Cuna

From The Coppermind
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cuna
Titles Minister of Species Integration
Groups Department of Species Integration,
the Superiority
World Starsight
Universe Skyward Universe
Featured In Skyward (series)
This page or section contains spoilers for Starsight!
This information has the ability to potentially ruin elements of the plot for the reader. Proceed with caution if you have not read this book.
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Starsight!
Be aware that in its current state, it does not include this additional content yet.

The different ways species act is a strength of our union, not a flaw in it.

—Cuna[1]

Cuna is a dione who lives on Starsight. They're the head of the Superiority's Department of Species Integration.[2]

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Cuna is a tall, slender dione[3] with vivid blue skin and androgynous features. They lack hair and have prominent eye ridges and cheek bones. Cuna wears a set of robes a shade of blue just lighter than their skin tone the first time they meet Spensa.[2]

Cuna is a nonaggressive dione, like most of the other races of primary intelligence in the Superiority. Cuna is cold and calculating, analyzing everything people say, which makes them a skilled politician and an excellent schemer.[4] They are quite smart, engaged in a power struggle with Winzik and the Department of Protective Services. Cuna is also quite caring and affectionate, trying to smile at Spensa, a non-dione facial expression, to be welcoming and make her species' transition to Superiority life as smooth and comfortable as possible.[1]

Although Cuna publicly holds the common Superiority view that aggressive species should not be deemed of primary intelligence, they are more tolerant than many of their colleagues, believing that there is room in the Superiority for species of different temperaments than the races of primary intelligence. They conceived the Delver Resistance Program with Winzik, in the hope that when a delver threatened the Superiority, a member of a so-called aggressive species from the program would save the day and convince the races of primary intelligence that some aggression is useful, and that the different ways species act is the strength of the Superiority, not its weakness.[1] 

History[edit]

Cuna and Winzik created the Delver Resistance Program together, Cuna doing it to convince the Superiority races of primary intelligence that there was value in having more aggressive races in their society, while Winzik' motivation was to provide himself with a fleet of starfighters so he could control the Superiority.[1]

Cuna arranged for Vapor to watch Winzik, suspicious of his motives in creating the Delver Resistance Program.[1]

Cuna first met Spensa when M-Bot landed in Starsight's docking bay. Cuna then told Spensa they were glad to meet her, as it had been at their personal request that the Superiority reach out to the UrDail. Cuna told Spensa that they had reached out to the UrDail in hopes that they would send pilots to the Superiority's new Delver Resistance Program. Their hope was that if Spensa's training went well, then more UrDail pilots could come to the Superiority and hopefully earn their race secondary Superiority citizenship.

Let us simply say that I am interested in those who are not possessing...classical virtues. I am very curious to see you fly, Emissary Alanik.

—Cuna, to Spensa.[4]

Cuna led Spensa to the UrDail embassy, on the way explaining the danger of having cytonics around, but told her that the Superiority needed aggressive pilots to use a superweapon prepared specifically to combat the delvers.

Cuna told Spensa about the dangers of using AI and radio communications, and told her that the Superiority had exclusive access to cytonic hyperdrives, and that by limiting certain species' access, the Superiority could maintain galactic peace by keeping aggressive and bellicose races isolated.

Cuna mentioned that as a member of the Department of Species Integration, they had a certain amount of say in the Delver Resistance Program, however, the Department of Protective Services, the group that monitored Detritus, was the lead group in the project. Cuna said that if Spensa and the other UrDail pilots performed well, Cuna might even shepherd the UrDail to primary citizenship. Cuna attempted to smile at Spensa, but then as alarms went off and a human woman approached the embassy, Cuna held Spensa back and told her that they would handle the situation.[2]

Cuna stepped in front of Spensa as Winzik and Brade approached the embassy. Winzik apologized for the miscommunication of the Superiority Departments, then ushered the group inside the embassy. After arguing with Winzik about Alanik's certification, Cuna told Spensa that Winzik was the head of the Department of Protective Services and that the two of them had created the Delver Resistance Program. After Winzik forced Spensa to swear off of using her cytonics inside of Starsight's cytoshield, he left with Brade, and Cuna apologized to Spensa for his behavior. Cuna told Spensa that they had arranged for the UrDail embassy to have requisition privileges to stock itself. After telling Spensa how to contact them, they left.[5]

Cuna also arranged for the UrDail embassy to have communication privileges, enabling Spensa to communicate with the UrDail on ReDawn.[4]

Perhaps it is foolish imagining, but I saw in my mind's eye the day when a delver might come - and a person like you, or the kitsen, or some other species saved us. I saw a change in my people, a moment when they began to realize that some aggression is useful.

—Cuna, to Spensa, about why they teamed up with Winzik to fight the delvers.[1]

Cuna approached Spensa after her conversation with Winzik on the mining platform being used for the Delver Resistance Program tryout and asked her if Winzik had tried to talk her out of trying out. Spensa said yes, and then asked again why the Superiority didn't want aggressive pilots. Cuna told her there was a delicate balance, and then toldher that the UrDail were the only non-Superiority species who had responded to Cuna's call to send a pilot to try out. Spensa asked Cuna why they had wanted her to tryout, and Cuna told her it was so they could see Spensa's human technology, her light-lance, in action. Spensa then asked why a dione, a creature of primary intelligence, was trying out, and Cuna told her they were surprised and honestly didn't know.[4]

Cuna entered the UrDail embassy to clear up any miscommunications about Mrs. Chamwit and her assistant cleaning the embassy. After this, they talked with Spensa about the UrDail's alliance with the humans in the third human war, and the human's delver weaponization programs begun during the second human war.[6] Spensa then asked Cuna if the true purpose of the Delver Resistance Program was to combat the humans should they escape their prisons. Cuna told her that the human were not truly close to escaping, and that they secretly believed that the rumors of the humans being close to escaping were seemingly always brought up when the Department of Protective Services needed to pass an important funding bill. Cuna then told Spensa if she were in any danger during the training, she could hyperjump away, but Spensa told her she couldn't, so Cuna told her to observe the hyperjump of the Weights and Measures so she can learn. Cuna informed Spensa that her transportation to the docks had arrived, so Spensa ran out the door to get to training.[6]

Periodically throughout Spensa's time in the Delver Resistance Program, Cuna sent her messages asking for updates on her training. Most of the time, Spensa either didn't respond or had M-Bot send a generic response.[7]

After Spensa and Brade tested the superweapon in the delver maze's membrane, Cuna was present at the party aboard the Weights and Measures. Cuna and Winzik had a standoff during a conversation at the party, after Cuna asked Winzik what his plans for the the force he'd trained were, now that they were ready to fight, but had no enemies. Cuna's suspicions about Winzik planning to use the superweapon to send a confronted delver to the human preserve on Detritus were confirmed after Brade and Spensa's success.[8]

After Spensa's incident on board the Weights and Measures with her espionage drone capturing footage of the engine room, Cuna got Vapor to escort Spensa to their personal shuttle, instead of going through the Weights and Measures security detail.[8] After turning away a security guard, Cuna launched the shuttle off the Weights and Measures and showed Spensa the communications they had received directly from the UrDail, which gave the impression that Spensa was never intending to train in the Delver Resistance Program and usher in more UrDail pilots, but that she was really on Starsight to steal a cytonic hyperdrive and bring it back to ReDawn. Cuna also believed that the UrDail had a secret human preserve on ReDawn. Spensa told Cuna that her drone had basic AI, and Cuna became angry. Cuna did, however, allow Spensa to watch the footage her drone captured, showing a taynix powering the hyperdrive of the Weights and Measures.[9]

You may choose not to believe it, Alanik, but my entire purpose has been to change the way my people view other species. Once the secret of hyperdrives escapes our grasp, we will need something new to keep us together. We won't be able to rely on our monopoly on travel. We need to be able to offer something else.

—Cuna, to Spensa, chiding her on her criticism of Cuna's actions.[1]

Cuna and Spensa watched the espionage drone's video footage, then Cuna told Spensa that they and Vapor had gotten lucky in discovering Spensa's hidden hyperdrive; Vapor had followed Spensa back to the UrDail embassy after her walk with Morriumur and saw Doomslug in the window. Cuna then took Spensa into a fortresslike building that blocked M-Bot's communications. Cuna then showed Spensa Starsight's nowhere portal, where the burl, Gul'zah, was dragged and pushed into, having been wrongly associated with a revolutionary movement believed to have caused the chaos onboard the Weights and Measures. Cuna told Spensa that they had been trying to affectionately smile at Spensa, because they knew it was an UrDail-adopted human gesture.[1] After this, Spensa dropped her disguise and offered her hand to Cuna. Spensa told Cuna about her AI hologram technology and her escape from Detritus, and that she hadn't accidentally killed anyone. Cuna marveled at the human's recovery from a Superiority-induced stone age, then Spensa told Cuna Winzik's true intent to summon a delver, loose it on Detritus, and then hold it over the Superiority's heads. Cuna grew concerned, telling Spensa they had much more work to do, then offered to make a deal with the humans, assuming all went well. Just as they shook hands, Vapor informed Spensa that they were being deployed to fight a delver.[10]

Cuna remained on Starsight when Winzik and the Department of Protective Services deployed the Delver Resistance Program to Detritus. When they saw the delver approaching Starsight, they sent Zezin away, hoping they would have a chance to save some of the station's inhabitants and thwart Winzik's further plans. After sending them away, Cuna noticed a group of starfighters appear, flying straight toward the delver.[11]

After Spensa forced the delver to disappear, Starsight's shield went down, but the emergency functions kept its atmosphere. Cuna went to the hospital that Spensa was being kept in and waited for her to wake up. When she did, Cuna told her what had happened and told her Morriumur had been born. Cuna then told Spensa that they had to leave to appear in hearings about the whole debacle, believing there was too much support for Winzik in the government to convict him, but enough support for Cuna and a good enough case to clear everything up and protect Spensa. Cuna also said the Superiority had made contact with Admiral Cobb, who had been more rational than many Superiority officials thought a human could be.[12] After looking out the hospital room window, Spensa became frightened and told Cuna they both needed to leave. Cuna protested, only for the door to be broken down by an armed guard. Spensa and Cuna fled the room, running towards the stairwell. They descended a floor, and Spensa, recognizing Cuna's poor shape, shoved them in a closet and gave them her alternate dione hologram, telling them to claim to be a janitor if questioned. Spensa told Cuna they were the Superiority's only hope to restore peaceful relations with the humans and defeat Winzik. Cuna agreed, so told Spensa where the Department of Protective Services was keeping M-Bot, and hunkered down to wait out the coup.[13]

Notes[edit]

This article is still missing information. Please help The Coppermind by expanding it.