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|Kitti Ping Yung|
Kitti Ping and Wind Blossom. Copyright by Linda Eicher
|Era|| First Crossing|
|Children||Wind Blossom daughter or granddaughter (see notes)|
Kitti Ping, sometimes called Kit Ping for short, was the most eminent bio-geneticist of the Federated Sentient Planets, the only human who had ever been trained at the Great Beltrae Halls of the Eridanis.
Nobody knew "how under the suns" the Pern expedition had lucked out enough to include her. The original work of Kitti and Wind Blossom (sometimes called Wind Blossom Ping) was to use the Eridani techniques to alter animals, and plants, the colonists had brought so they'd be able to adapt and thrive on Pern. The plan was for at least some of the animals brought to be tailored to make required enzymes in their own glands, instead of using symbiotic bacteria as their ancestors on Earth had done.
Kitti was already in her tenth decade when arriving on Pern and was a small (she was half Paul Benden's height) and frail lady that kept some mobility with the help of prostheses. When the dragonets had proved immensely valuable in warning against and yes, even fighting Thread, zoologist Pol Nietro and biologist Bay Harkenon worked under and with Kitti to give the dragonets mentasynth, something that made the indigenous animals even more valuable to the colonists. After Thread started falling, Kitti and Wind Blossom were also invaluable in the research that was done to discover more about this sudden and unsuspected menace. They lent their special skills in analyzing the life-forms as soon as samples were brought in. On behalf of the Pern colony, its people governors Paul Benden and Emily Boll asked Kitti to lend her special knowledge to enhancing the dragonets and having them evolve into a semblance of the old Terran beasts called dragons. A "renewable airforce" that could be used to fight the mindless menace now threathening the life of the colonists. The governors feared Kitti would say no to such enormously invasive tampering with the genes and life-form then known as dragonets, knowing full well how Kitti felt about bioengineering beyond simple adjustments to adapt creatures to new ecological parameters, but to their immense relief Kitti said yes and began the gigantic task, aided by a team of scientists of which Wind Blossom, Pol Nietro and Bay Harkenon formed the core. The project got top priority and only had to yield to the actual fighting of Thread. At one day while everything was still "proceeding vigorously" under Kitti Ping's eminent guidance Wind Blossom found her (grand)mother dead at the keyboard of the electron microscope. "PROGRAM COMPLETED flashed on the screen — almost indignantly..." The label on the last egg cel Kitti had produced was: "Trial 2684/16/M: nucleus #22A, mentasynth Generation B2, boron/silicon system 4, size 2H; 16.204.8" and it was the last of the 42 that would hold the hope of Pern. Kitti left copious notes and instructions on how to proceed, it seemed that she had about anticipated everything but her own death.
The descrepancy about Kitti being either mother or grandmother of Wind Blossom stems from the fact that she is called Wind Blossom's mother in the UK edition of Dragonsdawn and her grandmother in the US edition. In light of the substantial age difference the granddaughter-grandmother relationship is most likely though in Todd McCaffrey's Dragonsblood (US and UK edition) Wind Blossom is called Kitti Ping's daughter.