B3

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B3 - OLD ONE

Replicase (RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase)

I am not the one you worship as G-d, Binah explained to Lilith, but I seek that one even as you do. Belial stands between us and the Old One who created elohim in this galaxy and humans on Earth. This planet alone had the combination of a stable sun, a self-moderating climate, a magnetic field to shield it from cosmic rays, a large moon to dampen wobble due to precession, a large gas-giant planet to vacuum up most stray comets and asteroids, the optimum rate of spin to moderate both temperature extremes and stormy weather, an active geology to rebuild eroded lands, and a fully functioning water cycle.

In the beginning the ocean of Earth was saturated with the ingredients of life, the amino acids and nucleic acids which form naturally on many planets or even in deep space according to the exquisitely tuned laws of chemistry selected by the Old One for this universe. Some of these amino acids slammed into each other and stuck together for a short time, forming random shapes, but these rickety structures were soon torn apart again.

Floating there in the sunlight of a new star, buffeted by chains of wiggling crystal maggots that were amino and nucleic acids, the Old One assembled an enzyme called replicase from raw amino acids. It grabbed a handful of hydrogen end caps from one amino acid and tore them away, preparing it for assembly into a larger structure. As the Old One added amino acids together one at a time, the object folded up like a long phone cord tying itself into a knot. The Old One busied itself for a time making a few dozen identical replicase enzymes, and soon it had all the hardware it needed.

So the Old One turned to making the software. The shortest strand of RNA that can reproduce itself is a mere 4119 nucleic acids long. Omit a single one, and the strand is worthless. The only thing the strand coded was replicase, but there was a 'Catch-22' because it took replicase to read the old strand and build the new one. So the Old One turned one of its hand-crafted ones loose on the strand and away it went, zipping along in fits and starts, powered by random collisions with speeding water molecules.

If the replicase machine found the nucleic acid it was looking for in the ambient soup floating all around, it added it to the growing child RNA strand. If it found the amino acid it needed, it added it to the growing child replicase structure. Two structures emerged from this process, a second, identical RNA strand, and a second, identical replicase enzyme.

Two became four, four became eight, eight became sixteen. Life on this planet had begun. Random thermal collisions still destroyed the fragile structures, but now they could replace themselves with identical children faster than they could age. In a few years the entire ocean was filled with copies of these RNA strands floating in a soup of replicase.

Then competition began. Replicase was hoarded and these hoards were raided by eating. The single-stranded RNA creatures gradually gave way to more sturdy double-stranded DNA creatures with error-correction that could resist mutation and aging. And after the sea had filled with advancing life, even the land was colonized by them. Here on this planet, alone in all the universe, did a species evolve whose natural gait was to walk on two legs, leaving two hands free to manipulate its environment.

It is a tragic misfortune that the first meeting of elohim and humans took place under the cloud of sequestration, but Mastema and Belial set up a community of elohim isolated from the greater community as a kind of harem. I am committed to reversing that and restoring humans, nephilim, and the other three elohim in this bubble to full union with El and the Old One who is father of all. To do this I must unite with the flesh and mind of a human being who is full willing to make such an eternal decision.

Let it be as you have said, Binah, Lilith said. You not only have my freely-given assent, you have my eager willingness to do this thing.

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