Theo Roelofs is a molecular biologist. He's a detective.
And he's upset. His latest mission, to assess evolutionary
changes in the thermoplankton web, is yielding some
very unsettling conclusions. It's the stuff to affect
Dr. Roelofs, a Thor Fellow at the University of Uppsala,
wrote the seminal work entitled Absorption and Excitation
Spectra in Thermoplankton, a publication that influenced
the commercial development of the existing TP Net. His
team created the mutation model for the most durable
TP communities we see today. He is the experts' expert
when it comes to the study of TP, especially Mitochondrial
cells, like those in other life forms, contain mitochondria.
These semiautonomous "organelles" act as cellular
respirators, insuring the generation of energy with
the help of oxygen. Mitochondria contain a small amount
of DNA and grow and reproduce within the cell. Since
even the comparatively complex altered mtDNA of the
TP contains only 36 genes that code for proteins, it
evolves five to ten times faster than nuclear DNA. It
is a good means of measuring short-term evolution. In
the case of common TP (CTP) strains, it is a gauge now
to Dr. Roelofs' most recent analysis, a substantial
percentage of the TP biomass consists of a new species
that, while related to CTP, exhibits markedly different
and unacceptable characteristics. For one, the infra-sonic
frequencies employed by THOR to signal and monitor the
TP Net don't always work with the evolved TP (ETP).
ETP also displays slightly different characteristics
when it comes to solar radiation reflection. Most functions
across a wider "albedo gap." Isolated groups
found in the Indian Ocean display a golden hue on the
"dark" side, creating a much less radical
article in the Uppsala Plankton Journal refers to these
species as "Black ETP" and "Golden ETP"
and points out that, while both hungrily absorb directed
narrow-band micrometer wave transmission energy from
power satellites, neither variety is adaptable to the
current THOR directives or constraints. Each has developed
a "renegade profile" in addition to a competitive
advantage over the ancestral CTP. In short, nature seems
to have reclaimed its reins.
Dr. Roelof and his fellow scientists must scramble to
either retard the ETP onslaught, adapt THOR, develop
a newer and more cooperative ETP, or simply buy a miracle.
Whatever the solution, it must come soon; otherwise,
who knows what the skies may wreak?"