Bio Lab (EBSL)
Restricted Area 51, Building T-1110
June 10, 1978
0811 PDT/1511 GMT
The next morning, Thyron could tell that Greenley was even more deeply concerned with his lack of improvement. Worry saturated the man's entire demeanor to the point it even dimmed his aura. He checked the habitat's settings, took an air sample, checked it in the gas chromatograph, then cranked up the CO2 even more. After that, he retired to his office where he buried himself in a stack of professional journals, mind buzzing as he tried desperately to figure out why the vegemal's health was failing when there was nothing to explain it.
Thyron chilled out in his favorite television frequencies as he'd done for the past few days so the man wouldn't notice any unusual psi activity. A few hours later, the man returned to the cleanroom to collect a soil sample, which he spent the rest of the day analyzing. When the results matched Thyron's directive perfectly and showed no anomalies, contaminants, or any other reason he would suffer from a mineral deficiency or some sort of poisoning, the scientist was even more puzzled.
Weakened but undaunted, that night Thyron continued his covert activities. In spite of being physically compromised, his spirits remained high as the purpose of his original excursion was realized, i.e., to gather and store knowledge in his DNA. Thyron's primary existence and source of joy was on the intellectual plane, his physical well-being more secondary than ever.
That evening he finished the first bank of crystals and decided to start assimilating what he'd collected before gathering anything more. Multiplexing was easy during the absorption phase, each psibration frequency having different receptors, but extracting meaning was a linear process that took time; not much compared to humans, but time nonetheless. Having gathered more data than existed in all Terra's libraries and then some, now he needed to sort, categorize, and comprehend it, which would make it easier for him as well as his future progeny to find and utilize the information.
This part of the process required energy at an even deeper level. First, because it involved creating and connecting synapses throughout his protoplasm. After that, it had to be incorporated into his DNA, which required that he fully understand every fact from every angle, then bond with the knowledge emotionally, registering it genetically on every cell at the quantum/consciousness level.
Totally consumed by the euphoria associated with this final phase, which far exceeded that felt during its acquisition, the tardy consequences took him by surprise. After barely beginning to synthesize what he'd gathered, his energy resources depleted and crashed. As they would in the event of an prolonged drought or hard winter freeze, his leaves' life-giving fluids retreated within his primary bulb to assure survival until conditions improved.
Denied all energy sources, his photosystems collapsed, the last glimmer of sentience succumbing with them as Thyron's folly reduced him to a wilted pile of leaves and twisted branches.
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