Neumono are a bipedal, omnivorous species with powerful regeneration and redundant organs. Because of this, they need to eat a great deal to sustain themselves. Caloric needs vary as much as their height does, and can range from 3,000 to 8,000 calories per day. Neumono fur color varies based on their biome, and the most common are blue, red, green and near-white.
Survival on their home world at any biome is nearly impossible for a lone neumono, and their psychic ability to broadcast their emotions to each other around 30 meters in radius gives way to form hives. Because of the broadcast of their emotions, this psychic capability is referred to as empathy.
With their weak psychic ability, a number of neumono tend to gather together in a tribe. The bonds within a hive is placed at such a sacred level that by comparison, all outside entities including other hives are only seen as untrustworthy enemies.
A hive needs a king or queen (usually a queen) to act as a bonding force to get neumono to become part of a hive during the initial hive formation, but should the queen die, a pre-existing hive will still be able to perpetuate and eventually get a new queen. A queen is the sign of a healthy hive, as schisms and rogues are less likely if there is a single, tangible neumono to look on as the essence of a hive.
A hive may try to grow, as well, but a queen's ability to bind neumono together is limited based on strength of personality, environmental influence and how physically close the hive spends its time together. Pre-contact, neumono required a certain amount of landmass to sustain themselves, and a hive that must spread out to find food and water is more limited in number. A snow hive typically numbered under 20, while jungle neumono numbered under 200.
Should a hive grow in population, schisms can occur. The bubble of the hive may start to wobble with too many chances for cliques of neumono to drift apart from each other. A latent queen may feel such separation from the hive that she, and a great number of the hive, will split off. Rogues are also neumono that feel estranged from their hive for various reasons. They end up repelled from their hive and leave on their own merit, even though attempting to survive in the wild alone is near suicide.
This rejection of the hive, from either a schism or a rogue, isn't handle well by the original hive. The broken branch or rogue is then treated as a complete stranger with the added trouble of a sense of betrayal from the hive. These old hives will quickly go to war with a schism hive, or hunt and kill rogues.
Children are still malleable empathically, and can be adopted by hives with or without a queen. By the time they are adults, becoming adopted is not outright impossible, but is rare and a long process.
Although neumono are omnivorous, vegetables are optional while meat is not. Pre alien contact neumono tribes would rarely be able to get the energy that plants have, but even if they did, they do not have the capability to generate what meat can give them.
Their redundant organs, regeneration and empathy capabilities require more food than would be efficient, but their digestive tracts can break down foods quickly and thoroughly compared to most other home world species and aliens alike.
They can eat most foods they can find, but the variety of this has not seemed to be significant. This reflects their dental structure of only two kinds of teeth; canines and molars. While incisors would have seemed like a benefit that should have rose hundreds of thousands of years ago, neumono have appeared to avoid these, potentially from empathic-growth explained in the biological section. There are a number of foods that they can't eat well, but post alien contact, chocolate and caffeine can have detrimental effects. It takes an exorbitant amount to put their life in jeopardy, but small amounts can make them sick.
It's a rare thing for a neumono to become the apex predator of their respective region. The high oxygen atmosphere of their home planet has led to a high density of life, and with that, unparalleled levels of danger from other species. The neumono have survived by being part of a team, their hive, of which their hive's survival is more important than their own personal wellbeing. Their hive does not necessarily stick together at all times, instead, multiple groups of neumono will spread apart to cover the largest amount of area to hunt and gather back together at night or when necessary to protect each other. The chance of receiving what most species would consider a mortal wound was exceedingly high during hunting trips, and it's this danger that led to a series of organ redundancy.
They have 10 hearts across their body of varying sizes. They still contain only two lungs, but these are compartmentalized, preventing choking on blood in case of an internal wound. Each lung is also capable of taking in a high capacity of air in case the other lung is destroyed. Their blood is under higher pressure, but coagulates quickly.
Most influential is that they do not have a centralized brain. Instead, their brain matter tends to be spread apart with their nervous system anywhere that there is bone to protect it. This tends to have enough backup such that even should a neumono lose both legs, they will still retain nearly all of their knowledge, although the neumono will be severely disoriented mentally more so than the physical duress of losing limbs would cause.
The costs involve a severely dampened reaction time. They can hold several conscious thoughts in their mind at once, helping their mental capacity, but they're slow in mental agility. This leads to a high level of focus for trivial thought patterns, but difficulty in rapid flows of logic and deduction. They can grab information and hold onto it effectively, but their ability to deduce further conclusions based on their knowledge tends to be limited. Hence, neumono specific education tends to have split factions between attempting to bypass this limitation by teaching subjects with thorough, heavy doses of information to cover a topic, and to address this limitation by having special practice sessions to train this weak aspect.
There is no correlation to neumono size and the amount of brain matter they have. In other words, smaller neumono have more compact brain matter. Their limitations, and advantages, are both suppressed the smaller a neumono is.
A small neumono on average will have a reaction time of 300ms, while a large neumono may have upwards of half a second of reaction. They get around this by showing tactics that don't need quick thinking. Snow hives, the worst due to their size, would simply sacrifice an arm or take a wound from a predator to distract it while the neumono's companions would deal lethal blows to the predator, and carry the wounded neumono back to camp if necessary. In extra-hive combat, fast reactions seldom came into play, as their empathy would display their plan of attack while they attack. Hence, a neumono is able to react to the attack without relying on reacting to visual indicators.
The ability to regenerate most wounds is, without saying, a valuable asset. Each cell in a neumono body holds information to how the body is supposed to be, and it's part of the brain's subconscious ability to tell the cells where to regenerate. The cell itself has no way of knowing, for instance, that the entirety of an arm is gone. Therefore, it is impossible to simply chop up a neumono and expect it to regrow just fine. Enough brain matter must be connected such that the neumono still has self awareness of its own body to initiate proper regeneration. Theoretically, if a neumono brain had so much redundancy, then it should be possible to bisect this individual and leave both halves to regrow into two identical neumono. To date, however, this level of redundancy has not been found.
Since they must eat a lot of food, the process to convert this into energy generates a high level of heat. Their body temperatures are typically around 103 degrees Fahrenheit, which is often conserved on cold nights by huddling together. The process of this constant energy influx requires lots of oxygen, which has led to neumono blood capable of holding a large surplus. Most neumono can hold their breath between 30 and 60 minutes, and can survive with up to 50% of blood loss provided sufficient rest and food is supplied afterward. The ability to hold breath is diminished significantly when the neumono is physically active, or undergoing active regeneration of body parts.
It is thought that modern neumono are approximately 800,000 years old. However, this, along with all other theories on neumono evolution, is a speculation based on limited evidence, as the psychic influence of growth has made neumono genetics an extremely difficult subject to study. Despite the fact that neumono tend to breed in limited regions even after their expansion across their world, and that large populations were isolated from each other for immense periods of time due to the formation and loss of ice and land bridges during climate changes, neumono still remain a single species. It has been considered that their genetics are so rigid that even slight mutations will severely hurt their ability to reproduce, but given how far neumono have biologically drifted to suit their biomes, this seems unlikely. Furthermore, even within a hive, neumono can vary wildly in height, strength, intelligence and empathic power.
The most likely explanation for their minimal genetic mutation is a process of empathic stabilization during growth. Genetic information from both parents takes a long time to become settled, with pairs of genes sitting around for significant periods before deciding which dominates the other. This decision has been shown to be influenced by empathic force. How a neumono grows has also been proven to be influenced by the hive around him or her.
A neumono tends to retain the entirety of their parents’ genetic information within them, along with weaker copies of their grandparents and other ancestors, diminishing through the generations. These benign, redundant copies die off over time but are recreated in their own children, and may become contenders to be reactivated during fetal and childhood development.
As an example, neumono do not have incisors, the large flat frontal teeth that reside between the canines. This is most likely because incisors look particularly strange to the parents and hive of young neumono. As such, should that mutation occur, than the sheer disdain and discomfort with the strange teeth that the child’s body may activate the previous backups from their parent’s genetic information, employing the genes for front canines and mixing them into the child’s own active genetic structure. If this happens, as it most likely has, then the neumono’s regenerative powers will begin to reject their incisors, and the newly activated backup genes will tell the regeneration how their teeth are supposed to be.
Thus it is possible that, for another demonstration, should a former snow hive be removed from their home and dropped into a jungle, parents may be more likely to think that here, they should have green fur to blend in, and so any dormant mutations that lend themselves to green fur would would be encouraged instead of shunned by empathic selection. More subtle changes, such as becoming shorter and more agile, could still be results of natural selection.
By the end of childhood, their genes sort themselves out more permanently in a dominant-recessive pairing, and legacy genes behind those. This is thought to perhaps be correlated to the fact that a child can still be adopted by a hive he or she was not born into, while an adult cannot migrate hives.
With help from regeneration, a neumono takes approximately 4 months to be conceived and be born. During the first month, the fetus is generated within a womb of the mother, to which the womb then hardens and is given birth to as a whole, with the womb then acting as a pod, or pseudo-egg, to which the baby spends the next 3 months growing into.
Despite pregnancy lasting only one month, the toll it takes on the mother is considerable. It takes enough effort to feed oneself, but to generate enough material to grow the baby for one month and generate enough nutrients inside of the womb for another three, the mother must eat nearly constantly. This burden is such that an accidental pregnancy at the wrong time could lead to the death of the mother, and so the mother, through evolution, has gained the ability to control when and if she gets pregnant.
The male and female each have what appears to be a functional penis and vagina, respectively, but the act of sex is functionally different. Male sperm, instead of acting as a fluid, is compressed into a solidified ball. The female vagina is capable of sucking this out, and can be tucked away in a compartment for later use, and can be sustained for years. It is a common practice for the mother to gather and mix several samples from various desirable males such that, theoretically, the strongest sperm will reach the egg.
This ability to pick mates to reproduce with, and the additional strength females tend to have to protect and hunt themselves while pregnant, has led neumono societies to have fairer gender biases than most sapient species. There is still a moderate advantage towards females, however.
For the most parts, hives breed with other hivemates due to familiarity, trust, and convenience. Due to the low numbers of most hives, this can possibly lead to interbreeding. Due to the evolution and complexity of genetic behavior listed in the previous section, and only through multiple generations of inbreeding will adverse effects be caused. It's for this reason that snowhives, historically having the fewest number in their hives, perhaps subconsciously have the largest incentive to engage in hive warfare and force males to breed with their own females to diversify their gene pool.
There are four major biomes that neumono have occupied.
Snow neumono - These are theorized to be the earliest neumono based on archeological findings and limited knowledge of neumono genetics. These neumono tend to be the largest and stockiest, with white fur and black skin underneath. Fish tend to be the staple of food, but hives would often attempt to take down larger predators. A snow hive tended to average 10-20 members.
Jungle neumono - These neumono are among the smallest and most agile neumono. Due to the sheer density of life forms in most jungles, these neumono tend to require the least amount of square mileage to sustain themselves. Even so, the dense foliage favored smaller neumono that were quick to maneuver. Due to the heavy danger from a myriad of predators, hives tend to be large, typically up to 200 and maneuver in large groups.
Archipelago neumono - Across the world, there are a few regions that have many islands interspersed across the coast. These are almost all occupied by neumono, who have the necessary knowledge and technology to fish. Vegetation forms around the coast to supply necessary levels of hydration. There have not been as many large predators to hunt neumono, here, but the neumono home world has two significant moons. Neumono that make their home on the coast are subject to extreme waves and storms, and usually opt to live on a large cliffside or mountain. Because of their location and the livelihood of the ocean, archipelago neumono could number 20 to 60 and remain relatively stationary.
Redgrass neumono - Named due to the tall, red grasslands across the planet. These neumono are not as large in stature as snow hives, but do benefit from height to see over the grass to understand their location. Neumono hives here typically number 20 to 40. Normally, a hive splits into hunting groups to cover a larger tract of land to hunt in to accommodate a higher number of hivemates, however, redgrass hives travel as a single, uniform pack. They are by far the most aggressive, competitive race of neumono, having to constantly fight for their lives. Living in these biomes is among the most dangerous on the planet, as there are a wide assortments of large, carnivorous plants that lie under the grass, and various, large predators that openly roam the fields. Redgrass neumono are often the strongest mentally, likely as a slow process to resist the most greatly feared predator the neumono know of. This predator is such a specialized, effective predator to the neumono, that neumono tribes simply call it The Predator.
There have not been any signs of a cave neumono race, only neumono that have inhabited caves when they were forced out of their proper biome. These were often hives that were actively hunted by other neumono, and needed a place to hide from. Hives would not last long enough to evolve to their environment. Either they would try to escape back to the surface, or die within the caverns.
Deserts also have a large amount of wildlife on them that could sustain neumono by food. Neumono are not suited to withstand hot, dry environments, and so could not bridge the gap into forming desert habitats.
Perpetuation of the Neumono Stone Age
Across archaeological findings, there have been neumono castles resembling the human medieval period. Muskets and cannons have been invented, lost, and reinvented. There have been cave and mural paintings of what seemed like hypothesizing the existence of radio waves, radiation and other sciences. Still, no technology seemed to be held onto past the fall of a hive, and there are a number of hypothesis as to why.
Their hands allow for limited tool usage, but are typically too rigid and inflexible for fine motor control in many cases. This was initially thought to hamper their ability to use and create technology, but while this may have played a moderate factor, they have managed to make due with most modern technology by showing drastic improvements in flexibility and motor control by training their hands to perform complex tasks.
The neumono hive system can be thought of as an extreme version of early human hunter and gatherer tribes. Neumono, in this case, have their empathy to bond themselves so tightly to their own hive, that they will consider anything outside of their hive to be untrustworthy enemies.
While humans were eventually able to exit this stage with the forming of stationary societies that inevitably gained hierarchies and classes, neumono seemed mentally incapable of forming a working society that could afford the costs of civilizations.
As a neumono hive might try to grow, a schism and an influx of rogues were likely to be incurred. This is common in sites that showed neumono attempting agriculture and settling down. Schisms would end up with two hives who considered those lands to be theirs, which would end up with the two hives either wiping each other out, or one winning only to either revert back to hunting and gathering, or to repeat the cycle.
Sometimes a hive, for various reasons, does begin a technological advance. Their societies are still unstable, however, and so their hive dies, and their technology dies with them.
Despite the technological advantage with weaponry that some have, a musket is not as advantageous over an axe for killing a neumono aside from the range, due to the ability of neumono to withstand bullets. It does, however, impress the hive on the receiving end, and neumono hives tend to like to think themselves as the best. It's a common practice for a hive to attempt to kill another hive who they think is surpassing them. Hence, forming a technological advantage tends to make an enemy out of other hives by default. Thus, these science hives tend to be placed on the run, or build as many fortifications as they can. The latter often does not work so well, since food stores would be eaten quickly while under siege.
There are various reasons why a science hive would die over time, but it's even more speculative as to why their technology is lost. A lower tech hive defeating a higher tech hive might be thought to take over the technology, but it's apparent that they didn't feel the inclination to. Perhaps they thought the technology was part of the enemy hive and not to be trusted, or the felt their low tech ways were the better ways, since, after all, they defeated the higher tech hive. Plus, when a hive defeats another hive, the losing hive almost always faces complete extinction. Neumono don't have many reservations about cannibalism, and eating another hive is considered a great victory.
In short, gaining technology often places a hive on the map unfavorably. They become besieged by any hive that realizes their supposed strength out of some primitive form of spite and competitiveness. The science hive then gets hunted down until they're defeated and killed, and their technology is left to decay if not be outright destroyed.
This list is not comprehensive. Sorted chronologically.
- Most the cast of AsteroidQuest. If you know any neumono, this is probably where they're from.
- Polo, Rokoa, Kappi, Pilon, Korli, Katzati, Az, to name a few.
- Likol, Okei and others in Unnatural Selection
- The eponymous Polokoa of Polokoa Quest and her
supporting castbackup dancers.
- Neumono are the (largely offscreen) antagonists in Lawyers, Guns and Money
- Korror and the pygmy hive of Koror Quest
- Mac, Luvi and co in The Rogue
- Miko of Nice Save
- Ekasarra, her hivemates, and Lackey in Salikai (the quest, not the race)
- Our very own wikilord Dakdo takes his name from a neumono character he once played.
|Quests by Lagotrope|
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