Prelim Report: Examination of Crystalline "Egg" / Alien Specimen

Stardate 94136.6
CAPT Draz, Sanara
Level 1 - Open

U.S.S. Saraswati, Geology Lab 3

Results of analysis of crystal specimen recovered from Annatar by U.S.S. San Francisco during recent defensive action.

"Crystal" determined/confirmed to be shell of egg for insectoid organism presently identified as "Drantzuli". Organism observed to be extremely aggressive, not apparently sentient.

CAPT Sanara Draz - Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Saraswati
CMDR T'Maal - Chief Science Officer
LT Abraham Moretti - Geologist
ENS Alyssa Enstrom - Geologist
LT Herman Kessler - Security

Crystal specimen was transported from U.S.S. San Francisco to Geology Lab 3, U.S.S. Saraswati, via secure site-to-site transport on or about stardate 94135.2. Specimen was of typical size for this group, 173 cm from point to base, with a diameter of approximately 28 cm at its widest section. At that time, specimen appeared to be inert and inorganic. LT Moretti and ENS Enstrom mounted the specimen on a sample rack and commenced more detailed scans.

First, I don't know whether this is due to a badly-translated (or written) report, or if the Lukaari somehow lost their periodic tables during their exodus, but as anyone who remembers first-year chemistry will tell you, these are not "germanium crystals." Germanium falls on the same column as silicon, and pure crystals of both elements are metallic lumps rather than translucent gemstones. Yes, there are significant germanium impurities in the matrix, appearing as visible seams and inclusions (and accounting for the difficulty in scanning the interior), but the majority of their composition is plain ordinary quartz - silicon dioxide, the amethyst variety to be specific - and garnet - iron and aluminum silicate - thus the deep reddish purple color. Second, these are not naturally-formed crystals; again, any geologist will tell you that quartz crystals are straight-sided and hexagonal in symmetry, whereas these are (obviously, in hindsight) polycrystalline, subhedral formations which serve, as with other life forms all over this galaxy, as a protective casing for the developing organism within.

This organism made its presence known 12 minutes and 23 seconds into the examination, apparently as a reaction to LT Moretti's attempt to x-ray the specimen to examine its internal structure. Shortly after the x-ray scan began, whether due to discomfort, a response to the additional energy input, or some other tropism not yet determined, the organism was first directly observed as it began to move and struggle, cracking the crystal shell at its thinnest and weakest points. LT Moretti and ENS Enstrom quickly shut down the x-ray emitter, moved away from the workstation and established a level 1 containment field around it as the organism finished emerging and unfolding. Once it had done so, and oriented itself, it lunged for them, battering itself against the force field and causing them to call for assistance.

CMDR T'Maal and myself, as well as LT Kessler, were all nearby at the time of the incident and responded within two minutes. When we arrived, the organism was still single-mindedly trying to attack the geologists. CMDR T'Maal attempted to communicate with the organism via light signals (a hand lamp, grabbed from another lab station), speech and hand motions, but succeeded only in attracting its attention to herself. When the force field was briefly lowered (as part of an attempt to transport the organism to a secure biological holding area), it immediately attacked her; only multiple phaser blasts, up to and including setting 6, were able to stop it.

The organism did not survive such treatment; dissection is ongoing, and results will be made available. CMDR T'Maal suffered minor injuries, and has been treated and released from sickbay.

While the Tzenkethi response to the presence of these organisms is dogmatic, inflexible, and the grossest demonstration of "overkill", it is at least somewhat understandable in light of this new information. The specimen we've been able to examine was immature, but it was aggressive and dangerous toward humanoid (and vulcanoid) life within moments of hatching from its crystal "egg" - eggs which are apparently present in great numbers on several worlds across this quadrant. As an apparently non-sentient but invasive species, they may prove to be as much of a threat as the kudzu vine or the tribble. Every attempt should be made to locate and remove such potential infestations before they become active.

Perhaps even more troubling, there is evidence - still inconclusive, between the poor post-mortem condition of this specimen and our limited knowledge of silicon-based life in general - that this organism may have been at least partially genetically resequenced. By whom, and for what purpose, remains unknown.