There was the taste of a new year in the year, and young Pathun was the first to sense a need for change. He decided that his best course of action was to travel underneath the garden. Trouble was that the cart was extremely slow, so Pathun attempted to move it along by walking while on top of it! At least he managed to burn off some extra energy while he waited for those wheels to take him to his next destination. His recent encounter with an illness was enough to make him want to get a little more out of life. He was growing up so quickly, which had me wondering when it would be a good time to introduce a new baby Norn to the group.
After he reached his destination, Pathun stumbled across my temporary storage spot for all of the unhatched eggs. He must have gotten an idea, for he blasted a song from the trumpet for all to hear! I understood it to mean that he was fine not being the baby anymore. After all, it certainly was about time for a new egg to hatch! Pathun wasn’t about to wake any of the nearby eggs from their slumber, yet I hoped that the upcoming hatchling would be a friend to him. Pathun had yet to really fit in, though he was having some fun traveling around from group to group. Plus, he found that trumpet!
Lights flickered, eggshell pieces flew, and in a flash there was a new Norn before my eyes! Pfeffablel was the daughter of Pipit and Whydah. Despite her appearance looking rather similar to a few Norns from this generation, she was a little more distantly related. Pathun must have wished very well, since Pfeffablel looked almost like him! She was a very happy baby right from the start, unlike some others who announce their arrival with sad frowns. There is often no genetic explanation for how most Norns will look at birth: Some are happy, while some are too hungry or scared to think of anything else. In Pfeffablel’s case, she was quite happy with only a few genetic mutations! She wanted to urge me along to show her all of Albia, but there was the scientific standpoint to take, if only for a few minutes. No one could escape my curiosity when it came to examining genomes: Not even little Pfeffablel!
Chemical reactions define rules for individual chemicals and chemical combinations. These genes can also state the rules for how chemicals are used up, and each reaction has a defined half-life to determine how often it occurs.
Mutation: 142 Emb B MutDup 1*Starch => 1*Glucose + 3*Hunger-; half-life=64
Default: 142 Emb B MutDup 1*Starch => 2*Glucose + 1*Hunger-; half-life=64
This gene is quite straightforward, as it convert starch into glucose and hunger decrease. In a nutshell, the Creatures 1 digestive system converts starch into glucose, and glucose into glycogen. This is not always the case and there are some other reactions that come into play, but this should suffice for an explanation of this mutation! Pfeffablel’s gene converts one unit of starch into three times as much hunger decrease. The values are rather small, yet when a food item contains 50 units of starch, that’s a difference of 50 hunger decrease versus 150 hunger decrease. Therefore, eating will decrease Pfeffablel’s hunger much quicker, making this a rather useful mutation! She will still experience hunger in all of the usual ways. So long as she gets enough starch, she should feel more satisfied for longer. That should equate to a happy Norn!
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.
Mutation: 245 Emb B Mut ‘Invol 4=’shiver” causes => 16*Hotness++ + 32*Coldness- + 16*Coldness + 16*Fear
Default: 245 Emb B Mut ‘Invol 4=’shiver” causes => 16*Hotness++ + 32*Coldness- + 16*Tiredness + 16*Fear
This is a genetic mutation that has popped up a few times before, so I’ll keep the explanation rather brief. When a Norn shivers, he or she usually experiences all of the listed chemicals, including tiredness. After all, it takes some energy to shiver and warm up! For Pfeffablel, tiredness will not enter the equation, although she will feel coldness while shivering. This should make it more difficult for her to warm up, so hopefully she will never be cold enough to need to warm up a whole lot! And no illnesses, either… Enough antigens have already assaulted this group!
During Pfeffablel’s initial lessons, I noticed that Losthrayte’s life force was falling very quickly in the Observation Kit. With her status listed as “Healthy” I knew there was just one explanation: The deathcap mushroom. I left the tiny new addition to the world to check up on Losthrayte. I figured she would have known better, but of course not! The cheeky lady was just traveling up in the lift when I found her and the missing piece of the poisonous weed. She acted like nothing happened, even stopping to take an extended nap! Her life force dipped down to about 45% while she slept, though she wasn’t in too much danger. A healthy Norn will typically be able to survive one sampling of the deathcap mushroom. Losthrayte was fine in no time, thankfully!
After spending so much time away from Pfeffablel, I figured she was ready to act out for some attention. Instead, she finished her lessons very well and laid down to take a nap, all by herself! What a smart little one she was! She woke up eager to learn more, and she soon joined up with a few Norns who were traveling between the incubator and the garden. It was another bittersweet moment: Every baby Norn I raise only knows the hand up to a certain point, and then he or she joins the rest without looking back. Pfeffablel had a great beginning, with lots to look forward to.
Right before I was ready to bid farewell to everyone in Creatures 1 for the night, I noticed another plummeting life force. Brekennion must have taken a page from Losthrayte’s book! He was trying to cover his tracks and make me wonder what was wrong with him. Yet his admission that he was going to “push lift” made him all the less innocent… Not like the lift accidentally took him down there! A few carrots later, and Brekennion was back to his healthy self, with only a little bit of sneakiness left in his eye. Such a silly Norn!