Cynos Union Databank

 

 

 

Sookas
SPECIES:
Sookas
TYPE:
Quasi-humanoid
PLANET:
Ceproval

Overview: The sookas, a reptilian species native to their homeworld of Ceproval, are one of the six founder species of the Cynos Union, and many have stated that they are also the scariest. In part, this is simply due to their physiology and the fact that eight-foot tall lizards tend to be imposing, but it also comes from their fierce demeanour.

Due to this fierce nature, combined with a worldview that is centred around the concept of the greater good, the sookas are most often to be found serving in military and police roles within the Cynos; at least 30% of the ships serving in the CSF (Cynos Security Fleet) are of sookas origin, primarily Grikta-class battleships and Rakbran-class heavy destroyers.

Although rarely used to their faces, a colloquial and often derogatory nickname for the sookas is “bunnymunchers”, a phrase first used during the Abyssal War, and a reference to the sookas being the only Cynos species which is almost exclusively carnivorous.

Evolution & Biology: The sookas are native to the arid world of Ceproval, and they first evolved from creatures strikingly similar to komodo dragons from Earth. It is unknown what evolutionary pressure led their ancestors to adopt a bipedal lifestyle, although some have suggested that the ancestors of the sookas may have once adopted a semi-aquatic lifestyle, relying on animals roughly analogous to Earth shellfish for sustenance. Recent archaeological finds around the coasts of the Dahakar region on Ceproval have lent credence to this claim, and this theory is growing in popularity throughout the Cynos.

Some have suggested that this is further evidence that early sookas had an “island-hopping” lifestyle, an idea that first came about due to the unique nature of sookas reproduction.

Put simply, the sookas are the only known galactic species capable of parthenogenesis, of reproducing without fertilisation from a male. In fact, this has led to the common belief that the sookas are an all-female civilisation. However, due to the complete refusal of the sookas to allow any studies to be conducted on their home planet or their colony worlds, it remains unclear whether this is actually the case, or whether they simply keep male sookas away from the public, secluded for their own safety as a precious resource which must never be put in harm’s way.

Curiously, though, the sookas possess different colour patterns on their skin, which would seem to suggest some kind of sexual dimorphism, and lend credence to the idea that male sookas do indeed exist. If this is not the case, then the sookas are a true anomaly, an egg-laying, sexually dimorphic species without a second gender.

Further research would help to clear up this mystery, but until such time as the notoriously private sookas allow studies to take place, it is just one more riddle in the working life of the Cynos Union.

History & Culture: The Grand Sookas Dynasty is famous for ruling its sector of the galaxy, centred around the homeworld of Ceproval, with an iron claw. Ruled by the Grand Dinost, the sookas civilisation is split into separate clans, with surprisingly little intermingling between them. Each clan is marked out by its unique skin patterning and colouration, and for this reason, the sookas themselves eschew last names. Each individual sookas thus uses only a single name, and examples include Grakka, Barska and Shenka. At the same time, however, the sookas do use descriptors of their clan markings as a signifier of which clan they belong to, when talking in more formal settings.

These clan descriptors are pronounced in the ancestral mother tongue of the sookas, but translate as “of the purple and green stripes” (in the case of the ruling clan from Ceproval’s capital city, Dugaisk) or “of the orange and grey blotches” (a clan from the low-lying Dahakar region), amongst others.

Despite these obvious colour differences, there is very little racial tension amongst the sookas. Barring obvious class differences that come from living in a lowland clan as opposed to the ruling clan, the colour of a sookas is almost irrelevant, in terms of their day to day dealing.

The same cannot be said of gender discrimination, however, as the sookas will always deal with women rather than men, wherever possible, actively avoiding contact with males of other species. This makes dealing with the genderless koetaani particularly troublesome.

the ampullas: Nowhere is the sookas’ history of civil rights abuses more obvious than in their treatment of Ceproval’s second sentient species, the diminutive and reclusive ampullas.

Although it is relatively common knowledge throughout the Cynos that the ampullas exist, little is known about the history of this species, other than the fact they share a homeworld with the sookas. The ampullas and sookas likely evolved independently of each other, in different parts of the world.

There is some debate about the evolutionary path the ampullas took, but what little scientific knowledge the Cynos has about this species implies that both they and the sookas evolved from a common source, splitting into robust and gracile forms. Physiologically, the two species are thought to be very similar, although the ampullas are of course much smaller and more drab in colour than the sookas. Much of the information on this reclusive species is supposition, however, as observations of actual ampullas are exceedingly rare. It’s possible that these shy people live in seclusion, which would make logical sense, as the sookas are noted for being the strongest and fiercest sentient creatures in the whole of Cynos space.

This is further backed up by the fact that the sookas seem to treat the ampullas as a more or less disposable source of slave labour, and they are notoriously stubborn in never allowing studies to be conducted on their servants. There is mounting pressure within the Cynos to see the ampullas situation being resolved, but this thorny issue does not look likely to end soon.

The greater good: It is common knowledge that the Grand Sookas Dynasty has one rule that overrides any other considerations, and that is the notion of “the greater good”. However, it’s also common knowledge that in the hands of the sookas, “the greater good” tends to mean exactly what the current Grand Dinost wants it to mean, and what any given Grand Dinost will want it to mean is “the greater good of the sookas”.

This is perhaps why the Grand Sookas Dynasty has the worst history of civil rights abuses in the Cynos Union, and a general attitude towards galactic politics that would make even some extremists blush.

One well-known example of this was during the Abyssal War, when human forces on Earth were fighting for their lives against the Abyssal hordes that had streamed into this universe. Press-ganging the yowason and n’kaf into their service, the sookas prepared to launch an assault on Earth, which would have led to the glassing of the human homeworld through heavy orbital bombardment. This action was only stopped by the re-emergence of the koetaani as a galactic power. Many calls have been made to the Auralium Council, the ruling body of the Cynos Union, to deal with these civil rights abuses, but while the sookas make up such a large part of the Cynos military, the situation is difficult to resolve, at best. This situation may come to a head one day, but for now, the galaxy has strong, if strained, relations with this reptilian civilisation.