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Nanites

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Universe : Prime Timeline
Species Name : Nanites1
Quadrant : Alpha

Nanotechnology has been used within the Federation for some time in the repair of cellular damage - at only one millionth of a millimetre in length these machines are easily able to penetrate a living cell. In 2366 Ensign Wesley Crusher was experimenting with forcing standard nanites to evolve on the Enterprise-D when some of his sample escaped from the containment vessel. The nanites continued to evolve, spreading through the ship's computer systems and inflicting considerable damage.

At the time the Enterprise was assisting Dr. Paul Stubbs in an important astrophysics experiment which had to take place at one specific time. When the nanite's actions threatened to prevent the experiment, Dr. Stubbs argued that they should be eliminated. Captain Picard declined, arguing that the nanites could be considered as a new life form and as such could not be killed en masse for the Federation's convenience.

Dr Stubbs attempted to force the crew's hand by irradiating one of the ship's computer cores with gamma rays to destroy the infestation. He hoped to provoke a conflict between the Enterprise crew and the nanites which would force the eradication of the machine life form. The nanites responded by launching attacks against Dr. Stubbs personally, indicating that they had developed a degree of intelligence.

Eventually the crew managed to make contact with the nanites via commander Data, and peaceful relations were established. The nanites proved to be fully sentient, highly intelligent creatures. The declined further conflict with the Federation, and the Enterprise transferred them to Kavis Alpha IV. This planet was designated as their home world.1

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Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation

References

# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 3 Evolution
Series : TNG Season 3 (Disc 1)
Episode : Evolution


© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 17,686 Last updated : 15 Mar 2013