The Bino Faata are a race of humanoids from Mikhail Akhmanov's Arrivals from the Dark series of novels.They are the primary antagonists in the first two novels (Invasion and Retaliation), after which they are only mentioned.
They are an alien race with features that are nearly identical to humans and physiology that is similar to allow for interbreeding. Their facial features have subtle differences that make them look strange but beautiful to humans. Their chins are too pointy, their eyes are too far apart, and their eyes are blue with their gray irises being lost in them. Their mouths looks slightly like beaks, with the middle drooping, and the upper lip overhanging the lower a bit. The first humans to encounter them compared them to elves, partly due to their tall, thin figures.
The current state of their civilization includes a rigid caste system, where each caste is a genetically-engineered subspecies. In fact, the name "Bino Faata" only applies to the ruling caste, as the word "bino" means "sentient". The other castes are called "t'ho" or "semi-sentient". The Bino Faata are engineered to live for centuries, if not millennia. The t'ho are, on the contrary, designed to live for a few years at most and are treated as little more than disposable tools. T'ho castes include (but are not limited to) workers, olks (soldiers/guards), ksa (breeder females kept in perpetual stasis), and pilots.
The Bino Faata possess psychic powers, which allow them to communicate with their organic computers (sometimes called "quasi-minds"), which are, actually, a piece of technology left behind by the Daskins (precursors, who used to dominate the galaxy long ago). They use the computers to telepathically control all t'ho (who are outfitted with implants that allow them to receive telepathic commands).
Another interesting biological quirk of the Faata involves reproduction. Unlike humans, the Faata have monthly mating periods brought on by periodic hormonal surges (called tuahha). In the past, this was how the Faata reproduced. The modern Faata consider sexual reproduction to be barbaric, inefficient, and random. This is why they use ksa females as breeders, with artificial insemination being used to direct the bloodlines. Despite centuries of genetic engineering, they have been unable to eliminate tuahha. Thus, even the ruling Bino Faata must occasionally go into t'hami stasis to wait for tuahha to pass.
The leaders of a starship or a colony (and there can be several colonies on a single planet) compose a so-called Sheaf. The Pillar of Order is the first in the Sheaf, whose authority over the colony/ship is unlimited. He is followed by the Strategist (AKA the Guardian of the Heavens), who commands the military forces of the colony/ship. The third is the Intermediary (AKA the Speaker with the Bino Tegari), who is responsible for studying local languages and cultures in order to find weaknesses and better integrate local races into the Faata empire. The Keeper of Communications is the fourth in line and is in charge of communication with the quasi-sentient organic computers and, though them, the t'ho. The latter is generally chosen from among the most psychically-gifted.
The nature of the Bino Faata psychic abilities restricts them to interactions only within their species. Attempts to psychically link with humans have resulted in failure and at least one death. Human/Faata hybrids are able to interact with members of both races on a psychic level.
The Faata language (Faata'liu) is largely impossible to reproduce by humans, except for those who undergo surgery to be able to speak it. The Faata themselves are perfectly capable of learning some, if not all, human languages and speaking them. For example, the phrase "T’taia orr n’uk’uma sirend’agi patta" means "A sirend came out to the sun and is basking in the warmth of the stones", a sirend being a small blue-skinned lizard native to T'har.
The unnamed homeworld of the Faata is located in the Pegasus Arm of the galaxy. It is estimated that they have hundreds of colonies established throughout their arm, but now they set their sights on the Orion Arm.
The Faata used to be a more human-like society until an unspecified planet-scale disaster struck their homeworld, resulting in the total collapse of their civilization. That event became known as the First Eclipse. A vision seen by a human-Faata hybrid shows thousands of people gathering in a wide-open square in a panic, followed by the skyscrapers around them collapsing and crushing everyone. Apparently, the two continents on their planet were entirely covered in cities, with a large island between them dedicated to producing organic material to be processed into nutrients to feed everyone.
After the enormous death toll and the total disorder, it took the Faata centuries to get back on their feet. They have rediscovered many lost technologies, including space flight, and sent out sublight expeditions to nearby stars. However, their population remained catastrophically low, resulting in a genetic bottleneck, which eventually led to the Second Eclipse.
When their astronauts returned, they found degraded savages roaming the planet. Disgusted, they reformed their society, putting themselves at the top and turning the planet-bound Faata into servant castes using genetic engineering. Fearful of another Eclipse, they are driven by the desire to prevent it from ever happening. As such, their society is dedicated to unlimited expansion in the hopes that it will stave off the Third Eclipse. Despite the fact that they have settled hundreds of worlds, their low birth rate means that their total population is only a few billion, and only a tiny fraction of them are Bino Faata.
Prior to the novel Invasion, the Faata have already established three colonies at the edge of the Orion Arm near the empty area of space between the arms known as the Void. The colonies (Ro'on, T'har, and Aezat) are located in two systems that humans will later dub Beta Malleus and Gamma Malleus. After some time, the Faata there build a new starship to send deeper into the Orion Arm in order to reinforce their presence in this area of space and also to establish an outpost against the aggression of local star-faring races, such as the Haptors, the Dromi, and the Kni'lina. It's preferable for the crew to find a planet populated by a primitive race that can be subjugated and used for slave labor or even re-engineered into a new caste of t'ho.
In 2088, the Faata starship arrives to the Solar System after picking up radio signals while scouting nearby stars. When passing near Jupiter, they detect the presence of a ship belonging to the Silmarri, a race of worm-like space nomads. The starship's battle modules overwhelms and destroy the Silmarri ship with anti-matter fire, which results in a flare of gamma radiation that is picked up by an astronomer an observatory in orbit around Earth. Based on signals received from the third planet, the Faata determine that humans have advanced into the space-exploration stage but are still fairly primitive, having established only token outposts in their own system and having no capability of traveling outside of it.
The starship remains invisible to primitive human sensors by simply using its shield to block any radiation from escaping it. Soon after the battle with the Silmarri, the Faata detects the approach of a primitive human warships. The Lark is a United Space Forces cruiser, diverted to investigate the gamma-ray flash near Jupiter. The cruiser's captain orders the launch of four fighters to extend the ship's sensor range. The starship tries to bring the Lark aboard with a tractor beam, only for the human captain to panic and launch a spread of magnetically-accelerated icicles called swarms. The starship's organic computer not only deflects the shot with the shields but also amplifies the return velocity, causing the icicles to shred the cruiser and one of the fighters, leaving only the three other fighter pilots alive. The pilots are then taken aboard.
Intermediary Iveh, whose responsibilities include studying local races in order to find ways of communicating with them, as well as ways to defeat them more easily, tries to study the three captured humans. An attempt by him to mind-probe Lieutenant Richard Corcoran results in the human dying. His lover Lieutenant Abigail McNeil becomes hysterical and is taken by the Faata. Iveh puts her in t'hami, a form of stasis that accelerated certain vital processes, including gestation, and artificially inseminates her with Faata seed to test for the possibility of creating a hybrid servant race with psychic powers.
The remaining captive, Lieutenant Commander Pavel Litvin, manages to escape his cell with the help of a telepathic device that allows him to communicate with and give orders to the ship's computer. He uses his military training to evade detection and capture, while conducting sabotage efforts aboard the ship.
Several weeks later, while passing the orbit of the fourth planet, the starship encounters a small human fleet, sent there to intercept a hypothetical alien ship. The Faata decide to reveal themselves to humans and "decloak" their ship. Iveh pretends to engage in diplomatic negotiations with Admiral Timokhin, the commander of the fleet, who has strict orders to keep the aliens away from Earth. Finally, after days of fruitless talk, the Faata launch battle modules and easily dispatch the primitive ships, while their starship's shields shrug off a nuclear missile volley with the combined strength of 140 gigaton. The battle is recorded and sent to human leaders as a testament to Faata might.
During the confusion, Litvin manages to commandeer one of the small battle modules and fires its weapon several times inside the ship, causing damage.
The Faata starship gets to Earth and receives messages of welcome from Earth's leaders, who suggest it land in a particular spot, hoping to use the remaining fleets to strike at the grounded ship from above. The Faata choose instead to land in the Antarctic in order to gather ice for repairs to the damage inflicted by Litvin. They also launch battle modules and send them to major Earth cities as a warning not to try anything.
A member of the shapeshifting Metamorph species, who has been living on Earth for centuries as an observer, teleports aboard the starship and gives Litvin the means to destroy the organic computer. Litvin does so, resulting in all of the ship's systems failing and the entire crew dying. The intention is for the now-empty ship to be studied and reverse-engineered in order to allow humanity to become a star-faring race and provide a counter-balance to the expansionist Faata. The Metamorph also teleports Litvin, McNeil, and a female t'ho named Yo to safety. McNeil gives birth to a human-Faata hybrid, naming him Paul Richard Corcoran after Pavel Litvin and his official father Richard Corcoran. Unfortunately for humanity, the destruction of the starship causes the battle modules to crash and explode, with the death toll being close to 40 million and many historical and cultural artifacts being lost.
In 2125, a human battlegroup composed of five heavy cruisers and a frigate arrives to the Gamma Malleus system in order to pay the Faata back for their attack on Earth. The frigate Commodore Litvin is captained by Paul Richard Corcoran, who is sent there because his unique abilities allow him to sense emotions of both humans and Faata. Meanshile, the Faata in the colony worlds have no idea that their starship was destroyed and are in the process of constructing three more. Corcoran and his friend Klaus Siebel (actually, that same Metamorph) go down to Ro'on's surface in a recovered battle module and end up confronting Corcoran's biological father Dyte, which results in Dyte's death. Corcoran and Siebel then destroy two immature organic computers being grown for the ships (one is already installed on the nearly-complete ship). The human cruisers strike at the asteroid shipyard, where the Faata are building their ships and cripple their defenses. Commodore Vrba, the commander of the battlegroup, orders the Faata to take their remaining unarmed ship and go back to the Pegasus Arm. The Bino Faata and some of the higher-ranking t'ho leave, swearing revenge on humanity.
The Void WarsEdit
What follows are four devastating conflicts known as the Void Wars (2134-2261), as they primarily take place in and around the Void between the Orion and the Pegasus Arms. The Faata continue to make attempts to invade human space, starting with retaking their lost colonies but are repulsed each time, despite the heavy losses on both sides.
The Fourth Void War has finally pushed the Faata to the brink of the Third Eclipse, and they no longer pose a serious threat to humanity. At the very least, they make no more attempts to attack their former colonies, although there are occasional clashes between picket ships in the Void.
The Faata are one of the most advanced races encountered by humanity. Their technology includes the contour drive (the only known method of faster-than-light travel), gravity manipulation (allows for gravitic sublight propulsion, tractor beams, artificial gravity aboard ships and stations, grav-suspension on planetary vehicles, maintaining integrity in large-scale structures, including starships, and grav-lifts for moving between floors), anti-matter (used for their most destructive space-based weapon - the annihilator), and force fields (used for defensive shields and doors on planets and aboard ships).
They typically build enormous cylindrical starships (5-6 kilometers in length). The starships themselves are unarmed but can launch hundreds of cruiser-sized battle modules and thousands of fighter-sized battle modules to overwhelm any enemy. Battle modules may vary in size, but they always have the same configuration (may have observed that they look like jerrycans) and are armed with a single annihilator (firepower level depends on the size).
Despite being active participants in only two novels, the Faata play a key role in the series by being the reason for humanity's rise from a primitive race barely capable of leaving its own planet to a powerful interstellar federation that proceeds to prove it has what it takes to be a galactic superpower. Without the Faata, it would have taken humanity centuries to develop technology such as the faster-than-light drive and anti-matter weapons, which not all races even have after centuries of space travel. The Void Wars between humanity and the Faata stimulate the expansion of humanity's space forces and the development of new weapons and technology.
Additionally, Paul Richard Corcoran, a human-Faata hybrid, and his descendants play key roles in humanity's growth among the stars.
Notable Faata Edit
Note: This list also includes human-Faata hybrids and their descendants.
- Yata: the Pillar of Order of the starship that arrives to the Solar System in 2088. In a movie filmed several decades after the failed invasion, Yata is played by Peter Van Damme, who is descended from Jean-Claude Van Damme.
- Iveh: the Intermediary of the same starship; due to his position, he is the one who usually interacts with humans.
- Dyte: one of the Keepers of Communications on the planet Ro'on. He is Paul Richard Corcoran's biological father by virtue of his genetic material being used to artificially inseminate Abigail McNeil. He was, in fact, many light years away at the time.
- Paul Richard Corcoran: the result of Abigail McNeil being artificially inseminated with Dyte's genetic material. Due to his hybrid nature, he is able to use his psychic gifts to read the minds of both humans and Faata. His vocal cords are also able to produce the necessary sounds to speak Faata'liu (in addition to Earth languages). Spends his life fighting the Faata, eventually attaining the rank of Admiral.
- Sergey Valdez: Paul Richard Corcoran's great-grandson. Possesses Corcoran's psychic abilities. Spends almost a decade fighting the Faata, then joins up as a mercenary for the Lo'ona Aeo before spending his remaining years fighting the Dromi (as an Admiral).
- Mark Valdez: the son of Sergey Valdez. Spends some time fighting the Dromi and participates in liberating his home planet T'har from Dromi occupation. Possesses psychic powers. Later becomes an Arbiter of Justice.
- Kseniya Valdez: the daughter of Sergey Valdez. Member of the resistance on T'har during Dromi occupation. Assists her brother in liberating the planet. Possesses psychic powers, although not to the same extent as Mark. Marries Olaf Peter Carlos Trevelyan-Krasnogortsev.
- Erik Trevelyan: descendant of Kseniya Valdez. Serves as a cultural attaché in the diplomatic mission sent to the Haptors, following the Five Year War. Possesses psychic powers.
- Ivar Trevelyan: descendant of Kseniya Valdez (about 500 years removed). Serves as an operative of the Foundation for the Development of Alien Cultures. Later discovers that he has latent psychic powers, which are awakened by an interaction with an ancient Daskin artifact.