Niko Maxim

A Somnancy defector who has been through thick and thin to find his happiness.

Written by Barron

Anthem plays her ballads in mysterious ways, never would I have thought my life would become so intertwined with a human. Yet, here we are. I do not regret a single moment.

A Shaky Beginning

Forced to Believe

Niko Maxim was born on a Somnolent core world, to parents who cared little for him. They would berate him to sleep instead of telling him stories, they would force him into military school rather than listen to his creative interests. To Niko's Parents, their son was destined to be an Angel and no other career was acceptable.   The only parental guidance and care he received was from the Family's Aen caretaker. Many a night the Aen would tell young Niko stories of Jhoutai, the possibility of life outside the Somnancy and the military. Powerless to escape his fate, he was conscripted into the Somnancy the week he came of age.

Run Through the Jungle

Niko, despite his rebellion against his service, found himself accelerating in the combat engineer path. With his gifted knowledge, he took on the squad role of maintaining equipment and hacking enemy technology. Niko was at least content with his position until he was sent on his first deployment to a contested planet in a nearby system.   The opponent was Hedonite Guerrillas, who set up horrid Orga-based traps meant to instill fear in their opponents. For the already demotivated Niko, it was an effective measure. Under the cover of a skirmish, Niko deserted his unit and his Banner by hijacking a Hedon single-man ship. He headed for the nearest Syndicate planet, looking to start his new life.
He told me of his childhood. To have your desires for purpose forced, I can't imagine.   I believe that Niko had his own spiritual version of Akjhe, and he did not let it go untended.

Purposes Discovered

Friendship in the Vacuum

When Niko arrived in The Jupiter Syndicate space. He was hard pressed to find a job, with no previous experience he could list and no corporate sponsorship, he was forced to become a Wayship Janitor. He was set to serve upon a mining vessel called the Mole(vehicle).   It was on the Mole that he met Kona Helmshigh, a social Parisan from a powerful family. He too was a Janitor, seeking the experience for his Pilgramage. They quickly became friends, chatting of Kona's home and family into the wee hours of their shifts.

Horror Binds

A twist of fate would put their new found friendship to the test. The House of Sorrows sabotaged the ships operations. They infested the Mole with Selschaeus. Soon the infection has spread to the crew, creating mutated monsters and horrible apparitions of insanity.   Kona and Niko were forced to endure the horrors together, thrust into the oily black conditions of corrupted meta. Kona prepared to sacrifice himself to defend Niko, fighting the Selschaeus horrors until one infected the Parisan's leg.   It was only Niko's swift thinking and gifted mind that saved Kona's life. Over-pressurizing an airlock door and using his projects as decoys, he amputated Kona's leg and dragged him to the last escape pod.
The Mole. Both the worst and best time of my life. It's where I met him.   It's where I fought for and with him. It's where he saved my life and I saved his.   So much gore and insanity... There was no parting us after that.

Friendship Turns to Romance

After surviving the Mole, Niko and Kona ventured together for the rest of Kona's Pilgrimage. Their friendship grew ever stronger over the two years they ventured alone until blossomed into romance. Kona, unable to take his human lover home to his family, decided to extend his adventures abroad.   In order to stay afloat together, they needed a steady income. That was when fate introduced Niko to Riss during an engineers job conference. Riss was in the bathroom, hacking the conference's security in a revenge plot. Niko, intrigued by the Verin, helped out. Riss, being impressed and thankful, hired them on as his security detail afforded to him by The Jupiter Syndicate.

A Cultural Struggle

Seeking more out of their relationship, Kona proposed to Niko during their adventures on The Jupiter Message, and eventually took leave to Jhoutai to attempt to officially make Niko a part of the Helmshigh Family.   The effort was met with resistance from the family, who for the most part did not wish to have a FirstHeart holding their family title. Niko, desperate to be married to Kona and embracing the Parisan culture, began attempts to have his mind reprogammed to have the Parisan Akjhe. This move too was met with resistance, not just from the Helmshigh family, but from many Sazashi of the ValuSelu Pact.   A massive lawsuit erupted out of the affair, pitting Niko's rights as an individual against the fundamental right to reprogram someones biological thought process. The outcome of the lawsuit has yet to be determined.   Through every struggle, hardship, and victory; Kona has stood firm by his side as his life-long partner.
No matter what happens, I will place Niko before all else.   He was stifled by his family, forced to struggle and toil.   I will not let either of us be stifled by my family, he doesn't deserve that.
— Kona Helmshigh


Kona Helmshigh


Towards Niko Maxim


Niko Maxim


Towards Kona Helmshigh


Article Navigation

Kona Helmshigh (Spouse)
Light Blue
Short, Black
6' 3"
182 Lbs

Hey, I'm going to see what I can do with that leg okay? It's probably been a while since it's been tuned. It's probably on it's last legs.

— Niko caring for Kona's prosthetic leg.

Riss, do or don't, no thinking.

We either fix a cracked Meissner Engine, could take a few minutes and risks us being hit by another crashing ship, or trust your skills as a pilot...

And you're a damn good pilot.

— Niko convincing Riss

Niko's good, not as good as me of course, but keeps me grounded.

Sure as shit couldn't talk shop with Kona, unless I want to see a Parisan drool.

— Riss

He's my other half, everything we do, we do it together.

— Kona Helmshigh

Cover image: Hologram Wheel by Ademal


Author's Notes

100 Days of Ethnis

This article was done as a part of the 100 Day Project!   See more on Twitter, World Anvil or Instagram!

Please Login in order to comment!
Master Redclaw123
Elias Redclaw
18 May, 2019 17:10

Okay by far this was truly the best article of ethnis I’ve read, besides the Article about the Parisians and the selschaues. The storytelling elements were incredible to say at the very least and I had a blast of a time reading this! The way you detail the struggle a of Niko, him defecting and running away, finding his love in a completely alien environment wasn’t simply beautiful to read and honestly, I Loved it. Thank you for making such an amazing article Barron and keep up the great work!

Powered by World Anvil