A most pleasant hello to all who are now reading this! This is a species I’ve had in mind for a while now, but only recently began finalizing all the details. Here they are now, so enjoy. (smile)
ETS Overview; Ci’ckack:
Ci’ckacks are a diverse, hardy, and opportunistic sophont race with humble origins. Their home world, Shckickocak, is a world in a very lucky relatively stable orbit around Cki, a star within a cluster of several dozen other stars, known to the Ci’ckacks as the Ckikicl’ico. The delicate balance keeping the planet and its five moons (Sicko’ol’ol, Cik’ick, Clakol, Kickacococo, and Skock) in orbit is the result of a primitive type of gravitonic life form holding the cluster together, along with collaboration treaties between the interstellar radioforms and star-dwelling plasmoforms.
The world of Shckickocak bears a unique crust, being much thicker or thinner across the planet. These colliding tectonic forces have forged enormously deep chasms and rifts which scar the face of the world. With a thin, radiation-bombarded atmosphere and a distant orbit around Cki, the planet is affected by a runaway global ice age. Most of the oceans have been absorbed into the thick shell of ice, while the gravity of the moons ensures the rifts stay active. One rift, between two opposing plates, is the origin of the Ci’ckack race. Massive waterfalls feed the boiling river-sea below which covers the magma. The constant steam feeds dense vertical jungles on the walls of the rift. It is so big, it can regulate its own weather cycle.
Evolved from arboreal climbers, Ci’ckacks were originally divided into several species and subspecies living at various depths and passages within their chasm home. These species very often engaged in total war, if any contact was established at all. Half of these species were exterminated before their First Contact with the Cosmics. Since then, like any other species, the Ci’ckacks have settled onto many niche-worlds throughout the universe, while allowing their Ultras to guide them to new levels of peace and excitement.
The tripedal Ci’ckacks possess a hydraulic drawbridge system of duel vertebral columns. The top column is the stiffer of the two, and supports the superior forelegs. These forelegs support a membranous frill used in displaying one’s mood. The hind leg rests at the hinge point of the two columns. These gangly yet flexible limbs each end with nimble hands of two fingers and two thumbs ending in curving talons, ideal for navigating the twisted vertical jungles. The upper backbone also sports eight pairs of simple eyespots along its dorsal surface. These spots play a key role in Ci’ckack rituals and social customs, as they detect the precise amounts of light and dark from the moons and stars to indicate what time of year it is.
The lower backbone is a more flexible chain of hydraulic joints. This is a Ci’ckack’s main body cavity where most internal organs are found. They possess an intricate circulatory system comprising three different blood types. The first system is red blood which fixates oxygen from the single segmented lung. The next system takes over after passing through the two main hearts and is filled with green blood to help fixate any remaining chemicals to help create vital metallic nutrients for the rest of the body. The third system functions as a sort of immune system with blue blood to negate any toxic chemicals from the volcanic atmosphere of the rift. The outer surface of the body is covered in smooth, oily fur for protection from parasites ad waterproofing.
A Ci’ckack’s most outstanding feature, many would say, is their head. The mouth is huge in proportion to the rest of the body, designed to be their most expressive feature. The large, forward-facing eyes are protected by boney ridges, and can see naturally from infrared to visible light. They have evolved to see well in the dark due to their nocturnal natures. Slit nostrils are located on the lower jaw, right above the vocalize holes. These make only a few rasping sounds, which are detected by the sensitive ears, which are directly in front of and above the eyes. The limited noises Ci’ckacks make with their voices is not their primary means of communication. They use their teeth for that.
Ci’ckack dentition is among the most complex of any sophont species. Three pairs of long, curving razor-tusks are used to express general feelings. The rest of their more complex vocabulary is produced by the rest of their teeth. The many different sets and types of teeth in the mouth click, grind, tap, and shear among each other in a rapid chatter of communication. Some teeth have different compositions to make them stronger, more durable, and to produce different sounds. The many facial muscles complement the tooth-talk with a wide range of facial expressions. These teeth are also used in manipulation. Specialized hinged teeth at the front of the maw, together with the flexible tips of the lips, and sensitive whiskers, allow a Ci’ckack to perform many tasks, including very delicate ones, with their dentition. The teeth can also be used for gathering many foods, from chiseling nuts to weaving insects out from under bark to grabbing and swallowing small game whole.
Mating is a rough business for Ci’ckacks. The prehensile, barbed genitalia of both males and females are located at the back of their mouths, past many rows of needle-sharp, rock-hard teeth. Mating is highly ritualized to cause the least amount of damage, while also ensuring that some blood is spilled for the couple to drink during intercourse. Females gently guide their cone-shaped eggs out from their mouths with their teeth, and both sexes possess pouches on their flanks to carry the eggs until they hatch up to a few Earth months later. The chicks cling to their parents as they drink “blood milk” from specialized “blood-ducts” beneath the eyes.
As they have spread into the universe for the past 20 million years after First Contact, the Ci’ckack race has retained, or reinvented many cultural attributes which speaks of their past. Normal Ci’ckack colonies and dwellings are tube or v-shaped, as they move most comfortably on uneven ground which slopes to one side or the other. Families are often very tightly knit and sometimes quite extensive in their societies, as mothers often marry more males to help carry their eggs and for unrelated males (and sometimes females) to raise one of her children as their own future mate. As their teeth are very important to them, dentists play a much more profound role in Ci’ckack society, also representing teachers, philosophers, politicians, and star blood readers. Star Blood is a deep Ci’ckack spiritual system which is determined by their highly advanced astrology. Ci’ckacks have founded and can be found at many of today’s most respected astrologist institutions.