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Peas in a Pod

Posted on Tue Aug 29th, 2017 @ 4:10pm by Lieutenant Grace Shaw M.D. & Ensign Ian Murphy & Ensign Tu'Pari

Mission: Season One, Episode Two - Effigies of the Doomed
Location: Sickbay
Timeline: Current

Tu'Pari had been studying and reviewing the material sent to the Nomad by the Koparaans. Much of what was sent had been very straightforward. They made no secret of the fact that they were a race of clones, but Tu'Pari felt the need to dig deeper.

And, she believed she had something of merit. Unfortunately, her expertise lay elsewhere, so she sought the help of her peers to review her findings and attempt to discover what the Koparaans might be hiding.

She entered sickbay to find the intimidating Doctor Shaw. This was, of course, projection on Tu'Pari's part, but she nonetheless felt small when in the company of the ship's physician.

"Ah, Tu'Pari, lovely to see you again." -Grace welcomed the young Vulcan officer into sickbay.

She'd also called her superior, Ensign Ian Murphy to rendezvous and weigh in on what she had found.

Ian wandered in shortly after Tu'Pari, although not horribly late, smelling of hot steel and metal slag. He'd decided to spend his lunch break working on a project in his shuttle, rather than mulling over more of the Koparaan data files. He'd given himself enough headaches over that particular gordian knot already. He'd just needed to beat something with a large hammer for a little while and picture Brooke Niamh's face underneath the hammer. Have you ever had just the right insult to use and yet abstained from using it out of prudence? That's how he felt, and it really made him want to grind his teeth out of sheer irritation.

"Ensign," Tu'Pari said with the customary Vulcan graces, "thank you for coming." She fought the wrinkle of her nose so as to not indicate her objection to Murphy's odor.

"Trying a new deodorant, Mr. Murphy?" -Grace was somewhat less polite than Tu'Pari, "I don't like it." -she said with a smile.

"Tritanium and baakonite alloys." Ian said, effetely sniffing the back of his hand with a smirk. "With a trace of Gorn vanadium. I like it." He replied with a rather chipper tone and a shrug. Whether anyone else liked it or not was none of his concern.

"Right then, I've got a lot on today, so shall we get to it?" -Dr. Shaw remarked, rubbing her hands together, eager to get started.

"Fine by me." Ian replied. "My mastery of the visceral sciences is a little remedial... So, what have we got on our would-be Samaritans? Anything juicy? Clone version of a Mouse Utopia?"

Grace liked the reference to the experiments carried out on Earth between the 1950's and 1970's. "Looking at the data, it would indicate that the Kopporaans are a race that do spend a considerable amount of time together however, their race appears only to be that of the male gender." Ian's joke withstanding, he was bang on the money.
"The population however appears to be declining due to cloning and from what I can gather, it would appear that they are creating new generations from a limited source of original DNA."
Grace paused for a second, realizing how quickly this turned quite dark. "We'll need to watch our backs, they may see us as a way of propping up their rather stagnant gene pool."

"Genetic degradation, a star that's dying, a planet whose surface is pretty much uninhabitable..." Ian ticked off the Koparaans' difficulties impassively. "They have biotech that's outpaced all of the locals, and the locals don't seem to be inclined to hostilities towards them. I'd say there might be some reasons to be suspicious of them, especially if there is any genetic compatibility between their race and any of our crew. On the other hand, if we're willing to bend the Prime Directive a little, we could have a lot to offer them to increase the odds of their survival." Ian didn't much care about the Prime Annoyance, especially if these aliens held the key to his eventual return to Federation space. "Or we could inadvertently enable them to become tyrants."

Grace was in agreement, "I certainly won't be adding their home world to my long list of 'planets I want to visit before I die,' that's for sure." The doctor picked up her cup of coffee and took a sip. It was the fourth of her day, she really need to cut down, but she needed to focus. There was so many balls in the air at the moment, she couldn't afford to drop any.
"One thing I have noticed though..." -she put the cup down and sighed, " that their DNA seems to be made up of various alien races, it's somehow modified and if you notice this base pair sequence..." -she pointed to the monitor, "...the Kopporaan genome appears to be made up of at least eight distinct different life forms."

Grace turned to Tu'Pari, she'd turned decidedly quiet. "Any thoughts, ensign?"

Tu'Pari reviewed the notes she had made on some of the genetic markers she had studied from the information the Koparaans sent over. Dr. Shaw was on the right track with her assessment. "Yes, Doctor. I was digging into the Koparaans societal structure. They seem to have a pretty strict caste system on their homeworld. I cross referenced my findings with their biology and discovered that their cloning samples have become diluted with time. There is a distinct genetic drift taking place in a large portion of their population. These genetically 'impure' individuals are dedicated to manual labor and menial jobs. Those deemed genetically sound are placed in positions of power." Tu'Pari raised a pointed brow. "What's interesting, however, is that the drift occurs in all Koparaans. Even the elite suffer from this genetic degredation. I also believe this to be secret and kept from those in positions of fealty and subservience."

Ian's eyes narrowed a little at Tu'Pari's findings. If a younger Ian had been on this mission, he would have been outraged, but now he simply accepted such things as being evidence that most sentient species' evolved the ability to be terrible people independently of one another. "Ok. Even if we were to help them, they're still living on borrowed time. Their genome is unraveling and they're putting makeshift patches on top of makeshift patches." He said, pointing at Grace's display. "The ship is already somewhat protected against being taken over -- even if nobody trips the self-destruct, it's a partial wreck and requires authorization to do anything. Is there something we can do to protect our DNA? Something we can introduce to the crew via rations or the air system to keep the Koparaans from making use of it?"

Tu'Pari tucked a tuft of hair behind her subtly pointed ear. "We could set up scanning inhibitors at locations where we suspect our crew might interact with the Koparaans. This, at the very least, would prevent them from obtaining any detailed scans of our genetic makeup." She then realized her plan was a half-measure. "Of course, this accounts not for any physical sampling they may attempt..."


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