Ehm'ayla Ehm'ayla--click for larger view
Species: Sah'aaran
Sex: Female
Born: November 2, 2327, Sah'saalan, Sah'aar
Parents: Ehm'naala, mother; Sah'surraa, father
Sibling: Sah'sell
Mated (and legally married) to Joel Aaron Abrams, June 2359.
Children: Ehm'rael Sarah and Thomas Sah'surraa Abrams (see below.)
Current Occupation: Commodore, Survey Division, Terran/Centaurii Alliance Combined Forces; Head of Archaeology Department, TCA Planetary Research Center, Monterey, California, Terra.
Previous Assignments: Graduated CF Officer's Academy, 2349. Served as Compcomm aboard EV Point Cabrillo until transferred to ESV Zelazny in 2353. Promoted to Lieutenant in 2354. Served aboard SV Raven as Anthro-Paleo Scispec briefly in 2356; transferred back to Zelazny and promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Promoted to full Commander in 2359, transferred to the Planetary Research Center as assistant to Commodore Josiah Green. Made head of Archaeology Department in 2364. Promoted to Commodore in June 2378.
Hobbies and Interests: tennis, watercolor painting, backpacking, gardening, kayaking, rockhounding.
Distinguishing marks: bare patch encircling right wrist, with silver and red tattoo-like markings.
Comments: Strong-willed and aggressive, Ehm'ayla nonetheless has a streak of insecurity which she has found very hard to defeat. In her youth she clashed often with her domineering, control-oriented father, who insisted that she remain on Sah'aar and join the family publishing business. Inspired by her childhood hero, Commodore Ehm'rael, Ehm'ayla joined the CF. Assigned as a Compcomm, she performed her duties with distinction, but her transfer to Anthro-Paleo Scispec brought forth her natural talents. She is now regarded as one of the leading authorities in her field. Befriended by Joel Aaron Abrams during their Officer's Academy days, she was delighted to serve with him aboard Raven, but angered and disappointed when he failed to protect her from the racist Captain Antilles. Realizing later that Joel had feared for her safety as much as his own, she was able to forgive him. After a chance meeting on Terra and a rekindling of the affair that began aboard Raven, she chose to remain with him forever, using nanotech to alter her body chemistry so she could bond with him--and giving up the chance to command a Survey vessel. Denied the opportunity to adopt by authorities on both Terra and Sah'aar, Ehm'ayla and Joel decided to have children by artificial insemination, using sperm donated by Ehm'ayla's old friend and teacher, Dr. Sah'larrah. The burden of being a mother of twins, plus a high-ranking CF officer, is heavy, but Ehm'ayla would not have it any other way.

Abrams, Joel Aaron
Species: Terran Human
Sex: Male
Born: April 25, 2327, Atherton, California, Terra
Parents: Thomas and Lucille Abrams
Siblings: Older Brother, Jacob; younger sister, Rachel
Married to Ehm'ayla, June 2359
Children (by adoption): Thomas Sah'surraa Abrams, Ehm'rael Sarah Abrams
Current Occupation: freelance consulting engineer, based in Pacific Grove, California, Terra
Previous occupation: Combined Forces Techspec Crew Chief, SV Raven. Graduated CF Officer's Academy, 2349; served as Techspec trainee aboard Patrol cutter John Sutter until 2353. Transferred to Centaurus Shipyard, promoted to Lieutenant. Transferred to SV Raven 2355; promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Resigned CF commission in 2356, in the wake of the Captain Antilles scandal and a court-martial conviction for Conduct Unbecoming. After wandering the galaxy for a time, returned to Terra and built a civilian career.
Hobbies and Interests: tennis, golf, backpacking, aquarium-keeping, kayaking
Distinguishing marks: sharply receding hairline; and (upon resignation from CF) a full beard. Hair dark brown; eyes pale blue.
Comments: a good man thrust into a bad situation, Joel has spent years regretting the unfortunate choices he made during the Raven affair. He resigned his commission because he truly felt himself no longer worthy to wear the Combined Forces uniform, and has refused the CF's several attempts to reinstate him. Deeply in love with Ehm'ayla since their Officer's Academy days, he was ecstatic and humbled when she chose to forgive him and become his mate. He is very aware of the responsibility of being married to a Sah'aaran, and knows that it would likely destroy her utterly if he were ever to "stray." For that reason, and many others, he is determined to stay true to her as long as he lives. Deep inside he harbors a great deal of guilt for his actions aboard Raven, a fact with which Ehm'ayla can--and often does, though not consciously--manipulate him. An excellent engineer, Joel has an analytical mind and a phlegmatic, somewhat low-key personality. Only one thing is sure to move him to wrath: a threat to his wife or children. As a parent he is easygoing, but not permissive; though Ehm'rael can manipulate him as easily as her mother. Before the kits were born, Joel worried that he would not be able to relate to them, or they to him; but that fear has proved groundless. He is proud (and not a little alarmed) to be a role-model for his Sah'aaran son.

Abrams, Ehm'rael Sarah ("Rae")Ehm'rael Abrams--click for a larger view
Species: Sah'aaran
Sex: Female
Born: May 30, 2362, Monterey, California, Terra
Parents (biological): Commodore Ehm'ayla, mother; Dr. Sah'larrah, father (by sperm donation.) Joel Aaron Abrams, adoptive father.
Sibling: Thomas Sah'surraa Abrams (twin brother)
Bonded to Sah'larssh, June 2378.
Current Occupation: Student, Pacific Grove High, Pacific Grove, California, Terra
Career Aspirations: writer and photographer
Hobbies and interests: baseball (pitcher), tennis, swimming, kayaking, poetry, writing, photography, backpacking.
Distinguishing marks: a wide band of speckled, light-colored "baby fur" running down  spine, from the back of the neck to the base of the tail.
Comments: extremely intelligent, Ehm'rael is far more patient than her brother, and more than once has been called upon to save him from himself. She has a sly, sarcastic sense of humor, and is easily the match for Tom in a battle of wits. Physically strong and extremely agile, she has even been known to beat him at wrestling on occasion. Like her mother, she can be somewhat sensitive and self-doubting, but she lacks the  "take-no-prisoners" aggressiveness with which Ehm'ayla masks these traits. Though generally able to handle herself well in a crisis, under certain kinds of stress she tends to "fold," to retreat within herself. Has been known on rare occasions to suffer anorexia. Extremely artistic, she is especially gifted with words--Terran and Sah'aaran--and with the camera. Fortunately, her bond-mate seems well suited to handle both her emotional fragility and her enormous talents. Though she loves her father, and her life, Ehm'rael does sometimes regret being so different from the rest of her species. Lately she has made a concerted effort to reconnect with her Sah'aaran roots.

Abrams, Thomas Sah'surraa ("Tom") Tom Abrams--click for a larger view
Species: Sah'aaran
Sex: Male
Born: May 30, 2362, Monterey, California, Terra
Parents (biological): Commodore Ehm'ayla, mother; Dr. Sah'larrah, father (by sperm donation.) Joel Aaron Abrams, adoptive father.
Sibling: Ehm'rael Sarah Abrams (twin sister)
Bonded to Ehm'tassaa, June 2378.
Current Occupation: Student, Pacific Grove High, Pacific Grove, California, Terra
Career Aspirations: engineer
Hobbies and interests: baseball (first base), golf, swimming, kayaking, surfing, rock-climbing, backpacking, mathematics.
Distinguishing marks: slightly darker, reddish-brown fur from toes to heels, giving a "muddy feet" appearance.
Comments: Intelligent, quick-witted and well-meaning, Tom Abrams does have one unfortunate trait: he is utterly unable to stay out of trouble. Though he emulates the phlegmatic, analytical habits of his human father in most ways, Tom has inherited a full measure of his mother's "fools rush in" impulsivity. Far more at home on the baseball diamond than at an Embassy reception, he nevertheless feels incredibly fortunate to have bonded with an ambassador's daughter, the beautiful blackfur Ehm'tassaa. In behavior, speech and dress, Tom favors the human half of his upbringing; he utterly refused to wear a collar until persuaded by his bond-mate. Though very aware that his Terran childhood has estranged him from his species, Tom is generally quite satisfied with his "mixed" personality. But when threatened, he very quickly becomes 100% Sah'aaran. Tom's innate mathematical abilities, and his definite knack for things mechanical, make his success as an engineer all but assured--much to his father's delight.

Species: Sah'aaran
Sex: Female
Born: June 11, 2362, Sah'salaan Continent, Sah'aar
Parents: Ambassador Sah'churaaf, father; Dr. Ehm'varra, mother
Sibling: Sah'hael, twin brother
Bonded to Thomas Sah'surraa Abrams, June 2378
Current occupation: student; privately tutored at the Sah'aaran Embassy, San Francisco, California, Terra
Career Aspirations: Computers and communications
Hobbies and interests: Gymnastics, computers, antique collecting, astronomy
Distinguishing marks: Jet-black fur and mane, emerald-green eyes
Comments: A "blackfur," and the daughter of an ambassador and a famous sociologist, Ehm'tassaa has grown up very much in the public eye, a fact which she endures but never enjoys. She is determined to make her own way in the world, relying on her own intelligence and determination, rather than her looks or her parents' influence. She is proud and happy to be bonded with Tom Abrams--though she sometimes has difficulty understanding his human-influenced sensibilities--and looks forward to the day when they can begin their mated life. She was extremely upset and ashamed when her father foolishly attempted to thwart the bonding, and greatly relieved when her mother arrived to set matters right. From the ages of eight to fifteeh, Ehm'tassaa was a champion gymnast, and won a number of prizes; but following her move to Terra, she fell out of practice, and probably will not compete again. She is well aware that her fur and mane make her an object of adoration wherever she goes, but her innate sincerity prevents her from capitalizing on this. She has occasionally wished that she had been born with "normal" coloration, but her bonding with Tom has helped her accept herself as she is.

Species: Sah'aaran
Sex: Male
Born: December 9, 2360, Sah'taam Continent, Sah'aar
Parents: Sah'martaa, father; Ehm'faas, mother
Sibling: Ehm'talak, twin sister
Bonded to Ehm'rael Sarah Abrams, June 2378
Current occupation: student, Sah'salaan University, Sah'aar
Career aspirtations: poet, writer and book editor
Hobbies and interests: writing, poetry, hunting, chess, zero-G jai-alai
Distinguishing marks: extremely fluffy fur, especially in winter; inherited from his Sah'taam Continent mother. Light-colored fur, reddish-brown mane with faint burnt-orange stripes; a somewhat wide and flattened muzzle with a small nose.
Comments: The son of a geologist and a meteorologist, and the grandson of engineers, Sah'larssh's interests nonetheless lie along a very different path. Introspective, thoughtful and kind-hearted, he is by no means ineffectual: in fact he is physically strong and active, an accomplished (and usually successful) hunter. Ecstatic to be bonded with Rae Abrams, whose interests so parallel his, he became carried away and insisted that she set up housekeeping with him immediately. She refused, and he gradually grew reconciled to waiting. A published poet already, he is virtually guaranteed a editing career with Sah'surraa Publishing once he graduates from college. In his youth he was extremely jealous of his sister Ehm'talak, who, because of her severe physical disabilities, monopolized their parents' attention. He has since realized how foolish those feelings were. He forsees a long and happy life with Ehm'rael, and hopes to break her both of her latent shyness and some of her human-engendered habits. In that last, however, he may be in for a surprise.

Species: Sah'aaran
Sex: Female
Born: December 9, 2360, Sah'taam Continent, Sah'aar
Parents: Sah'martaa, father; Ehm'faas, mother
Sibling: Sah'larssh, twin brother
Not yet bonded
Current occupation: student, Sah'salaan University, Sah'aar
Career aspirations: biomechanical engineering and nanotechnology
Hobbies and interests: religion, tinkering with mechanical objects, walking, hunting, philosophy
Distinguishing marks: completely artificial arms, legs and tail, copper-colored metal with black palms and foot-pads; occasionally (seldom) covered with artificial-fur sleeves.
Comments: Sah'larssh's twin sister was the victim of Rrr'maal Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic defect which weakens and distorts the skeleton. (Sah'larssh, being her fraternal rather than identical twin, was not affected.) The condition was discovered prenatally, and using nanotechnology, her grandfather Sah'majha was able to strengthen and straighten her spine, hips, pelvis, shoulders, ribs and skull. Unfortunately, however, the buds from which her limbs and tail should have grown never formed. From the age of two Ehm'talak has been equipped with a series of sophisticated prosthetics, based on Sah'majha's own Chrysaoan-designed limbs. Clumsy and awkward at first, she has since achieved an astounding (and somewhat eerie) degree of gracefulness. The only activity from which she is barred is swimming--which, for a Sah'aaran, is scarcely a hardship. During her childhood and early teenage years she was filled with anger; at her parents, at the universe, and at the Goddess. In a sense this was a good thing; it made her a fighter, fiercely determined to overcome her handicaps. But when her rage threatened to become self-destructive, her grandmother Ehm'rael had to take a hand, and demonstrate that the Goddess could bring her peace, if Ehm'talak would allow Her to. Ehm'talak seldom wears the artificial-fur "sleeves" designed to cover her prosthetics, finding them uncomfortable, and has long since learned to ignore the stares of passersby. The right male will be fortunate to have her as a bond-mate.

More to Come!


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