The Tale of the Lost and Overlooked Gene

All Norn mothers-to-be know that the best place to lay an egg is on the desert island, and Cotinga was no exception! After enjoying a little nap near the submarine bay, she quickly made her way beneath the glittering ocean to the rather hot and sandy land beyond. I didn’t quite understand her reasoning, yet there was no arguing with that smile! Her pregnancy progressed rather nicely, and she laid her egg without so much as wincing. Guess Cotinga was simply made to be a mother! I left her on her own to recover with a few carrots and toys.

The excitement over a new egg was cut short by my long standing mission to get Junco to eat. Part of the problem was my mistake in teaching him the wrong words, which was made worse by his genetic mutation that made him unable to focus on anything for more than a few milliseconds. At least he was sleeping on his own, though! Surrounded by all that food, and the only thing he could manage to do was to pluck the carrots from the soft earth. At about half an hour old, his life force was teetering around 40%. Not an emergency, yet I knew he would die of hunger if he didn’t learn to eat soon. Was there something else at work?

In my genetic analysis, I failed to notice one very crucial problem with Junco’s genome. He possessed the floating chemical receptor for glycogen, which is a gene present in newer C1 breeds like the Forest Norn, but lacked the floating chemical emitter for hunger. The Health Kit made this even more apparent: Junco had never eaten, and his glycogen level was relatively low. Hunger… What hunger? His body was unable to decipher this need, leading him to never feel the need to eat. This genetic issue is fairly common between mixed breeds, yet the Norns often experiment with food and learn to eat for the sake of being rewarded. Junco’s future looked pretty grim, but at least his greatest worry was boredom. If he starved to death, he would still be pretty comfortable and happy.

This generation of Norns and Grendels had spread out across Albia like I had never seen! Astrapia was last seen hanging out around the cannon in the settlement, yet soon after I found her on the desert island with Adaon. The Grendel had been separated from Arianllyn again, yet Astrapia was all too happy to keep him company. Even in her terribly mixed up pose that made her look like she was missing parts of her body, I could tell that she was happy. Other Norns were also nearby on the island, including Drongo and the newly matured Euphonia. Chances looked good that another Norn egg would soon be on its way!

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