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Ketracel-white

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Ketracel white repository

A repository of full white tubes

Kudaketan

A Jem'Hadar with Ketracel-white tube

Ketracel-white (or simply white) was an addictive narcotic containing an isogenic enzyme and nutrients. One of the active ingredients of white was yridium bicantizine. The Jem'Hadar soldiers of the Dominion were genetically engineered to lack the enzyme which white provided, and required frequent doses of the drug to survive. The white also provided all the nutrients they required, alleviating them of the need to eat or drink.

Without white, Jem'Hadar soldiers suffered withdrawal symptoms including pain, anxiety, loss of mental control, and inability to "shroud"; eventually, the Jem'Hadar spiraled into homicidal insanity. First killing their enemies followed by their allies, they inevitably turned on each other. Ultimately, their entire genetic structure collapsed. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals") On rare occasions, a Jem'Hadar was born with a genetic mutation which allowed their bodies to produce the white they needed, though most such instances went unnoticed. (DS9: "Hippocratic Oath") All known attempts to remove this genetically engineered addiction failed.

The addiction to white ensured the Jem'Hadars' loyalty to the Founders. However, for most Jem'Hadar, this was unnecessary, as their loyalty was already absolute. Distribution of the white was controlled by the Vorta, and was dispensed to the Jem'Hadar First in a formal ceremony:

Vorta: "First [name], can you vouch for the loyalty of your men?"
Jem'Hadar: "We pledge our loyalty to the Founders, from now until death."
Vorta: "Then receive this reward from the Founders, may it keep you strong."

Jem'Hadar bred in the Alpha Quadrant occasionally dispensed with the formal ceremony, claiming that their loyalty was shown by their actions rather than their words. (DS9: "One Little Ship") In the event of the death of the Vorta or the detachment of a group of Jem'Hadar from their main unit, the Jem'Hadar First could unlock the white case. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals", "One Little Ship", "To the Death")

Early in the Dominion War, the Dominion in the Alpha Quadrant suffered from a white shortage, because a minefield prevented supplies shipping from the Gamma Quadrant, and because it was not easy to set up new production lines. The Cardassians proposed to exterminate some or all Jem'Hadar by poisoning the last white supplies. Later, the Son'a used their facilities on Devos II to produce large quantities of ketracel-white. (DS9: "Behind the Lines", "Statistical Probabilities", "Penumbra"; Star Trek: Insurrection)

The tubes that delivered the white to the Jem'Hadar evolved in design during the third and fourth seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Originally, the tubes were colored black in "The Jem'Hadar", then white in "The Search, Part I", then transparent in "The Abandoned". The tubes remained transparent throughout the rest of the series. They also became more elaborate, however, becoming bigger and mechanized. "It was [at first] supposed to be something that was very subtle, that went into the main blood vein in their necks," recalled Michael Westmore, following his work on season four. "Eventually, it was thought that that was a little boring, so now when we see them, there's an actual motor in their costume which keeps circulating a flow of liquid through the tube. That was added about the third or fourth time they worked." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Official Poster Magazine, No. 3) Special Effects Supervisor Gary Monak recollected, "Tiny pumps that came out of copy machines seemed to work the best, in terms of the speed and the sound. The first time we had to do a bunch of Jem'Hadar, we got twelve of these pumps from a surplus place, and they all worked fine. But the next time it came up and we needed more, they no longer existed. We had gotten the last twelve pumps that work." Smiling, Monak concluded, "It might be touch and go if they ever send thirty of these guys to us looking for neck pumps." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 268)

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