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Space Elves and TITANS

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Bainbridge: Alright, Callosum, you got the sample?


Callosum: It would have been better if you got me a stack or a backup, biochemistry isn’t really my specialty.


Bainbridge: But you can work with this?


Callosum: I’m simulating a brain structure from the genome as we speak. But there’s more here.


Bainbridge: I didn’t find any convergence with TITAN tech or the Exsurgent virus.


Callosum: Well that’s a relief, but that raises even more questions.


Bainbridge: Such as?


Callosum: Well, the first thing I noticed was the karyotype, you know that most Flats, Splicers, and Exalts have 46 chromosomes and biomorphs with significant biomods like Rusters and Aquamorphs have 48?


Jake Carter: Most Rusters have 47, the corps want us to pay through the nose for our kids.


Callosum: Right, and those “Genetic Service Packs” inject an artificial 48th chromosome?


Jake Carter: Less a chromosome, more a bundle of genes with inhibitors to prevent DNA Polymerase from attaching so every few months you need the treatment again. When I got the cure on my birth morph they pulled some trick to copy my 47th chromosome without full mitosis.


Callosum: Anyways, back on topic, this sample has 52 chromosomes, and four of them don’t look like any Terran genome my database had on file. Some of it looks more like nanobot design specs.


Bainbridge: Have you spoken to Aun Bleu? She might have some insights there.


Callosum: I thought about it. But then I got into the other chromosomes and found matches in not only Homo sapiens sapiens, but H. sapiens neanderthalensis, H. heidelbergensis, and even H. denisova.


Jake Carter: I thought Europeans had Neanderthal genes already?


Callosum: Not these ones, some of these sequences are used to distinguish the revived Neanderthals from Splicers. But there’s a lot of material here that doesn’t have any match in known Terran life as well, so much I’m tempted to call this a neogenetic rather than transhuman. Heck, I’d hesitate to call it a primate.


Bainbridge: You think it could be a hoax?


Callosum: Kind of doubt it, honestly. You know anything about phylogenetics?


Bainbridge: Estimation of evolutionary relationships by tracking mutations in the genome.


Callosum: Close enough. Most artificial genetic modifications stand out for either the lack of divergence or a massive amount of divergence, depending on how competent the techs were. The four nanotech chromosomes are obvious recent modifications, on evolutionary timescales at least. But the rest of the genome is far, far older.


Bainbridge: How old?


Callosum: It’s hard to tell without more information, but from what I can see here it seems likely that whoever created this morph’s ancestors could have taken their samples from live specimens.