23 February, 2007


Trouble was afoot in the sticky wastelands of the cytosol. The plasma membrane sky was turbulent overhead, sphingomyelin rafts swirling faster than normal as ear-splitting explosions rattled down the signal transduction cascades, amplifying as they arced off towards to distant mass hovering on the horizon. Something wasn't right there, either. The nucleus had been hurt badly in the last infection. It's latticed double envelope still bore the oxidative scars of the inflammatory reaction, the translocons feebly trying to properly refold with half of their functional domains blasted away. The mitochondria were rumbling, louder than normal, but perhaps they only seemed the louder because the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi stacks were uncharacteristically quiet.

It was dark. Almost all the ATP had been hydrolyzed in the Inflammation, and now the mitochondria weren't producing any more--glucose and lipid transport had all but ceased. Even though they were still rumbling away...

This city was in trouble, and it knew it. The nation's dark Bim messengers were gathering quickly, clustering in ominous clouds with their Smacs while the wounded Bcl-ws could only drift aimlessly amid the sticky desert, observing.

Another explosion rattled down the signal transduction cascades, and with it phospolipid translocases began to fall in slow-motion, plunging into the boiling recesses of the peroxisomes. But this explosion didn't head towards the beaten nucleus; instead it flashed right into the hovering Bim/Smac clouds. A critical threshold had been reached...

The gloomy flocks rapidly dispersed and swarmed the mitochondria, diving into their wrinkled surfaces and rending their membranes. The mitochondrial rumbling rose in pitch, becoming a tortured kind of scream as the oxidative hellions broke loose of their matrix prison. Capsase and cytochome c erupted into the cell, colliding chaotically with everything else inside the cell, shattering the fragile secondary structures and motifs with their destructive oxidations.

The city was awash with the death-cries of the wounded. The nucleus gradually imploded, caving inwards and collapsing into the flailing centrioles and endoplasmic reticulum. The integral proteins of the plasma membrane sky plummeted further downward, rending the sticky desert with their cries as massive holes opened up in the sky and neighboring cities began to suck up the rubble, even before the city had been completely destroyed.

Within minutes, it was all over. Everything was gone, and it was as though the city had never existed in the first place...

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