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Gracie, along with George, was part of a mated pair of humpback whales, born in the Pacific Ocean on Earth in the 20th century. In 1986, they were taken aboard the HMS Bounty and transported to the year 2286, where they were needed to answer an extraterrestial probe. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Voyage Home)
Shortly after their arrival in the 23rd century, both whales developed a mysterious illness which caused brown streaks to appear on their skin. Dr. Gillian Taylor, Montgomery Scott, Nyota Uhura and Spock all worked on finding a solution to the problem, which involved adding small amounts of pollutants to the water in which the whales were living. Scott completed the cure and relieved the whales' loneliness by playing his bagpipes for them, encouraging them to sing. (TOS - Strange New Worlds IV short story: "Scotty's Song")
In the mirror universe, the two whales brought back by the crew of the ISS Enterprise interacted with alien probe and were transformed into huge armored leviathans who then traversed the tsunami-swept oceans, destroying entire coastal cities. After Spock found a way into the probe, shutting down its computer, the whales were left vulnerable to phaser fire and are subsequently destroyed by the Enterprise. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)