The Firekkans are a bird-like race native to the planet Firekka.
The Firekkans are highly reminiscent of parakeets or mostly predatory birds typically found on Earth, namely eagles and hawks. They are normally 6' or even 7' tall and like ordinary birds, they possess brown and yellow feathers, feathered wings for flight, beaks, beady eyes and talons. Female Firekkans are larger in size and have drab coloring. Those who are born as flock-leaders have different pheromones, bearing, coloration and scents than the common folk.
Young Firekkans sport a juvenile plumage and talk in soft chirps. Those who are about to leave their nest are called "branchers".
Firekkans who serve onboard Confed ships wear a modified uniform; chairs on the ships are adapted to an avian form, having the role of supporting perches.
The Firekkan language is marked by rasping and clicking sounds. While talking they cackle, cluck when happy, or click their tongues when impatient. When laughing, they bob their heads and silently open their beak. They duck the head down between shoulders when embarrassed and molt when scared.
Firekkans are primitive by Confederation or Kilrathi standards as they possessed no space technology; they had no space-based not even planetary defenses or interception fleet to protect their planet.
Their culture is based on a matriarchal flock system. The matriarch is always the head of her native family, which is typically a very large flock. The Firekka have a strong respect for family values, and the flock is more important than individuality; although, according to the tenet of the Living Spark, a brilliant leader was more important than the wishes of the flocks.
The matriarch always has her family's needs at heart. From the moment of birth, a single offspring is bred and trained in the duties of flock leader, as he/she will become the next flock-leader of the family; those are marked by their authority and way of command and they are not chosen or replaced. The highest-ranking flock-leader on Firekka is known as the Teehyn Ree, who is ultimately in control of the entire populace.
Because of the family-centered conservative views dominating the Firekkan culture, only a handful of Firekkans have ever gone into space.
Flight and nature make up the very core of the Firekkan religion and philosophy. The Firekkans possess a number of flying dances that are performed in a wide range of activities, including family reunions, bonding and mourning; these customs went back to the days of pre-sentience. Firekkans host ceremonies in Firekka's symbolic Fire-Temples, and often fly around them in fanciful patterns. They also hold flight races for celebratory activities.
Firekkans are known to be very sociable creatures. When they greet each other, they pick each other's feathers clean of parasites and bugs (a gesture of affection al reeting, equivalent to a hug). They are honest and very welcoming towards outsiders, notably humans. Among them (as well as the Kilrathi, and unlike Humans) a promise is binding for all time, and a social class devote themselves to keep them out of entangling promises.
Firekkan homes are designed like tree trunks with perches and knot holes in them; their towers are fashioned like reeds sewn together. Firekkan bars and pubs also possess perches as opposed to chairs.
Thanks to the few jump points into Antares Quadrant, Firekka was relatively isolated and far fro trade roots. The Firekkans evolved in isolation far from extraplanetary dangers such as the Kilrathi. The Terran Confederation was the first race that met them.
Humanity made their first known contact with the Firekkans in 2653, during the middle stages of the Kilrathi War. The two races quickly embraced each other as allies, and many Firekkans joined the Terrans in outer space. In 2655, Firekka joined the Terran Confederation, with the Confed Space Navy, led by the TCS Tiger's Claw and the TCS Austin, serving as the honorary guard. From this point on, the humans promised to defend the Firekkans from the Kilrathi threat, but their promise was to endure its first major test mere days after the treaty between the two races was signed on 2655.240.
Several days after the Firekkans joined the Terran Confederation, a enormous number of Kilrathi vessels from the frontlines swarmed into the Firekka System, including the new Snakeir-class Carriers. This was the source of much confusion to Confed, as Firekka held no strategic importance. Kilrathi ground forces then landed on Firekka and occupied the planet, imprisoning millions of Firekkans and trapping many Terran soldiers and diplomats on the ground. The diplomats were able to escape, but Confed became desperate to protect their new allies. The Tiger's Claw led the defensive efforts and was able to destroy several Kilrathi vessels, including at least two fully-loaded Snakeirs. Unfortunately, more Kilrathi vessels swarmed in and tightened their grip on the planet. A few weeks later, Kilrathi defector Ralgha nar Hhallas revealed to the Terrans that Firekka was selected by the Kilrathi to host the annual Sivar-Eshrad Ceremony. The ceremony was a time in which the Kilrathi prayed to their war god, Sivar, in order to gain his favor and in doing so, the guarantee of victory on the battlefield. If the Kilrathi failed to pray or if the ceremony was disrupted, they would supposedly lose Sivar's favor and be doomed to face defeat at the hands of the humans. A new planet was chosen as the hosting world every year by the Kilrathi priestesses, and Firekka just happened to be the choice for 2655. Humanity made plans to disrupt this ceremony and to deal a demoralizing blow to their Kilrathi opponents.
A few weeks after the Invasion of Firekka, Ralgha nar Hhallas and his new human allies devised a plan to disrupt the Sivar-Eshrad Ceremony. The humans would send in several battalions of marines loaded onto Drayman-class Transports down to Firekka's surface and assault the Kilrathi priestesses, hopefully ruining the ritual and intimidating the Kilrathi into retreat. On 2655.293, the marines launch their attack alongside Firekkan rebels, and the allies successfully disrupt the ceremony. The marines sustain devastating losses but are successful in executing the Kilrathi priestesses. Unfortunately, the Kilrathi do not retreat and instead capture several prominent Firekkan leaders, including Rikik, the daughter of Teehyn Ree Kree'kai. Kree'kai dies during these captures. Several members of the Terran Confederation eventually do assist the Firekkans in rescuing their leaders, saving them from certain death and establishing Rikik as the new Teehyn Ree.
Finally, after several weeks of fighting, the Terran Space Navy retreats from Firekka, leaving behind hundreds of soldiers and leaving the Firekkans to fend for themselves. The Tiger's Claw covers the retreat and she herself also flees the system, with some due reluctance from most of the crew. However, despite the failure of Confed to defend Firekka, the Firekkans successfully drive the Kilrathi off of their planet, their enemies burning with humiliation in their failure to appease their war god. On 2655.315, the last Kilrathi vessels departed from Firekka, liberating the planet and finally confirming Firekka as a member of the Terran Confederation.
The Firekkans openly supported humanity during the course of the Kilrathi War despite lacking the military manpower and technology by which to help them. However, many Firekkans departed from their planet to become pilots in the Terran Confederation, and many of them developed a close relationship with the humans.
Relations between the Terran Confederation and the Firekkans hit an all-time low in 2668 when the Terrans agreed to a temporary truce proposed by the Kilrathi Empire. The Firekkans, along with the Union of Border Worlds and the Free Republic of the Landreich, opposed the cease-fire due to the fact that the Kilrathi would never accept peace with any race. The Firekkans believed the cease-fire to be an elaborate act of deception. Sadly, Confed agreed to the cease-fire, forcing Teehyn Ree Rikik to withdraw Firekka from the Terran Confederation. Their claims about the cease-fire proved true when the Kilrathi nearly destroyed Confed in the disastrous Battle of Earth.
Firekka remained strong and prosperous after the end of the Kilrathi War in 2669 due to the fact that they were not attacked again by the Kilrathi. Their relationship with the Terrans was supposedly mended within the following years.
In 2678, the Firekkan Planetary Alliance was formed, and the Firekkans claimed the nearby planet of T'kirsa as their first colony. As of 2681, the Firekkan Planetary Alliance consists of both Firekka and T'kirsa.
- Kree'Kai: Former Teehyn Ree of Firekka. She was murdered by the Kilrathi on 2655.315 while attempting to save her daughter Rikik from her Kilrathi captors.
- K'Kai: Sister of Kree'kai and one of the first Firekkans to venture into outer space. Alongside her Terran allies, she was successful in saving Rikik and returned to Firekka.
- Rikik: Current Teehyn Ree of Firekka. She lost her mother when the Kilrathi abducted her while retreating from Firekka. She was soon rescued and became Teehyn Ree in her mother's place. She withdrew Firekka from the Terran Confederation in the wake of the fraudulent Kilrathi cease-fire.
- Larrhi: The first Firekkan to venture into outer space and an expert pilot. He became a close ally of the Terrans and frequently flew transports on their behalf.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 7
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Wing Commander I, Firekka series (Mission a1)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 2
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 10
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 3
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 9
- ↑ Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 6