Truman Green's science rumours

February 26, 2011

The Origin of Oil

Filed under: Uncategorized — trugreen1 @ 9:04 pm

 

                              The Origin of Oil by   Truman Green

     Although it will be known to only a very small percentage of those who get their

information about the world from Mainstream Media, there has been a debate raging

for many years–and especially recently on the internet–whether fuel hydrocarbons such as oil,

coal and natural gas originate from the dead remains of plants and animals or are “abiotic” and

unrelated to decomposed organic material. For at least thirty years I have been quite

doubtful about the traditional theory of the origin of oil but don’t recall ever having read about

the controversy in any article in the two major Western Canada newspapers, the Vancouver Sun and

the Vancouver Province, athough, even as a teenager and, until quite recently, I was known to be an

avid reader of these papers. In fact, when I introduced the notion of abiotically-derived hydrocarbons to

a forum debate on the Canadian website, The Tyee.ca in 2006, none of my fellow debaters seemed

to have been aware of the substantial body of evidence that there might be huge deposits—even oceans

of the stuff beyond the depths at which conventional oil-seeking companies now drill. And when I

mentioned to a cafe crony this morning that I had a deadline to meet for this article on abiotic oil

I discovered that, although he is generally well-informed, he had never (in his seventy-eight years)

heard of the idea, and had always assumed that petroleum was a “fossil fuel.” Such is the power of the

monopolized world media that a major scientific controversy is included on a “do not mention”

list.

     This essay is not an attempt to prove the validity of the abiotic theory of the origin of fuel

hydrocarbons, but rather to aid in filling a gap in the origin controversy left by the refusal of

Mainstream Western Media to mention the abiotic or abiogenic theory, and to recommend that readers

do their own investigation of the numerous online articles now available regarding the liklihood that

the “fossil fuel” paradigm  is incorrect.

     Proponents of the the conventional “fossil fuel” theory claim that fuel hydrocarbons are derived

from decomposition of “buried dead organisms,” (Wikipedia), “living matter that existed during a

previous geologic time,” (Climate Literacy Handbook), or “were formed in the earth from plant or

animal remains.” (Mirriam Webster Dictionary). The Canadian site, Nelson Education, provides a more

substantial definition: “The remains of prehistoric animals, forests, and sea-floor life that has been

buried in layers of sediment and decomposed very slowly, eventually being converted into crude oil.”

     Such ideas regarding an organic origin of hydrocarbons were formally proposed by the Russian

scientist, Mikhal Lomonosov in l757. Lomonosov’s idea was that, during the carboniferous period (360

to 286 millionyears ago), huge deposits of dead animals and plants formed on the bottoms of oceans or

in swamp sand were slowly converted, by pressure and heat, into molecularly-altered fuel

hydrocarbons. The theory has remained basically unaltered since 1757 with the only substantial

confirmation being that researchers have found provable traces of organic matter, known as

biomarkers, in most of the crude oil samples after they have been brought to the surface.

     From Lomonosov’s writing: “…rock oil (crude oil), or petroleum orginated as the minute bodies of

dead marine and other animals which were buried in the sediments and which, over the passage of a

great duration of time under the influence of heat and pressure, transformed into ‘rock oil.’”

                                                   The Abiotic Theory

     In opposition to the theory of the biotic or organic, “fossil fuel” origin of hydrocarbons is the abiotic

or abiogenic theory. Ironically, Russian scientists not persuaded by Lomonosov’s theories, provided the

earliest and most substantial body of research and evidence that fuel hydrocarabons are chemically and

not biologically derived, and that they were placed in their current deposits by upward seepage from

massive resevoirs which formed above the mantle around the time of the formation the earth, eons

before any plant or animal life existed. It is rarely, if ever, mentioned in the western Mainstream Media,

but the entire Russian petroleum industry is based on the abiotic theory, and most of the Russian and

Ukrainian production of crude oil is pumped from deep wells which go far beyond the depths of

conventional oil exploration.

     The Russian petroleum geologist, Nikolai Kudryavtsev (1893-1971) is considered to be the father of

the abiotic theory. Fellow geologist Vladimir Porfir’yev sums up Kudryavtsev’s theory in this

statement: “The overwhelming preponderance of geological evidence compels the conclusion that

crude oil and natural petroleum have no intrinsic connection with biological matter originating near the

surface of the earth. They are primordial materials which have been erupted from great depths.”

                               Evidence in support of the organic theory.

     The words “fossil fuels” are so commonly used to describe fuel hydrocarbons that it would be

intuitive to imagine that there are virtual mountains of reproducible scientific studies available in

scientific journals both in print and online. However, as I have discovered during several years of

reviewing the literature on the “fossil fuel” or organic theory the primary evidence is derived, not

from a body of peer-reviewed, published, scientifically-controlled experimentation and observation,

but, rather from the fact that it has been the theory assumed to be correct.

     A reproducible scientific confirmation of the organic theory would necessarily include the

re-creation of the conditions said to result in the formation of keregen, the supposed sludge which is

formed from decomposing plant and animal detritus. From the formation of the keregen the

experiment would need to proceed to the resultant formation of petroleum, after the required conditions

of heat and pressure have been introduced. Such experimentation has never been successfully

completed.

     The major supporting claim made by proponents of the “fossil fuel” theory is that molecules found

in petroleum are very similar to molecules found in organic matter. The reliability of “biomarkers” and

molecular similarities as confirmation of the biogenic theory can only be competently argued by

qualified chemists and molecular biologists, but it is wise for the layman to remain cognizant of the fact

that neither physical concurrence nor similarity in molecular structure are necessarily indicative of

causation or origin.

     Geologist J.F. Kenney explains in detail his refutation of the significance of “biomarkers” in his

essay, entitled: “Dismissal Of The Claims Of A Biological Connection For Natural Petroleum.” This

essay was written with the aid and endorsement of six highly-placed members of the Russian geology

community, including Ac. Y. F. Shyyukov, of the National Academyof Ukraine, I.K. Karpov, of the

Institute of Geochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, andV.G. Kutcherov, of the Russian

State University of Oil and Gas. From the essay:

Material of truly biogenic origin, such as fossil spores or pollen is often observed in petroleum, and

too often mislabelled as “biomarakers” supposedly indicating a connection between the natural

petroleum and biological material. Careful investigation has established that such material

has often leached into solution by the crude oil from buried organic matter in the (typically

sedimentary) resevoir rock from which the oil has been taken. 3.

     While it is well-known that oils can be extracted from plants and animals, largely by mechanical

means (as from whales or olives), the construction of petroleum, coal or natural gas and derived

from decaying organic matter in laboratory settings has never been accomplished. Similarly, the

association of methane, the major constituent of natural gas, with decaying organic matter is limited to

the enteric fermentation which occurs in the guts of cattle and sheep, as an aid in digestion, and the

production of “swamp gas” from rotting vegetation. Both of these processes depend upon the action of

bacteria which produce methane as a by-product of rapidly-increasing microbial replication and

colonization. It is interesting to note that Australia has implemented a program of immunizing cattle

against certain bacteria in order to limit the flattulent production of methane, which is believed

to be twenty times as potent as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

        Abiotic Theory And The Second Law of Thermodynamics

     Every formally-trained student of applied science will eventually find it necessary to confront the

exigencies of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The First Law of Thermodynamics, also known

The Law of the Conservation of Energy, requires that, while the form of energy and matter may

change, as liquids, gases or solids, the total amount in the universe will always remain the same.The

Second Law decrees that as energy and matter are being used, the amount of energy and matter will

remain constant in totality, but that there will continue to be a lesser amount of usuable energy and

matter, as compared to unusable, which will eventually result in the second singularity (the first was the

“big bang”), which will be the end of the universe as the total amount of usuable energy is replaced by

unusable energy.

     Many disbelievers in the fossil fuel theory have employed the requirements of the Second Law

to discount the idea that energy which has been lost in the decomposing of organic matter could be

rejuvenated by pressure and heat into high grade fuel hydrocarbons, but there are many other less

complex and more empirical confirmations of the abiotic theory.

     Although Russian scientists have long distanced themselves from the “fossil fuel” idea,

and the entire Russian hydrocarbon industry is now based on the abiotic theory, the theory remained

virtually unpublicized in West until Thomas Gold wrote and published his famous paper in the

Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, entitled “The Deep Hot Biosphere; The Myth of

Fossil Fuels.”

     It has been claimed that Gold borrowed greatly from the vast body of work on the abiotic theory

provided by Russian researchers, and it was perhaps general unfamiliarity with the concept in North

America and Europe that allowed him to present the theory as predominantly arising from his own

research. Professor Krayuskin, of the Ukraine and widely reputed to one of the world’s most successful

petroleum geologists, had this to say about Gold’s work in a letter to John Brigg, an American

journalist:

“…Gold’s theory is the cicycle reinvented repeatedly by T. Gold, and that (can be said) only

if we were to take the kindest position and if only we should not choose to evaluate “Gold’s

theory” as undoubted plagiarism in all its aspects and in all its component parts….”

And:

“One should understand that these papers (such as Gold’s in the Proceedings of the National

Academy of Sciences cannot give justice to the immense work of modern Russian petroleum

science. During the half centuary between l951 -2001 there have been thousands of articles

published in the Mainstream Russian scientific journals on the modern Russian-Ukrainian

theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins and many books and monographs.”

                         Evidence in support of the Abiotic Theory

     If fuel hydrocarbons have been produced abiotically and are present in vast amounts in the earth’s

upper mantle, as the abiotic theory suggests, it should be possible for researchers to create

hydrocarbons in experimental conditions. Several peer-reviewd, successful experiments have been

completed, the most notable of which was completed by a consortium of scientists

entitled, “Methane- derived hydrocarbons produced under Upper Mantle Conditions.”

This study details the work of scientists from the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute, The

Lomonosov Moscow State Academy of Chemical Technology and the Royal Institute of Technology

in Stockholm. From the study:

It has been proposed that hydrocarbons generated in the upper mantle could be transported

through deep faults to shallower regions in the Earth’s crust, and contribute to petroleum

reserves. We show that when methane is exposed to pressures higher than 2FPa, and to temperatures

in the range of 1,000-1,500 K, it partially reacts to form saturated hydrocarbons containing

2-4 carbons (ethane,propane and butane) and molecular hydrogen and graphite. Conversely,

exposure of ethane to similar conditions results in the production of methane, suggesting that the

synthesis of saturated hydrocarbons is reversihle. Our results support the suggestion that

hydrocarbons heavier than methane can be produced by abiogenic precesses in the uppper mantle.

     While the wording in the abstract of this study is conservative, and gives some respect to the organic

theory, Vladimir Kutcherov, one of the researchers writes:

“There is no doubt that our research proves that crude oil and nataural gas are generated without

involvement of fossils. All types of bedrock can serve as resevoirs of oil.”

                                                                    *****

     In February, 2008, Science Magazine published a study concerning the composition of fluids rising

from hypothermal ocean vents. Lead researcher, Giora Proskurowsky of the School of Oceanography at

the University of Washington in Seattle concluded that the hydrogen-rich fluids rising from the vents

very likely originated in the earth’s mantle, below bedrock and were the result of chemical processes

which were devoid of organic material.

     During the second world war, Nazi scientists created synthetic fuel

from coal in a process known as the Fischer-Tropsch process and Proskurowsky believes that the

process developed by German scientists is, in fact, a duplication of natural processes which occur in the

mantle of the earth.

     Knowing the exact chemcial composition of such flowing hydrocarbons is essential to the abiotic

versus biotic debate because the complement of carbon atoms varies between organic and inorganic

materials, with carbon 13 isotopes being indicative of synthetic origin and carbon 12 being indicative

of organic. The hydrocarbons flowing from the hypothermal vents contain carbon 13

isotopes.

                                               Hydrocarbons in Space

     Contemporary proponents of the abiotic theory believe that if fuel hydrocarbons came into existence

at the time of the formation of the earth it would necessarily follow that they should exist in the interior

or upon the surface of other terrestrial bodies within our solar system. And such has recently been

proven beyond any semblance of doubt by the 2005 exploration of Saturn’s huge moon,

Titan.

     It has been suspected for many decades that the atmosphere of Titan is composed of a high

percentage of methane. Photos taken by the Cassini-Huygens landing craft cameras show indisputable

evidence that Titan’s surface is substantially covered by huge lakes of liquid methane which are

chemically analagous to fluid deposits of crude oil found below the surface on earth.

Such photos are readily available on internets sites such as NASA, and this information is of

such startling affirmation of the abiotic theory that it would seem that this knowledge would

be as commonly known as the term “fossil fuels.”

Unfortunately this is not the case, and I recall viewing an account of Cassini-Huygens expedition on

CNN which did not, amazingly, mention the fact hat huge bodies of apparently liquid methane lakes–

possibly analagous to underground petroleum resevoirs on earth–had been found and photographed on

Titan’s surface.

     Proponents of the abiotic theory suggest that the cycle of gaseous methane in the atmosphere of Titan,

together with the liquid methane in surface resevoirs or lakes is a direct analogy to the water-vapour-

rainfall cycle on earth.

                                                               Peak Oil

     The “fossil fuel” paradigm suggests that fuel hydrocarbons are not a renewable resource. If

these hydrocarbons are indeed the remnants of once-alive animals and plants, then it must logically

follow that a time will come when we have used up the entire supply. However if the abiotic theory

is correct—that these fuels result from natural and ongoing chemical reactions of minerals from the

core and mantle of the earth—there might, in fact, be a long-time respite from the eventual grinding

to a halt of a great percentage of the machines created by human ingenuity.

During the nineties the “Peak Oil” idea was ubiquitous in the contemporary environmental

literature. However, most thoughtful people will have noticed that the “peak oil” alarmists seem to have

gone into hiatus during the last ten years or so. The concept of “Peak Oil” is that the reserves of oil and

other fuel hydrocarbons have been so depleted that the period of greatest reserve volumes in resevoirs

has now been reached, and the ability of the petroleum and natural gas industries to provide fuels for

industry, heating and transportation has reached and surpassed its greatest or “peak” efficiency.

     Marion Hubbert, the father of “peak oil,” plotted his findings on a graph represented by the standard

bell curve. Accordingly, on the left side of the bell curve, beginning at the bottom, production would

slowly increase then quickly rise with advances in exploration technology; then peak at the top where a

quick decline to the bottom would ensue, continuing to a gradual advance to total depletion mirroring

the slow, then rapid increase on the opposite side of the bell.

Hubbert prophesized that the ramifications of his bell curve would be manifested in the United

States by l970, when the US petroleum production would peak, and the global production and

availability would peak in 2000. To exacerbate the destructive force as supplies disminished, a rapidly

global population would add an exponential ingredient which would end in the collapse of those

national economies which were dependent upon so-called “fossil-fuels” as their life blood.

        Peak Oil and Global Warming—A Clash of Alarmist Theories?

     It seems compelling to suspect that the current scarcity of “peak oil” alarmism originates from the

fact that the theory of global warmism (now in vogue) is not compatible with the idea that carbon

dioxide produced by the burning of fuel hydrocarbons will inevitably increase the temperature of

earth’s atmosphere so extremely and quickly that it will jeopardize the future, not only of industrial

societies, but also of the biological viability of life on earth.

If the hydrocarbons (derived from dead plants and animals) are soon to be depleted,

then certainly the CO2 derived from their usage will be diminished with them and the problem will

take care of itself.

This is undoubtedly the reason that it has been almost impossible, in the last five years to find a single

warning or claim that the reserves of petroleum and natural gas deposits will soon be depleted, or even a

reminder that production has entered an era of constant decline.

     Is it just a coincidence that the “fossil fuel” theory is compatible with the historical reality that the

value and cost of all products of use to human beings bears a direct-ratio relationship to their

availability?

Is it possible that geological science which supports the “fossil fuel” theory remains so

entrenched because it is heavily sponsored by all those sectors which have a vested interest in

maintining the scarcity marketing which supports the pricing of fuel hydrocarbons? Information such as

the Cassini-Huygens photos of massive lakes of liquid methane on Titan, thousands of scientific

articles in the Russian-Ukraine petroleum geology literature describing the deep well drilling and

consequent petroleum discoveries provide ample evidence that the lack of abiotic theory in the Western

Mainstsream Press results more from political and corporate intrusion into the dissemination of

scientific information than from the conventional claim that the abiotic theory  is less compelling than the

“fossil fuel” theory.

Petroleum is not a “fossil fuel”.

Filed under: Uncategorized — trugreen1 @ 8:39 pm

February 20, 2011

Smart Animals

Filed under: Uncategorized — trugreen1 @ 6:22 am

 

Smart Animals

by

Truman Green

The massive, glistening spacecraft shuddered then leapt ahead to half-speed so quickly that the navigator and pilots, along with their five hundred Proxime crew of cutters and packers, barely noticed their sun, Proxima Centuri, receding instantly into the black universe. Most of them were overjoyed, finally realizing a life’s dream to be part of the widely -heralded, four-year mission to harvest protein from the seeded planet, Chonps, third planet from the newly discovered star, Fusian, and home of a species known to be almost completely comprised of food protein, a rare and coveted substance in the western galaxy.

Proximian nutritionists, chefs and just about the entire population of three hundred billion, had long dreamed of the day when the Chonpsians would become available as a garnish and delicacy for special holidays, feasts and celebrations. In fact, many of the crew members could trace their own lineage back to the original crew which had participated in the eukaryotic seeding of that tiny planet, named Chonps by early astronomers, an acronym for an unusual combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulphur found in its indigenous organisms and especially its strangely bilaterally-symetrical, semiconscious “smart animals” as they were sometimes referred to by the more magnanimous Proximians.

It was these creatures, smart or not, that the Proxime Protein Research Institute (PPRI) had finally approved as suitable for the first large-scale protein expedition. Numerous clandestine, unauthorized abductions (and allegedly, mutilations) of the seeded Chonpsians had been going on for many years, but the government had always preferred to turn a blind eye to this illegal activity because it had never obtained a workable ethical mandate to deal with the problem. There had been for some time, a substantial controversy about the morality of using Chonpsians as a food product, but much of that had dissipated when the new post modern school of ethical relativism had gained widespread acceptance in the scientific and philosophical communities.

Furthermore, it was well documented that the Chonpsians had never desisted from slaughtering and eating anything that crawled, wriggled, hopped, slithered, walked, ran, swam or flew in the chonpsian biosphere in spite of the fact that they had long ago developed–mostly by controlled mutagenesis–the ability to subsist perfectly well on the stationary creatures who experienced no significant pain while being harvested, and which acquired their own nourishment by a kind of homeostatic photosynthesizing of a certain frequency of their big star’s incoming electromagnetic radiation.

Ad-hoc committees all over the planet had developed a consensus that it was not necessary to show these Chonpsians

any particulary mercy as they seemed to have a persistent penchant for defining morality as anything they wanted to do, and their ability to create dizzying rationalizations was held in awe all over the edge of the galaxy. It was pointedly remembered that soon after a team of geneticists aboard a triad of exploring spacecraft had mutated a docile little herbevore into a large, hairy, fast-reproducing animal, some incorrigible white Chonpsians quickly slaughtered sixty million of them, mostly to deprive some red Chonpsians whose continent they were trying to steal (successfully as it turned out) of their food and clothing supply.

The original concept was to harvest ten million of these large “running beasts” for a nascent protein industry, but because only a few thousand were left, and these mainly in Chonspian zoos and reserves, it was determined that the Chonpsians would have to come in their place. The irony of it all was not lost on the scientific community, and it was announced that the central dogma would be: What goes around comes around.

At the hugely-attended final convention for the establishment of the protein industry, an eminent mathematician, only partly in jest, suggested that the Chonpsians could, themselves, fall victim to their own a priori assurance of their position at the top of the food chain, because if their calculations were inaccurate by an “arithmetic factor of one,” they could, in fact, find themselves in number two position, which would render them vulnerable to the culinary aspirations of more advanced civilizations.

Several of the conventioners’ proposals were rejected out of hand because they were immediately seen to be in conflict with the Proximians’ tradition of fair play. Among these were Chonpsians riding (with or without saddles), Chonpsian sporting events (racing and pulling contests), and a blatantly cynical campaign by some imaginative Eclidonians to stock a huge, newly reserved forest with young, healthy Chonpsians for the sport and trophy hunting industry. This particular suggestion by the somewhat less morally developed Eclidons was widely reported in the press, and the disaffection aroused in the citizens was sufficient to create a demand that the Eclidons be completely barred from the Chonpsian trade.

It was also reported in the tabloid press, a source considered to be somewhat less than reputable, that the lead author of the trophy hunting proposal was so disdainful of the do-gooder element of Proximian society that he left on a flight for another terrestrial planet where he is rumoured to have developed a whale aquaria industry with numerous high-priced franchises going for top dollar by virtue of a business plan that is said to use as its template a kind of pyramid selling scheme. It has been historically claimed among the Proximians that if there is even a glimmer of a hope for self-enrichment the Eclidonians will find it.

The potentially-explosive matter of “onco-chonps” was, as always, tabled for further consideration, and the marketing of Chonpsian generational parts, organs and internal pumping stations was only casually considered, except by a somewhat persistent cabal  from the eastern planets, who claimed (apparently feigning self-consciousness) that the long standing cultural acceptance of alien species as aphrodisiacs should be given official recognition in the central dogma, in order to foster tolerance and respect for minority civilizations. It was strongly suggested that a universal legalisation of Chonpsian bioparts and biochemicals would tend to discourage the inevitable black market that prohibition would precipitate.

In spite of some rather shrill dissension from the animal rights’ activitsts, who were viewed by many–as often claimed in the Mainstream Media–as mere professional agitators, the research codes were adopted by the mainstsream research and food insustry organizations. In a rare deference to several religious communities it was proposed, by a group of secular educators, that a member of the clergy should be present at all major abattoirs and research facilties in order that the blessings of the mystical societies might be bestowed on the protein industry and to ensure the benevolent and kindly treatment of the Chonpsians as they were being killed.

As a guarantee of clergical approval it was mandated that a mystical insignia would be surreptitiously implanted in the bar codes of all new Chonpsian products, and that any cutters, packers or researchers found to be in violation of the Chonpsian’s rights to a quick death or painless examination, would be subject to immediate censure and that such censure would automatically trigger the immediate suspension of all government licenses and research grants until the Chonpsian body parts could be forensically examind for evidence of unnecessary trauma. To ameliorate the potential for arbitrary and unfair chastisement of the participants in the exciting new commerce, it was agreed that the industry would be allowed to establish its own certifying process and and in effect police itself, at least until proven incapable of doing so.

The persistent Eclidons, not willing to let the matter of oncochonps fade from view without a fight, brought in their top specialists in molecular biology, genetic engineering, the medical practice sector and the cosmetics industry, each to make his presentations to the government. Among the more esoteric (at least to lay Proximians) proposals of usage for the imported species was a particularily fascinating one which required the transgenic injection of Chonpsian embryos with pathogenic dna sequences to facilitate the testing of cancer treatments and carcinogens. The Eclidons proposed an open-ended approach to Chonpsian research and requested that the following statement be adopted by the convention:

In view of the moral problem associated with research on live Chonpsian specimens it is agreed

that all research shall be conducted in a way which will not inflict undue suffering on the Chonpsians, with

the greatest scrutiny to be exercised on infants and very young children who will be terminated at a

stage in their lives before they have been able to appreciate the sacrifice they will be making to enhance

the health and nourishment of their Proximian hosts. Furthermore, where it will become necesssary to introduce

disease pathogens into Proximian bodies or where organ or limb removal will be required, the most

vocal and creative members of our clergy shall be available to offer consolation, sympathy and encouragement, as

well as assurance of redemption and forgiveness for bad behaviour.

In the final few months before the new spacecraft’s departure the hopeful protein industry sponsored a planet-wide contest for the creating of culinary dishes comprised of immaculately decoded and preserved Chonpsian body parts. First prize in this unusual contest went for a particularly elegant dish consisting of sauteed neuronal clumps, pickled keratin assemblages with artificially-coloured corneas, retinas and neural ganglia on the side. Depending on availability, brown or yellow bile could be included as a tasty and nutritious organic gravy.

The winning contestant, a visiting Eclidon teenager rumoured to be the niece of one of the zoological aspirants, even included serving directions with her entry, and this thoughtful innovation was entitled, rather poignantly, “Breakfast of Chonpsians.” It was discovered that the winner had cleverly sold her prize, a seat on the protein craft, to an associate of her uncle, who was thus well positioned to continue his firm’s lobbying activities on board. Preparations for the expedition had been ongoing for years, and within seconds of the huge craft’s liftoff,  thousands of crew members found themselves hurtling through space at half the speed of light, up to their sister star, Alpha Centuri, and beyond, enchanted by its uncanny resemblance to their own beloved Proxima.

The two hundred disassembling rooms had been inspected and sterilized, and all two thousand stainless steel cutting machines had been sharpened and temporarily encased in extruded tritium shrouds for dust control. Plaxon, the chief operating engineer, had designed the machines himself and had actually earned his place on board the new craft by reverse engineering a Chonpsian “pecking fowl” slaughterhouse. It was said that, although the Chonpsian prototype was incredibly efficient, Plaxon’s deduced components were a work of wondrous synchronicity and were known to have the capability of killing, collating, cutting and packing ten thousand Chonpsians per hour, as long as the haemoglobin protein catchment basins didn’t overflow. Unlike the so-called “natural selection” by which the Chonpsians naively imagined life on their planet progressed, nothing was left to chance. With the transparent polyvinyl butylene tubing used for haemoglobin catchment came the ingenious recycling innovation of freezing the strange new substance, placing it on cellulose sticks and making it available to school children as special snacks and awards for disciplined behaviour and high academic achievement.

Part Two

The spacecraft was three light years out of port when Plaxon completed his checklists in the abattoirs and packing plants. Everything was in remarkably good order, and when he finally reported to Captain Plasmidian it was not without a great sense of pride in what he had been able to accomplish just five years into his post-combatant officer career, including his much-sought-after posting of chief operating engineer on the first-ever government-sponsored protein expedition.

Captain Phage Plasmidian, resplendent in his newly-designed cerulean blue jumpsuit, seemed thoughtful as the two sat in the upper cockpit snacking on the inevitable ubiquitous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon boxed lunches which had been prepared in so many varieties that even the talented Proxime chefs were hard-pressed to come up with anything remotely resembling interesting.

“Well Plaxon, old buddy, what do you think? Are we actually going to get to eat some of theses things some day? These assorted hydrocarbons are driving me nuts.”

“Won’t be long, now sir. We’re well on our way and everythings’s right up to speed. Have you tried the tubeworms? Apparently they’re in season now, and the technos over at Biologic are engineering some very nice polypeptide soups to have with them. The food’s much better now sir. Same basic aminos I must admit, but generally much better prepared.”

“Yeah, but what I wouldn’t give for a nice negro pot pie right about now. Have you seen the projected menus?”

“Food looks delecious, doesn’t it.”

“Sure does. Do you think they’ll put up much of a fight, Plaxon?”

“Well, I’m sure they’re going to get fairly stressed about being considered food, but surely when they see what we’re actually capable of doing, they’ll realize that discretion is the getter part of valour.”

“Those methane bombs will definitely bring them on board.”

“Nice pun, sir.”

“Thank you, Plaxon. You know the technos over at Weapons are still pitching knocking out their ozone. This methane thing…it’s definitely wierd science to me. You sure it’ll work?”

“Well, four thousand megatons of methane will immediately accelerate the homeostastic equilibrium of their biosphere and the resulting oxidation will deplete the oxygen so significantly that the ozone will be reduced dramatically anyway, not to mention the acute respiratory deficits that will occur.”

“So where are we getting a sufficient supply of methane for all that?”

“Well, there’s lakes of the stuff on one of that ringed planet’s moons. We’re going to swing by and take on as much as we can carry. No doubt enough for our Chonps project.”

“Methane, eh. Isn’t that the material the Chonpsians use for fuel and to run most of their industries?”

“Same stuff, Sir. They drill for it in shallow wells on Chonps, but only the elite robber class knows that if you dig deep enough just about anywhere on Chonps you’ll find the stuff floating in seas just above the mantle.”

“I remember reading about that somewhere. Is this the stuff they call “fossil fuels?”

“Same stuff, sir. The elites pretend that it is derived from the pressurized fossils of dead animals and plants just to ensure that their slaves will think the stuff is going to run out at any minute.”

“Clever bit of marketing–invent some fake science for the origin of their fuel hydrocarbons and sell it back to the slaves for exorbitant rates with the expectation that it’s a finite resource. Brilliant, but evil! So why was Weapons recommending oxygen bombs?”

“Oh that! Well sir, that was a bit hair-brained all along, because if the proportion of oxygen in the Chonpsian atmosphere exceeds twenty-one percent the entire crust of the planet would be incinerated. Definitely overkill, sir.”

“So have we got the microbe problem completely under control? These Chonpsian things are full of Escherichia Coli, staphlococcus, pylorus bacteria, salmonella, some particularly nasty necrotizing fasciitis microbes; their so-called hospitals are all contaminated with antibiotic resistant bacteria–not to mention some weird bacteriophages that are capable of doing their own genetic engineering. And then there’s that synthetic retrovirus thast supposedly destroys the immune systems of its hosts.”

“We know, sir. We’re ready for all that. We’re going to recode that ugly piece of protein right back into that hopeless little primate from whence it allegedly came. Not to worry, sir.”

“By the way, Plaxon, do you think they did that on purpose?”

“Well, it’s a theory. Sheep virus with cell wall deficient enhancers gene spliced to produce a pathogen that can be infectious to Chonpians. At least that’s what Blithon over at Biologic claims. He’s convinced some supposedly elite class of Chonpsians engineered this chimeric immune virus–apparently mostly visna–in order to kill off a few billion of its opponents, and that its antigens are specifically tagged to the melanin gene.”

“Enhancers, eh, Plaxon. What enhancers?”

“Blithon says mycoplasmas.”

“Mycoplasmas? What have they got to do with it?”

“Well, on Chonps, animal viruses don’t usually harm Chonpsians so somebody came up with the bright idea of running them through Chonpsian cancer cells which have been pre-transfected with mycoplasmas.”

But what would be the point of all that anyway>”

“Social biological warfare.”

“Social biological warfare?”

“Apparently. But not only that. It’s pretty complicated Chonpsian sociology, but the northern clans are getting pretty antsy about the southern types because they have traditionally cheated the southerners out of their natural resources, by setting up dictators like some guy they call Sese Seko, who funnelled most of his country’s minerals to the north for huge personal profits, and who actually spent most of his life in a villa on a western Riviera while his country chonpsians were starving and fighting over the scraps of colonialism.”

“So what’s the melanin link?”

“Most of the southern Chonpsians have the melanin gene, sir.”

“So the sheep virus is upgraded to kill Chonpsians with melanin?”

“Apparently, and also other groups like drug injectors and homogenerationals.”

“So you think this is true, Plaxon.”

“I don’t know for sure but Blithon did his thesis on it, and he did graduate, sir.”

“Genetically engineered, biological class warfare. What a concept! Do you think they really did it, Plaxon?”

“I wouldn’t put it past them, sir. They do seem to be fond of a good ethnic cleansing once in a while.”

“Well, I’m going to put an end to their racial superiority thing, first chance I get.”

“Sir?”

“I’m going to do a taste test. Ha ha ha. That ought to settle it eh, Plaxon.”

“Ha ha ha. Right on, sir. Excellent pun, sir.”

“Not bad, eh. I made that one up myself.”

“You always were very funny, sir.”

“And you always were very obsequious, Plaxon.”

“Sir?”

“Just kidding. Anyway…Oh yeah, I know what I wanted to ask you, Plaxon.”

“Yessir.”

“Did PNN make it on board?”

“‘Fraid so.”

“Great, just great. That’s just what we need. I sure hope we don’t have to get rough with these Chonpsians. They do have a pretty irritating little military complex. I’d rather PNN doesn’t get any videos of us killing a few hundred million Chonpsians. Can’t we just dump PNN at Europa or somewhere and pick them up on the way back?”

“I don’t think we’d get away with it sir. PNN is parliamentarily mandated for this flight. Besides the Europaens are in the middle of a very large ethnic cleansing situation, and I doubt if they want any ambitious journalists snooping around for mass burial sites. There’s no way around it, sir. This whole expedition’s going to succeed or fail by virtue of the electron beam images brought home by PNN. The good news is that noone’s got any particular use for Chonpsians after what they’ve been doing to each other and the other species on their planet for thousands of years. So, fortunately, they’ve really set a good precedent for their own demise. If we’re forced into acting without a certain decorum, I’m sure everyone will understand. They’re definitely a very nasty lot, although they do seem to have some friends in the animal rights clubs–like PETC, for example.”

“Clubs? I wouldn’t call them clubs. More like intellectual terrorists, don’t you think?”

“Well, apparently we’re going to have some company on the way home, sir. According to Blithon over at P.N.N. the free radicals have put together a small armada and are threatening to block the western landing bays and force us back into space.”

“Force us back into space? Do they know the size of this thing: How do they think they’re going to accomplish that?”

“Public opinion apparently.”

“Public opinion! Are you kidding? Who cares about a few million Chonpsians? There’s billions of them. I mean, this one expedition’s hardly putting them on the endangered species list.”

“Well sir, according to the free radicals, the Chonpsians have rights.”

“Rights? What rights? Who gave them rights?”

“Well, there is a line of thought going around, at least in some circles, that rights are inalienable.”

“Inalienable, eh. You know, Plaxon, you’re beginning to sound a bit like them yourself.”

“Like Chonpsians, sir?”

“No, free radicals.”

“Well, to be perfectly honest, sir, I do kind of feel a bit sorry for them sometimes. I mean…lots of us keep abducted aliens for pets but we wouldn’t want to, I mean, uh…eat them, sir.”

“Right. We don’t eat our own pets. Never have and never will. What’s your point?”

“Well, theoretically speaking sir, it could be said that it’s a little hypocritical eating the Chonpsians you don’t know and building heated shelters for the ones you keep as pets.”

“Really? I think you need a holiday, Plaxon. You’ve been thinking too much. Look, pets are pets and food is food. Get it? Besides, our people are getting bored to death with chemosynthetic tubeworms and aromatic hydrocarabons. We have to get some variety into our diet. It’s a fact of life. You knew what this expedition was about when you signed on. We all knew it. You designed the cutting rooms yourself. Now you have second thoughts. That’s hardly going to fly, Plaxon. You’re part of this mission and this mission is about protein. I have a job to do, and that includes security and I’m afraid I can’t allow you to repeat anything you’ve just said outside of this room. You know the consequences of insubordination, right?”

“Right, sir.”

“Tubeworms for life.”

“I know, sir, and no condiments, sir.”

“And no condiments, Nothing. Not even spiced hydrocarbons.”

“I understand that, sir. There won’t be a problem.Thanks for your candor. It’s not a huge issue with me anyway. I better be getting back, sir.”

“Okay, Plaxon. Sorry I had to get a bit rough there.”

“That’s okay, sir.”

Plaxon got up to leave, and as he stepped down from the observation level Captain Plasmidian called out to him: “There’s one more thing, Plaxon.”

“Sir?”

“Cheer up. We expect our management team to maintain a positive attitude. You didn’t invent the world, you know.”

Smart Animals

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