A Most Forlorn Norn

Sooo I spent today working on my dragon Norns for the most part, tinkering with little aspects of their genome. I also made my very first working agent today! I'm finally beginning to understand CAOS! I'll make a proper post about that later, because I'm pretty proud of it even if it's a very simple thing. For now I've got something else to cover.

That poor C2 Norn from the post before last has been analyzed. A couple of people were kind enough to point me toward Slink's D-DNA Analyzer, which helped greatly in deciphering the mystery of this Norn's problems. I was going to do this tomorrow, after sleeping... but heck with it! Let's dive in. File 1 is the mutant Gen2 Norn, and File 2 is what I used to create her Gen1 parents.

Firstly, as I suspected, she is suffering from a brain mutation:

621 Different in File 1   6   0 Emb   B MutDup      128  Lobe #= 7 State Rule: state TRUE type0 PLUS type1 <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end>, WTA= 1 Relax State Rule:  <end> <end> <end> <end> 0 <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end>
621 Different in File 2   6   0 Emb   B MutDup      128  Lobe #= 7 State Rule: state PLUS type0 PLUS type1 <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end>, WTA= 1 Relax State Rule:  <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end> <end>

I am just beginning to learn how the Creatures brains work, so I can't parse out the exact meaning of this change. It may not have any real meaning beyond reducing a once-functional gene into muddled gibberish. The important point is that the seventh lobe of her brain simply does not work. Recall that I mentioned that she never tries to move or do anything other than speak and never looks away from herself? This right here is the culprit. The seventh lobe in C2 is the Attention lobe. With a damaged or broken Attention lobe, she is unable to focus on anything and so by default looks only at herself. Either that or the mutation actually forces her to fixate on herself - unsure whether it's specified or a default reaction. Regardless, this is serious brain damage. I will probably never re-import her because of this alone. She just has zero chance whatsoever of having anything resembling an enjoyable Nornish life.

In fact this gene appears to have two mutations. The second one might have been caused by the first though - don't know enough about the brain to be sure. The State Rule has changed, and so has the Relax State Rule. Not good stuff.

But that wasn't her only problem. The shivering turns out to be due to a couple of simple point mutations. Firstly:

 12 Different in File 1   5   0 Emb   B MutDupCut   128  Organ#=1 Creature, Drive Levels Hotness, chem=Coldness, thresh=0, nom=0, gain=122, features=Analogue
 12 Different in File 2   5   0 Emb   B MutDupCut   128  Organ#=1 Creature, Drive Levels Hotness, chem=Hotness, thresh=0, nom=0, gain=122, features=Analogue

This one borked her ability to process temperature chemicals. Instead of the Hotness drive being controlled by the Hotness chemical, as in File 2, it was controlled by Coldness. Essentially this made her unable to perceive warmth. If a place had a lot of Coldness, she'd feel warm, but otherwise she feels very cold because she cannot detect Hotness chemical. This would be a useful adaptation for a Norn living in a cold place, but for her it was a liability. She was shivering because the Norn Hatchery area is warm - unable to sense Hotness chemical and without any Coldness chemical to paradoxically warm her, she was left feeling constantly cold.

That's not her only temperature related mutation:

304 Different in File 1  32   0 Emb   B MutDupCut   128  Organ#=19 Creature, Sensorimotor, Invol 4='shiver', chem=Coldness, thresh=141, nom=1, gain=255, features=Analogue
304 Different in File 2  32   0 Emb   B MutDupCut   128  Organ#=19 Creature, Sensorimotor, Invol 4='shiver', chem=Coldness, thresh=141, nom=0, gain=255, features=Analogue

This is a very small mutation, of course, but it's interesting that she'd have multiple areas of the genome concerning the same function (temperature detection/reactions) mutate all at once in the same individual. (Both parents were genetically identical Gen1 Norns so none of these mutations were inherited.) Essentially, this gene states that when the Coldness chemical reaches a quantity of 141 or higher, the Norn will begin to shiver.

Now here's an interesting change.

158 Different in File 1 112   0 Emb   B MutDupCut   128  Organ#=15 Organ, Injury chem=Antigen4, thresh=16, nom=0, gain=50, features=Inverted Digital
158 Different in File 2 112   0 Emb   B MutDupCut   128  Organ#=15 Organ, Injury chem=Antigen4, thresh=16, nom=0, gain=50, features=Digital

This gene states that Organ 15 is injured by the presence of Antigen4 if its quantity is 16 or higher. Normally, this receptor is Digital rather than Analog, meaning that when the signal strength of the chemical the receptor is sensitive to is greater than the given threshold number, the receptor will fire, and its firing strength will be equal to the nominal plus or minus gain. In this case, in the normal/healthy genome, that means that when the chemical Antigen4 is present in too great a quantity, the receptor fires at a steady rate and intensity; the result is organ damage, as the receptor belongs to the organ's Injury locus.

However, this girl has changed to Inverted Digital. An Inverted analog receptor fires more weakly the stronger the signal gets, rather than firing more strongly the stronger it gets as with a normal analog receptor. Now, Digital receptors don't vary in their strength like that - they're either firing or not firing. So an Inverted Digital receptor will fire when the chemical is BELOW the threshold instead of firing when it's ABOVE the threshold. This poor Norn is similar to a C3DS Toxic Norn in that she actually requires Antigen4 in order to prevent her Organ 15 from dying!

As if all of that wasn't enough...

591 Different in File 1 137   0 Emb   B MutDupCut   128  Organ#=14 Organ, Injury chem=Antigen1, thresh=16, nom=0, gain=50, features=Digital
591 Different in File 2 137   0 Emb   B MutDupCut   128  Organ#=14 Organ, Injury chem=Antigen0, thresh=16, nom=0, gain=50, features=Digital

This gene is sort of a mixed bag. It causes her Organ 14 to be vulnerable to Antigen1 when it wasn't before, but in tradeoff, the organ loses its vulnerability to Antigen0. Kind of a wash, ultimately.

And finally, that's it. All other changes were in pigment and pigment bleed genes. So there you have it - I was right that her main problem was brain damage due to a catastrophic mutation, though I would not have guessed that an entire lobe had gone down in flames. I also had no idea she was slowly dying of lack of Antigen4, too. All in all this is a highly nonviable Norn, and I think I'd be merciful not to ever import her again. It's sad, but it's for the best.

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