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Desty Nova is a rogue scientist in the field of cybernetics and the main antagonist of Battle Angel Alita. He is an eccentric and highly intelligent scientist responsible for many of the other foes that Alita faces, all in pursuit of his goal to unlock the components of karma, calling his field of research "Karmatron dynamics".
Nova's heinous and inhumane experiments led to him being cast out from society. He is the most recurring foe of Alita, though occasionally appears as an ally to her as well.
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Nova was among two scientists in Tiphares to discover the dark secret about the floating city: that the individuals who come of age have their brains replaced with bio-chips that make them subservient to the will of the Artificial Intelligence known as Melchizedek. Both Nova and his fellow scientist, Jean Vares, went insane from the discovery, as it went into conflict with their brain bio-chips programming for compliance. Nova was eventually cast out of Tiphares to the surface, where he continued to search into experiments with the thought that he could cheat fate and karma, whereas Jean Vares became a terrorist that engaged in a rampage throughout the solar system until he was killed by Aga Mbadi.
On the surface, Nova fathered a son, Kaos, with an unknown woman, and engaged in numerous unethical experiments regarding the use of nanotechnology and cybernetics, a number of which became formidable foes of the series main protagonist, Alita. As Kaos grew up, he became estranged and left Nova to work in his own radio broadcasting and archaeological business, seeking to learn about the history of the Earth as it had been.
Several of Nova's creations or alterations served as antagonists to Alita, including Makaku, Jashugan, Zapan, and Den.
Nova's personality can range from calm and collected to maniacal and insane. He places very little value in human life and is willing to sacrifice anyone to advance his research.
Nova also carries a great degree of cruelty even for his own family. He sees his own, son Kaos, as an antithesis to him and has in numerous instances tortured Kaos as a means to show his son his own twisted view of the world, while at the same time giving his son a degree of separation from his own dark alternate personality, Den. Kaos also has killed or threatened to kill the close friends and people of Kaos' affection or infatuation, such as Alita, as well as ordering the killing of Kaos' former nursemaid, Jasmine.
Desty Nova appears as the overarching antagonist of Alita Battle angel movie.