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A female Firekkan Captain. She was born into the WhiteFlower flock.

BiographyEdit

She was a maverick for a Firekkan and as soon as her species were introduced to the concept of spaceflight by the Terran Confederation, she followed the example of her idol Larrhi and broke away from her (terrified) family flock. She went to the spaceport and demanded to be trained. She became a freighter Captain, or Kep-tain as the Firekkans pronounce it, delivering cargoes for the Confederat.[1] Her sister Kree'Kai became the flock-leader.[2]

PilotEdit

One time in the Vega Sector, Hunter was assigned as her fighter escort, and they got to know each other over the comlink during the hours of the trip. He protected her freighter aganst a wing of 4 Jalthi single-handedly; K'Kai assisted him by taking short turns to force the enemy ships directly in front of his guns.[1]

With time, she was joined by other "misfit" Firekkans who looked forward to leaving their planet. She trained her crew herself and became the matriarch of her own "flock". She and her crew were mentioned in Newsvids and she and Larrhi are considered heroes and brave adventurers among her people.[1]

Years after leaving her planet, she returned to witness the treaty-signing with the Confederation. When the TCS Tiger's Claw visited the Firekka system, Captain St. John finally met her in the Red Flower. After having many rounds of Firekka's Finest, she took him to see the midnight ceremnies in the local Fire-Temple. After more rounds, she attended and won a night race. After more rounds, and her crew having left them, she was staggering and led Hunter to the Visitor's Nest.[1]

While in her freighter she received the invitation to descend upon the family nest with her own flock in tow. Hearing that the Kilrathi were coming to the system, she decided to make peace with her family as she perhaps would have no other chance; but she decided to go alone so as not to seem that she is tipping the balance of power in WhiteFlower. She ordered a complete shakedown of the freighter; both to keep her fledglings busy; and to have her freighter ready for the Kilrathi. During the chores she secretly left the ship and headed for the WhiteFlower family tower. There she was welcomed by her father and she joined the family roost by most of the younger members of the flock.[2]

She felt welcome in the mainmeal, but during the ensuing flock-dance she was ignored, as its patterns left her roosting. Some "interrogated" her as to why she wanted to leave, and tried to convey her dream to them. Finally, she left the dance and sat on a perch out of the way. As she was sitting, Rikik approached her inquiring about the spaceship and the stars. She did her best to describe her thrill and Rikik expressed her wish to see all these. Kree'Kai spotted her niece conversing with her renegade aunt, and called her back to the dance with an irritated squawk. The encounter left her feeling very depressed, and before long she took her formal leave and returned to her ship.[2]

ResistanceEdit

K'Kai stayed on the planet when the Kilrathi started to invade them for the Sivar-Eshrad ceremony. The Diplomatic Corps abandoned the planet and the Terran pilots attempted to assist as many Firekkans as they could before the TCS Tiger's Claw and the TCS Austin had to retreat. K'Kai stayed behind to coordinating the evacuation, making it as costly for the Kilrathi as possible with the Terran weapons. Because of her knowledge of space combat, she had been chosen as Shenrikke to lead her people against the Kilrathi invasion. Hunter, neglecting orders, visited her on the planet to see how she fared and offered to take her off-world to safety but she refused. She stayed on the barren rock watching him as he was leaving.[3]

The Confed sent Confederation Marines long enough to stage their attack against the Kilrathi religious ceremony, but then they departed. With their towers destroyed, operating from a cave, K'Kai's team inflicted great casualties upon the Kilrathi the following days.[3]

The Kilrathi brought all their landing ships from all over the continent to K'Kai's valley. She organized an attack against them, concentrating on a warship, which she believe was their command center. She wondered why the Kilrathi left so few troops and watchmen. Then they saw that the soldiers moved into the ships which started to take off, one after the other. Among the hostages embarking were flock-leaders and leader-kindred, but also Rikik. Kree'Kai ignored K'Kai and dived to rescue her, followed by K'Kai and other warriors who launched screaming from the nearby cliffs, in an attempt to rescue the hostages. The ships's turrets tracked their movements, one of which killed Kree'Kai. K'Kai saw Rikik and other hostages shoved into the ship and the door was shut.[3]

She retreated on a high ledge seeing the Kilrathi ships leaving the planet. The warriors celebrated but K'Kai knew they'd return.[3]

With the leaders captive, the planet was all but subjugated to Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka. One of his first orders was to pinion every adult to make them ground-bound. Hearing this, K'Kai spread the idea to convince the Kilrathi that removing only the first two secondaries on each wing would make them unable to fly; all nests planted the misinformation in their own records, and feigned loss of flight when the feathers were removed.[4]

Under these threats the leaders were forced to cancel the treaty. With her freighter she reached the TCS Tiger's Claw in Confed space to warn the Terrans of these developments. She docked on Flight Deck A-5 and they were welcomed by Colonel Peter Halcyon, but they were so distressed that he couldn't make heads or tails of what they were saying, and called for Hunter. After many repetitions and questions, Hunter managed to undertand what K'Kai tried to tell him. He tried to calm her down and bullied his way to Captain Thorn and left K'Kai in his office, having confidence in him that she will be taken to the right people in the Confed High Command.[4]

On Sol StationEdit

She was taken to Sol Station, and at Hunter's advice, she brought her case before Confederation High Command, warning that unless the Firekkan hostages were freed, her people would be coerced to do anything, even cancel the treaty. The humans could give nothing more than vague promises. During the passing of several actionless days, she was told in the meetings that there were Kilrathi fleet maneuvers near Ghorah Khar Station, so that it was too risky, and then that, because of other obligations in the Enigma Sector, there weren't resources available to spare for such a rescue attempt. They told her to choose new leaders, something unthinkable for the Firekkans.[5][6] She started considering to make her own, probably doomed attempt. That day, she spotted a young Kilrathi prisoner, whom she surmised was one of the defectors Hunter had mentioned.[5]

Back in her quarters and the computer console, she used her persuasiveness to arrange an interview with the Kilrathi prisoner. She also checked if the Kilrathi could consume kika'li. The Terrans agreed, and after Kirha swore that he would not harm K'Kai, they let them sit in a table without guards.[5]

K'Kai started talking to Kirha about the common things the Kilrathi and Firekkans share: a sense of honor and a flock/pack based society; and how different humans were from them, as they were hairless/featherless and relied on technology rather than beaks or fangs. K'Kai found the ideal drinking partner, another alien stranded in a sea of deceitful hairless apes; she produced a bottle of Firekka's Finest and 2 vessels. Ensuring him it was not poison, Kirha was more than excited tasting it. As they were both being intoxicated, K'Kai revealed to him that the Kilrathi took hostages and wanted from humans to save them but the "flightless mudbrains" in High Command kept saying that they cannot do anything. Kirha agreed that Prince's decision to use hostages violated the Warrior's Code.[5]

Days later, she demanded to speak with James Taggart as he was is in charge of the covert operation near Ghorah Khar, however she didn't have the authorisation to enter that room any more. She refused to leave, until Hunter, who was hearing the bickering, came from Kirha's holding cell. He scolded the guard for holding back a Firekkan ambassador and took her inside leaving him complaining.[6]

Inside, he was surprised seeing that K'Kai and Kirha had already become friends. She related to him the situation on Firekka, the capture of their leaders and the inability of the Confed to help them. Hunter conspired with them to arrange their own rescuing operation.[6]

Personality and traitsEdit

She has a characteristic grin-gape on her beak, and defiance in her eyes.[1] As a "renegade", she is not very religious and doesn't believe in fate or destiny.[1] Her sister always claimed she could manipulate her way into or out of any situation. She had taken the extra training from the Confed language tapes allowed her to speak with authority outside the nests[5]

She piloted an old, battered freighter, outmoded with plumes, beaks and half-erased Firekkan writing on its nose.[4] What excited her with flying a spaceship was the fact that she controlled something larger and stronger than her according to her will, sailing among the invisible winds of space, instead of sailing an atmospheric wind, and being the first of her species that would see some things. Her feelings were not shared even among her crew, as many followed her because of her charisma or enthusiasm.[2] With her natural talents as an avian species, she maneuvered her ship in seemingly impossible manners.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 3
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 7
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 8
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon, Freedom Flight, Chapter 9
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named fr10

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