerefir has stated that the color of these lines and the scales is an indication of rank amongst the Ssri'Kai. Naturally, these are white, which is the color reserved for untrained warriors. Different colors indicate various ranks, with gold being the highest amongst warriors.

Mentality

All information in this section comes from personal communications from capnnerefir and cannot currently be found within the series.

According to capnnerefir, the Ssri'Kai have a simple mentality. They believe that their homeworld, Ssri, is a holy place and the most beautiful planet in the galaxy. In their early days, they exterminated three different races that refused to acknowledge this. After that, all the races they met were content to tell the Ssri'Kai what they wanted to hear. The Kelbrid invasion of Ssri itself was seen as an unholy profanity and it is believed that it was that fact that gave the Ssri'Kai the power to crush a much larger invading force. There are rumors throughout the Kelbrid and Ssri'Kai sectors of the galaxy of unnatural, even supernatural, occurrences on Ssri. Though most of the galaxy agrees that these are just exaggerated stories, the Ssri'Kai refuse to speak of them, suggesting that there is some truth to them…

The Ssri'Kai were a warrior culture and were always hungry for battle. However, they were also a conscientious people and were not inclined to make war on other races simply for the fun of it. So they bent their natural propensity for violence to a productive use and took on the job as the peace keepers of the galaxy. The reign of the Ssri'Kai is often referred to as the "Golden Age" of the galaxy, a time when those under their rule existed more or less in harmony, though it was enforced by terror.

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