OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: To serve as characters and NPCs for the upcoming Protectorate. To provide an interesting take on eusocial insect races and hiveminds that is hopefully more palatable to the idea of individual characters doing important deeds.
- Canon: N/A
- Permissions: N/A
- Name: Myka (Meek-Ahh)
- Designation: Sentient
- Origins: Extra-Galactic
- Average Lifespan:
- Physical Bodies - 25-30 Standard Years
- Neural Structure - 110 Standard Years before massive degradation. 130 maximum before total loss of neural structure.
- Estimated Population: Inter-Planetary
- Description: Voracious and fuzzy six-legged moths with a natural inclination towards consumption and expansion. Genetically engineered by ancient masters, they possess a number of castes that incline them toward proficiency in specialized tasks and may change between these. An interlinking hivemind within each colony helps to anchor the contextual understanding of each individual to allow greater collective effectiveness.
- Breathes: Type I
- Average Height of Adults: 1.80 Meters
- Average Length of Adults: 2.4 Meters
- Skin color: Brown, Black
- Hair color: White, Brown, Rosy
- Waxy leather texture.
- Develop best in humid and warm environments
- Become inert at 10 Celsius and below.
- Lasts for about 20 days from laying.
- Worm-like and animalistic
- ¼ the size of an adult.
- Capable of only very minor movements and vocalizations
- Lasts for about 5 months.
- A self-made cocoon is spun at the end of the larval stage.
- Pupae develops from its worm-like state into a being very similar in size to a mature adult.
- Pupae join the local Thrum and begin to attain cognizance while within the cocoon.
- Specialized feeding, impulses from the Thrum, and other natural conditions allow for the individual to begin to develop into a distinct caste.
- Lasts for about a month.
- When the body of an adult begins to wear out, or new castes are required they may re-enter this stage, forming a new cocoon. The mind and conscience is retained between these occurrences.
- Myka appears to be an adult from the outside but with an absence of coloration on hair or skin, leaving them pale.
- Muscles finish developing and the individual becomes accustomed to movement, speech, etc.
- Lasts for about a week.
- Six-legged insectoid. Back four legs are supporting limbs allowing for rapid movement while the front two serve as digitigrade manipulators or additional legs when movement is key.
- Usually infertile.
- Wings are developed and allow for bursts of flight.
- The individual has a fully developed internal consciousness and is able to link at will to the local Thrum in order to partake of the hivemind experience, as well as to share their own subjectivity when needed.
- Myka possesses the ability to melt down organic materials into foodstuff (Nectar) or into construction and manufacturing material (Resin) using salivary and chemical glands.
- Adult Myka may spray debilitating and caustic chemical substances from the gaster up to 10 meters. These can blind and burn victims and are occasionally used as biological decontaminants prior to consumption by the Myka.
- Long antennae-like eyebrows which are primarily cosmetic.
- Loss of musculature within the body and an inability to perform feats with as much dexterity and strength as a result.
- The potency of natural chemicals and acids begins to decline.
- Eventual degradation of the neural structures that make up the mind of the Myka, preventing them from receiving information and context as well from the local Thrum, or from contributing their own context to it. Other degradations begin to occur, eventually leading to death.
- Races: Myka, like many eusocial insects, possess a highly stratified caste system among their colonies:
- The most numerous caste and the most uncomplicated. Workers are able to perform a vast multitude of tasks and serve as the general labor pool of the colony.
- A more specialized variant of laborer, the Major is nearly three times the size and length of the average Myka.
- Possesses enormous strength, powerful jaws, and an extremely corrosive variant of mouth acids which allow for hardy substances to be melted down into Nectar or Resin.
- The Major primarily serves as a heavy laborer, constructor, or demolitionist. They are often more intellectually stunted than their peers, but simultaneously very emotionally intelligent and slow to aggression.
- Possessed of extreme precision and eyesight which allows for incredibly minute work to be performed.
- Tends to the creation of technologies and their maintenance, as well as precision works such as surgery and computer science.
- Slightly debilitated musculature in the back legs makes Crafters slower on foot than their brethren, but they tend toward exceptional intellectual capabilities.
- The only Myka who are completely incapable of flight due to their weight. Many retain their vestigial wings to serve as emergency rations in the event of particularly difficult campaigns.
- Possess a powerful natural exoskeleton coated in spikes built during pupation, gifting them with innate toughness. Weak points where the wings connect with the back, the mouth, and the eyes.
- Hardier and stronger than the average Myka, and capable of shifting into a state of collectivized thought at ease, the War-Forms serve as the primary soldiers and protectors of the Myka as well as their tacticians and generals.
- Outside of the brood, these are the only Myka that necessitate a significant quantity of proteins to thrive as a result of shedding exoskeletal plates and requiring new growths during their lifespan.
- The “biological servers” of the Thrum, allowing for vast quantities of experience, concept, and thought to be accessible by the whole of the colony.
- Synaptics generate the longest field of Thrum (around a 10 kilometer radius)
- Eidetic memories allow for the best capture of life experiences.
- Possess innate bioluminescence - usually either a gentle blue or green light.
- One Synaptic will swell to an enormous size (usually about ten meters) and become the “Nexus” of the colony, serving effectively as the primary connection point and repository for the colony. The Nexus is nearly immobile but acts as the de facto leader of the colony. It may transmit nearly fifty kilometers via the Thrum.
- The only members of the Myka who are normally able to reproduce. The Reproductive caste encompasses both male drones and female queens.
- Reproductives are the only members of the Myka who regularly change colony - usually shifting to a new location every 3-4 years.
- Males will attach themselves to queens upon arriving at a new colony and help to serve as mates, protectors, and caretakers for the female Myka.
- Queens will cloister themselves within a specialized chamber upon settling in a new colony, and grow an ovipositor which allows for the production of eggs at a rapid rate.
- Most queens and their mates will have their own chamber - while a Myka colony may have multiple queens, it is uncommon for them to ever see one another.
- They are about ¼ the size of the average Myka.
- 3-4 are hatched from a single pupae cocoon.
- Possess only a very minor intelligence either intellectual or emotional. They are as close to droids as a living thing can be in many regards.
- Sometimes used as scouts due to their minute size.
- Hairless Myka with an abundance of inflatable fat sacs across their bodies which can be activated to prevent heat loss and allow for brief journeys into the vacuum of space.
- They utilize the acidic content of their gasters to propel themselves across the empty expanse - though this is extremely slow and primarily a means of assisting in EVA work as opposed to any kind of dogfighting or interception.
- Rare among the Myka due to their very specific adaptations, but sometimes used as mechanics aboard starships.
- Force Sensitivity: Standard
- Thrum - The Myka in a colony are connected to one another by a hivemind called a “Thrum” which serves to connect them to one another. While they are all individuals, they may share their experiences, knowledge, and thoughts through this Thrum.
The Thrum operates off of biologically created radio waves and thus has a limited range - usually about a kilometer from each individual, though the Synaptic caste has a significantly larger radius.
While the Thrum allows for the sharing of memories, this does not mean that every member knows every thought of one another. It is best understood as an innate biological computer network. Every individual must take time to search the Thrum for information and can then use it once located, though this may take a few moments. No Myka can have their thoughts taken from them - but they may voluntarily submit their subjective experiences to the Thrum, and once it has been given, it cannot be retracted.
The Thrum is held in “storage” by the Synaptic caste with information passed between them on a regular basis, and ultimately contained within the colony’s Nexus.
Myka may technically utilize the Thrum between other Myka who are not part of their colony, but their innate territorialism makes this rare; most often seen when one colony is integrating another wholly into itself as a result of successful conquest.
- Flight - Most Myka possess wings that allow them to engage in short bursts of flight so long as they are not unduly burdened. Myka wings may allow them to carry tools or items, but would not allow them to wear heavy armor or to move a fully-grown human further than a few meters.
- Fur - Adult Myka have soft but extensive fur covering their bodies. This serves as clothing and protection from temperature changes (though not extreme ones) and as a pleasant fabric that can be traded to other races.
- Acid Spray - Adult Myka are able to spray acid from their gasters. This acid is highly caustic and can cause burns and blindness to organic targets. The acid can be sprayed up to 10 meters. Myka are not immune to being sprayed by this acid - but are able to consume it without consequence.
- Night Vision - The Myka possess exceptional night vision. Even the slightest sliver of light is sufficient for them to be able to see in what would otherwise be pitch blackness.
- Strong - The average Myka possesses a strength similar to that of a horse.
- Extreme Strength (Majors) - The Major caste is both the largest and the strongest of all Myka. They are able to lift up to half a ton and demonstrate egregious and exceptional feats of physicality on the regular. Their jaws are known to be able to crack durasteel, and can snap through it after a few well-placed bites.
- Corrosive Spit (Majors) - The Major caste possesses a far hardier and more corrosive mouth-bile than its peers, able to melt inorganic substances with greater speed and effectiveness than its peers.
- Stimulated Creativity (Crafters) - Experts at innovation, the Crafter caste has been designed for bursts of creative thought and expression which assists in the design and construction of new technologies for the benefit of the colony. It also makes them very good artists.
- Precision (Crafters) - As a result of careful growth during pupation, Crafters are incredibly precise with their hands. In circumstances where steadiness is key, they excel.
- Thick-Shell (War-Forms) - Covered throughout a majority of their bodies by thick exoskeletal shells, the War-Forms are formidably tough, their natural armors providing them with a degree of protection against blasters and kinetic weapons. The addition of spiky protrusions makes them dangerous close-quarters combatants.
- Killing Mindset (War-Forms) - War-Forms are unique in their ability to shunt a significant portion of their individuality to the side in order to engage in highly coordinated feats of tactical prowess via their Thrum connection. In this mindset, the War-Form does not care for its own life so much as the completion of its goal, no matter how heinous it may be.
- Eidetic Memory (Synaptics) - Synaptics possess an eidetic memory, allowing them to recall facts and thoughts with exceptional ease.
- Wet-Ware Brain (Synaptics) - As carriers of the Thrum, signal-boosters for it, and effective transponders for its delivery from Nexus to individual, the Synaptics possess a truly exceptional degree of information at all times. While other colony members must search through the Thrum to find what they desire, a Synaptic often possesses the information directly within its own mind and can use such knowledge instantaneously.
- Inflatable Fat (Space-Forms) - The Space-Forms possess a significant quantity of inflatable fat sacs across their body which allows them to make brief forays into the vacuum of space. They are still able to manipulate things normally while in space, though they are limited in mobility to hand-holds and very minor and slow propulsion caused by gaster expulsions.
- Hivemind - While the Myka persist individually, much of their ability to function involves the exchange of information, experience, and subjectivity provided by the Thrum. A Myka removed from this may find its talents neutered or stunted as vital intersections of information are no longer able to be grasped. Furthermore, as the Myka use this network to communicate, this would drastically wound their ability to communicate.
The best ways to remove their connection to the Thrum is to drown out or intercept the radio waves that allow their communication, or to slay the Nexus at the heart of the colony since no single Synaptic is likely to hold all of the information of the colony. Eliminating individual Synaptics can also drastically reduce the range that the Myka can operate away from one another and require them to daisy-chain in order to maintain their link to the Thrum.
- Bad Angles - As a result of their physiology, the Myka cannot reach anything placed upon the center of their backs.
- Large - The average Myka is fairly tall and the length of a horse. While they may compress to enter into tight-fitting spaces, there will be some that are simply too small. Additionally, this makes them easier targets than a human-sized opponent as there is simply more to hit.
- Flashbang - While the Myka possess exceptional night vision, they struggle in areas with very bright lights and are dazzled by them. Explosive light sources such as flashbangs have a very good chance of permanently blinding the Myka.
- Flammable - The fur covering of the Myka can be ignited by blaster bolts or other high-heat weaponry. While this is not innately more lethal than just being shot, it can turn grazing blasts into far more serious injuries and force Myka to deal with the flame instead of returning fire.
- Territorial - With the exception of Reproductives who bypass boundaries constantly, most Myka are fairly territorial and will remain exclusively with their own colonies. The presence of other colonies is usually tense and can easily break into skirmishes or fighting. In the face of external enemies, Myka will still unite to combat a mutual foe… but once the fighting is over, they will immediately return to their territorial bickering and combativeness.
- Dim-Wits (Majors) - Intellectually stunted, the Major caste is renowned for its simplicity of mind. While emotionally intelligent and surprisingly good mediators, this mental stunt alongside their great size means that they are usually incapable of operating fine machinery or devices.
- Limp (Crafters) - A lack of development in the musculature in a Crafter’s back legs means that they are much slower than their peers in both walking and running.
- Too Heavy (War-Forms) - The presence of encompassing exoskeletal plates across the body means that the War-Form is exceptionally heavy and as a result is incapable of flight of any kind.
- Aggressive (War-Forms) - War-Forms are made for violence, and as such have a predisposition toward aggression and combat. While useful in war, this becomes a hazard in peace, and War-Forms must be carefully monitored to ensure they do not cause incidents. In their “killing mindset,” they also tend to recognize only “allies” and “enemies” which can lead to horrible consequences or tactical missteps.
- Target Acquisition (Synaptic) - Easily one of the most important castes to the effectiveness of a Myka colony is the Synaptic. It is thus quite a biological misstep that they glow in the dark, revealing their presence to anyone watching - even those who may otherwise not understand Myka biology.
- Diet: Omnivores. Some non-digestible organics are “consumed” and converted to a building material called Resin. Other organics are churned into an edible “Nectar” which is stored and consumed regularly by the colony.
- Communication: Within their colonies, Myka communicate primarily through radio waves via the Thrum. To outsiders, they are able to vocalize using high-pitched squeaks and chirps which may be translated by other races but rarely replicated.
- Technology level: Galactic Standard
- Religion/Beliefs: The Myka believe themselves to be chosen as a result of their genetic engineering and uplifting from a primitive state. They hold the ancient race that uplifted them to be wise, knowledgeable, and powerful - not quite gods, but instruments of divine will that can otherwise not be understood.
Other than this attachment to their masters, the Myka do not possess a significant degree of religious belief and lean more toward agnosticism. They recognize the power of the Force, but consider it an ill-understood natural phenomenon and nothing further.
The Myka are possessed of an innate sense of environmentalism that makes the total extermination of biological life forms reprehensible to them. While they do not have a species-wide pacifism or worries about the destruction of other civilizations, they would be loathe to actually cause a species to become extinct - even those otherwise considered wholly harmful such as viral agents.
- General behavior:
The Myka do not possess traditional family values, but place a significant value on their colony in the way that many eusocial insects do. The colony effectively becomes family, community, ethnicity, and nation to the Myka. It is the highest form of organization - the foundation upon which any other relationship is impressed.
While the individual Myka has goals, dreams, and ideals, these are always related in some way to the benefit of the colony. The idea of benefiting at the expense of the colony is extremely uncharacteristic and would be considered a sign of mental degradation or corruptive deviation by other Myka.
The Thrum allows the Myka to see where there is a need. Administrators and managers can be appointed by the Nexus to deal with important problems away from the colony, but often individuals will simply fill gaps as needed at home.
Refusing a request from the Nexus is considered to be incredibly poor form and nearly criminal as it is equipped with the greatest knowledge of what the colony requires and ought to do in order to thrive.
The eggs, larvae, and pupae of the Myka are considered to be the “brood” of the colony.
Myka do not have any kind of innate emotional link to the brood but do value them highly as a natural benefit to the colony and it’s expansion. As such, adult Myka will sacrifice their lives in the defense of the brood and a great deal of time and effort is spent in their care. Myka do not have any real emotional attachment to the youth of other species, but do understand the value of children in general.
In wars between the Myka colonies, the brood are usually captured by the victors and raised within their own colony. Adults are more rarely adopted and more commonly killed or driven away.
Crime and Justice
The Myka do not fabricate lengthy codes of law. Things are criminal if they are to the detriment of the colony and acceptable if they are to its benefit. Some Myka colonies are utilitarian with the end result justifying or accusing an action. Others are deontological and value only the intent to do good or harm.
Myka do not often deal with criminals as a result of their biological imperatives to support the colony, but occasionally deviants and corruptive influences will be expelled from the colony or executed. Executed criminals and prisoners are often consumed by the colony.
Criminal cases are often solved very rapidly as incontrovertible evidence can be supplied via the Thrum. Myka often find other judicial systems to be irritatingly slow and unreliable as a result.
Relationships and Socialization
The Myka tend to consider all of those within their colony to be an extended family. Some who are especially amiable to an individual's personality can additionally become close friends and confidants.
Myka possess the capacity to form close bonds and both platonic and romantic relationships with others, even those outside of the colony. It would be very rare for these to become more important than the general health of the colony, however. Some Myka marry, others do not - it is a personal decision and commitment.
A degree of recreation and relaxation is considered to be healthy. Myka will sometimes socialize with one another during downtime, enjoying meals and working on personal projects with one another.
Resin and Nectar
The primary substances associated with the Myka are the "resin" and "nectar" that they produce from organic materials.
Nectar serves as a foodstuff for the colony and is not dissimilar in texture and taste to honey. Light nectar is sweeter and contains more carbohydrates whereas dark nectar is bitter and contains proteins and fats. While Myka can digest other foods, they will usually convert foodstuffs into nectar before properly consuming it. This is done by a set of chemicals in the mouth.
Those organic substances that can be melted and affected by chemicals but which are not digestible or offer only trace nutrition are instead converted into Resin. Resin begins as a pasty pulp similar to paper mache but hardens rapidly into a substance similar to hardwood. It can be re-weakened by application of chemicals from the Myka. Resin that is hardened and weakened many many times may eventually take on a firmness not dissimilar to durasteel. This “hard resin” is sometimes utilized in tools or permanent habitations.
All Resin retains moisture well and tends to be slick and wet to the touch. This makes it fire-resistant, but also uncomfortable to the touch for species not accustomed to this level of wetness in their environment. Most constructions are made of Resin. It is a poor material for electronics, however, and rooms with delicate machinery or devices that are electronic in nature are made of more conventional materials.
The Myka spend a significant amount of their time and energy on agricultural pursuits. Primarily they raise orchards of fruit trees, grains, and small livestock animals. In times of peace, War-Forms will hunt dangerous animals in the area for consumption while the hunting of more meek wildlife is left to Workers.
Myka have an appreciation for biodiversity but do not care for “natural spaces” over industrial ones. So long as the biodiversity is preserved within a zoo, livestock pen, or horticultural lab, the Myka do not tend to care about the environment.
Myka do not wear a significant amount of clothing, but do commonly adorn themselves with ornaments, earrings, and other jewelry. Combing and decoration of eyebrows and facial hairs is especially important. The Myka are fond of singing, and colonies will often gather together to sing wordless tunes in times of celebration, victory, defeat, and mourning as a kind of bonding experience and traditional ceremony. These songs are occasionally recorded and traded as an art form to collectors.
Myka are fairly traditional in many regards and believe in conserving their old ways and beliefs. They may experience the cultures of others from time to time in scholarly fashion, but few Myka abandon the ways of the colony that have been preserved for generations.
The Myka tend to view the motifs of Light and Dark somewhat differently than many species. The Light is addicting, dazzling, and brilliant, but often dangerous and swift to burn. The Dark in contrast is a safe shadow to rest and recuperate, a quaint home, and a peaceful occurrence.
Whether the Myka were a sapient race when they were first discovered or were simple animals is a matter of some debate and consideration by many of the race’s historians and scholars. Regardless of their origin, the Myka were something far lesser when they were discovered by that ancient race of benefactors who came to their homeworld.
Perhaps this master race saw their potential as servants, or perhaps they were merely experimenting with their own masteries over genetic engineering and uplifting. Whatever the case, the modern Myka were born in laboratories and test chambers and then released onto a dozen worlds as experiments and attempts at sharpening and perfecting their natural qualities.
As quickly as they’d been created and indoctrinated by these masters, that race underwent a kind of stasis, hiding away until a significant amount of time had passed. The Myka served as watchmen and guardians over these tombs, guarding their ancient masters until such time as they were called to awaken.
In the meantime, centuries passed by, and the Myka continued to spread across worlds within the bounds of their extragalactic playground, consuming, exploring, and growing as a people in the process. They were kept from any kind of dominion by their constant infighting between one another and the effective balkanization caused by their colonial systems, but nevertheless, they became sufficiently advanced so as to meet the Galactic Standard.
While all Myka colonies that still exist have their own dramatic events and origins, the only ones that are universal to them are:
The Sleep - When the masters of the Myka went into their stasis hibernation and abandoned them to fend for themselves, waiting for some far-off and distant signal. The masters are “watched over” by the Myka, though the modern iteration know almost nothing about their creators nor their purposes, and strive only to be acceptable to them when they have finally been awoken.
The Diaspora - When the Myka began to spread throughout their galaxy quadrant, consuming all in their path in the hopes of one day being able to fulfill whatever obligation was necessary from their masters. This accounts for the widespread population of the Myka, any cultural differences between colonies, and their creation of starships.
The Vanishing - When the Netherworld incident occurred, causing dozens of Myka to vanish all at once and creating a terrible degree of strife and hardship for their people as a result as key portions of the Thrum were pulled away and their knowledge permanently lost.