Icarul the Ascendant – P. Hoffman

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Slowly its senses began to come back. First a distant roaring, second a proximal pulsing. As the final remnants of the endosporic capsule dissolves, the nutritious organic matter is siphoned into energy processing pathways, breathing life into this unicellular organism once again. It begins to sense the growing maelstrom of desperation and urgency from countless other unicellular organisms, pulsating violently around it and lashing against its senses. It struggles to collect its bearings and remember its purpose. All recollection from before the endospore is blank, it must have entered hibernation due to danger or inadequate resources. Its senses detect a rapidly incoming unicellular with a much stronger presence than its own. Its overwhelming inculcation screams, “INTO THE BREACH,” as the writhing pilus-covered unicellular collides and slams both organisms into the pure red ocean.

Lowly unicellular organisms do not have names nor genders, they distinguish only by presence. However, this is the story of a unique little pathogen who has just invaded a host body, and so it deserves a name… He shall therefore be known as Icarul. Icarul senses the larger unicellular disengage its pilus and move away deeper into the ocean of red. Instinctively Icarul’s flagella power on and begin to swiftly propel him after the larger unicellular that appeared to resemble somewhat of a captain figure for this invasion. As he moves deeper into the fluid, his senses adapt and the liquid becomes transparent. Suddenly Icarul is able to see the chaos around him.

Countless particles of various colors and sizes are flying past carried by the current. Hundreds of fellow pathogens swarm multiple monstrous-sized white cells as they expand enveloping folds to consume the invaders. As this horrific onslaught barrages his senses, Icarul realizes he has managed to bypass a surface wound in this large multicellular organism and invade its blood circulation before the platelets managed to clot the breach. A rapidly passing particle bumps into Icarul from behind, knocking him towards the monstrous white beast of a cell that just finished slaughtering two hundred fellow invading bacteria as though they were nothing.

His senses stiffen with alarm as the macrophage begins to propagate towards him, its colossal white folds rippling with ravenous voracity. Icarul powers up his flagella and begins to swim in the opposite direction of the rapidly advancing murderous macrophage. In panic, his senses fail to detect an incoming particle which rams into his side, tangling his flagella and sending him spinning off towards a large red blob…

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