Bert's untimely dormancy* caused his friends to wonder whether they would ever see him active again... and whether one of them might be next to endosporate**. Dun dun dun.
*Dormancy in microbes is thought to be a response to environmental stresses. It can happen suddenly and without warning. Just kidding about that last part actually, probably not.
**Endosporulation is the formation of endospores. Bacteria can survive for thousands of years as spores and be revived when environmental conditions become favorable again. Spores themselves can survive very harsh conditions, from the freezing cold to the vacuum of space. It is a theory of how bacteria may have survived space to colonize early Earth from other planets. More about this later.