Galactic Federation Xenology Entry 21235: the Krikens

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Sylux

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Galactic Federation Xenology Entry 21235: the Krikens

Postby Sylux » 02.07.08 9:16am

Hey guys. I'm starting a series of faux-scientific documents elaborating on my interpretation of the Metroid universe. Please leave me feedback. If you like it (which I hope you do), go ahead and tell me which species I should do next; anything from the series is fair game.



The Krikens


Your federal government does not seem to appreciate the nature of this threat. These are not like the Space Pirates, who destroy outlying colonies before dissapearing back into the vacuum. These are not raiders. These are conquerors. They will take entire planets from you, and they will keep them.

-Vhozon ambassador.



Despite having had little direct contact with the sentient race known as "Kriken," the Galactic Federation has issued level 1 security breach status to any sightings of Kriken vessels. The few occasions in which humans and Krikens have come in contact have always seen the Krikens either retreating, or attacking. Although their motives and social structure are known only through secondhand information (see entry 00760: the Vhozons), all direct source data so far confirm these unsettling reports.

The following data regarding Kriken biology and evolutionary history have been gained via laboratory dissection of Kriken subjects, and are reliable. The sections explaining the history, culture, and politics of the Kriken were handed over by Vhozon diplomats, and should therefore be read with the expectation of bias.



Biology


The Krikens (Endosphorigiapoda sapiens) are a eusocial race native to a planet known only by its astronomical designation of RE-491. While the Krikens surely have their own name for this planet, their language is unpronouncable with human vocal organs, forcing us to resort to technical nominclature. Even the word "Kriken" is actually a Vhozon name for them; what they call themselves cannot be immitated with English characters.


Morphology

A typical adult Kriken measures 1.79 meters in height, and weighs 49 kilograms. Krikens have a supremely efficient internal anatomy, following a biological paradigm we have designated "minimalist survivalism." Indeed, Kriken anatomy is so simple that it is surprising they evolved sentience at all.

Krikens have a reddish black exoskeleton, the proteins of which contain measurable amounts of titanium (how they absorb this metal into their bodies is not known). This "organic alloy" is highly resistant to concussive and kinetic forces, and has the highest heat retention rate of any exodermal tissue analyzed to date. This likely accounts for the reported cases of Krikens withstanding shrapnel and concussive grenade splash, as well as their renowned resistance to temperature extremes both hot and cold. The fingers and toes, four of which exist on each extremity, are clawed, and capable of ripping through steel.

The only sections of the Kriken's body that are not plated are the neck, knees, and finger joints. These junctions are completely transparent, containing only a few nervous strings swimming in a sack of clear, shock absorbing fluid, which allows the Kriken to free fall for up to eighteen meters without suffering any damage whatsoever. This creates the illusion that their heads levitate or float above their torsos, which has caused rumors to spring up of Kriken telekinesis. To date, nothing about the Krikens indicates any level of psychic ability; the belief that Kriken heads levitate is entirely mistaken.

Inside of the carapace, a Kriken is made almost entirely of muscle tissue, swimming in a transparent lubricant that serves as blood; this is the same fluid that fills the shock absorbing neck and appendage joints, which are connected to the bloodstream. Unlike Humans, Kriken muscle cells have nuclei, and seem to serve a dual purpose as embryonic stem cells during the Kriken's larval period. Any nervous, epithelial, or connective tissues lost are healed by muscle-derived replacement cells. This is remarkably oppositional to most other life forms, whose muscles are replenished from more general cells rather than the other way around. Kriken muscle tissue is extremely energy efficient, and can exert over twice as much force per gram as Human muscle. Additionally, the Krikens lack hearts; the endomusculature itself is responsible for squeezing the blood around.

A Kriken's head is relatively small for its size, and has a slightly thicker exoskeleton than the torso. Crammed inside of this teardrop-shaped cavity is an extremely condensed brain that lacks internal cerebraspinal pockets, as well as several sensory organs and the entire digestive system. The small size of Kriken brains is due to their ability to replace dead neurons; like the rest of their bodies, their brains are small, efficient, and very effective. Adjascent to the brain are numerous microscopic hearing organs, electrosensitive cells that pick up nearby EM fields, and a single, bright red eye that peeks through a tough, transparent membrane covering. Beneath this cluster of nervous and sensory equipment is the mouth.

Krikens completely lack an internal digestive system. At the base of the head is a simple, sucking mouth that resembles a shortened proboscis, the back of which feeds directly into the bloodstream. At the roof of this mouth is a gland that constantly produces hydrochloric acid, the corrosiveness of which far exceeds that of any terrestrial organism. Krikens digest their food externally by "drooling" acid onto it, waiting for it to dissolve before sucking it straight into their circulatory systems. Kriken blood contains enzymes that do the rest of the digestion proccess within the circulatory system, as well as a chemical that neutralizes its own acid. Waste is strained from the blood and regurgitated back out the mouth. Krikens are strictly carnivorous.

The walls of the mouth also contain multiple, small breathing orifices, which include vocal cords that make sounds too high pitched for Humans to hear. This is all the respiratory system that they need.

The vast majority of Krikens are male, having a simple, spicule-based phallus hidden beneath the plating of each forearm. These "pedipalps" extend out of the exoskeleton through a pair of retractable hatches when the Kriken mates. Female Krikens, known as "queens," are reputed to be much larger and less mobile than the males, and apparently lay vast numbers of eggs. Unfortunately, a female cadaver has never been obtained for dissection.

General qualities of Kriken tissue include electrical nonconductivity, superb heat and moisture retention, and a triple-membraned cellular nucleus that screens out almost all radioactive mutagens. Because of the regenerating nature of their anatomy, as well as the low mutation rate, Krikens are presumed to have extremely long natural lifespans. Like all members of their genus, Krikens are opportunistic endotherms, and can become hot or cold blooded depending on their surroundings.


Triskellion

An oddity of Kriken anatomy is the fact that, despite their vaguely humanoid appearance, they move much faster on all fours. When it wishes to move quickly for long distances, a Kriken drops to the ground, straightening up again when it needs to use its hands.

For some reason, a crawling Kriken folds its legs together into a single limb. Thus, despite having two arms and two legs, a crawling Kriken is effectively tripedal. The reason for this is unknown, but some xenologists believe that this allows them to turn around more quickly; an important quality in their windy, mountainous home.

Electrical stimulation of cadavers have revealed a maximum triskellion movement rate of forty KPH, as opposed to a bipedal walking speed of twenty-three KPH.


Life Cycle

Krikens have a complete metamorphic life cycle reminiscent of some terrestrial arthropods. Larvae, or "zeros," are segmented, caterpillar-like organisms that are assumed to hatch from eggs layed by a queen. Only a few zero cadavers have been obtained from thwarted Kriken colony attempts at the borders of Galactic Federation territory, but these few specimens have answered most of our questions. Zeros are essentially mindless, possessing only a rudimentary nervous system that allows it to move, hide from danger, and feed. Unlike the adults, zeros have internal digestive systems, including a stomach and intestinal tract; it is assumed that this is a genetic holdout from an earlier stage in Kriken evolution.

Zeros shed their carapaces frequently, growing between each instar. After an unknown duration, a mature zero (which by that point measures over two meters in length and weighs ninety-eight kilograms) pupates, secreting a protein crysalis similar to an adult's carapace. When it hatches, an adult Kriken emerges, fully intelligent and mobile, from the coccoon. The Kriken learns to speak and function in society within a few years of emerging.



History


According to longrange telescope photographs, RE-491 is a planet of dramatic extremes. Turbulent oceans, searing deserts, and windswept mountain ranges all exist in close proximity to one another, encouraging a great deal of adaptiveness and resilience among the native organisms. The area studied most intensely by GF xenologists is an equitorial mountain ring. This region, filled with strong winds, deep canyons, and sharp, titanium-rich spires, is believed to be the birthplace of the Krikens.

This sprawling mountain range is prowled by the agressive, semi-intelligent insectoid species known as kihunter (see entry 98321: kihunters). These creatures, which have repeatedly shown up in Space Pirate bases, are widely accepted to be the evolutionary forebearers of the Krikens. Biologists believe that the acestors of the modern Krikens were kihunters who lost their wings and ranged acid attack, but gained intelligence.

RE-491 is home to another sentient race as well; a proto-mammalian species called the Farons (see entry 54532: the Farons). The Farons were a lowland species, who developed an agricultural lifestyle. Although technologically primitive, it is believed that they would have eventually developed space travel on their own were it not for their Kriken neighbors. Kihunters had long been the natural predators of the Farons; a habit that the Krikens never gave up, even when they became intelligent and discovered that the Farons were also sentient. Eventually, the Krikens bred themselves into overpopulation, and thus began a planet-wide war between the two races.

Both species were technologically primitive at this time, using swords, bows, and spears against one another (though the Krikens probably made use of their natural weaponry as well). After a period of unending warfare lasting for several terrestrial decades, the Farons were completely subjugated. The Krikens had discovered the concept of slavery, and soon had the Farons doing most-if not all-of the agriculture, construction, and sanitation related work that their blossoming civilization required. In order to repress the constant slave revolts, the already warlike Krikens became formally militarized. All Krikens began to go through rigorous combat training as a coming of age rite soon after emerging from their coccoons, and "soldier" became the species' only profession. Historians have compared this emergent culture to that of the Spartans from earth history.

The early Kriken civilization was a military meritocracy, with leaders being chosen on account of individual fighting and leadership ability. However, as time went on, the Kriken warlords began to monopolize the strongest and most desirable queens, separating their gene pool from that of their underlings. Because of this tendency, leadership among the Krikens became hereditary, with certain “noble” families passing the authority of warlordship down from father to son; these patriarchal families have first pick of which queens to impregnate, soon resulting in a ruling caste of both sexes. From that point onward, the Kriken Empire has been ruled by a monarchic oligarchy.

Despite their lack of scientific inclination, Kriken technology began to advance. In order to keep the enslaved Farons subjugated, newer and more powerful weapons were always needed, forcing the Krikens to make discoveries that they otherwise would not have bothered with. Once overpopulation became a concern, the Krikens looked skyward, and developed crude, magnetically propelled colony ships to bring them to other habitable worlds.

The Kriken colonists brought their slaves with them, building new civilizations on each planet by exploiting the labor of the Farons. As fate would have it, the Krikens soon landed on an attractive planet that turned out to already be inhabited; this was DR-68, the homeworld of the then-primitive Moyura race (see entry 20040: the Moyura). These beings had not had contact with aliens before, and were utterly bedeviled by Kriken technology and ferocity. Soon, there were two slave races under Kriken rule, both of which were constantly exported to new colonies to serve the Krikens wherever they chose to settle.

As the Kriken Empire grew exponentially in size, each aristocratic family was able to rule an entire planet, turning the Kriken lords into planetary kings. A tradition emerged in which the firstborn son of each king would inherit the throne as his successor on that planet. If any younger princes wished to rule worlds of their own, they would have to find a habitable planet by themselves, and then raise an army to colonize (or conquer, if someone else was already living there) it. The expansion of the Empire became driven not only by population growth, but also by personal motives; each new colony is the fledgling kingdom of an aspiring prince.

This continued until a Kriken nobleman made the mistake of trying to colonize an outlying Vhozon world. Never having encountered another high tech race before, the Krikens did not expect that there could be enemies that actually challenged them. The Vhozons launched a full fledged counterattack, taking back their colony and destroying the Kriken invasion force to the last man, including its royal leader.

Since that fateful landing, there was been an ongoing and brutal war between the Krikens and the Vhozons. The Krikens seek to enslave the Vhozons, for they believe that such a powerful and resourceful species would make excellent laborers. The Vhozons, on the other hand, have judged the Krikens to be vermin, and have made no secret of their desire to exterminate the entire race.

Ironically, it is because of the warlike Krikens that Vhozon/GF relations have gone so well. Because their armies were already busy with the Krikens, the Vhozons had little with which to fend off the Space Pirates (see entry 15775: the Space Pirates) once they encountered them. Thus, the Vhozon Protectorate and Galactic Federation have formed a military alliance to ward of the Pirate threat.

So far, only a few skirmishes between Galactic Federation and Kriken forces have occurred. While these battles have been victorious so far, the GFMC has only been able to win by attrition, outnumbering the small bands of Kriken scouts. If faced with a full scale invasion, it is unclear if our armed forces could defeat them.



Culture


An odd race on many levels, the Krikens have a society based on status, bravery, and fighting ability. A Kriken is assertive, cocky, and demanding, but nonetheless knows its place in society, and obeys its superiors without question; all Krikens are soldiers, and all soldiers are trained to follow orders. Krikens have a smaller emotional spectrum than most sentient races, which, combined with their natural hive mentality, makes them perfectly happy with a military existence.

The only things that give a Kriken pleasure are achieving status, mating, and fighting. Massive gladiatorial arenas dominate Kriken cities, in which soldiers fight each other in various forms of ritual combat, as well as fighting animals, robotic opponents, and slave gladiators (these are the only slaves allowed to touch weapons).

They also keep extensive menageries of the most dangerous and violent animals they find on each planet, and have wilderness regions that function as game preserves. Being entirely carnivorous (and not wanting to eat their useful slaves), Krikens keep vast ranches and slaughterhouses full of livestock. They prefer the meat of large and dangerous animals, which they usually kill by hand.

Oddly for a race of eusocial insectoids, Kriken society is very patriarchal. Kriken “queens” are not considered royalty; the title of “queen” is a name human scientists have given them on account of their similarity in function to the social insects of earth. Indeed, queens are considered the property of a small number of males, who share the exclusive breeding rights to that queen. The vast majority of the Kriken population is male, and only a few of them prove themselves worthy of mating.

There are four castes in Kriken society. The lowest tier is made up of slave races, who are communal property of the entire Kriken Empire. Slaves outnumber the Krikens themselves three to one, but are kept too hapless and downtrodden to overwhelm their masters. Slaves are not permitted to touch a weapon, much less train with one, and signs of rebellion are rewarded with death. The Krikens see all other intelligent beings as potential slaves.

Next are the queens, who are pampered and treated well, but have just barely more say in the society than slaves do. Each queen is owned by a group of males, with especially desirable queens being monopolized by aristocrats. Queens spend their time caring for the larvae, and have little place in society outside of this.

Next are the common males, the soldiers, who make up the bulk of the Kriken population. Male Krikens are taught to fight as soon as they complete their pupal stage, and continue practicing armed and unarmed combat until they die. As a rite of passage, every young male is brought to an arena, where he must defeat a vicious kihunter in single combat. Those who slay the kihunter are given citizen status. Those who fail are killed and eaten by the beast; the Krikens believe those who fail to be genetically useless, and thus make no attempts to save them from the arena. Males always seek to prove themselves in battle, so that they may earn breeding rights. There is a spectrum of power among the males, ranging from common soldiers to elite sergeants.

Finally, the aristocrats are an elite lineage that maintain hereditary rule over each Kriken planet. Aristocrats are descendents of the best Kriken warriors, and are subjected to even more brutal and intensive training than the common male. Every aristocrat is expected to be a warhero; unlike the commoners, they must defeat an entire pack of hungry kihunters to be considered adults.

Each planet is ruled by a King, who passes rulership down to the first son of his who survives his rite of passage. If any younger princes wish to rule their own worlds after that, they must find their own. Young princes who wish to become kings fly royal scoutships out into deep space for reconnaissance. Once they have found a habitable world, they return home. Here, they raise an army, round up aenough slaves to get them started, and go off to found a new colony.

Due to the hostility of the Krikens toward other species, little else is known about their way of life.



Technology and Warfare


Krikens are, in many areas of science, astonishingly primitive. Though their weapons and sensors are on a par with our own, their medical, computer, and generator technologies are relatively undeveloped. Krikens have not yet developed cold fusion reactors, relying instead on “hot” nuclear power plants similar to those used in earth’s earlier history. As they have not yet learned to process fuel gel, they rely on a combination of magnetic drive and hydrogen rockets to propel their ships.

Due to their primitive spacecraft (which lack fuel gel engines, and possess only the most primitive barrier shields), the Krikens frequently lose their space battles. Once they get planetside, however, a Kriken force is nearly impossible to wipe out (earning them the nickname “cockroaches“ from marines who have fought them). Thus, Krikens have developed stealth technology, in order to sneak past planetary defenses and drop off the troops; fortunately, vigilent security measures can still detect them.

Intel believes they may be trying to develop boarding pods, like those used by the Space Pirates, to allow them to engage in melee even during space battles. If they achieve this, Kriken space battles will become much more dangerous for their enemies.

The sidearm of choice for the Krikens is the aptly named imperialist. This rifle-like weapon houses both an electromagnetic machine gun with ionized bullets, and a long ranged laser that can pierce tallorite armor from several kilometers away. Although the laser only carries enough chemical fuel for a few shots, the Krikens are deadly snipers; they make each beam count. Kriken hand weapons are generally built with suction cubs attached to them, so that the Kriken can stick them to its body and carry them while in triskellion form.

The only truly remarkable piece of equipment among the Krikens is their armorskins. These transparent, nearly invisible suits of metal fabric are not only tough and light, but also have a built in active camouflage system similar to that used by Space Pirate shadow troopers; some believe that one of these races stole the technology from the other. The suits are skintight, and controlled and powered by a pack that the Kriken soldier wears on its back. This pack contains both a miniature nuclear reactor, and a computer to control the active camoflauge. Attempts to reverse engineer this cloaking device are currently underway.

Krikens prefer guerrilla tactics, slipping past orbital defenses and holing up in an obscure area of the planet. Here, they immediately start to breed, and instruct their slaves to set up hidden industrial facilities to make more weapons. From the moment they land, the Krikens consider the planet to be theirs, and destroy any groundbased military forces they can find.

Krikens are deadly combatants, but using their own tactics (sniping, mobility, and blitzkrieg raids) against them seems to work. Their natural exoskeleton is powerful, but their armorskin suits are fairly weak; a high powered rifle or a direct hit with explosives can reliably kill them. However, in all previous battles we have only fought small Kriken armies. We have yet to experience a full fledged war with these beings.
Last edited by Sylux on 05.31.08 12:46pm, edited 8 times in total.

MaiAriSquee

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Postby MaiAriSquee » 02.07.08 6:42pm

That was pretty cool! Very entertaining. I love speculative, biological sci fi. :b Your description of the kriken reminded me of planarian flat worms, but then I remembered that they don't excret out the pharynx... right?? I think waste just passes through the cells. Buuuut CNIDARIANS, the jellyfishes and hydras, have a one purpose hole.

I can see why you chose to give them an invisible neck, but couldn't there have been some other way to explain it, aside from telikinesis? Like some form of bio-electromagnetic energy? XD I DUNNO...

Are you going to keep posting stuff like this? :D
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Sylux

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Postby Sylux » 02.07.08 6:48pm

Haha, yeah, I really had to think hard to come up with a decent explanation for the floating head thingy. I thought about electromagnetism, but then decided that there are already too many bioelectric creatures in Metroid. You are clever for catching the flatworm reference; most of Kriken physiology I based on a combination of platyhelminth (fyi, flatworms actually do poop out their mouths), arthropod, and nematode biology.

BTW, did you like how I tied them in with the kihunters? The two look so similar that I just had to make them related.

I'm glad someone liked this. I'll keep doing GF xenology entries as long as people enjoy them. Which race (intelligent or otherwise) should I do next?


Note: I am of the opinion that Sylux and Ghor are both human, so don't ask me to do their races.

Teedra

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Postby Teedra » 02.07.08 7:16pm

Vhozons.

I read the whole thing but history, it lost my attention. But overall high quality, athough you made them sound invicable.

Grahamr

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Postby Grahamr » 02.07.08 7:23pm

That was awesome! I have one question...How do obscure space insects mate? I...just can't construct a visual of that, and if I did, I probably would hope that I din't.


Oh yeah..I just rediscovered this show..And the beast drones remind me of Krikens...reddish with sharp, insectoid features.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1ZmTzsrTgY
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Sylux

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Postby Sylux » 02.07.08 7:31pm

The history lost your attention? Hmm, perhaps I should rewrite it then. It was pretty late at night when I did this, so some parts are probably hard to follow.

The krikens aren't invincible. They are very well trained warriors, and their natural toughness is impressive, but a bullet to the face will kill them. Their natural armor helps them survive shrapnel and concussions, but its not going to block a railgun spike. Keep in mind as well that their starships are fairly crude; if you catch them in space, you can take them out pretty easily. In space, humans have the advantage. On the ground, krikens have the advantage.

Perhaps I should have included a "Combat" section to explain this better. I think I'll add it.

Krikens mate the same way spiders do, with penislike organs embedded in their forearms. That's covered in the Biology section.

If no one has any other suggestions, I will now move on to the vhozons. Expect them to be up by Monday at the latest.

Teedra

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Postby Teedra » 02.07.08 7:37pm

it wasn't that the history was boring, but i say how long it was, so i wasn't going to bother. and if it didn't make sense the first time, vhozons would be a sweet species next.

Grahamr

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Postby Grahamr » 02.07.08 7:40pm

Beast drones aren't unstoppable either, it's just those dudes either had poor weapons or can't aim for ****. There's supposed to be a center on their chest that can be taken out by just a rock.



http://www.amonline.net.au/spiders/life ... organs.htm Yea your right....


Down the line will you be doing an article on Vhozons? And in your opinion is Noxus evil?
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Teedra

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Postby Teedra » 02.07.08 7:43pm

I think noxus is on par as good as samus, but he puts his people over your life so if your not helping him, your his enemie in the hunters incident. I bet if she met him in a more peaceful incident they would get along.

Sylux

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Postby Sylux » 02.07.08 7:45pm

I added a bit to the Technology section that explains their relative strengths and weaknesses in battle. Hopefully, they won't sound so overwhelming now (just really, really tough).

Since the vhozons have been requested, I'll be doing them next. As for Noxus, well...its a tough call. To me, Noxus seems like sort of a black ops agent for the Vhozon Protectorate, who does mercenary work on the side. Lots of moral ambiguity there, even if he considers himself to be righteous.

Teedra

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Postby Teedra » 02.07.08 7:50pm

Now that sound realler, yet amazingly amazing. Kudos, congrats, and something else because i can't think of a third. :D
Last edited by Teedra on 02.08.08 4:55pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sylux

Anonymous
 

Postby Sylux » 02.07.08 8:35pm

Teedra wrote:Now that sound realier, yet amazingly amazing. Kudos, congrats, and something else because i can't think of a third. :D


Thank you. I wish I knew what "realier" meant, though.

MaiAriSquee

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Postby MaiAriSquee » 02.08.08 2:04am

Sylux wrote:BTW, did you like how I tied them in with the kihunters? The two look so similar that I just had to make them related.


It's cool, but I rather see them as separate. I was actually under the impression that they were intelligent species that worked with the pirates, ignoring their naturalistic behavior in Fusion.

Oh, GREAT, now I'm calling up random organs from last semester's biology... XD Random review.
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