Enzyme 42 is an enzyme found in almost every life form on Planet 4546B but is only produced by the Sea Emperor Leviathan and Sea Emperor Juveniles. It is the only known cure for the Kharaa Bacterium. The Precursors were investigating how to produce a cure using Enzyme 42. Peepers using the Alien Vents carry small amounts of the enzyme, having contracted it from the captive Sea Emperor Leviathan, distributing it throughout the planet.
The Sea Emperor Leviathan occasionally releases Enzyme 42 as a cloud whilst it swims around the aquarium, while the Babies release it as a solid ball of concentrated Enzyme 42. This may reflect the unstable nature of the captive's Enzyme. The solid ball of Enzyme 42 cannot be picked up, and the player may only put his hand in the ball to cure himself. Furthermore, the Prawn Suit can be used to pick up the enzyme.
The Sea Emperor Leviathan species produces the enzyme naturally, which resulted the Precursors capturing an adult and it's seven eggs and putting it in the Primary Containment Facility. However, due to the captive's age, the Enzyme 42 it produced was unstable and could only temporarily revert the infection. However, the Precursors then deduced that the unborn Sea Emperor Leviathans would likely be a better source, although they could not figure how to hatch the eggs themselves.
After Ryley Robinson hatches the infant Sea Emperor Leviathans, he interacts with a concentrated ball of Enzyme 42, and is thus cured. The Sea Emperor Leviathan Babies then migrate through the Alien Arch and become juveniles, where they spread the enzyme throughout Planet 4546B.
Data Bank Entry
Analysis of the enzyme-production organs in the sea emperor species indicates that it may be possible to permanently purge the alien bacteria from a human system with a sufficiently stable enzyme sample. Unfortunately the emperor specimen contained within the alien facility is in poor health and unlikely to produce enzyme with the necessary strength. A juvenile of the species would provide a higher chance of success.
Scans indicate this infected organism has recently come into contact with a unique enzyme which has counteracted the most debilitating symptoms of its infection.
Assessment: Investigate enzyme origin
- The name may be a reference to Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where 42 is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. This could be due to the fact that Enzyme 42 is the cure to a fatal illness, the Kharaa Bacterium, thus making it the answer to life.