The Portal in the Forest (Part 5)
Two variants of temporal bacteria are currently known, one which slows the passage of time within its area of influence, and one which increases the passage of time within its area of influence.
The Earth-bound variant of temporal bacteria slowed the passage of time within its area of influence, which lead to a blue-shift and increase in energy reception from the sun and stars due to the Doppler effect. As the bacteria relied on genetically engineered plants as part of a symbiotic relationship, this lead to a run-away temporal displacement of the planet.
The Mars-bound variant of temporal bacteria exhibited a reverse effect of the earth-bound strain, which accelerated the passage of time within its area of influence. This lead to a corresponding red-shift and subsequent decrease in energy reception, resulting in the starvation and extinction of all life and colonists on the planet, as well as Martian strain of temporal bacteria. Probes sent to Mars after 20 displaced Earth years identified abandoned cities that were hundreds of thousands of years old, rather than the anticipated few hundred years from the temporal displacement of Earth.
As all conventional attempts to destroy the slow-time temporal bacteria failed, an orbital system was developed to eliminate it entirely from the Earth. This system was designated Cleansing Fire, and was deployed by lunar colonists while many people still populated the Earth, resulting in survivors who continuously circled the planet to avoid incineration.