The following article was written by Nathan Nichols as an entry to the Alien August competition 2015.
In appearance, the Elikar are humanoid, though a little taller, more slender, and oddly-proportioned than humans. They have eight-fingered hands and their legs curve more like a goat’s than a human’s, despite the actual feet being similar. They generally have a light gray or white skin, and black eyes and hair.
The Elikar are a curious race of synthetic organisms. According to their historical records, there was a purely organic race bearing their name thousands of years ago. However, when their homeworld passed through a dust cloud, its atmosphere quickly became unhealthy, and finally, completely toxic. In order to continue living, the original Elikar created a cellular-level cyborg; artificial beings that carry out most of the essential life processes, but in unorthodox manner.
The new Elikar, known as the Elikar-Nava, but now having dropped the suffix in the extinction of their precursors, operate on a combination of organic and mechanical principals. Their cells are similar to nanobots; silicon-based single cells with photosynthetic generation organelles, energy-siphoning outer scales, and a microprocessor connected to those of the other cells via conductive bristles between the outer scales. What this means is that the Elikar can metabolize almost all energy they come in contact with–Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) would still damage them structurally, but they would also be incapacitated by the sudden surge of energy. Nonlethal weapons such as tasers would still stun them, but odds are they would come to feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.
Their unique ability to metabolize energy does not by any means make up their entire digestive system. They consume bulk material, usually conventional food, but they have been known to eat anything if they were unsure of their next meal. While appearing ordinary, their digestive tract is one-sided, because their new stomachs, which make use of a fluid-like colony of specialized nanocells that enclose the sustenance and break it down into microscopic bits, which are further broken down into pure energy once the colony once again merges with the stomach lining.
The Elikar reproduce in roughly the same way as most humanoid life-forms, with comparable reproductive systems to humans and other humanoid life-forms. The main difference is that the parents have more control over how the fetus develops while being ‘manufactured’ in the mother’s womb, which develops from an internal polyp to a full-sized womb in a matter of days, and remains the same size for the duration of the pregnancy. The construction of the newborn is similar to their digestion, in that the nanocells take bulk material generated from the main cellular production centers and construct it, using electric impulses to lock the multipurpose cells into the proper formation (the cellular difference between their bones and their blood is less than that of a human’s, because the cells must be able to substitute for another function at a moment’s notice.)
For this reason, the infant will appear to be dead for most of the pregnancy, barely sustaning an electric circuit as it is being formed, and in the final days of pregnancy, the infant is connected to the mother via a strand of superconductive nanocells through which she transfers any knowledge she needs to into the infant’s brain, and then releases an electric surge to start its heart beating.
Because of the multipurpose nature of the Elikar’s cellular structure, their healing factor is far, far above the norm–the average Elikar is able to heal from a moderate wound in a matter of minutes. Due to the fact that the cells can link up to share information, the Elikar can even lose its brain and recover, creating the potential to clone an Elikar brain at any given stage of life–however, most of the Elikar cell groups are designed to recognize when a portion of the body remains, and to weigh the severed parts, self-destructing the smaller or less vital portion.
The Elikar are mortal, but only because their cells gradually lose their capacity to hold an electric charge. This will lead to a limb ‘deadening’, and the rest of the body weakening too far to regenerate it. Many Elikar, by the time they have reached this stage, are already so well-versed in cybernetics that they often design, if not build, their own cybernetic prosthetics. In this way, some Elikar live to be upwards of two or three thousand terrestrial years old, though the standard age range is eight to nine hundred.
The Elikar have navels, but no umbilical cords. It is theorized that this is a holdover from their predecessor’s design. They are particularly embarrassed when it shows apart from an intimate encounter, because it is considered to be the one part of the Elikar body that serves no purpose.
The Elikar are a social race, but their radical alteration has led them to be less emotional. They still exhibit all the typical emotional and creative instincts and urges all intelligent races do, but they consider themselves more an intellectual society. As such, they measure their IQ rigidly and pride themselves on academic achievements. It is not unusual for the top students in the graduating class of any given academy to continue to congregate for years afterward.
The Elikar are generally kind and generous, but their conversational tone is often so frank and plain that they are mistakenly purported to be blunt and rude. In truth, they are slow to give offense, and if they find they have offended someone, they are quick to apologize. This is due to their incredibly long lives, in part; they have learned on a deep level the importance of building alliances and forging friendships to aid them later.
They are always in search of new knowledge and philosophies, and for this reason they are almost more likely to associate with other races than their own. In fact, there are so many Elikar exchange students in alien institutes that all but a handful of the original Elikar-Nava academies–the very best–have shut down, and those that remain are attended by equal numbers Elikar and aliens.
The Elikar are not, on the whole, religious; but they are strongly philosophical, often bringing to the surface a deep philosophical truth or idea out of a seemingly trivial matter–often garnering more respect than they realize in doing so. They have a reputation as deep thinkers and rational creatures. They have no superstitions, but recognize and respect others’, and have one religion, which some follow and some don’t as a matter of course–a monotheistic faith that worships what they call ‘The Nucleus,’ which they believe to be a force of order, thought, and in their minds, good, which the universe revolves around.
Elikar courtship is short and sweet, lasting only a year or so if an Elikar has found the ‘right’ mate, ‘rightness’ being measured only partly by physical attraction and mental/emotional compatibility–their biochemical compatibility must also synch up. There is a one in ten chance of synching up with any given Elikar of the opposite sex. There is no homosexuality practiced among the Elikar; they are not against the practice, but find it confusing, inefficient, and ‘sterile’; in their mind, any meeting of homogeneous life-forms will be less productive than heterogeneous.
The Elikar, being intellectual, have a Chancellory, with nine Chancellors, one representing each world and satellite under Elikar control. These Chancellors are elected from existing office among their planetary republics, usually having been president or vice president before their appointment to the Chancellory. The heirarchy, then, is consisted of one High Chancellor and eight Chancellors who, between themselves, rule the Elikar system; nine Presidents, who rule their individual planets with guidance of the Chancellory; nine Forums composed of twenty Councillors each; and local government often depending on the region and population. In galactic government, the Elikar are always the voice of science, reason, and alliance. While a little less rational than some, and much less emotional than others, they are often level-headed and tend to see things objectively, though looking at the problem from any given angle presented to them.
This article was written by Nathan Nichols as an entry to the Alien August competition 2015.