Arkenites are a species of aquatic humanoids native to Arken II, the second planet of the Arken system. Arkenites average 2.2 meters in height. Arkenites are distinguished by their three cranial lobes, pointed ears that are longer and more sensitive than those of a Vulcan, and solid green eyes that lack an iris. They have pale skin veering toward gray or very light tan. Psionics (such as telekinesis) are not completely practiced by this race but a few psionically talented Arkenites are known to exist. To keep a sense of balance when off of Arken II, Arkenites wear a piece of technology called the Anlac'ven over their head in non-aquatic environments. Most of their civilization on Arken II existed on ocean platforms, and the Arkenite inner ear had evolved to feel at home riding the rise and fall of waves in the open sea. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update, Seekers novel: Second Nature)
The Arkenite culture is based around the group mentality called the Sia Lenthar (group, pack, or bond-group). The sia lenthar is the fundamental social unit of Arkenite culture, like a tribe, but larger and more diverse. Esteem is awarded through diversity. By the 23rd century, the larger or more unusual that the Sia Lenthar is, the higher the esteem and pride felt by the pack member. For example, the Taldan sia lenthar counts many of the most esteemed artists, scientists, and philosophers among its numbers. There is no rivalry between groups as this would diminish the importance of being a part of the common Arkenite race. The earliest ones were very homogeneous; they tended to comprise many individuals of the same profession, such as hunters, agrarians, or artisans. But as different groups merged, or as members of some groups married into others, the knowledge and experience of the various packs became dispersed throughout the world. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update, Seekers novel: Second Nature)
The ancient racial society was made up of thousands of migrant groups that roamed Arken II in search of safety and food. The Sia Cathetc started assuming control of other groups and developed a social order. The Sia Cathetc as the ruling order and all other orders as common orders. After a few centuries the Sia Cathetc developed a method of resolving conflicts by using armies of commoners in battle. The side that won the battle was declared the winner in the conflict. The common class had found that it worked well as a larger group and did not like being split up into these smaller armies to fight and refused to comply. The Sia Cathetc attempted to force the common class into submitting but quickly determined that they had lost their leverage. This caused the Sia Cathetc to die out. The common class created new leadership which acted more like servants to the people.
Arkenites have very strict ideas about repayment of debt ingrained in their culture. In 2259 when the Klingons offered to help the Arkenite mining colony of Azha-R7a that had befallen a disaster, the Arkenite colony agreed to join the Klingon Empire in return. Despite their loyalty to the Federation, they would not withdraw the agreement until the Klingons agreed to dissolve the agreement. Luckily Captain Diego Reyes was able to secure this dissolvement from General Gorkon. (VAN novella: The Ruins of Noble Men)
The Arkenites became subjugated to the Andorian Empire. After the establishment of the United Federation of Planets the Andorians themselves promoted Arkenite membership into the Federation. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update)
- It is possible that the subjugation to the Andorians before the founding of the Federation may have been similar to the later example of subjugation to the Klingons in 2259.
An old Arkenite saying was "No one is a strong swimmer when lashed to a heavy stone," which was inspired by the same insight as the human expression "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." (Seekers novel: Long Shot)
By the 24th century, many Arkenites serve aboard Starfleet vessels mainly as geologists, physicists, and astronomers. Geology is a particular specialty given their intrinsic sensitivity to planetary magnetic fields and seismic waves. Few Arkenites have risen to command rank as most prefer advisory or subordinate roles within the command structure. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual)
At least one Arkenite has served in Starfleet as a communications officer at Starfleet Headquarters on Earth during the crisis created by the alien Whale probe. (TOS movie: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Iliana Ghemor had a male and female Arkenite working for her aboard a Besinian freighter in 2376. She would later execute both of them before the USS Defiant caught up with the freighter. (DS9 - Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel: Bajor: Fragments and Omens, DS9 novel: The Soul Key)