The Color of Her Blood

Flash Fiction Challenge 100 – Day 53

Photo by on Unsplash

The color of her blood was the least of my worries.

It was my first attempted kill, a totally legitimate operation.

We’d been fighting the blobs, for almost a decade.

No one failed to see the irony. Creatures with a technology so advanced as to develop a near light speed ship and travel undetected from the Andromeda galaxy, but when they land on earth, they turn out to be remarkably fragile creatures. Centuries of living with technology and science that bordered on magic had left them with diminished physical capacities. They were small gelatinous-shaped blobs that were alarmingly easy to kill. The experts think they had been bipedal in their evolutionary journey. While they kept two arms, the lower limbs – their legs, were, mostly, on their way out. Even the few anomalous examples that still had functioning, slender stalks of legs, were all under three feet tall. Most of them were barely two feet in height.

It was clear they hadn’t come in peace. They came to exploit, enslave, and steal our resources. Some rare minerals had disappeared on their homeworld. A mineral that powered nearly all of their technology.

Earth still had an abundance of it, so when their scans revealed the smallish, green planet with the ‘primitive’ people still warring with each other, still fighting over ‘beliefs,’ the decision to colonize was immediate.

After their initial attempts failed so spectacularly on July 5, 2028, they turned tail and ran away, back to Andromeda.

Or so we thought.

Now we know better. They had fled to Saturn, settled into an orbit within the E-ring. A maelstrom of flying rocks, debris, boulders the size of aircraft carriers. A more dangerous zone in all of space one would be hard-pressed to imagine.

Once in a hidden, protected orbit there, they regrouped. They began mining the materials from the ring. They constructed exoskeletons. Designed to appear like taller humans. A single blob manned each.

What they were unable to accomplish with their physical strength, they were easily able to manage with their creations. The exoskeleton was technically ‘alive.’ Much of its structure was organic tissue that required fuel as food and water. The innermost chamber of the skeleton was a vault. A reinforced steel shell that housed each delicate blob. From their vault, a blob operates the larger, stronger robotic, cybernetic suit, like a weak soldier in a heavily armed tank.

They were defenseless no longer. Their simulated human vehicles were all absurdly strong. They could run faster, further, jump higher, lift more, they could kill.

They came and began insinuating themselves into our world. So skittish from their failed bold attempt at world domination, the blobs showed themselves to be resilient and patient. Their eye was firmly on the long-con now. They were in it to win it.

We banded together. Formed technologies of our own. It took us a long time just to detect whether the large person you say in an alley was human or blob.

Then we found holes in their defense mechanisms. If subject to a continuous pulsating vibration of 76.5 hertz, the exoskeletons just shut down. As long as you held the pulsating frequency in contact with the exoskeleton, the blob pilots went from ultra-dangerous enemy to inert heap of blob and robot.

Then, we discovered the stuff about rubidium. It will pulsate and emit a rhythmically glowing red light in the presence of the blobs. It’s like krypton for them. When it is pushed against their exoskeleton, they get melty, burst into flames, those types of socially awkward behaviors.

My neighbor turned out to be a blob. The color of the blood coursing through her cybernetic meat suit was an unreal neon-green. That didn’t concern me at the moment.

Suspecting she was a blob, I had offered her a massage with a new vibrating massage gun I’ve designed.

Scientists working on some horrific lab somewhere had discovered the 77.5 cycles per second thing. Since they want to move through our world invisibly, blend in, the blobs adhere to social customs where they can. When someone offers you a massage, most people accept.

She lay back on my couch, and I massaged her with the vibrating tool. The instant I laid it on her skin, the unit visibly relaxed, almost as if it were deflating.

But the massager’s power supply has some problems. It cut out just once. For less than a second, the vibrating head stopped doing its thing.

‘Helen’ batted me casually with her left arm. Her little brushing motion threw me eight feet across my living room into a wall, breaking three of my ribs and five bones in my hand.

In an instant, she has a small box in her hand, her fingers flying across its display screen.

The massage gun lay forgotten in her lap. Luck was with me because the power began to flow to the tiny motors that create the magic frequency which leaves them helpless.

As gently as I can, I get to my feet, venture over towards where I keep my encased supply of rubidium.

But the box in her hand beeps. I look at the display. A series of symbols that I don’t recognize but sense, is their numbers, flashes across the ember display.

“Uh oh!”

It’s a countdown timer. Some self-destruct mechanism.

My ribs make it clear to my brain that they think running is a stupid idea, but my brain wins the argument. I make it out of my apartment and halfway down the stairs before the box explodes. I survive but am rewarded with four more broken ribs and a broken leg from hitting the concrete landing below.

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