A team of specialists has been sent by the Establishment to capture the last remaining wild penguins. Opposing their actions is a cadre of dedicated Rebels committed to protecting the lives of these defenseless creatures at any cost. Establishment forces are authorized to use deadly force, if necessary, to overcome any resistance and capture the birds. As the USS Mercy, a specially designed penguin transport vessel, prepares to enter port in Antarctica, the Rebels have already implemented a desperate bid for freedom. Having already blown up and burned all facilities at Penguin Station that might be used to house the arriving forces, the Rebels have herded the last remaining wild penguins to a remote Antarctic island and destroyed the tiny ice bridge that separates it from the mainland. As the Rebels return to confront the incoming forces at Penguin Station, they remove all tracks and traces of their recent expedition behind them. With a little luck, they believe, the penguins will flourish once again in their emergency refuge — an island so remote and inaccessible that it may well be decades before any other human beings can find them.
The fate of the penguins, and the future of cancer treatment, depends on whether the Establishment or Rebels prevail. In your mind, take on the role of any or all of the characters described below (or any others you create yourself) and put that person through the paces in the context of this future world.
The EstablishmentAdmiral B.J. Privvet, director of Project Mercy Penguin, a renowned military leader of great skill and vision, on a last field assignment before retiring from the service and running for President on a platform of civil rights, a strong military, a free market, and a sound ecology.
Captain Jackie Dark, Captain of the U.S.S. Mercy, an ambitious, rigidly disciplined, career military officer who “plays it by the book,” and believes that burying emotions and following orders without question are the keys to advancement.
Commander Lonnie Park, a former Rhodes Scholar and professional wrestler turned naval officer, who enjoys poetry and needlepoint at sea, and deer hunting and rock climbing on land.
Ensign Leslie Mather, a promising junior officer and ship’s cook, whose fondest childhood memories include escaping an abusive father by hiding out at the Bronx Zoo; placed in charge of penguin maintenance operations for this particular mission.
Senator Step Watercress, a freshman Senator from the legendary Watercress political dynasty, and member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Medical Research.
The RebelsJoe Sondow, a brilliant young journalist and animal-rights activist, whose affection for other species dates back to a loving childhood filled with stray kittens and an eccentric pet parrot. Sondow is prepared to take any and all steps necessary to protect the last wild penguins, even if it means risking death in the process.
Dr. Toby Glass, the veterinary researcher who stumbled upon Penacea by accidentally splattering penguin blood on a troubling spot of melanoma brought on by overexposure to the Antarctic sun. When the tiny tumor disappeared within hours, Glass began the formal research that led to the cancer cure. Glass stood to make millions after patenting Penacea as a drug, but instead opted to contribute all profits to the creation of an Antarctic wildlife refuge that has remained bogged down in red tape.
Angel Inglesias, graduate assistant (and lover) to Dr. Toby Glass, who plans to use this research experience as the basis of a dissertation in serology.
Dr. Kim Snow, drug-addict-turned-research- scientist, who hopes to manage the Antarctic Wildlife Refuge envisioned by Dr. Glass.
Andy Stark, a wild-eyed and dramatic iconoclast turned ecoterrorist, who fantasizes about becoming a celebrity by committing a violent act of “retribution against the system.”
Think you know now if you’re a Rebel at heart or a defender of the Establishment? Maybe it’s not so simple. This was just one possible future. You might respond differently under other circumstances.