While the human citizens of the Starkin Federation display a tremendous amount of variation, it is none the less possible to speak of an average Man. His body is the source of the term humanoid, invariably standing up right, with four limbs, two for walking and two for handling objects, his arms bearing hands designed for tool use. While he stands about 210 cm tall, with a healthy weight of about a hundred kilograms, though adult specimens are known to vary as much as 50 cm in either direction, with adult weights ranging from 50 kg to very unhealthily fat specimens of over 250kg. His skin can range from a pale, whitish color to a dark, nearly black, brown in tone, though the vast majority of specimens are a sort of tan color ranging to a golden brown, while his hair ranges from silver to black, through a similar spectrum of colors, generally turning silver in age. On average, the human Starkin lives approximately 210 years, as measured on Terra, though those in cruder conditions may find their life span shortened to as little as 60 to 70 years.
Slightly sexually dimorphic, most intelligent species can tell the difference between the larger, more muscular male and the smaller, more curved female.
Lightly gene-engineered, the Starkin is taller, heavier, longer lived, and more resistant to the ravages of the world than his Puregene predecessor. He can see and hear more clearly, while he can eat a wider variety of foods, though his senses of taste and smell are slightly duller than his ancestors.
Surprisingly, evolution has equipped the Starkin with very few natural weapons and essentially no natural defenses, while their confusing and haphazard central nervous system is capable of a bizarre mode of parallel processing, unduplicated among the major races of the galaxy. As a result, Humans are capable of incredible leaps of creative and unconventional thinking, not un-frequently married to the tools that they must use where others use the strengths of their bodies. Because of this factor, Humans are known, and feared, for their ability to improvise their way out of nearly any situation, and for the incredible diversity of their technologies. This has given rise to a kind of koan among the stars: 'When a tiger has cornered a Man, who has trapped whom?'
His own good and peace was not enough to unite mankind against his pack nature, and his history was a long one, full of wars with himself, a hundred societal structures, religions, and subdivisions competing with each other for the resources of old Terra, and later, Mars, Mercury, and the asteroid belts. In time, this ground to a stalemate between the Genevan Empire, the Asiatic Triumvarte, and the League of Olympus Mons, with no one group able to achieve dominance over the other.
All this changed, however, in the year 2637 AD, as those civilizations reckoned time, as the Scranja came to make their mark upon humanity, as conquerors. Coming with superior technology, resources, and numbers, the aliens expected that this race, too, would fall before them into slavery, as had a half a dozen races before. What they did not reckon with was the ingenuity of humanity, and its willingness to band together against a common foe. Though it cost them dearly and bitterly, Mankind engaged the Scranja in a dreadful, asymmetric war, one which would cost them Terra itself, reduced to a band of rock and rubble around the yellow star Sol. Ultimately, the war would cumulate in what would later be known as the 'Battle of Lucifer', in which the humans lured the main Scranja fleet into fighting them deep within the gravity well of Jupiter, where they sacrificed a captured space-tunneling drive to link the planet to draw the mass of a star a mere few light years away into the planet itself, effectively igniting the planet into a second, tiny star and incinerating both fleets in a heart-beat.
As the survivors pulled themselves from the rubble of the Sol system, they looked at each other, and swore an oath that no foreign creature should ever be able to do this again. And the remains of the three powers banded together, naming themselves the Starkin, for they would spread among the stars, and become as numerous as them.
A great project would be initiated to rebuild Terra, while the power of the wormhole based tunneling drive would be used to spread her seed as far and wide as possible.
Government and culture
The primary government of the Starkin is the Starkin Federation. Legislation is enacted by a two house parliment, one house elected popularly by colonial zone, the other house selected by the rulers of the same colonial zones. From their number a Primarch is elevated, to wield the executive power of the Government. Their decisions are then put into place by a civilian bureaucracy that has been entrenched in humanity since the rise of the American Hegemony in the late 21st century.
While humanity is once again vastly divided culturally, a synretic blend of the cultures once labeled as ‘Chinese’ and ‘American’ is generally dominant, resulting in a strongly expansionist but united and preservationist culture. Innovation and the arts are strongly encouraged, but the love of the old ways serves as an effective and truly needed counterbalance on the constant push for improvement.
The most common clothes are loosely flowing garments of synth-silk, though most laborers prefer to wear clothing less likely to snag or otherwise interfere with work, and in some colonies, the (barbaric!) practice of wearing clothing made of cured animal skins still persists.
While humans, as noted, have few natural defenses against predation, their tool using skills are exceptional, and in no place are these skills put to better use than in their military.
Preferring large, heavily armored warships reinforced by squadrons of fast, light fighters, many human battleships are purpose built, ranging from vast carriers carrying thousands of fighters and bombers to the Lancer class ship, consisting of little more than a vast positron-lance gun and engine to aim it. Generally, a balance is struck between beam and missile type weapons, and a human ship is often more heavily armed than its counterparts in other navies.
Much like their navies, their soldiers are typically heavily armed and armored, each of their comparatively few men a mobile fortress walking upon two feet. When these heavy armors are unavailable, they may deploy a vast variety of tactics, and are completely willing to resort to stealth and subterfuge to accomplish an end.
Frequently, however, these soldiers and star-sailors will refuse to outright obliterate enemies, especially other humans, considering genocide to be morally repugnant, especially after their own, historical brush with the fact of it. When pressed, however, the Starkin will resort to any necessary means, as the now-extinct Scranja would tell, if they were able.
Relations with others
While the Starkin are wary of the aliens among the stars, they are willing to tolerate them, so long as they do not strike out at humanity. A tense and difficult relationship exists between them and the Kel’Regar - Thoron alliance, each government deeply distrustful of the other’s motives. However, on an individual basis, the Starkin are more than capable of bonding with even the strangest of aliens, provided that they have proven themselves against the Starkin’s innermost pack instincts. Intermarriage with both the races created by the Starkin, the Oraki and Salvorathan, as well as other humanoid races is uncommon, but occasionally occurs.
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? Responses (2)
Hmm, poor sci fie - never gets any respect! :)
I really like this though some of the power levels are extreme (turning jupiter into a star? wow!). But I suppose, once you have wormholes, you can do lots of interesting things.
One of the stereotypes that often irk me in science fiction stories, is the notion that humans are in some undefinable way more special than any other race around, and are, if not superior, than at least comparable to anyone else, in the end able to held their own to anything. Viva humanitae or something.
I know, I know, it is the eternal fantasy, and the ideal to uplift our unwashed masses with. It still tends to go on my nerves. Rant over. :)
As an aside from the rant itself, I actually find the connection between the seeming lack of natural weapons and intelligence little surprising - I would even go as far as to imagine, that it would be more often the species without natural weaponry, that develop technology and civilization. Perfect predators don't really need the smarts, to their prey it is one possible area of defense to specialize in.
To finally come around to the sub itself, it is well-written, not really surprising at any point, but solid enough for use. Linkage to the other subs would be nice, otherwise it is just a good submission.