Created by: Garry Stahl
Number of Members: 12 billion
Nature of Members: Fresians are bipedal equinoid mammals. They have long muzzled faces that resemble Earth horses with a thick profusion of hair that is rooted to the center of their back. They have three fingers on each hand, a long haired tail and tri-cloven hooves. Their ears are mobile, but not as mobile as a true horse. Emotion is often shown by the position of the ears. Their entire body is covered in a fine hair. They are omnivores. Females have two mammaries in the usual bipedal position of the pectoral region. They are not as prominent as found on humanoids.
It has been noted that humanoids seem willing to mate with anything, and humans more than most. The opposite can be said of equinoids. Scent has more to do with sex that with many humanoid species, and if the scent is not right, nothing happens. Even Green Orions, famous for being able to arouse even Vulcans can't get a rise out of Fresians.
Fresians are placental mammals. They give birth to single young after a 10 month gestation. Multiple births are rare, and considered a cause for great concern and monitoring of the female. Seldom, even with modern medical treatment, can twins be brought to term. A successful birth of triplets would get the kind of notoriety that humans reserve for sextuplets.
The infant is helpless and requires the full care and attention of the parents. It will be dependent on its mother for nourishment for eight months to a year. It will be fully dependent on it's parents for a minimum of ten years. The child will be starting to eat modified solid food by the age of 9-10 months. It will be fully weaned by a year and a half at the latest. Self mobility begins in the first year, and the child will be walking well by the time it is two years of age. Speech is also achieved by this time.
Young childhood is a time of learning and ease. Protected in the cocoon of the family the young child is safe and free to explore the world at large, or at least their corner of it. While some parents begin formal education within this period, the more popular choice is to wait until the traditional age of six before beginning formal education.
A Fresian reaches sexual maturity at age 12 and the desire, if not the financial and social ability, exists to find a mate. The urge to mate is strong in Fresians, provided the right scents are in the air. In the closed environment of a school room trying to learn with newly mature females would be unbearable to the newly mature male. Likewise, the females would be furthered excited by the excited males, and the situation escalates into an explosion of unrequited hormones. For that reason education is segregated by gender from the 10th year onward. It is the only way to assure that both genders can keep their minds on their work.
However, there is after school as well, and those urges are strong, very strong. To this end Fresian society has set up a system of sex workers, both sterile males and females, to service the young who must endure the strongest urges, and have the least control. Members of both genders can ease the urges that consume them, and concentrate on those matters society wants them to concentrate on. Mating with each other is unacceptable as pregnancy would result. The newly mature are not prepared to properly care for the resulting children. With this support system in place a great deal of shame is associated with bearing or siring a child outside the accepted parameters. No onus is placed on the child of such a union, but the parents are stained with the shame of their lack of control.
The period of formal education lasts into the 25th year. Those that seek greater knowledge may continue their education without end.
Once the formal education is finished the Fresian can actively seek a mate and begin their contributive years in society. Fresian society has reached the point of energy production that Earth enjoyed in her 23rd century. The freedom to do as one likes, and not what ever one must to live is a new in Fresian society. The slow explosion of art and culture has begun as more and more people realize that the time of drudgery is behind them as a culture forever.
Fresians will form households of females. These will typically number for two to six women. Each aids the others in the rasing of children and the keeping of the communal house. Depending on the number of women in the house, from one to three males will be invited to live there as well. The males are expected to contribute to the household and often act as manager, seeing the bills get paid the groceries bought etc. Once such a household is established, it is rare for change about to happen. Either a male or a female leaving is commented on. A male that manages to get tossed out is totally shamed. Females that leave a house get talked about, and one that manages to get thrown out is looked on worse than a male in like circumstance.
Authority in the house is by gender and seniority. The eldest female having first say, the eldest male second say and so forth. "Eldest" is determined by time in the house, not age of the person. It is possible for a junior mate to be older than a senior mate.
Males that have no mate house will form houses with other bachelor males. Seldom do you see more than four males in any house. Change is expected. Indeed four males that can live with each other without conflict, minus the influence of femlaes, are unusual.
Rare, but recent on the scene are pairs. One male and one female. Conservatives consider this a bad arrangement for the rasing of children. "It is clear that a commune of adults is better equipped to see to the needs of the young. Pairing is a lust driven perversion that should be ended by law." is the opinion. So far the jury is out. At least one great and public romance in recent times was a pair. This is believed to be the cause of the practice's popularity.
A further change is the "equality advocates" this practice has come and gone for centuries, and is believed to have been invented after the fall of religion. Equalists as they are called, believe that the numbers of males and females in a house should be equal. This practice is on the rise, and again is decried as the obvious beginning of the end for all society.
What ever the chosen marriage style children will follow, and be raised in their turn. While some families will solidify and slowly end as members die, some make a habit of taking in new younger members. These line clans amass considerable wealth and some date back 200 years of more. Line clans also make the retirement of the older members easier.
Few Fresians over the age of 70 do any real work of any kind. Medical science has extended life-spans 20 years in the last century, but few live to over 100 years of age. The period of retirement is enjoyed. Medicine has seen that it is no longer a period of declining health and pain, but a golden evening of pleasure. This is seen as deserved. The infusion of Federation technology is filtering down to the Fresian bioform. Explication of healthy life-spans 20 years longer are on the horizon.
Death is usally comfortable and at a reasonably advanced age.
Fresians have a good deal of "herd mentality" they tend to react as threatened all at once regardless of the real danger or threat. The Fresian habit of over reaction in a crisis was the historical end of may an attempt to unify their world. It set back many an advance in technology when a minor tragedy caused an entire idea to be abandoned.
This cycle of rise, drastic oscillation, and fall continued throughout the Fresian historical period until the Fresian equivalent of Jefferson, Hamilton, and Franklin set down the principle of second opinion. This principle states that all laws must be considered a second time, six months after first being passed, and passed again to be come law. This offset the over reaction tendency, and at last allowed progress to a warp capable culture.
On an individual basis this makes the Fresian appear as paranoid to Humans and other races with a human-like viewpoint. Every situation is examined from the view point of its possible threat. Only after threat, or its lack, is determined will a Fresian look into other possibilities. Fresians are also known for "taking it personality". That is they look at any circumstance as if it had been planned that way, with them in mind. It is not "the leopard is looking for something to eat", but "the leopard is looking to eat me". The more of them you get in one place the worse this reaction can become. On an individual basis it is possible to reason them out of this viewpoint.
There is a noted difference in the genders' methods of handling a situation. Females will build a coalition, gather support, and come forward publicly only when they feel they are ready to handle the circumstance. The females will not make an open statement about their viewpoints unless they know their social circle will back them. Females seldom bluster, and usually bring males around by approaching them in private.
Males will quickly state an opinion, and defend it. Even if they later regret that opinion you have to all but beat it out of them. Once a male has made his opinion known he defends it with pomp and bluster. The term "ego" was invented with a Fresian political candidate in mind. It has also been noted that males will quickly cave before a female coalition, but seen to get even more hostile to opposing viewpoints the more males they find against them. For this reason while political leaders tend to be male, they will hire females as lobbyists and staffers. Once made to give in the Fresian male will retreat from public view for a period to let the dust settle.
Government: The Fresian Confederation is a three world political unit that lends its name to the Sector it is in. It is an associate member of the UFP that is currently seeking full membership.
Fresian government is a form of parliamentary republic. An elected Matriarch that serves for life is the cultural head of state. She wields little constitutional power, but has great influence over the people and government none the less, when she speaks, the people listen. Real governmental power is in the hands of the males. Her one real power is to tell the party that currently forms the government to take a powder if they have no support, but refuse to step down. She can call an election if the First Minister refuses to after a second vote of no confidence.
The governmental form is indistinguishable from the Australian or Canadian form of parliamentary government. Titles differ, ministries might have slightly differing functions, but the mechanics of the system are identical.
Planetary government is a larger version of the Confederation government. The model is followed on down to the local level with "sheriffs" being elected to rule the shires. The smallest form of local division, the equivalent of a county. Fresian Government does not have the concept of incorporated cities or towns. Denser populated areas of shires are not set apart from the less densely populated areas.
Culture: The realization that a golden age has started is slowly dawning on the people of the Fresian Confederation. All arts are growing at an expodental rate. Music, painting, dance, sculpture, writing, crafts and many more are practiced in greater numbers and expertise than any period on history. The entire culture is drunk with the possible.
One of the factors feeding this frenzy of art is the influx of the art of other cultures. As the input is absorbed they produce in like kind for the consumption of their own people and others. Fresian culture has fully joined the Federated culture.
One of the most noted of Fresian arts is clothing. Fresians have no concept of modesty as it is present in may humanoid cultures. Clothing is used only for ornament and protection. Ornamental clothing can take a multitude of strange and exotic forms as it is not required in any fashion to be "modest" nor is it required to be practical. Every day wear for Fresians of either gender is a utilitarian vest with large pockets. It is worn for the pockets, but is an item of self expression as well. The fabric, decorations, and cut will vary per the taste of the individual, their place in society, and their profession. A mark of the truly wealthy is that they lack such a vest. They have people to carry things for them. Such vests can be dirt plain or works of art in and of themselves.
An elaborate "code" of what to wear and when and where to wear it exists. It is considered an insult to attend a social engagement under or over dressed..
Fresians do suffer from the cold and prefer to be dry. They will don what clothing is necessary for their comfort. They have neither a general like or dislike of clothing. It is seen strictly in terms of ether the practical or the decorative.
Religion: While Fresians have a deeply religious past they do not have a religious present. When scientific method started to make an appearance about 600 years ago, the new discoveries were flying in the face of religious belief. Great numbers of people started gathering on both side of the debate. Science won, and in typically Fresian manner they rejected religion out of hand, turning their backs on, even destroying centuries of belief and art.
Over the next century religion was banned by acclimation. No official act was required. The revolution spread from its land of origin and swept the globe. By the end of the century no religion was practiced or followed. Temples were abandoned to other uses or torn down.
In one respect science itself became the religion. Little is accepted without the rigors of scientific proof. Want to insult a Fresian to the point of violence? Tell them their cherished principles are "nothing but belief". The second direct result of this turning from "gods" is the personification of "fate", "luck", and most of all, "them". With the Fresian tendency to see any negative outcome as aimed at them specifically, "them", and "fate" are widely accredited with misfortune. So strong is this tendency that if the Terran joke of "the great god Finagle and his prophet that is Murphy" lands on Fresian shores it will get snapped up with a fervor that will cause humans to scratch their heads in wonder. It could mean a rebirth of religion.
On that note it is likely best that the old religions were lost. With that Fresian tendency to personalize misfortune, the gods were a bloody lot that required appeasement at every turn. At the dawn of their scientific renaissance Fresians were still practicing blood sacrifice of their own kind. True it had been relegated to criminals, but no matter how you view it, staking out your own kind alive for the predators is a grim and uncivilized practice.
On the negative side, the end of religion meant the extinction of the last of the large predators on Fresia proper. They have been reduced to isolated pockets kept for the practice of the sacrifice. With the "need" for sacrifice gone, calmer heads did not rule before the last was slaughtered as a safety measure.
Technology: Fresian native technology is the equivalent of the Federation in the early 23rd century. Since the contact and later associate membership they have been steadily upgrading their technology to the standards enjoyed in the rest of the Federation. Fresians prefer to study what you do and how you do it, then go home and make their own versions. They don't like depending on someone else for their source of supply. The more critical the technology, the less they like it.
Their weapon technology is excellent. While they haven't had any interstellar enemies, or fought any wars, you never know what might pop up to eat you. It is better to be ready for it.
An important aspect of Fresian native technology is redundancy. Better safe than anything else is their method of building. If Fresians had built the Titanic, it would have had a double hull, twice the lifeboats required, and have never been out of radio contact with land. Oh yes, and her speed would have been chopped at the first hint of ice.
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History of the Race: Fresians are one of several Equinoid races in the sector, and one of only two with a star drive capacity. Archeological evidence combined with genetic studies have proven that all equinoid races are from the same evolutionary stock, and all equinoids are not of evolved stock of the worlds they live on. They are "Second Generation" cultures. No evidence has been found of the equinoid homeworld, nor does recorded history suggest a direction to look. Myth and legend are also vague on the matter, and likewise suggest no direction of exploration. Five thousand year old star drive parts recently found on Fresia confirm the speculation of a late star drive period and subsequent fall.
This factor is the chief argument for the lifting of the Prime Directive quarantine on other equinoid worlds. That they are not native, and the Fresians being the most advanced of the equinoids should directly oversee their "brethren".
A certain amount of resentment is felt to the closing of possible colony worlds by the Federation. This is accepted with the promise of greater Federation aid in grooming existing worlds to a more habitable state. At least one terrorist group has claimed this complaint as its reason to exist.
Recent History: Fresia was contacted in 2344 by the USS Garth Koor. The Garth Koor came across a Fresian exploration scout coreward of the Fresian sector. Cautious negotiations on both sides lead to the current arrangement in 2360.
In 2372 a splinter terrorist group with Orion backing called, The Father's of Freedom made it presence known by bombing the Federation consulate in Ar'Ebia, the Confederation Capital. Their stated goals being the removal of the Fresian Confederation from the UFP, the opening of all class M worlds in the sector to Fresian exploitation, and the removal of all "prime directive' quarantines on the other Equinoid worlds in the sector.
The Fathers of Freedom was discredited with a failed seizure of the nascent Sixliss Settlement on Gramar 3. The Fresian public was put off be the involvement of another species unrelated to them in Fresian affairs. All semblance of public support for the movement vanished. Incidentally the hostage situation was also meant to discredit Captain James Timothy Kirk, that failed also.
All obstacles have been removed to Fresian's full membership in the UFP. The Father's of Freedom did help the Fresians make up their mind, they do want to join.
The Current Situation: The Fresian Confederation is poised on the brink of full Federation membership. Enthusiasm is high for this move and celebrations throughout the Confederation are planned. Fresia has not been involved in the Federation's conflicts with the Cardassians or the Romulans, and is out of the way for interference by either power.
Of note are the new neighbors, the Sixliss. With phase three of the Sixliss resettlement project underway, and likely to be underway for decades to come, long term opportunities are available to aid and or profit from this shuttling of the Sixliss population. One Fresian mining firm has already contracted the job of cutting apart the great houses and transporting the materials to NewHome.
What stellar powers exist beyond Fresian space are unknown, but with full membership in the Federation, it is likely to be explored.