Zhir-Chi'an of the Mur Tua'ansa.
Pronunciation: "Zhir" is pronounced with the soft zh sound as in "vision" or "mirage" and "Chi'an" is pronounced "chee-AHN". The "u" in Mur is pronounced as in "purr" and "Tua'ansa" is pronounced "TOO'ah AHN'sah".
Zhir-Chi'an--"Chi'an" to immediate family, and "Chi" to one especially close--stands 7 ft 3 in tall (221 cm) and weighs 220 lbs (99.8 kg), has black hair, gray skin with distinctive black markings, large fangs, ice blue colored slit pupil eyes, forward curving horns, and a slim though curvaceous figure. Her hands have three fingers (the middle is longest of the three) ending in strong claws, an opposable thumb, and the skin on the palm side of her hands is black. She has thick black hair on her head, on her arms from mid-forearm to the backs of her hands, and on her lower legs from just above her ankles down to her feet. Chi'an's feet, at first glance, resemble cloven hooves found on certain Terran land animals and G.E.L.F.s, though upon closer inspection, they are plantar instead of digitigrade, and have two large toes that end in wide, thick, and very hard pointed claws. Chi'an's tail is prehensile and quite strong, with the ability to grip as tightly as a Terran constrictor snake if needed. The black markings on her body are natural, and distinctive as fingerprints on a human. These markings allow for identification in low light and total darkness in a rather unique manner--they block light. If one were to look at her (or any other Mur Tua'ansa) with an infrared viewer, the black pattern on Chi'an's body will be easily apparent against her thermal image. In other words, the gray portion of her skin will seem to give off heat (albeit at a lower level than one might expect) while the black parts will look black (as if "cold"). Under strong ultraviolet light, her skin will slightly glow, though again, the black markings will not. This is a sort of natural camouflage, which makes them more difficult to see in the dark.
Zhir-Chi'an is usually somewhat shy and reserved at first, most likely due to her low birth order (she is the Third Daughter of her mother, Zhir-Rhi'an, and Nhir-Cor'ta, her father; Chi'an has two brothers who are between her and her sisters, making Chi'an number five). Given her birth order, Chi'an often comes and goes without drawing much attention. With little chance of becoming the mate of anyone of significance on her home world, Chi'an opted for duty in the Exploration Arm of the Mur Tua'ansa Imperial Space Service. During her first term, she was assigned to the Chel-Sar Se'nika, the ship that made First Contact with the Sol Federation. Zhir-Chi'an was among those rescued by the crew of S.F.S. Nightwing, SLG-78, from the Wurnak-Da'i Dominion who invaded Sol Federation space in sector 149 and set up an outpost on an uninhabited large moon orbiting a gas giant in a star system located there that her people had accidentally stumbled upon while exploring peacefully. Due to extenuating circumstances (she ended up becoming sexually involved with a member of the crew of the Terran ship, and then insisted upon accompanying him back to see his home world), Zhir-Chi'an was able to distinguish herself by becoming "Special Liaison" between her government and that of the Sol Federation. She is very intelligent, perceptive, intuitive, thoughtful, curious, and friendly, with the ability to adapt quickly to situations. Although she is generally easy going, Chi'an can become dangerously aggressive in certain circumstances--coupled with her greater than human strength and strong psi abilities, she makes for a formidable opponent when sufficiently angered. At 132 Earth years of age, Chi'an's mental and physical development is equivalent to a 25-year-old human woman.
The Mur Tua'ansa have a long lifespan compared to humans, typically living 625-675 standard Earth years. Since they are a (mostly) nocturnal race, they have slightly larger eyes than one would expect, which are sensitive to light from infrared through ultraviolet. The Mur Tua'ansa have naturally evolved with exceptionally strong psi abilities, particularly in the areas of telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation. Their society is strongly matriarchal, and birth order is very important with preference towards having a girl as the first-born. Marriages are often arranged according to clan alliances, with each family trying to better position itself by joining an eldest daughter to a son of a more prominent one. Although their appearances look frightening at first (especially to humans), the Mur Tua'ansa are actually quite friendly once the time is taken to get to know them, though they do tend to follow a strict matrilineal hierarchy and will take offense if certain protocols are not followed. However, they are tolerant (to a degree) and forgiving to well-meaning off-worlders who simply make a mistake due to lack of knowledge of the ways of the Mur Tua'ansa.
I drew this using a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil with HB lead, a little bit of a 6B graphite stick, a white eraser (for highlights), various blending and shading tools, on Georgia-Pacific's "Everyday Copy & Print" paper.
Art, character(s), and story © 2013-2015 Ronald J. Lebeck (that's me).