Kida (ᴋᴇᴇ-dan, plural ᴋᴇᴇ-da) are ant-like creatures who possess an exoskeleton. They originate from the world of Aurum, a harsh world with a poor atmosphere.
Kidan and YOU
Greetings, esteemed crewmember!
In an effort to encourage inter-species cooperation and workplace efficiency, NanoTrasen has compiled a series of helpful guides on the various species that you may be working with!
(NOTE: If you are a member of the species this guide pertains to, please give it to the nearest crewmember of another species)
This particular guide refers to the species known as the Kida (singular: Kidan).
Kidan Naming Schemes
Generally, Kidan names describe both their lineage, as well as their social caste, in addition to a unique word, serving as a sort of a first name. In Galactic Common, such a name might, for example, have the following translation: Zaxx, Noble of Clan Trentis. It’s commonplace for Kida of the lower classes to use only their first name.
Due to the naming scheme being fairly hard to work with for most other species, Kida often simply use their first name and their clan name, in a similar fashion to most of the galaxy.
As a rule-of-thumb, Kida names tend to be multi syllabic and possess sounds that are rather difficult to pronounce for species that do not have a speaking apparatus comparable to the Kidan. Luckily, most crewmembers of this species are more than happy to use a shortened version of their name (usually the first two or three syllables) as a nickname or quick reference in the workplace. It is, however, considered polite to ask before doing so!
Much like earthly insects, Kida possess an open circulatory system filled with hemolymph - a form of plasma analogous to blood in other species. The nature of their open-circulatory system has lead to them having a robust immune system, with additional internal adaptations to protect their tissues and organs from shock. However, despite the advantages Kida enjoy in the efficacy of their immune response, their open circulatory system means bleeding out becomes a much bigger threat. Apart from their circulatory system, the biological pathways involving Kidan physiology are quite similar to that of other known sapient humanoids. Chemists and Doctors will be happy to know that medication works just as well for them as for most other crewmembers!
Kida typically stand between 1.8 and 2 meters tall, and possess a hard, carapace-like exoskeleton that offers minor protection against blunt force trauma (Security personnel, take care!). The Kida exoskeleton tends to be dull-coloured (brown and dark orange hues are the most common), but bright splotches of colour patterning the exoskeleton are not unheard of.
Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of Kidan physiology is a pair of long segmented antennae on the top of their head, which play a vital role in communication in their native language. In addition to this, Kida possess large, compound eyes. This means that Kidan eyesight - while having a higher degree of clarity - suffers from poor peripheral vision, with objects becoming blurrier as they leave their narrow field of view.
While Kida do possess multiple pairs of “arms”, all but one of them have become vestigial, and are usually tucked away underneath clothing. The same can be said for wings, which, while not unheard of, are very rare and functionally useless for the purpose of actual flight. Their legs are notably plantigrade, with two claws coming out of the front and one on the back, allowing some grasping ability with their feet. Due to this particular quirk of Kida biology, large boots and sandals are preferred over shoes.
Kida are very sensitive to temperature variations; colder temperatures cause them to become sluggish, while higher temperatures increase their metabolic rate. It is actually possible for Kida to overheat or overexert themselves to death if exposed to high temperatures for a sufficient amount of time. Please handle thermostats with care when around Kida coworkers.
The Chittin Language
The Kidan language is as fascinating as their naming conventions utilizing not only their vocal apparatus, but also subtle head and antennae movements in addition to clicking, buzzing and even the controlled release of pheromones. This is all done via fine-tuned control of intracranial muscles and specialized glands, the exact mechanisms of which are at this point, unknown.
While they can speak Galactic Common using these mechanisms (and rather efficiently) their mechanism of speech creates some slight idiosyncrasies; Kida tend to use exaggerated antennae movements to denote emotion when speaking to crewmembers belonging to other species, in addition to elongating Z and V noises. S and C noises are also often indistinguishable from Z noises, and their speech is constantly intersected by a slight buzzing tone.
Due to these subtle mechanisms involved in Kidan communication, non-Kidan languages may appear to sound blunt to them, and Kidan coworkers may appear to sound friendly regardless of their current state of spirit. Non-Kidan personnel are urged to not assume that their tone matches their mood.
The Kidan written language is also very curious, being based on the use of colours to represent individual sounds. It is highly advised not to ask Kidan coworkers about their artistic prowess unless one is absolutely certain something is not actually a simple written note.
The Kidan Homeworld
Aurum (pronounced Ah-rum) was once a rich world teeming with life, but is now a largely desolate wasteland drained of resources. Extensive industrial activity and aggressive strip mining have rendered non-terraformed parts of the planet uninhabitable. Extensive and barren mudflats devoid of minerals and complex life cover much of its surface, which are often referred to as the "shallow oceans of Aurum". However, there are multiple hives in which the atmosphere is perfectly viable for supporting life. Nonetheless, despite these difficulties a major segment of the Kida population still lives on their homeworld.
The Kida entered what can be called their own “modern” era around the year 2100, with the emergence of the first sapient Dionae on their planet. Current scientific consensus in the Galactic community posits that Dionae arrived on Aurum when a gestalt mass impacted with the planet in prehistoric times, but for most of Kidan history the Dionae on their planet never managed to regain a gestalt state. For millennia, a major part of the Kidan diet had been Larval Dionae (or Nymphs, as they are usually known). These specimens were bred in massive numbers and served as the main pillar of the Kida diet, allowing the Kida population and civilization to boom.
However, for reasons not yet understood Diona began to gather into what are now classified as “Gestalt Diona”, attaining sapience in the process. As the Gestalts began demanding the right to be treated like ordinary members of Kida society, they became impossible to farm. With their major source of food now gone or in active revolt, Kida civilization rapidly collapsed. Billions died in the ensuing chaos, and nearly every major hive was left severely depopulated.
Technological progress quickly halted due to the chaotic conditions and famine on Aurum. However, in the year 2170 a small team of miners struck plasma inside a local mine. This soon revealed a massive vein of the precious and rare element; indeed, most of Aurum appeared to be rich in it. A lack of adequate safety standards lead to the accidental exposure of elemental plasma to the female population of Aurum, causing rampant mutations. Sadly, many of these mutations seemed to induce a state of heightened aggressiveness toward other females likely due to pheromonal inhibition. Millions of deaths ensued in the span of mere weeks, leaving few females left alive across the entirety of Aurum.
Some of these remaining females however had mutated beyond recognition. Prolonged exposure to plasma had caused them to develop extremely powerful psionic abilities, in addition to a nigh-perfect genetic memory spanning the entirety of Kida civilization. With their newfound powers these self-proclaimed “Empresses” began leading the Kida towards the stars, and in a mere fifty years their civilization had progressed from a pre-industrial state to sending satellites into orbit around Aurum.
Soon enough, the Kida began strip mining their local solar system for any materials they could use for their frenzied expansion, developing a rudimentary warpgate technology (a primitive precursor to Bluespace Drives) soon after and initiating a daring exploration of the galaxy proper. Throughout this entire segment of their history, the principal challenge was still finding an adequate food source to replace the Dionae, who - at this point - had either disappeared into the blackness of space or taken up residence in the barren wilds of Aurum.
First contact between Humanity and Kida was made in the year 2411, between a human exploration vessel charting the Pleiades-Taurus (Seven Sister) star cluster and what appears to have been a Kidan military frigate (or an adequate analogue). While the exact details are unknown, what is certain is that the Kidan vessel captured the human ship and utilized its databanks to gain knowledge on the current state of the galaxy.
Following this incident, the Kida proceeded to raid a series of outlying human colonies, amassing weapons, supplies and above all, knowledge of the galaxy and its known species. In an effort to curtail further expansion, the Solar-Central Compact (SCC) rapidly amassed and deployed a combat fleet and sent it toward the Kida raiding grounds. This military action would culminate in the Battle of Argos, fought over the planet of the same name. The combined might of the Solar-Central Compact’s navy made quick work of the comparatively minuscule Kida fleet, forcing their retreat in a decisive victory for the SCC.
The Battle of Argos was only the beginning of the war, however. The SCC navy chased the routed remnants of the Kida fleet back to their home system of Aurum, leading the latter to execute increasingly desperate and often suicidal, attacks in order to delay an invasion of their homeworld (up to and including directly ramming vessels). These tactics - though seen as noble by other Kidan - would prove largely ineffectual against the numerical superiority of the SCC, and the Kida defeat was soon sealed with the death of its last Empress during the Siege of Aurum.
This death would reverberate throughout the entirety of the species, who up until this point had considered the Empresses to be living goddesses. Their disappearance sent a shockwave through the collective consciousness of the Kida, which hastened their complete and unconditional surrender to the occupying SCC forces. Since 2416, all Kida military vessels are forbidden from leaving their home system, and the size of their military is strictly controlled and under sanctions enforced by the SCC.
Kida live in families comparable to those of humans, although having more than two children is generally frowned upon due to the cultural stigma associated with previous famines. Kida education and upbringing is largely dependent on their social caste, but generalized education (enough for basic literacy and mathematical knowledge) is available to all members of society. Typically, Kida are taught the same profession as their parents.
While possible to break free from the constraints of one’s social caste and aspire to take up professions outside of it, such an act is largely seen as an affront to the accepted social hierarchy. Those who successfully strive to seek out a higher caste are typically treated as social outliers, though the additional civil benefits and allowance are often worth the cost and effort.
Religion varies wildly between different colonies, mostly due to the long periods spent separated from one another during the war. However, common elements are present, allowing offshoots to be traced back to the original creation story: that a group of spirits embodying various elements came together, pooling their powers and building the world of Aurum and everything on it, from nothing but the ether. The names of these spirits vary immensely depending on planet, region, and sometimes even city, but the central concepts remain the same.
Despite their poor first impression, the Kida government maintains good standing with the rest of the galaxy, having begrudgingly respected the limitations and sanctions placed on them. The present government is largely controlled by a cabal of nobles and oligarchs, remaining functionally inaccessible to lower castes.
Existing castes are quite comparable to the system found in - appropriately enough - regular ant colonies. Hierarchy is defined by caste, and caste is defined strictly by birth. Barring exceptional circumstances (see above), only the offspring of the nobility are considered to have any redeeming social value, which explains their prevalence in the diplomatic corps and the high echelons of the government and military. This has also lead to a system where non-noble larvae are often shunned by the ruling classes and effectively locked in place on the social ladder.
The subjugation inherent to this system of government has created a form of semi-willful serfdom, where the non-nobility operate the lower level jobs and are subservient to the noble-born landowners and industrial barons. Asteroid mining is still widespread in the Kidan home system, with many of the previous colonial and military ships that survived the war retrofitted to serve as industrial vessels.
With galactic culture and modern technology making its way into many hives, many Kida have chosen to pursue their luck in the stars.
Remember, if you see a Kidan, embrace them as your equal in both the pursuit of profit and knowledge!