Adagio 2 – Nebulons
I am one of the few Scientist/Historians ever to make a thorough examination of Nebulon physiology and culture. It helped that I lived with some of them for a while, even helping to raise a couple of very young ones. And unlike the cross-bred lizard-Russian-Galtorrian-Human idiots who were the superior authority and dominant race of the Galtorr Imperium, I didn’t try to belittle them as mere “Space Smurfs” and take their existence as a joke. As a participant in the destruction of the Galtorr Imperium and the rise of the New Star League, I, Googol Marou, can speak with some authority on the subject of Nebulons.
Suffice it to say, the present shape of the Milky Way Civilization in the Orion Spur owes much to the nature of Space Smurfs. They were critical to the Imperial defeat and the unification of the New Stars. You will see more of that in this history, well, unless I inadvertently forget to tell you that part. I have been known to get a bit absent-minded when my mind is on superior matters of science, or the baking of pies. But I have to admit to my great shame, that I, like most Imperials, was prejudiced against the Nebulons at the start. We thought them in many ways inferior because of their living technologies and small stature. What we didn’t realize is that their neotyny, their child-like physical make-up, was evidence that they were indeed more advanced than we in an evolutionary sense. They were also environmentally friendly, living in symbiotic peace with their living technology. Instead of exploiting worlds, as the humans and Galtorrians had done, they created new living environments.
Now, my genetic inquiries proved that Nebulons were practically identical to Earthers. They were capable of interbreeding with us without genetic manipulations. That makes them more like us than a Galtorrian, even a crossbred Galtorrian/Human fusion. They also possessed a few advantages we didn’t have. The copper-sulfate-based pigments in their skins were originally caused by diet and exposure to nebula radiation. It gave them immunity to radiation that was deadly to any other humanoid. The bright yellow hair was apparently also due to exotic radiation exposure over centuries. I formed a theory that Nebulons may have originated on Earth and evolved as they explored deep space, beyond the known stars of the Thousand Worlds.
Now, as to their culture, they center it around living organisms that function symbiotically. Their spaceships are the Great Nebula Space Whales, those strange fish-shaped balloon-beings that apparently bred in the depths of mighty gas giant planets and migrated to the gaseous clouds of nebula space. They are much the same size as an Imperial Dreadnaught, and can easily support 500,000 Nebulons in their oxygenated inner chambers. They even have spaces in their heads where the Nebulon pilots can live and function, tickling nerve endings to get the space behemoths to fold space and jump light years in an instant. Manipulating jump space is the same whether you do it with a massive photon drive, or the natural glands of a space whale. It is a matter of using gravity to fold space at a weak point in the fabric of space, making a worm-hole to another part of space, usually no more than six parsecs distant (for those who are math-challenged, that means about nineteen and a half light years), and coming out of jump space at the end of a spider web-like trail that litters space with the cobwebs of interstellar travel.
Nebulons also make clothing of living tissue that keeps the body it surrounds at the proper temperature, and absorbs and digests all dirt, sweat, and dead skin cells. Nebulon clothing is self-cleaning! It also grows with the young to avoid the need for ever changing it. I can’t wear Nebulon cloth without cringing, because I know what it really is, but I am told that if you get used to it, it is like a perfect second skin.
Nebulons exhibit a child-like love for life, treasuring each others’ presence and having fun almost all the time. I have come to find them truly endearing. They rarely go to war with each other, and have to be seriously goaded into fighting by any potential enemy. It turns out that it is a sad thing that we can’t all be more like Nebulons. And to think we wasted all those centuries despising them for their differences!