The novakid are a species of energy beings well-known for their long lives and easygoing personalities. Characterized by their plasma insides, transparent electromagnetic “membrane” and metallic “brand” organs, novakid are intelligent, cheerful, and highly adaptable due to their immunity to extreme temperatures and radiation.
While other core races prefer to colonize worlds and build settlements, most novakid are nomadic. They wander from hyperlane to hyperlane in a fleet known as a ‘constellation,’ often trading or selling wares to stay afloat. These constellations are often small, only the size of a town or village, but in many cases they can merge and grow to the size of a city population or larger. The largest constellation is known as the Galactic Novakid Trade Alliance; home to almost nine billion.
Not even the novakid know of their origins. No novakid homeplanet has ever been documented, likely due to their nomadic nature, and the species is too scattered throughout the galaxy to point to any clear region. There are many theories on how the species came to be. Some believe that novakid evolved naturally, like humans, in an exotic plasma-based ecosystem. Others propose that novakid were artificially created by a more advanced species, like the glitch. A third popular theory is that the novakid are like the Greys; they were once a hyperadvanced species that fell and forgot their origins following an ancient catastrophe.
Regardless of where they came from, however, the novakid are here to stay.
Novakid are plasma-based creatures. They are made mostly of a glowing, superheated mixture of volatile chemicals (the novakid’s ‘cytoplasm’), protected and contained by a thin, smooth forcefield (known as the ‘membrane.’) The cytoplasm is fluid, superheated and very light– a novakid weighs roughly half that of a human with the same body volume. The membrane is typically transparent to the point of invisibility, putting the novakid’s inner plasma on display. However, it insulates heat exceptionally well– many novakid are cool to the touch.
The membrane is generated by the brand, a piece of heat-resistant metal that also serves as the novakid’s eyes, ears, voice-box and brain. Situated on the “face” in novakid that follow a humanoid body plan, the brand comes in many shapes and sizes; the most common of which are flat “symbols” that don’t extend very far from the head. However, brands can form horns, spikes, extend deeper into the novakid’s head, or even be “ingrown”– situated entirely inside the novakid’s head. Novakid with ingrown brands are often totally healthy, exchanging reduced vision and hearing for a vital organ that is slightly more well protected.
Exactly how the brand works is still something of a mystery; researchers believe that the brand’s ability to think has something to do with fluctuations in its electromagnetic charge. Despite its strength and resistance to heat, however, it is still very sensitive. Touching a novakid’s brand can reduce their senses and make them uncomfortable; damaging it even slightly is extremely painful and often permanent. Brand damage in a novakid is similar to brain damage in a human- symptoms can range from speech impediments to blindness, coma or the permanent loss of limbs. Fatal damage to a brand results in the novakid exploding violently (known among them as “going nova”). Novakid can also die of starvation, old age and plasma loss (75% of their plasma mass or more); but they will not explode, leaving their brand intact.
Novakid cultures vary wildly depending on the region, but the majority of them are characterized by lax laws and frequent infighting. Most novakid, especially young adults, are easily bored and quick to anger, leading to fights started over simple misunderstandings or misremembered events that happened centuries ago. Contrary to popular belief, novakid actually have excellent memories; they just live such a long time that it’s easy for them to forget old events, especially if they weren’t paying attention in the first place, which they likely weren’t.
When novakid aren’t fighting, they’re wandering or creating. Most novakid are expected to leave home when they reach maturity, and most never return. Every couple decades or so, your typical wandering novakid will find a planet they like, settle down for a century, and learn everything there is to know about the area until they get bored and leave. In alien territories, this means a novakid will pick up a career, master it, make organic friends, then leave when most of those friends grow old and die. When they’re settled, novakid make excellent engineers, artists, entertainers, craftsmen, musicians and inventors, as long as they’re interested in their work.
Of course, not every novakid wanders, especially when they reach their last couple centuries of life. Older novakids make up the bulk of non-nomadic societies and some young novakid never wander at all.
Curiously, novakid societies almost never have governments past the local level; novakid naturally shy away from governing people they can’t see on a day-to-day basis. The largest known all-novakid government is in the Novakid Trade Alliance, which consists of dozens of “allied” sectors of ships and a local leader in each. Even in these well-organized ship clusters, laws are especially relaxed; murder is legal as long as the killer has a “damn good reason,” such as settling a family fued.
Nobody can quite decide whether humans or novakids came up with the cowboy aesthetic first. Human scholars insist that novakid got the idea from old human radio and television signals, while most novakid claim that the similarities are coincidental, “like carcinization.”