Primordial Soup is a highly contagious substance with dangerous teratogenic effects produced by the Genetix Research Corporation. It is also referred to as 'phlegm' or 'slime' in slang terminology.
The original goal of the Primordial Soup project was to create a highly adaptable metabacterium that would produce life-sustaining necessities (i.e. carbon dioxide, oxygen, water) using the environment of planets with hostile environments. If the experiment were successful, the metabacterium would become highly useful in terraforming uninhabitable planets for future colonization. It would also represent a major advance in abiogenesis, the theory of life deriving from inanimate matter.
Using the bacterial strain caseus vellox as a base for its high resilience and reproductive rate, the Genetix scientists initially believed that they have successfully created a genetically stabilized metabacterium despite several bacterial specimens developing abnormal genetic traits. After further experiments to remove the flaws in the creation process, the metabacterium (codenamed "Primordial Soup") was introduced in a controlled environment. The scientists then released live mice into the environment created by Primordial Soup to observe its effects on living creatures.
Shortly afterwards, the mice within the Primordial Soup environment began to display signs of abnormal DNA destabilization and increasingly aggressive tendencies. In other words, the mice became hideous, smelly, blob-like creatures with a very bad attitude. From this point on, the experiment began to fail as the test subjects experienced further cell mutations. Despite the observation that cell mutations by Primordial Soup can be significantly slowed by extreme cold temperatures of below 200 degrees Celsius, all attempts to correct the problems have ultimately met with failure. The Primordial Soup project ended with an incident in which a Genetix lab technician was bitten by one of the test subject mice. When it was discovered that the technician was experiencing cell mutation, he was placed in cryogenic hibernation to delay his mutagenic progress. It was then that the Primordial Soup mutagenic condition was discovered to be highly contagious, but medical doctors have been unable to find a cure for this condition. The Genetix executive board declared the Primordial Soup project a failure and terminated all funding for the project.
When the project was still in its early stages, the scientist in charge of the project had mass-produced vast quantities of Primordial Soup in anticipation of its success in the future. After the project was officially terminated, the head scientist, known only as H.H. on Genetix reports, realized he would have to find a way to dispose of the unstable Primordial Soup that he produced without attracting unwanted attention from the general public, which would inevitably lead to a scandal for Genetix. Through shady contacts, H.H. was eventually introduced to Captain Raemes Tipper Quirk of StarCon (aka "Dung Heap" of the Sludge Bandits), whom the scientist was able to regularly bribe (using company money according to Genetix accounting records) into secretly loading canisters of Primordial Soup onto the SCS Goliath for later disposal. He would then quietly dump the canisters on uninhabited or sparsely populated planets within his assigned patrol sector in the G6 quadrant, including Klorox II, to reduce the chances of detection by StarCon. Quirk would also use his political influence within StarCon to prevent, reduce or mislead investigations into illegal dumping in the G6 quadrant.
Quirk's practices would eventually lead to his undoing. Shortly after an incident where the majority of Klorox II's colonists were infected by Primordial Soup, the mutated colonists left the planet in a shuttle and infiltrated the SCS Goliath through its shuttle bay. Eventually, the entire crew of the SCS Goliath, including Quirk, became infected. Quirk was then overcome with a desire to "puke out" (i.e. infect) the entire galaxy. During the chaos, Ambassador Beatrice Wankmeister, who was onboard at the time, managed to steal the SCS Goliath's warp distributor cap and escape using one of the battle cruiser's escape pods. Eventually rescued by Roger Wilco on Thrakus, Beatrice, who dubs the mutated humans "pukoids", was nonetheless infected by a shot of Primordial Soup by a pukoid strike team from the SCS Goliath. On the suggestion of his pet Spike, Roger discovered a method to cure the Primordial Soup condition: using a manual control override to reverse the phase polarity of an interface grid, a transporter can then be used to reintegrate an infected creature's DNA molecules, physically separating the Primordial Soup mass and thereby restoring the creature's original DNA structure.
Roger would eventually use this discovery to cure the surviving crew of the SCS Goliath. The exception to this was Quirk, who piloted a shuttle into the Primodial Soup mass that had been separated from the Goliath crew and physically merged with it, becoming an enormous blob creature, the Quirkoid. Roger managed to trap the Quirkoid within the SCS Eureka and set off the ship's self-destruct sequence, destroying the Quirkoid and ending the Primordial Soup threat upon the entire galaxy.
It is unclear what happens to Genetix during and after this incident. By the time Roger came to Genetix in order to find information that could help stop the pukoid threat, only a single envirodome was left intact. According to the computer workstation onboard the envirodome, the dome itself had been jettisoned from a main structure. Presumably, in an effort to destroy all evidence of the Priordial Soup's existence, Genetix placed all records pertaining to Primordial Soup in that one dome and then jettisoned it, hoping that no one would find it. With the evidence and information gathered by Roger and Beatrice, it would be unlikely that Genetix would survive the scrutiny and scandal to follow.
Effects of Primordial Soup on CreaturesEdit
Several interesting facts can be observed from creatures infected by Primordial Soup (a.k.a. pukoids) in addition to the effects described above:
- Pukoids display a desire to propagate their mutagenic condition to others as quickly and as many as possible. There is much evidence to support this, including the fact that the mutated crew of the Goliath utilized weapons that shoot Primordial Soup onto targets. One explanation for this could be the short lifespan of infected creatures. The Primordial Soup metabacterium could be instinctively trying to survive by encouraging hosts to find new hosts to infect, thus allowing the metabacterium to survive through prolific propagation.
- In general, pukoids have a very short lifespan after their infection. This could range from a few hours to several days depending on the individual. By the time Roger Wilco infiltrated the SCS Goliath, only a fraction of the warship's crew could be seen and no infected colonists from Klorox II were found. Presumably, most of the Klorox colonists were killed during their efforts to infect the crew of the Goliath. The few colonists that remained likely died off and dissolved into slime as they were infected much earlier. This might explain why much of the Goliath's interior is covered with pukoid slime (a mixture of Primordial Soup and destabilized organic matter). Only extremely low temperatures can slow the heightened metabolism and inevitable decay of pukoids. However, if the Klorox II Infected were killed they should have reverted back to their unaffected state. The slime may actually be remnants of the battle and be remnants of the phlem/slime guns.
- Note: In the game script "slime" is a term used by the infected and uninfected to describe the Pukoid's attempts to infect others, it is synonymous with the Pukoid "Phlegm".
- Pukoids display increased aggression and often outright violence to non-pukoids.
- Pukoids can survive hostile environments without protective equipment. This is demonstrated by the mutated crew of the Goliath, who beamed down onto the planet Thrakus, the atmosphere of which is normally poisonous to humans, without breathing appartus.
- Pukoids retain a level of human intelligence sufficient enough to operate complex equipment, such as space vessels.
- Captain Quirk already had a megalomaniacal personality before his mutation. Afterwards, his megalomania worsened and culminated in his desire to infect the entire galaxy at any cost. Harry Kerry, the administrator of the Klorox II colony and presumably a mentally stable individual before mutation, saw all non-infected creatures as "ugly" during his mutation and attempted to make Roger Wilco "pretty" by spitting on him. Apparently, infection by Primordial Soup causes all pukoids to become dangerously insane at various levels, depending on the individual infected. No matter how insane pukoids are, however, they are all still determined to spread their contagious condition.
- Pukoids can be harmed by laser guns and possibly other weapons. If fatally injured, their mutation will end and the infected being will revert to their natural state just before their death. It is unknown why the mutation ends upon a carrier's death.
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