Author: Lt. L.B. Pierce CMO CSO USS Ballista
On stardate 46922 the USS Ballista intercepted a vessel of unknown origin containing several life forms drifting in space. After boarding the vessel the life forms were identified as Haradans, a sentient, pre-warp species. The Haradans aboard were kept in stasis and most were still alive but unconscious. There was one Haradan that had perished due to a faulty life support system in its stasis chamber. The full details of this mission have been recorded in a report by Commander Lombardo and can be accessed in Starfleet archives.
One of the living Haradans showed slightly anomalous readings and deeper examination of the subject’s DNA with an electron resonance scanner showed that this Haradan was actually a Cardassian. The level of mimicry was astonishing in its detail and was a result of the artificially induced morphogenic cellular structure of the disguised Cardassian.
This report details further examinations of this morphogenic camouflage technique.
During the initial examination of the disguised Cardassian several tissue samples were taken of its skin, muscle, organs, bone marrow and spinal fluid. These samples were kept in stasis and transported to the author’s private research facility with the approval of Starfleet Intelligence.
These samples were then subjected to deep level electron resonance imaging at the highest resolution. They were then bombarded with a range of energised particles and response was measured using a raman spectrometer and an ultrafast camera interfaced with a molecular scanner.
Deep level scans of the tissue samples revealed a unique cellular structure composed of unusual protein filaments. These can be seen in figure 1.
A scan of energetic structure showed these filaments to have a higher level of stored potential energy than regular Caradassian or Haradan cells.
Bombardment with high energy protons, neutrinos and electrons resulted in no change to the cellular structure however, after bombardment with polarons the cells took on a markedly different appearance which can be seen in figure 2.
The change of cellular state was accompanied by a small release of energy.
When a different type of cell was introduced to the sample, in this case human bone tissue, the cells changed shape to mimic the introduced sample as can be seen in figure 3.
This state change was accompanied by absorption of surrounding energy.
Morphogenes are not unknown in the Alpha quadrant; reports of Chameloids, Wraiths and Sulibans can all be found in Starfleet Medical archives. However, this is the first recorded use of morphogenic cells by a species that has no natural inclination to morph.
It is likely that this Cardassian’s cells were flooded with a particular type of protein from a morphogenic creature and given a “morphogenic energy matrix” that allowed the proteins to unfold and refold into any given form.
The Cardassians have (or had, given the current ecology of their homeworld such an animal may not have survived) a native animal on their homeworld or a colony that has similar properties. This animal changes to resemble whatever it has most recently eaten and can assume all the qualities of that consumed being, including higher intelligence. It is most likely that Cardassian Intelligence has used knowledge gained from this animal for camouflage techniques required for deep level operatives.
There is no way of detecting whether an individual is a morphed operative or not without highly invasive tests. If a morphogenic individual changed their shape they would release and then absorb a characteristic amount of energy depending on the complexity of the new shape compared to the old shape. This energy shift could be detected by radiation sensors but may well be lost in other energetic noise depending on the location of the detectors.
The energetic matrix that keeps the proteins folded in the mimicked form can be disrupted as these results show. When this energy matrix was bombarded with polarons it dissipated and the morphogenic cells collapsed into their ground state. Further tests are needed to see if other energetic particles can influence this morphogenic matrix.