"Fool." Melanie spat as she clung to his thumb and climbed into his blood stream. Really, these humans. They were making this too easy. The child that Melanie was infecting had been transferred to a massive hospital in a country called 'the United States of America'. Melanie had never seen a hospital so large. Although they knew much more about medicine here and she had been forced to hide because of the antibiotics being given to the child.
But here they were, giving her a chance to escape. A young priest had come to the hospital to bless the sick children. And he had an open cut on his fingertip. The finger on the hand he just so happened to be using to apply holy water in the shape of the cross on each child. Melanie couldn't help the grin that stretched almost from ear to ear. This was almost too easy. When the priest reached the young girl it took Melanie less than a second to slip easily through the holy water barrier, into the open cut, and finally into the safety of the priest's Bloodstream.
However, the moment she landed her clawed feet safely on the surface one of the smaller capillaries, she heard a siren behind her. Turning swiftly, she found herself face to face with a small army of Immunities.
'Dangit. They must've known this was going to be a problem today and sent squads out to make sure no one breached the skin...' She thought hurriedly to herself.
"Bacterium! Surrender now and we will not have to resort to forceful measures!" Four sets of antibody cannons were aimed directly at her, and there was the resonant 'click' of a loaded and cocked gun. Melanie carefully raised her arms above her head, but behind her back her tail came up slowly and wrapped around a pustule in her neck from behind. Pulling the pustule out, she took a slow step forward, then whirled around in the blink of an eye, launching the pustule down the barrel of one of the cannons. There was a resounding pop and the entire cannon began to dissolve. In the chaos caused by this action, Melanie managed to slip away into a side road.
"Stupid Immunities." She muttered. All of the sudden a bright spotlight shone down on her and she could hear the beating of chopper blades.
"Bacterium! Please cease and desist all hostile action! We will open fire!" Melanie could just make out a white blood cell manning both the spotlight and another, smaller, antibody cannon. Whipping back around she ran back the way she came as fast as she could. There was a shout behind her and the sound of the cannon firing. The shot missed, but only barely, and Melanie had to skip to the side to avoid being hit by the splash it caused. Ahead she could see the cut she had entered through. She pushed her legs to their limit to speed up just a little and was almost there when she heard a cry of:
"I've got a lock on her, and I'm taking the shot!" Then the noise of a cannon firing.
'Crap!' Melanie thought to herself, and then she dove forward as she felt the antibody round hit the ground just behind her. The shockwave carried her out of the cut and she fell. And fell and fell and fell. Because a few feet is like a few hundred miles if you're only micrometers tall. But she finally landed with a splash in some odd liquid. After shaking off the initial daze of falling that far she swam cautiously to the surface of the liquid and looked around.
There was a mouth just ahead to her left, and with a start she realized she was in a puddle of the person's saliva and the person was twitching like mad.
'A seizure? Another disease at work, I'm sure.' And she began to swim towards the body. After what seemed like hours she washed up on the surface of the person's tongue, exhausted. Forcing herself to climb up just a littler higher to avoid being washed out again, Melanie made it to the throat before collapsing asleep.
A While Later
"Crap! Of all the times ta run inta the Immunities!" A loud voice from somewhere next to her head woke Melanie. The jarring, bouncing of her body didn't help much either. And of course, being slung over someone's shoulder with the offending joint jammed into your stomach, while bouncing up and down on top of it, is never an easy thing to sleep through. That was about when she realized that someone was carrying her on their shoulder.
"Hey! Who are you?! What's going on?!" Melanie shrieked, turning to look at the cell carrying her, "Wait, you're not a cell...You're a virus! Hey! Let go of me!" The virus skidded to a stop, executing a quick turn into an alley and stopping. He set Melanie on her feet and pulled her up against the wall he was currently flattening himself against, one of his clawed hands clamped over her mouth to keep her quiet. A squadron of Immunity cells rushed past. While he was busy watching them to make sure none of them saw the two of them, Melanie regarded her savior/fellow disease.
He was wearing an unbuttoned white shirt with two long tails, as well as a pair of red and black plaid clam-diggers, spanned in the back by three black strips of cloth. He also had a matching plaid headband holding his long tentacle-like dreadlocks up, and a pair of plaid arm warmers that were attached to each other behind his back by four strips of black cloth. Melanie couldn't help but wonder how he moved his arms freely like that. Once the Immunities had passed their alley, the virus removed his hand.
"You saved me from the Immunities?" she asked, looking up at the tall virus, "Why?"
"We diseases 'ave ta stick together, ya know." He smiled and proffered one hand, "The name's Delirium. Enterovirus echovirus, Viral Meningitis. And yours?"
"Melanie." She responded, shaking the offered hand heartily, "Pasteurella pestis, the Black Death. Pleased to meet you Delirium."
"And you too, Melanie." A loud siren from nearby caused the two to start.
"We'd better get going." Melanie whispered. Delirium nodded and the two made their way to the opposite side of the alley.
"So what's the deal in this body?" Melanie asked, seeing the lights in a nearby building flicker and spark. Delirium took a few steps forward, sparks leaping from his feet to the ground. Then he turned back to look over his shoulder.
"I am." He replied simply, "I overloaded the circuits. I can create electricity ya know. Just by moving it builds up in my nucleic acid."
"Cool. I have grenade-pustules of tissue rotting acid in my cytoplasm." Melanie responded.
"Cool." was the simple response.
"Isn't it?" She answered, deciding she liked this virus. A large 'snap' sounded and every light in the city went out. Then they began flickering again, coming on after a very hard push by the Central Nervous System, as evidenced by the loud 'shoom' and the massive Myoclonic Spasm that rocked the body and nearly knocked the two diseases to the ground.
"This body is dying..." Melanie said, looking around solemnly, "Is there anyway we can escape this body to another body?" Delirium stopped and sat on a trashcan, thinking hard.
"Yeah," Delirium said after a while, "His sister is coming in about three hours for a visit. A last visit if ya catch my drift. If I can trigger a seizure big enough, maybe we can escape notice of the Immunities while they try ta get it under control. Then we can get ta the Uvula, I can trigger the Throat and Lungs and cause a cough. Ya can move by Respiratory Droplet, right?"
"I can. That's a great plan. No wonder a virus like yourself, usually thought of as a nuisance more than a threat, has brought this city to its knees." Melanie said, and then thought about what had been said, adding sheepishly, "There was a compliment in there somewhere." Delirium chuckled.
"S'alright, I know what ya mean." He said, "I heard the compliment. Besides, it was because I was called a 'harmless bug' that I decided ta do this."
"Diseases!" came a cry from the entrance to the alley. A group of Immunity cells had spotted them. Looking at each other, then back to their pursuers, the two diseases booked it out of there as fast as they could. They could hear the Immunities trying to keep up, but the diseases had much longer legs and could propel themselves faster with clawed feet digging into the organic streets. That and the small pits filled with rotting tissue left behind by Melanie's feet slowed the Immunities up quite a bit.
The two germs made quite a bit of headway, managing to lose the Immunities rather quickly. However, Melanie's former exhaustion caught up with her and her legs went numb, unable to run or even walk any farther.
"I can carry you." Delirium suggested, "It wouldn't be too big of a problem. I mean, I'm stronger than I look." Here he flexed a nonexistent bicep, causing Melanie to chuckle.
"Alright, if it's not too big a problem." The Bubonic Plague bacterium agreed.
"Good, now 'old still and don't freak out." Delirium responded. Melanie was about to ask why he said that when she found herself wrapped partway in his tentacle-dreads and lifted off the ground. Melanie was surprised, to say the least, when the two of them shot off like a rocket. Delirium was indeed much stronger than he looked if he could still run that fast while supporting her weight. In no time the two diseases arrived at a run-down old section of the body. The lights flickered ominously as Delirium stopped in front of a boarded up building.
"Where are we?" Melanie asked.
"We're in the Right Kidney. It apparently hasn't worked for a long time, so it's been abandoned for years. I've been using it as a hideout." Delirium responded, using two more tentacle-dreads, plus his own arms, to rip a few boards off the door. Melanie had been bored along the trip to the Kidney, so had counted fourteen tentacle dreads sprouting from the echovirus' head. Once inside, Delirium laid Melanie gently on the floor and sat beside her.
"So what's with the whole tentacles for hair thing?" the Bubonic Plague bacterium asked her viral comrade.
"I don't really know, all I know is that I've been using them for extra arms when I need 'em and they help me eat."
"Oh, I never mentioned that I eat cells, right." Delirium explained, "I drain the cytoplasm from other cells and leave behind an infected nucleus that'll eventually sprout into more copies of myself"-here Melanie shivered a little despite herself- "Don't worry. I only eat White Blood Cells. They taste the best."
"What do they taste like?"
"Not sure 'ow ta describe it. It's kinda sweet but not overly sweet, ya know? Anyway, ya should get some rest if you wanna be rested for our escape." Delirium responded, curling up slightly and dropping quickly to sleep. Melanie curled up as well, yawning as she felt her exhaustion catch up fully with her, wrapping her tail around her feet to keep them warm. As she drifted off to sleep she noticed with some amusement that Delirium's tentacle-dreads had woven themselves into a braid as he slept.
Notes:Antibodies are what the body uses to detect and neutralize foreign bodies. So now it's a weapon! Delirium talks with a slight accent of some sort. He doesn't pronounce 'h' on some words and says 'ta' instead of 'to' and 'ya' instead of 'you'. He also combines 'will' with almost any word that comes before it. Enterovirus echovirus is only one of many viruses that actually cause Viral Meningitis. Pasteurella pestis (also called Yersinia pestis) is the bacterium that causes the well-known Bubonic Plague. A Myoclonic jerk is what happens when you're about to fall asleep and you suddenly jerk really hard and wake yourself up. It occurs when your body mistakes falling asleep for dying. It then sends a signal your muscles to act as sort of a jump-start, causing them all to rapidly contract and relax and your body to jerk. They also occur when you actually are dying. Respiratory Droplet Transmission is one way diseases can be spread. When you cough, sneeze, or even just breathe out moisture moves along with the air. These tiny droplets are called Respiratory Droplets. Respiratory Droplet Transmission can transfer both Viral Meningitis and Bubonic Plague. Viral Meningitis is often considered the lesser of the two types (Bacterial and Viral) because it has a lower mortality rate and is simpler to treat. Delirium uses the tentacles like long straws to drain the cytoplasm from the cells he captures. He also can use his naturally created electricity to stun them (like an electric eel). His nucleic acid is light green because it's naturally light yellow and when he eats, the cytoplasm of the victim cell mixes with his nucleic acid. Since he normally eats White Blood Cells, and they have blue cytoplasm in the movie, that makes his nucleic acid green.