Thyron was a unique specimen whose conscious awareness complicated everything, directing his thoughts down yet another track. While he'd honored the vegemal's wishes with regard to taking tissue samples, being held against his will had ominous implications. He was old enough to remember World War II and the horror inflicted upon innumerable victims in Nazi prison camps. While logically he knew his work was far from that realm, it was still something that was questionable enough to give him pause.
A feeling that resembled guilt gripped his chest as the ethical implications loomed over him like a thundercloud. One he'd seen too many times; the kind that spawned violent tornadoes.
Was Thyron a test subject from whom permission was required?
Gabe recalled meetings at NASA of the Human Research Policy and Procedures Committee, the members of which reviewed all experiments that involved human test subjects with another one assigned to review those conducted on animals. The HRPPC took such things very seriously, so much so that he was glad his work didn't require such approval.
Thyron had made it clear he wanted to get out of the habitat. Clearly, he was being held against his will. Was he staging the vegemal equivalent of a hunger strike? Or was it stress? Being sentient, mental and emotional issues were factors in addition to the usual vegetal needs for sufficient light, proper temperature, and the correct amount of moisture and mineral nourishment.
If he could learn more about the source of his awareness, maybe it would help. Still waiting for the SEM data, he'd made enough noise about it in his last WAR that they'd moved his sample up a few days in the schedule, proving someone actually read them. He hoped the leaves were dry enough to avoid fixing, since he didn't want them to introduce anything to compromise the image. Gold sputter coating was unavoidable, or so they said. He mainly wanted to see whether the cell structure had only plant characteristics or if something else was lurking within the chloroplasts. Their distortion under the lab microscope may or may not be meaningful. At this point, he had few leads, so he hoped it would reveal something. Yet, for some reason, part of him felt oddly uncomfortable about what that might be.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish