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The AAnn are a fictional species of reptilians in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, lizard-like with flexibility and speed superior to that of most men, though generally shorter and weaker. They are covered in small scales and prefer hot, arid worlds with plenty of sand. Nye is the AAnn term for a mature, usually adult AAnn, the equivalent of the human word "man" or "men".
Resembling lizards, and without facial muscles, they lack humans' ability to display emotions via facial expressions. To convey attitude and emotion in a civilized manner they have developed a rich variety of gestures that equate to emotions and their degree (i.e. third degree anger, first degree approval, fourth degree respect).
Although not always the case, personal advancement within the AAnn hierarchy usually entails the demotion and replacement of a higher up. To recycle an old cliché, 'It's an AAnn eat AAnn world' could accurately describe the process. On the surface, the process is similar to advancement in our world; any AAnn with aspirations of authority cannot simply kill a rival and take their place as this is against the law. They must use subterfuge; circumspectly using the law to their advantage, working closely with loopholes and ensuring that there is no evidence of any criminal activity on their part. Throughout the works of Foster's series, it is intimated that while all AAnn know this happens, it is rarely or never spoken of openly--as any implication that a nye was involved in criminal going-ons could result in his or her 'replacement' by an ambitious colleague.
Each AAnn family is identified by a length of subjunctives in the place of their surname. The subjunctives are given as a string and are composed of capital letters (i.e. VSBBLXK). As an individual rises in rank within the empire, subjunctives are removed to make the string shorter. This provides a rank and family identification mechanism and means an AAnn with two subjunctives would have higher rank and authority than an AAnn with five subjunctives.
It should be noted that not all AAnn subscribe to the particulars of the common culture and government. The Tier of Ssaiinn is an organization of AAnn that focuses on art. These artistic AAnn are considered outcasts, but are allowed to exist by the empire mostly as an unspoken truth. They survive on at least one world, Jast, and sell notably spectacular and unique artwork to private AAnn. This suggests that even through their stolid imperialist attitudes and primal instincts, and a reputation as merciless killing machines, they possess creative traits similar to those in humans. It is even hinted, in 'Sliding Scales,' that nye within the Tier of Ssaiinn have artistic techniques and expressions that are in many ways superior to those of Humanx-kind of the same period.
Little is written regarding AAnn recreation practices. Nye enjoy burying themselves in warm sand. This is also how they sleep, if they have the preference. While drugs are rarely mentioned in reference to the AAnn, the drug Bloodhype is addictive across most species, and AAnn are specifically mentioned as being prone to the addictive properties.
While they do have sex like most other bipeds, it is a practice surrounded equally in primal instinct and civilized control, every ritual being a fight and dance combined, pushing the boundaries of what is safe. Prior to engagement, two prospective mates must be of equable rank, and of equable physical condition to find one another attractive. The two face off in a private chamber, and proceed to fight one another with teeth and claws, pulling punches and biting only gently before the male assumes the racially dominant role which allows intercourse to take place.
Information on this page was taken directly from the various works of Alan Dean Foster pertaining to the AAnn and the Commonwealth. For the most in-depth information on the AAnn and their society, please refer to Sliding Scales, one of the Pip and Flinx novels.
Information regarding bloodhype and its properties can be found in the novel Bloodhype
Please see: 'http://www.alandeanfoster.com, for more information on Alan Dean Foster, his universes, and his writing.