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An Initial Overview of the Psychic Parasite and Treatment Options for Infected Hosts
by Doctor Mallora Vossti, Ensign, USS Gorkon
The entity herein called the Psychic Parasite is a living being composed of electromagnetic energy which seeks to insert itself into living sentient brains. Once there, the Psychic Parasite stimulates the host's insular cortex and amygdala which produces feedback in the form of heightened emotions. The Psychic Parasite appears to sustain itself by somehow consuming those heightened emotions. The entity is considered extremely dangerous due to an unexpected secondary effect when the host was a Reader.
The Psychic Parasite
The Psychic Parasite appears to be a living being composed of electromagnetic energy in the 5 GHz to 1 THz range, having at least some control over its own amplitude and frequency. It is unclear what “physiology” might mean in a purely energy organism, but it is clear that the being does have discrete boundaries [see Treatment below]. The entity appears to derive sustenance from certain energy patterns produced in sentient brains.
After the Psychic Parasite was safely removed from Patient Zero, it was kept for study in a dedicated holosuite aboard the USS Gorkon, then subsequently transferred to a dedicated holosuite aboard Deep Space 224. The entity seemed to have at least rudimentary awareness of its surroundings, and it has, in the estimation of the author, attempted at least one escape attempt which was detected and thwarted. As a result, study of the being, its activities, and its “life cycle” has been extremely limited thus far.
Patient Zero was discovered to be one of several hundred victims of a sudden somnolence within a confined but large area. Energy readings gleaned from the local computer system detected an energy ripple which originated at Patient Zero's location at the start of the mass somnolence. Neither Patient Zero, nor any of the other somnolence victims could be roused [see Note 1 under Further Questions below].
The author arrived at the scene approximately three hours after the mass somnolence, and with the aid of the two resistant officers, was able to locate Patient Zero by the means described above. Once isolated, Patient Zero appeared to be trapped in a state of REM sleep just as all of the other victims were. The patient's insular cortex and amygdala were being subtly stimulated by the Psychic Parasite with the effect of heightening the patient's emotional state [see Note 2 under Further Questions below].
Once Patient Zero was located and brought to a biobed, a detailed examination of his brain activity was conducted and compared to a previous routine physical examination of the patient. It was determined that the patient's insular cortex and amygdala were being stimulated by some unknown force. The author determined that the mass somnolence could be counteracted by use of an alpha wave emitter calibrated to force Patient Zero out of REM sleep and into deep Stage 3 sleep.
Once the alpha wave emitter was activated, the Psychic Parasite reacted in apparent self-defense, attempting to overstimulate Patient Zero's amygdala with the potential to cause permanent brain damage or death. This was the first clear indication that the Psychic Parasite was an independent organism with a self-preservation instinct and enough self-awareness to know that it was being threatened. The author believes that the initial failure of the alpha wave emitter as a treatment is sufficient as a differential diagnosis of the presence of a Psychic Parasite.
Once the presence of the Psychic Parasite was definitively established as an independent organism, the author's cohorts were able to calibrate and raise a force field around the biobed to trap the energy being. Once the force field was in place, they programmed and instantiated a highly detailed holographic brain inside the force field.
The alpha wave emitter was activated again at a slowly increasing intensity until the Psychic Parasite abandoned Patient Zero and moved to the holographic brain. As soon as the move was detected, the force field was narrowed to exclude Patient Zero, trapping the Psychic Parasite in the simulated brain inside the force field.
Only one Psychic Parasite has been found and documented, so any prognosis will be highly speculative. Patient Zero was a powerful Reader (rated T4) and had a history of psychological trauma which informed the presentation of the parasitic symptoms. In this instance, the Psychic Parasite's stimulation of Patient Zero's insular cortex caused a cascade of feedback throughout Patient Zero's brain, causing him to inadvertently initiate the mass somnolence [see Presentation above]. The victims of the mass somnolence – including Patient Zero – were held in a persistent REM sleep state and forced to experience emotionally charged nightmares for the duration of the episode.
It is unclear how much of the wider effects were particular to the interaction of the Psychic Parasite with Patient Zero and how much might be universal. In particular, analysis of the Parasite's effects on the simulated holographic brain did not point to a tendency toward somnolence nor permanent damage, merely a prolonged, heightened emotional state. The author has been assured that the holographic simulation is quite accurate to a living brain, but there are still differences which likely can be detected by the Psychic Parasite itself.
There are many questions which call for further study relating to this new and potentially very dangerous entity. As a purely energy-based life form, we would like to learn more about its “physiology,” including how it senses the world around itself, how it metabolizes the energy it absorbs from its host, and how it may reproduce more of its kind.
Given the limited study of the Psychic Parasite in a living host versus a holographic one, we would like to learn how the Parasite and host interact in a variety of circumstances, as well as variations from host to host. Obviously, allowing the Psychic Parasite to inhabit a living host knowingly would be both exceedingly dangerous and highly unethical.
At present, all the author has been able to determine about the Psychic Parasite's motivations are a survival instinct as a desire to find nourishment. It would be challenging, though not impossible, to devise experiments to determine what other basic motivations the being possesses, possibly including what level of intelligence or self-awareness it may have.
Note 1: The single Rodulan in the locality of the somnolence incident was unaffected, and this one individual was able to rouse a single Vulcan from the induced somnolence, though it is unclear how or why.
Note 2: The heightened emotions were notable in retrospect by Patient Zero, but within the dream-reality, he was unable to infer that anything was wrong with him or his emotional state.
Appendix A: Notes from peer reviewer 1
Comments: Key pieces of data regarding Patient Zero are missing including, but not limited to, the patient’s race, age, and gender. Information regarding the type of psychological trauma experienced by Patient Zero, broadly speaking, may also be critical in providing insight as to how the parasite selects its hosts.
Further Questions: It would be interesting to see whether the parasite is attracted to the brains of telepathic vs. non-telepathic beings, and the degree to which the strength of telepathy influences the parasite’s interest. Likewise, given the parasite’s propensity for feeding on the heightened emotions of its host, it is intriguing as to whether or not it can tell the difference between a synthetic/holographic brain vs. an organic brain.
The lack of information regarding the origin of the parasite is concerning.
Commander Addison MacKenzie, M.D., Ph.D., FASFS