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Roddenberries are the fruit of the flowering tree Xenomorphic Neo-Adoxacus roddenberrii, a plant originally discovered in the Veil Sector in 3342PT. Since its utility was discovered, attempts have been made to cultivate the plant across the galaxy, with limited success due to the narrow range of conditions under which it produces fruit.
Roddenberries can be refined into Roddenberry Extract, which reinforces the protective sheaths of bio-electrically conductive living cells when administered correctly.
Xenomorphic Neo-Adoxacus roddenberrii is the result of the mutagens contained in certain varieties of terraforming probe being unleashed upon an pre-existing ecosystem. The plant was found on Veil-2358_IX, which had completed terraforming about 90 years prior to discovery. No evidence of the pre-morphic plant has been identified, despite numerous expeditions to investigate soils formed prior to terraforming. The plant was named after a pre-fall Terran futurist, Eugene Weasley Roddenberry, whose writings had been extensively read by the scientific team. The scientific team responsible were from a colony near Concord which had only been recently discovered by the Ascendancy, and not yet been culturally realigned. As the Ascendancy was occupied by the First Tulaki Invasion at the time, and the region seceded to the Free Union shortly afterward, it is likely that samples of Roddenberry's writings may still exist.
Xenomorphic Neo-Adoxacus roddenberrii is a small tree, typically growing to 8m tall and equally wide. The bark is light grey with a pinkish tinge when young, which darkens with increasing age. The leaves are palmately lobed on long petioles, with a thick, woody rootstock. The flowers have four to six yellow stamens and deep blue-black petals. The fruit is a glossy dark purple to black berry 3–5 mm diameter, produced in drooping clusters. The entire plant is mildly poisonous to Terrans, typically causing nausea and mild swelling of the throat tissues if ingested.
The plant is hardy and can grow in a variety of conditions, typically in low-nutrient soil, although it requires an aluminous component in its soil in order to thrive. It is highly resistant to frost and can survive temperatures down to 223K for moderate durations. However, on most worlds it is rapidly outcompeted by other plant due to the restrictive conditions under which it bears fruit. Veil-2358 IX has a highly eccentric orbit, and the plant requires a significant temperature and light variation to facilitate its reproductive cycle. It requires a prolonged period of low temperature and light levels, slowly increasing to temperatures of 290K. Once warmth passes 270K, the plant will briefly flower for about 10 standard days, after which fruit will form, requiring another 20 standard days to fully ripen. Interruptions in the temperature/light curve will cause the plant to conserve energy through the warm period rather than flower.
The extract is produced by warm-pressing the berries and berry stems at 294K, and using an approximately 30/70 propanol/water solution. Extraction under these conditions is optimal for preservation of the neuroprotective properties of the extract. This produces a fairly stable suspension of Roddenberry Extract, which should keep for at least a few years if kept in a sealed, dark container.
When linked with nanocarriers designed to bond to neurological cells, the active chemicals in Roddenberry Extract coat the electrochemical pathways inside the cell with a semiconductive film. This film regulates the bioelectrical activity inside the cell, making it highly resistant to bioelectric overload induced by stun weaponry or similar effects.
In more specialised cases, concentrated Roddenberry Extract can be delicately introduced into the biochemical linkage components of cybernetic interfaces. This significantly hardens the transmitter cells close to the implant, dampening any bioelectrical feedback loops and lessening the effect of power fluctuations or energy discharges into the hosts tissues. It is thought that Roddenberry Extract is a component in the Corporeal Perfection Syndicate's proprietary cybernetic linking process.
Roddenberry Extract breaks down fairly quickly in the body of most species, usually between 15-30 hours depending on metabolic rate. Absorption of bioelectric activity breaks it down into some very mildly neurotoxic compounds, which are then passed into the bloodstream-analogue and eventually excreted.
Roddenberry Extract is a type of Exotic Biotic - an Exotic Substance related to Life Science. A physrep of berries or a vial of liquid can be used to represent a few measures of this substance, but particularly large physreps can hold more.
A measure of Roddenberry Extract can be used in one of two ways.
As with all Exotic Substances, a character with at least 1 rank in the relevant speciality (Life Science in this case) can spend 1 minute of appropriate roleplaying to apply 1 measure of Roddenberry Extract to a character or item. After this roleplaying, they should unpeel the sticker that represents this substance, stick it to the lammie of the item or character sheet of the character, and record the current date on it.
The boost provided by this substance wears off at time-in the following day.