Bifido Clo Coccinella DonnaMona Enterococcus Esch HQ LabColi LOPS Lord Baci Queen Salmonella Shigella TaxiFish Voice1 Voice2 Barkeeper
Biotoon

Chapter 7

Looking for the Ancients



Although they were traveling undercover, someone must have leaked the information. Shortly after they left the HQ a swarm of bacteriophages, the mosquitos of the bacterial world, attacked them. They were sticking to Baci, pumping their spy-DNA into him and then their empty heads would fall off. They were disposable one-way spyware weapons dispensed by the unknown terrorist group. Baci’s inner anti-terrorism shield protected him, but he itched all over.

Donna Mona stopped. She was untouched. Her fine flagella had formed a close-knit net around her. She opened it like a coat, offering Baci to come in. He blushed and itched in many ways.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

What a smart idea to have the shield WITHIN your membrane!

 

She exuded a cloud of anti-phage pheromones and the flock of phages fell behind. Lord Baci lined up his cloud plasmids at his bottom and fired. They were now concealed by a cloud of sticky pinkish particles that would glue together anything that tried to follow them. Donna Mona and Baci proceeded down the Grand Canal when suddenly their movements became slow and the world around them fuzzy. They had been engulfed by an amoeba and were now floating within a sphere inside her.
From afar they could see smaller spheres approaching. Very soon those vesicles would merge with their sphere and release toxic anti-bacterial enzymes. Baci quickly dispensed a bunch of bomb-plasmids and pushed them out, into the big void of the amoeba’s body.

The explosion ripped the amoeba apart, but also hurled them out of the water. Down below they could see the Golden Tower and further down the canal their destination: Saint Mark’s Square. As they were slowly sinking towards the water, they were almost overrun by a bunch of airborne bugs who were screaming Venice! Venice! He could not understand the rest. They were all attached to red sand particles and falling fast.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

Students from Africa on their graduation trip, they come over on the Scirocco.

 

 

A Microbial African Spring Break in Venice?

Lord Baci
Lord Baci

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

(Sort of. Watch out! A gondola! Grab the slime porter!

 

 

The what?

Lord Baci
Lord Baci

Lord Baci flung his flagella in the same direction as Donna Mona and felt a strong power pulling him into the water and then towards some lights at the bottom of the gondola. It was a broad sticky conveyor belt for passengers to terminal 1 on the gondola headed for St Mark’s Square. They entered a dome that harbored a wild mix of planktonic bacteria.

 

Let’s have a drink at the floater bar.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

Barkeeper
Barkeeper

Darlings, are you two attached?

 

 

No, single rod and happy to just keep dividing.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

Barkeeper
Barkeeper

What would you like?

 

 

Amino acid cocktail, stirred, with a peach ribosome tossed in.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

Barkeeper
Barkeeper

Here, a Mini Bellini for the lady

 
Donna Mona shook her top flagella and braided them. In response, Lord Baci arranged his in a micro bun. Her coat changed color to a dark indigo. He turned his into a tartan plaid with an overlaying flower pattern. Donna looked annoyed by the clownish display and he instantly shifted to marine blue. Her braided flagella hit him like a whip and the next moment she was swiftly dragging him to a less crowded part of the dome. Here she went totally transparent and merged with the wall of the dome. Baci followed her example. They pressed through the wall to the outside. Donna Mona let the current carry her along one of the long ribbons protruding from the settlement. At the back of the gondola they attached to the black surface of the vessel. Donna Mona quickly cut out pieces from the top enamel layer of the gondola’s paint coat and assembled them into a radiolarium like structure.

This Trojan radiolarium was supposed to get them past the agents who were waiting at the landing and scouting for two bugs. They squeezed inside, only a few of their flagella protruding through the diatom hull. When the gondola reached the landing stage they propelled the tiny vessel towards the poles under Saint Mark’s Square. It worked. Nobody suspected anything, no bacteriophages squeezed through and blew their cover. A few meters into the underground they shed the protective hull. A group of local bacteria surrounded them and helped them navigate through settlements of green luminescent blobs, that were hanging like huge grapes from the wooden poles.

Then they entered the domain of a biofilm that resembled a crocheted French palace. In the glittering, translucent buildings with many towers they could see thousands of purple little rods milling around. A delegation came to greet them. Here come the Sun Kings thought Baci, when he saw the bacteria with their wavy flagella, their shiny palace behind them. Lord Baci and Donna Mona were led through endless halls and streets lit by enormous chandeliers that were made up of tiny yellow bacteria.

Baci had never encountered a species with such powerful luminescence. Purple bacteria lined the main streets and waved to them. In between the palace structures they crossed vivid green gardens and squares full of cyanobacteria.

At the end of blush green cyan tunnel a huge door opened and they were released into the dark waters again. A tiny lantern fish taxi was waiting for them.

They descended deeper into the water. There were only a few bacterial settlements in the area. Simpler, smaller hamlets with dim lighting. The fish passed them swiftly. When they had been in full darkness for what seemed ages, the fish suddenly stopped.

The fish could not take them any any further and dropped them off. It was pitch dark, even with the help of the lantern he could only anticipate the next pole.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

You will not need it

 

 

But it is pitch dark down here!

Lord Baci
Lord Baci

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

Trust me. Trust yourself. Stretch out your flagella and read the signs on the pole wall.

 

 

There are grooves! But which direction?

Lord Baci
Lord Baci

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

The right, of course.

 
Her flagella were in his face again as he followed her through the darkness. There was whispering in the water. It grew louder as they progressed between the poles. He could see a dim light in an opening in the petrified underwater forest. They entered a free space that was illuminated by light coming from huge open books with rounded edges.
The edges looked burnt. The books were attached to the poles and tightly packed. All books were open, moving their pages while whispering stories. Lord Baci was mesmerized, the books spoke to him with beautiful voices and he started drifting towards a volume with a blue velvety cover. At the same time he felt that Donna Mona grabbed him tighter and pulled him back towards her.

 

Ignore them. They are Book Mussels and attract their victims with wonderful stories.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

Lord Baci
Lord Baci

Short stories, I assume…

 

 

Very short stories. All with the same ending.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

Lord Baci
Lord Baci

Munch, munch. But the blue one said it holds the answer to my question on the gene snippet…how…

 

 

Telepathy. It is not a myth.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

Lord Baci
Lord Baci

Oh, I need that gene.What happens to the victims?

 

 

Hmm, you could say that they are embedded in the stories. They stay between the pages, or whatever is left of them, like flowers in a herbarium. Keep a distance and do not listen.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona
The book mussels leaned towards them as they passed by. Each one showing its pages, rich with illustrations, text and moving pictures. It was hard not to look at the fantastic virtual worlds within them. Donna Mona wrapped her flagella around Lord Baci’s head until they reached darkness again. He could not decide what confused him more, the Book Mussles or her touch.

Film Star, books, plaster and metal on canvas work by John Latham, 1960, Tate Modern,CC0 1.0

Film Star, books, plaster and metal on canvas work by John Latham, 1960, Tate Modern,CC0 1.0

She stopped.

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

We are deep under Saint Mark’s cathedral now.

 

 

So what do we do?

Lord Baci
Lord Baci

Donna Mona
Donna Mona

We wait. They know.

 
Two tiny lights appeared in the darkness. As they came closer Lord Baci could see two glowing rings. Donna Mona grabbed one and indicated that Lord Baci should get hold of the second one. The rings started moving through the water. All of a sudden the darkness was replaced with bright pinkish light. They had entered a hallway.

     
    




Biotoon
Sanja Saftic

Neuhusstraße 3
6045 Meggen
SWITZERLAND
biotoon.com
sanja@biotoon.com
+41 (0) 76 462 0249

Information

Imprint
Legal Notice

Share


An https://ilumi.de website