The Vaikan (known as Muruu-vai in ancient times) were an intelligent bipedal repto-mammalian species from Ucharpli, a planet that orbited the F class star Szon located in the Twin Hearts Nebula.
Vaikan were generally small and scrawny with large, long ears and large eyes. They had a short, nearly flat snout, and rows of short, sharp teeth in their mouth. Vaikan had four fingers including an opposable thumb as well as three toes. From their fingers, they could discharge jolts of electricity.
Having to adapt to the heavy radiation from their star, they evolved to have skin that varied in shades of blue. Not only could they survive this radiation, but they also metabolized it using special cells in their skin. Their large ears primarily fulfilled this function. Their ability to photosynthesize reduced their overall caloric needs which allowed them to adapt to their original desert environment.
Vaikan also had supplementary fins that could retract and extend. These fins also served as means of gathering solar energy. Overtime, these fins shrunk during their long time spent in spacefaring environments.
Vaikan highly vary in size and build. Variances among these features occur when one has prolonged exposure to a constant environment. Below are historical variations that once existed on Ucharpli. By the time the Vaikan spent thousands of years in space, these previous regional variations became obsolete. However, through gene modification, a Vaikan can choose to appear as one of the historical regional variations.
- Feln - Medium height between five and a half and six and a half feet, short hair, very little facial hair if any. The most common variation.
- Foth -Tall, about six feet, very long hair, oval-shaped heads. No facial hair.
- Dorf - Short between four and half and five feet. Large builds and lots of facial hair.
- Ain - Similar appearance as field Vaikan, but slightly shorter with longer hair. Facial hair is not uncommon.
- Hob - Very short around four feet tall even as an adult. Smaller builds than Dorf Vaikan and with no facial hair.
- Sav - Sometimes known as Savlins, they are slightly taller than a Hob, but tend to have hunched backs and red eyes. Their skin is gray, and their hair is white because they have been living underground. Savlins tend to keep to themselves and are not afraid to attack others who intrude in their territory.
- Spacer - The spacer ethnicity appeared within the past thousand years when Vaikan became exposed to prolonged, sterilized environments. In general, they are taller and thinner being almost constantly exposed to gravity levels between 0.8 and 1.0 G, much unlike Ucharpli's standard gravity of 1.2 G.
Males and females were not visibly distinguishable until hitting puberty around age ten. Males tended to grow taller and acquired more muscle mass while females tended to be smaller with more body fat. In addition, females also had mammary glands which were used to nurse their hatchlings.
Vaikan had binocular eyes that allowed for depth perception and stereoscopic vision; eye color often varied between blue, purple, orange and red. Both eyes were large and oval-shaped, being taller than they were wide. They had two sets of eyelids - the outer ones blinked horizontally, and the inner ones blinked vertically. Although they lacked trichromatic vision, they could see deeply into the ultraviolet spectrum. As such, they perceived their surroundings in shades of blue and purple with amounts of vibrancy and brightness denoting subtle color transitions.
Vaikan, as well as other species native to Ucharpli, had a unique brain chemistry with their own set of hormones. Because of this different chemistry, adrenaline from an outside source could induce powerful hallucinatory effects. For much of Vaikan history, adrenaline was considered an illicit drug.
Vaikan also required a four-week hibernation period once every two standard years. During this time, they would enter a deep state of sleep and experience lucid, vivid dreams. In some cultures, it was common practice to write down the events of these dreams often to interpret for self-reflection or as prophecies for the next two standard years to come.
Vaikan have the ability to discharge electricity from their fingertips. Running down from their brain to their arms was a series of electrical cells. Upon activation via a brain signal, a reversal of charges occurred in the air. This shock could send enough volts upon the target to stun them for a few moments. An organ dedicated to holding electrical charges existed near their two hearts and sternum which could be charged through a combination of both caloric intake and periods of sleep.
The stun mechanism was an evolutionary leftover from their more primitive ancestors who used electric shocks to ward off their enemies. When Vaikan evolved to become predatory creatures, they learned how to use their electrical abilities in conjunction with weapons such as copper spears.
A Vaikan's snout contained an olfactory blub. Vaikan also had a trachea that connected their mouth to their lungs. As a result, their mouths functioned for both consumption of food and for breathing.
To adapt to the lower oxygen levels, Vaikan had two hearts to be able to cycle oxygen throughout the body very quickly as well as two large lungs. Additionally, the openings in their arteries were considerably wide allowing. The presence of two hearts in the Vaikan body was the source of the name of the Twin Hearts Nebula.
Vaikan metabolized most often from their ability to absorb UV radiation. However, in order to survive cave environments as well as Ucharpli's lengthy periods of nighttime, they needed to directly be able to ingest food as well. Due to most of Ucharpli's life evolving thick carapaces, it became a necessary adaptation to swallow small pebbles to aid in digestion. Vaikan lacked a direct, conventional equivalent to a stomach, as their primary digestive organ could better be described as a gizzard which was particularly muscular and could grind up food. They also had a secondary organ comparable to a crop which could store food before it was ready for digestion. It could also expand, which was crucial for preparation of their four-week hibernation every two years.
Once enough nutrients had been extracted, uric acid was excreted through their cloaca as a means of conserving water and removing toxins from the body.
The Vaikan skeleton had a high concentration of metals much like the bones of other Ucharpli-native animals. Part of a Vaikan's diet consisted of small stones as well as the bones of other animals which lent to the absorption of microscopic metallic particles throughout the body. These bones also served as conduits from which electrical signals could be sent throughout the body.
Vaikan naturally lived to approximately 160 standard years. Although Vaikan possessed object permanence upon hatching, they had an otherwise fairly slow aging process when it came to cognitive development. They did not gain the ability to self-recognize until age ten standard years. Males and females looked nearly identical until puberty. The main reliable way to tell young Vaikan apart from one another was their size. Males would on average grow much taller and develop much larger ears and solar fins.
After approximately age 20, their sexual dimorphism would become much more prominent. The development process would last approximately ten standard years, during which time, their hormonal growth would accelerate. The development process would last until approximately age thirty. As such, across many Vaikan societies, age of consent ranged from age 25 and 30.
Upon sexual maturity, their brains became fully developed, and they gained better control over their emotions and become more adept at solving mathematical and logical problems.
Vaikan were monotremes - both males and females used their cloaca for reproduction. After conception, a soft-shelled egg would develop inside the female and would be laid after seven months. Hatching would take approximately one month, and the hatchling would break open the egg from the inside via an egg tooth. The mother would then nurse the hatchling with milk.
Adrenaline is toxic to Vaikan because it has an immensely exaggerated effect on them. Their minds are more naturally evolved for calm, processing of information - in prehistoric times, Vaikan would go into extremely violent outbursts to scare predators, but are otherwise very collected and logical. Because of this, adrenaline creates false signals causing unusual sensations and hallucinations.
In larger amounts, the body begins to sense imminent danger. To protect itself, the two front sectors go dormant to allocate more power to Saskana's area to expel the adrenaline from the system, causing the Vaikan to enter a frenzy. Dangerous in vast amounts, adrenaline is considered an illegal narcotic exclusive to their species.
There are some unique Vaikan diseases that originated on Ucharpli.
Blood craver virus (Vampire's disease)
The Blood craver virus targets the cells in the mouth that allow them to tolerate the taste of animal blood and plant matter. Victims, on many occasions, will lose appetite for normal food and start to feed off the blood of another Vaikan. Other side effects include a boosted immune system and an elongated lifespan. Today, the virus is in captivity in a remote Vaikan colony.
A form of paralysis that solidifies the joints making a Vaikan look like a statue. They can still think, breathe and carry out life functions. The only thing they can't do is move from whatever position they are stuck in.
A subspecies of panther known as Daggerfangs spread this virus. This disorder makes them more susceptible to frenzies.
A genetic disorder where in the Vaikan brain, the region known as Saskana's area is faulty due to a reduced amount of conduits. Found in roughly 0.1% of the population, the disorder is highly correlated with areas with extreme poverty and lack of food as on average, those with Maj deficiency eat slightly less. Unfortunately, those with Maj deficiency have difficulty with brain functions. While their intelligence is comparable to an average Vaikan, they are slow to move and react physically, and they eventually become paralyzed when they get older.
Crumbleskin will result in a Vaikan losing skin particles overtime which makes them unprotected against Szon's dangerous UV rays. Crumbleskin is a genetic disease that has yet to be cured.
First Age • Second Age • Third Age • Fourth Age • Fifth Age • Sixth Age
Jamzezism • Uszarothianism • Altusianism • Khathic • Dragon Daughters • New Age Omni