Kira's dream keeps coming back. Is it a warning? All she knows is that her destiny lies intertwined with the prison planet. Will Chavez understand? It is six hours away from rendezvousing with Dr. Winters, who will attempt to help Kira with her problems. But Captain Maddeson is on an intercept course to capture them and return them to the warden. Will they escape? Dr. Winters has diagnosed Kira with the Chameleon Effect and they need to find a way to stop it.
Chavez and Dr. Winters met on the bridge after the doctor was finished with Kira’s blood work. Chavez was estimating the arrival time to Darius when Dr. Winters rushed through the doors.
“Chavez, how long is it until we are orbiting Darius?”
“We have seven solar hours until we enter their system. Why?” Chavez saw the concern written on Dr. Winters face and alarm swept through him. “What’s happening with Kira?”
“Transposons sometimes generate gene mutations. This can cause diseases, but can also be a way for an organism to respond to its environment, through adaptation.”
“Tell me in English, doc.”
“Kira is changing on a cellular level. That’s why she has no memory. She wasn’t irradiated with someone else’s memories; they wiped her clean and left her blank so she could adapt to the information in her surroundings. She will adapt to her surroundings like a chameleon. I don’t advise taking her to a planet until I can create an antidote to either halt or eradicate this. She’s liable to try to adapt to her surroundings by hiding somewhere.”
“Okay, we skip Darius.” Chavez reached to changed course, but Dr. Winters stopped him.
“The problem is, I need some supplies. I need protein transposase to combat this.”
Chavez narrowed his eyes. “How do you get it?”
“I’ll need fresh DNA from individual volunteers.”
Chavez bit his lower lip while considering whether or not he should volunteer. He hesitated, then asked,
“Can you use me?”
“Chavez, this is dangerous.”
“I’d be sharing your DNA with Kira. Any type of gene mutation in your past could show up. How did your parents die?”
“My father abandoned my mother and I when I was young and my mother died in the slave camps. But I’m perfectly healthy.”
“I don’t know…” But Dr. Winters needed the DNA and this was his chance to get started. “I suppose I could screen the DNA for aberrations if it was a small sample.”
Chavez paced around the bridge, trying to think. “Why don’t you start with me while we’re waiting to arrive at Darius? After we get there, you use your shuttle to go to the surface and back. Kira and I will stay in space.”
“I’ll only use you once. That way I can create one dose of antidote. One dose of antidote will cover Kira for any eventuality.”
“Alright. Let’s get cracking.”
To be continued...