A white blood cell and a macrophage cell already have an unlikely friendship. But then they get "the call" -- Adam in Darwin
"Listen, Neocyte... we don't have the time for you to mature and be ready to fight. Take a back seat. This is literally my job."
"This is an all-hands battle, Blob," argued Whyte. "I have to be on the front. My graduation is mere milliseconds away! I can do this!"
The call came from the Internal Army. "Bacteria at five o'clock!"
Too late. The time was now.
"I should'a stayed in the liver," muttered Whyte. "Come down to the Splinter, it's a simple clean-up job, you can finish on the way... damned accelerated heartrate..."
There wasn't a lot that an immature Neocyte could do at the site but hang around and watch the battle as more experienced macrophages devoured the spreading bacteria. Some were even fighting the futile battle against the Splinter, a gigantic beam many millions of times their size. Sooner or later, the Brain would tell the Hands to get rid of this invader, and the Platelets could seal off the breach. Until that distant Second, all the Body had was them. The elite fighters of the Greater Corps. Battling every day to prevent the Body from becoming a corpse.
The millisecond slipped by. Whyte could feel themself spreading out. Getting larger. Getting more flexible. Getting hungry... This was it. They had become a Macrophage at last. Whyte headed for the nearest cluster, protoplasm bared, to do their duty for blood and bone.
It took Hours, but they beat the bacteria down to nothing. The Splinter was removed and the Platelets were busy glueing Haemoglobin together to patch the breach.
Blob gently nudged Whyte. "Proud of you, kid. You did good out there. Now I can finally retire..."
Those were Blob's last words. This had been their hundred and twentieth day. Whyte nibbled on a fraction of their expired plasm and decayed mitochondria to keep part of Blob with them, and resumed their patrols.
A tag-along Neocyte trailed after Blob. "I don't have anyone to show me what to do," they said. "Can you help?"
"Sure, kid. I'm Whyte. What's your handle?"
"Um. I'm... Blob."
"Time-honoured warrior name," said Whyte. "Stay with me. You'll learn everything you need to know."
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / bluering]
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