A young Nano in armor
|Other distinctions||Head crest; cyborg enhancements|
- "Technology is our friend. To all others it is a device, but to us, a guide to immortality."
- ―The first lines of the Nanos' holy book
The Nanos are a technologicaly advanced race, who originated from Netrobania, and who have since colonized a small empire of 2000 star systems. The Nanos all have cybogian enhancements, giving them great stength, speed, and intelligence.
Nanos are similar in body shape to humans, though most similarities end there. They have two arms with seven thin, slightly webbed fingers on their hands. Their legs are shaped like a human's, though they lack a heel on their feet. Nanos are built for underwater hunting, with a long, streamlined silhouette while swimming. Their crest fits into a nitch in their backs.
Their heads are fairly round, with long forward sweeping headcrests extending from the back of their skulls. The Nanos' faces are flat, with no lips on their narrow mouths, which house a set of crushing mouth plates. A set of shearing mandibles are also hidden in their mouth. Their eyes are large, black, and sunken inside sockets on the sides of their heads.
A typical Nano stands about 6 feet tall on land, not counting the crest, which adds another 1.5 feet to their height. A Nano child is born at about 1 foot tall, and without a headcrest, though it begins to grow after the first two weeks of infancy. A Nano continues to grow through out its life, leading to some truly colossal individuals among the NCAC.
A Nano's skin is thick and slightly rubbery, unlike some fish species. It is also counter shaded; darker on the dorsal side than on the ventral side. This is a hold-over from their oceanic beginings.
The cybernetic additions on all Nanos lead to some major variations in limb shape, eye color, and physique, to the extant that some individuals are hardly recongizable as Nanos.
The differences in Nano sexes is a fairly small list. Females tend to be larger than males. The females' headcrest is also more curved. Males have larger mandibles, necessitating a wider mouth. The countershading in males is also more pronounced, with an extra set of unique facial markings.
Nanos were originaly an aquatic race, and this still reflects strongly in their physiology. Their hands, and to a smaller extant their feet, are webbed, giving them strong swimming abilities.
Nano skin is tuff and rubbery, with a fat layer underneath, giving them good insulation underwater. This skin is not particularly damage resistant however, necessitating full-body armor during combat and other dangerous activities like building maintance. Their skin also has a limited color changing quality. These color changes are mostly restricted to shifts in shade. Nanos use it for silent comunication, and to denote a deeper meaning to their conversations. This affect doesn't work if the Nano is nervous or angry.
A Nano's eyes are made to see in the deep waters of Netrobania, and are keyed into the lower sections of the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing them to see UV light. This has the draw back of making them blind to all but the lightest colors of red. A Nano's sense of touch is two-fold, as they posses both the normal touch sensors in their skin as well as a lateral line, though the later does not work very well out of water.
Nanos have no external ear. Their sense of hearing is accomplished via their headcrest, which has numerous small holes in it, filled with minute hairs. The headcrest is also used as a tool for speech, as some of the sounds in the Nanosan syntax are in the subsonic range. This has the effect that one Nano cannot talk over another, as talking deafens their headcrests until they stop.
Nanos are adapted to living on land, and as such have strong moisture retention ability. The one thing a Nano must be cautious about on land is sunburn. Their skin does not have an inherent ability to withstand high UV levels, and will burn within about 5 minutes.
Nanos are carnivores, so their diet doesn't consist of many vegetables. This means they have no need for over-large stomachs, and it leaves more room for the book lungs that fill approximately half their chest. A Nano breathes through both its mouth, into the book lungs, and its skin, which absorbs oxygen directly into the bloodstream from the enviroment. The rest of a Nano's organs are much like a human's, though they have a three chambered heart, and a special gland in their throats for filtering out excess salt from the liquids they drink.
Nanos' skeletal structure is made of cartilage, making them highly flexible, though this fact also means that they are slightly uncomfortable on land. There are specific cybernatic enhancements that have been made to counter this problem.
Nano thought processes are geared towards the wellfare of their friends, though not necessaraly their family. A Nano will not commit an action if it believes their is nothing in it that would help their friends, though this is something of a cultural conditioning, as a result of the House structure of government.
Many Nanos have their brains spliced, or even replaced, with computers. This gives them the ability to weigh odds perfectly, and also can retard their intuition if they focus too much on the digital part of their mind. The Ascendants have taken this road, leading to a completely logical set of leaders. The Ascendants upload their memories into "Libraries" spanning the entirety of the Councils existance. This is done to retard the effects of extended existance on beings never made to hold so much knowledge. When a Ascendant needs a set of information, they simply access the Library section containing those memories, copies the information, and then deletes it afterwords.
Nanos are born from eggs that have a 5 month incubation period. Each female lays only two eggs at a time, with one often being invalid. At hatching, a Nano has fully functional limbs, ability to understand the most basic of speech, and eyes covered in a thin membrane. The membrane is something of a mystery to Nano biologists. It falls off after approximately a Netrobanian month, and serves no use in present Nano life. The membrane is hypothesized to be a protector for the young Nano's weak eyes, keeping damaging ultra-violet rays from destroying its retinas.
After the first 45 days, a Nano begins to learn at an excelerated rate, quickly learning the nuances of language. At 2 years of age the headcrest begins to devolope, reaching full height at 10 years of age. At 17 a Nano hits puberty, the males' mandibles get much bigger and sharper, and the females put on a growth spurt. After about 30 years the excelerated rate of growth ends, but Nanos continue to grow through out their lives. As long as they don't die of disease or injuries, a Nano can live up to 920 years, and can grow to the size of forty feet tall. Any Nano that gets this size must stay in the water, otherwise their body would collapse.
Most Nanos never reach this stage, because they have most of their bodies replaced with cyberntics, but a society, known as the Exiled Ones, gave up the use of mechanical replacements due to ideological differences with the NCAC. Members of this group that grow to a large size are sent to Anentansoia, a vast water-world.