Jul. 27th, 2017

razorjak: (bouncy)
SciFi geek brain kicking it old school.

Coughed up a thicker than normal bit of phlegm and my mind raised to a story I've problem not read in 30 years. I don't remember the title nor the author. Hell, don't even remember where I read it.

Protagonist is a veteran of the war between humanity and an alien species (some type of amoeba-like race akin to the "roller" of the short story "Arena").

Biological warfare was conducted by both sides. Humans came up with a plague they infected captured soldiers of the other race which would spread thru their whole population. Said infected soldiers would never admit to being captured because they'd be instantly killed to keep the disease from spreading.

The other race came up with a parasite that would invade a human soldier either in their sleep or by ambush, hiding in small bodies of water until a victim walked too close. This parasite did not kill the host immediately. It took decades.

Those soldiers who'd been infected with the parasites were condemned to a half life. They couldn't completely function in society anymore but weren't "disabled" enough to be institutionalized.
The parasites couldn't be removed or killed without killing the host. So the infected soldiers were pretty much abandoned by society as a bad reminder of the toll that the war took.

The protagonist's squad mate from the war was one such victim. And he was there when the parasite latched onto his buddy.

His infected buddy begged him to help him commit suicide by 'shuttle into the sun' or something ( I forget the actual details ) when the parasite takes over the friend's body and fights for survival. During the fight, the friend spits out something that appears to be a smaller version of the parasite which latches onto the mouth of the protagonist's girlfriend/fiance/whatever and sending tendrils up her nose. The same manner of infection from the war.

Story ends with the infected friend & the girlfriend being shot out into the sun (or whatever). The protagonist is left with the dilemna of whether he should alert the powers that be about the infected veterans being able to infect others.

And that bubbled up from the depths of my brain from a thicker than normal loogie.



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