Juggling the Activities of a Lively Albia

When the world settled down just enough, I raced to introduce another second generation Norn into Albia. One must take advantage of slow times, after all! This adorable little one is Valla, the daughter of Ranulf and Kari. Kari had been pregnant with Valla at the time when Signe passed away so sadly. Signe should be remembered throughout the life of little Valla, as a tribute to a Norn who never had any young ones of her own. This youngster popped out of her egg, ready to take on the world! I stifled a laugh as I realized that even Purple Mountain Norn babies wore outlandish lipstick. All the same, I thought she was cute as a button. Better yet, she had inherited a mixture of standard Norn genes and the updated Forest Norn genes without any mutations. It was a joy to again welcome a new baby into Creatures 1!

After becoming a studious Norn at the learning computer, Valla ventured near the fire and suddenly froze in mid-step as she looked over towards the incubator. Signe had passed away just beneath it, and perhaps Valla sensed it. Just another coincidence, I’m sure, yet she seemed fixated on the spot for a little while. I coaxed her out into the garden, where she discovered the wonderful spinning top. What excitement! I was forced to leave Valla on her own for a bit, although she showed all the signs that she could care for herself.

Pettvika showed off her growing egg, while posing in front of the beehives. As Nordmela had done before, Pettvika learned how to eat the delicious honey directly from its source. Naturally, her curiosity resulted in some painful bee stings, too, but most Norns would endure a bit of pain to get at an endless supply of honey! I soon had to rush off to take care of Stokka, who had been kisspopping with Ure on the desert island. Her companion, Ramsvika, was also in need of some attention, as she had failed to eat anything for quite some time. Norn care is not the easiest of matters! I often find myself juggling various Norns at once, although I truly enjoy it.

At just twelve minutes old, Valla grew into a child ahead of the usual schedule. At least she was able to tend to her own needs: I watched her sleep, play, and eat all on her own. The younger Norns tend to be excellent and independent, yet with the onset of adulthood and old age, many lapse into a state of not knowing what to do with themselves. It is almost as if the adorable qualities of the babies allows us to become attached so that we may better care for them as they get older. Maybe Valla would be the exception!

Did I mention something about juggling when it comes to Norn care? Oppeid was not in a peaceful slumber, unfortunately: He had contracted an illness which contained a fair amount of sleep toxin. This toxin is actually quite helpful during illnesses: It keeps a contagious Norn from traveling and spreading the illness. Sleep toxin also forces a creature to fall asleep and not expend extra energy used in moving about. While Oppeid was awake, he came in contact with Mevik, and I was sure that I would have the two males to bring back to health. As luck would have it, Oppeid kept the infection to himself and ate up the carrots I brought him.

Take that, antigen 7! Not pictured here is the sleep toxin, although it was in full swing. I noticed that this was another illness with at least one of the unknown toxins present. Notice its behavior, and how it mimics the behavior of an antigen. Histamine B is also similar, but has a less choppy pattern to its peaks and valleys. I have never experienced a creature who was infected with an unknown toxin and not an antigen. Then again, would anyone know what that might look like? My theory is that the unknown toxins are other antigens, although the differences are not completely clear. For one, though, there are no corresponding unknown antibodies. I have not noticed any genes which control the production or chemical reactions associated with them. They remain… Unknown.

With Oppeid’s infection gone and no pregnant Norns to keep an eye on, I decided to hatch another egg. I desperately hoped for a male, yet this one defied me with a little smile! This is Ytteren, the daughter of Ranulf and Nordis. Expect to see Ranulf as the father of nearly every other second generation egg! She inherited a mixture of standard Norn genes and Forest Norn genes, as I would have predicted. I was looking forward to delving into her genetics, though, since I knew she had a couple of mutations. It had been a long time since I had looked at Norn genetics, and I was excited for the analysis. I highly recommend taking a look at the genetics side of Creatures at some point: It’s not too terrible to get into, and can be fun!

Emitters

Chemical emitters define specific conditions within a Creature in order to affect chemicals. Some examples include experiencing stress from excessive drives, becoming cold due to environmental conditions, and more.

286 Emb B MutDupCut Creature, Drive Levels Fear, chem=Adrenaline, thresh=181, samp=9, gain=26, features=Digital/Clear Source

This gene controls the emitter which is in charge of producing adrenaline in response to fear. In the standard Norn genome, adrenaline is injected when the fear level is at a threshold of 180. Ytteren has a threshold of 181, which is such a slight difference that it should not make any difference. If the threshold was set to something close to the maximum value of 255, this emitter would only produce adrenaline when Ytteren’s fear level was almost at its highest. Adrenaline causes stress in creatures, and can lead to shorter lifespans and decreased fertility. Although this mutation is very minor, it is definitely a step in the right direction and a positive one!

Stimuli

Stimuli genes define the chemicals that a Creature expects to receive in response to an action. These actions can range from interactions with the hand to involuntary actions like coughing or sneezing.

91 Emb B Mut ‘Pointer pats me’ causes sig=32 GS neu=0(I’ve been patted) int=255, , , Sensed Even When Asleep => 64*NFP- + 16*Pain- + 16*Loneliness- + 16*Reinforcement

This gene is associated with what happens when the Norn is tickled, or patted. In a standard Norn, this products a decrease in need for pleasure, pain, and loneliness, as well as reward. In Ytteren, this reward is replaced with reinforcement. Both chemicals are used in the learning process, but reinforcement is produced by reward to strengthen recent learning. Reinforcement applies to both reward and punishment: Just as its name suggests, it reinforces certain positive or negative behavior. With Ytteren, no amount of tickling will reward her. On the contrary, it might even deter her from positive behavior, since it could reinforce only punishment. Would speaking the word “yes” or “good” result in any different effects? I have always thought that this was tied to this stimulus, although I could be wrong. In any event, Ytteren might only receive reward from direct interactions, such as eating. Teaching her could pose a challenge, but I love a Creatures challenge!

Ramsvika and Valla had joined forces near the temple, and they were very curious about the newest member of their group. The new infusion of youth inspired Ramsvika to finally eat something, although she seemed quite intent on staring at Valla. I could not decide whether she was admiring her hairstyle, or comparing heights. Ytteren tried her best to keep up with the older Norns: She was poised to grab the interesting tail in front of her!

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