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Do You Know What Bugs Me?

The Infestation

By Dennis HumphreysPublished 2 years ago 31 min read

By: Dennis R. Humphreys

Lucy and Darnell met two years after college in a small coffee shop where they both ate lunch a few times each week. Their attraction was immediate, and before long they were dating... in six months they were living together and within another year they were married. They had common interests, one of which was camping. Both of them spent time together in the forests and in the boonies just enjoying nature. Their honeymoon was even a camping trip to Ontario, in the wrong time of the year, where they were inundated with black flies. No one told them the secret was to not camp near fresh water. That's where the insects lived and bred. At least you knew you had clean water, even though you wanted to shoot yourself.

They wanted to celebrate their third year of bliss by venturing into the forests of Eastern Oregon so they both left work for the five-hour drive to their destination. They arrived in time to set up camp and cook dinner over the campfire that first night. Nothing tasted better than cooking a meal over a campfire with fresh brewed coffee over the coals.

Their days were filled with hiking and fishing in a nearby stream. They skinny dipped in the clear, cold stream and warmed each other in the tent later.

“It's a shame we're halfway through vacation. The time goes so fast,” Lucy told her husband.

“It's too bad we don't win the lottery, then we could do this all the time,” Darnell commented.

“Neither of us have ever bought a lottery ticket. How could we do that?” his wife asked.

“You know... when mom buys us a couple of scratch offs for our birthdays, when we go over there for dinner,” Darnell joked.

“It's getting really chilly tonight. The sun will be down in less than a half hour,” Lucy commented. “I'm going to climb into the sleeping bag and read.”

“I'll join you and get warm,” Darnell suggested.

The couple fell asleep awhile later, exactly when, was anyone's guess.

Into the night Darrell was awakened by his wife. She was naked and on top of him ready for sex... but then he was too. He had had the most incredible dream that made him so. Plus,8 he suddenly had the most intense desire to start a family.

While she rode him, he discovered she had a dream as well. It got her into this state.

“You were the one complaining about being cold earlier. Now you're stark naked, riding me like there's no tomorrow,” he told her, not complaining a bit.

'I was just so horny having that dream. Darnell, let's start a family,” she suggested.

“What brought that on?” he asked as her body began shaking.

“I just have this overwhelming desire to get pregnant,” she told him as she relaxed, laying on him and kissing him.

“I think we're in synch. I've had the same feeling,” he told her as began to play with her long blonde hair and run his hand down her back as she lay there. But then he felt something. It was on the back of her neck, and it was fairly large. He couldn't figure it out. He thought maybe she rolled onto something while she slept, and it was stuck there.

“Honey... roll off. You have something on the back of your neck. Let me see what it is,” Darnell told her.

She rolled off and then onto her stomach. She wasn't very comfortable when her husband exclaimed.

“Holy crap, Lucy. You should see the size of this bug on your neck!” he exclaimed.

“Yeah come on, is there something there or not?” she asked as she reached over her neck with her one hand. Then she felt it. “What the fuck is that?”

“It's some kind of beetle. It's about four inches big,” he exclaimed.

“It's burrowed into you back. I can't. Its mandibles are through your skin and all six legs are buried into your skin. I'm afraid I might hurt you or not get all of it out and then you get infected,” Darrell told her.

His wife began crying not from any discomfort but fear. She reached around to feel it again and she got worse.

“Don't touch it. We'll leave early and go into the emergency room. We'll see what they suggest. Get dressed,” he told her and stood to slip his pants on.

“Oh shit, honey... you have one too. In the same spot,” Lucy observed.

Darrell reached around and felt it. It was the same kind of beetle all right. He couldn't feel it either. It must have used some kind of numbing agent to attach itself so you couldn't feel it.

“Is it attached the same way?” Darrell asked his wife.

“All six legs are buried in you flesh. Its head is in there too,” she answered.

“That's the same way yours is. Yours doesn't seem to be moving at all,” he told her.

“Yours isn't either. What the hell kind of beetles are these? I've never seen anything like them,” she declared as she pulled on her pants and got dressed.

They broke camp quickly throwing everything loosely into the back of their SUV. If they hadn't seen their parasites, they would never have known they were there. They were both totally numb to their existence. A five-hour drive here seemed long, but now the prospect of the drive back, seemed even further. She couldn't wait to get to the emergency room and get the bugs removed.

Finally, they got to emergency. Typically, the people at the desk appeared bored with their jobs, not really wanting to help anyone. When they got in front of the woman at the counter and she asked how she could help, they both turned their backs to her. The look on her face was one of disbelief bordering horror.

She immediately called a doctor on call, and they took them back. He took one look and inspected the beetles closely.

“I don't think these are real. They seem manufactured but since they are attached beneath your skin, I'm sending you back for x rays,” he told them.

“Can we get them removed?” Lucy asked the man.

“Well, that's why I'm sending you to x ray... I don't know how to proceed until I'm sure it's safe for you,” he told her.

They were both wheeled back to x ray. The stares they got from people in the hallway were pretty much the same as the woman at the counter. It wasn't every day you saw a four-inch beetle attached to the back of someone's neck.

Both of them were wheeled into another room to wait. In a brief time, the doctor came in with their x rays and put them over a light box, clipping them on it for discussion.

“These are the most bizarre things I can imagine. I've never seen anything like it. If you look here, he pointed with the eraser end of a pencil, the legs that are embedded about half an inch into your flesh. They seem to have grown a network of nerves that branch out in several directions... some into the base of your medulla. The mandible part is about the same distance and seems to be taking nutrients from your body... maybe samples. I'm not so sure it's safe to remove these things under the circumstances. Where did this happen... where they attached themselves?” the doctor asked.

“While we were camping, five hours from here in a forest in Oregon,” Darnell replied. “What exactly are they?”

“They look like beetles of some kind, but their shell is impossible to x ray. It's an iridescent black metal... definitely mechanical in nature, maybe a cross over... a bio mechanical construction. With the risk of being called crazy, I'd venture to guess it was an alien creation. I don't think we have anything like this,” he theorized. “Now I wouldn't admit to telling you that.”

“We need to get it off, doctor,” Lucy pleaded.

“Still no discomfort?” the doctor asked her, and Lucy shook her head 'no'.

“I think we'd both like to get rid of these as soon as possible,” Darnell added.

“I understand. I already called a neurologist to take a look. He's on staff here and he's on his way. I don't want either of you driving and we're going to admit you to the hospital,” the physician announced.

“Can we be together doctor?” Lucy asked.

“Sure... it's better that you are. I don't want another patient in the same room staring at you all the time,” he assured her.

They sat there for about an hour before the neurologist arrived, Doctor Santis. He came in looking a little peeved and a little skeptical until he saw the bug on the back of Darnell's neck. Then he looked at Lucy.

“This is unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it,” he said, going immediately over to the x rays. He spent some time looking. “I want to get an MRI as well, but I'm not so sure about removing these things. They seemed to have become part of your neural system already. They have modified it somehow. It looks like that's what they were designed to do”

So Darnell and Lucy were run to the MRI to have scans.

“I don't want to try and remove them immediately, but I don't want to wait either, in case they continue to make changes to you neurologically. I am thinking maybe we can cut the legs and mandibles off at the body and leave parts in you for a later time to remove. We'll see how that goes. Would that be agreeable?” Doctor Santis asked.

“Yes... completely,” Lucy replied.

“That's fine with me doc but do me first in case something doesn't work out quite the way you planned,” requested Darnell.

“What could go wrong?” Lucy asked suddenly worried.

“This is all new to me and I just don't know. I have no idea exactly what these things are doing or what they were meant to do. I am hoping to remove them this way so it doesn't interfere or damage anything that would be in your body,” Santis replied.

“Doing it this way would be noninvasive, you don't even need a local. We can use a bone saw to cut the legs off at the first joint above the skin and the mandibles at their base,” the attending physician from emergency, Dr. Warner added.

“Let's get it going then,” Darnell suggested.

Darnell laid on his stomach on the table there as the doctor pulled a small circular diamond wheel from the closet. Turning it on, he went to cut one of the front legs off first. As soon as her touched the saw to the leg, a tube emerged from the back hind area of the creature and submerged its end through its host's back. Darnell felt that.

“What the fuck just happened doc? Darnell yelled upset.

“I don't know what that was. On some insects that would indicate it just laid eggs but since this is some bio mechanical device, I'm not sure,” Santis answered, but stopped what he was doing and looked.

“Tell me that wasn't something to worry about,” Lucy pushed.

After a minute the small tube extricated itself from Darnell's flesh. There was a small hole there and a drop of blood but by the time the doctor swabbed the area, the hole had closed and appeared healed.

“This is getting stranger by the minute,” he replied. “How do you feel. I think it injected you with something.”

“I feel OK. It hurt for a minute but the pain's gone already,” Darnell told him.

“I'm going to go ahead and try to remove this thing if that's OK?” Santis asked figuring there was already a reaction and it wouldn't get any worse than this.

He began sawing away at the other appendages and no other moves from the beetle transpired. The things were hard to cut through, even with the diamond wheel but after a half hour, the doctor removed the creature's body and placed it in a stainless-steel tray.

“I want to get another x ray and monitor you before I do anything to the one on Lucy's neck,” Santis told him. “Bob, we need to get hold of someone, but I don't know who in the intelligence community. I think this warrants it. Tell them we have the device here that was removed from a patient.”

So, Warner went off to make calls while Darnell was taken again to x ray. Soon Santis was clipping up another two x rays and looking at them.

“What's the prognosis doc?” Darnell asked.

“The prognosis is that thing appears to have laid eggs in you. I don't know exactly what that means since it is a mechanical device with some biological functions,” the doctor told him honestly.

“What the hell's going to happen doctor,” Lucy screamed almost incoherently.

“We'll have to wait and see,” Santis told them.

Darnell and Lucy were admitted to the hospital together then. Darnell slept through the night comfortably, but Lucy was unable to. She was worried about her husband. She was also worried about herself. The thing on her would probably react the same way in an attempt to remove it but no one was a hundred percent sure what would happen.

In the morning a breakfast tray was brought in the both of them. Lucy wasn't hungry but Darnell was starving. He ate his tray and then eyed Lucy's.

“If you're not going to eat that, I will,” he told her.

“Go ahead. I'm glad things haven't interfered with your appetite,” she mocked. She watched as he came to her bedside and carried the tray back with him to bed.

Halfway through his second meal he began experiencing pain. Lucy rang for a nurse. Then after a few minutes she rang again and screamed for one as it appeared Darnell's pain was increasing. Lucy finally got up and walked to the nurse's station and yelled at someone to come. About that time Dr. Warner appeared and rushed to the room with them.

“I'm giving you a shot for pain, Darnell. We're taking you right down to x ray to get another look,” Warner told him.

Twenty minutes later the doctor came in the room looking serious.

“That thing from your neck did inject you with eggs. It appears there were six of them. They're viable and seem to be moving from where they were in the x ray we took yesterday. They are some kind of parasite and the pain you're experiencing, is them feeding on your muscle,” Warner explained.

“What? Get them out doc... get them the fuck out of me,” Darnell yelled in horror.

“I'm getting a surgical team together as we speak. Santis is on his was back in,” he told him. “Someone will be in shortly to prep you.”

“I can't believe this is happening. Will there be permanent damage?” Lucy uttered.

“Hopefully we can stop these things from getting too far,” Warner replied. “If you excuse me, I'm going to get ready.”

Santis got there just a few minutes later and prepped.

“Did you get hold of someone in one of the security agencies?” Santis asked Warner.

“Yeah, they acted like I was out of my mind but said they'd pass along the information,” Warner told his colleague.

“The old check is in the mail, huh?” Santis answered.

“You ready for this?” Warner asked.

They laid open Darnell's back shoulder where they saw obvious movement from the parasites. They moved quickly.

“I'm going to try and stop them with an injection. Then I can remove them one by one. They move so fast I'm afraid if I try to remove them alive one by one the others will do a lot more damage moving away,” Warner told Santis.

“That's a good idea. A heavy saline solution with their size should do it,” Santis suggested.

Warner took the needle and were there was a bump moving under the muscle he plunged the needle into the parasite. It made its mark by the way it began squirming. There was a very almost imperceptible squeal that emerged as well. But when he removed the needle, the thing seemed to move even more vigorously.

The operating door opened just then, and some military general walked in without a mask.

“I'm going to have to ask you to leave,” Santis yelled at the man.

“This is in the interest of national security. Don't do another thing to that man,” the general said.

“If we don't, he'll die. He has parasites in him that are quickly feeding on his body,” Warner told the man.”Now get out.”

“I am here under the authority of the US Government. I have the authority to shoot anyone that doesn't listen to me,” the general told them.

“Just who the fuck are you?” Santis wanted to know.

“Your worst nightmare if you don't listen,” the military man spoke as he pulled his gun from inside his jacket. “Otherwise, you can call me General Elliot Mayfield.”

The room backed off then, and just watched as Darnell's body continued to be ravaged by the six parasites in him. They grew exponentially as they ate so Darnell's movements looked more like someone having an epileptic attack, as time went on. The creatures were eating their way out, like many insects where once the female was impregnated and the young hatched, they used their mother for nourishment. When they emerged alive the mother was dead, but they'd continue to feed until she was consumed.

“Gentlemen this is the new evolution of man. We had word aliens had dropped these bio mechanical devices to create a new life form... an improved human. It will be one to withstand all the geological changes that are occurring. Our government wishes to see these creatures. They will be a hybrid of their race and ours. That thing you tried to remove from that man's neck contains alien eggs without the nucleus. Its mandibles take cells from the host and removes the nucleus and put it into the donor eggs...” the general was explaining.

“They're creating a clone of the host,” Santis mumbled.

“It will look exactly like the host with the same memories and everything but there will be an alien influence as well as some of the DNA will be derived from those eggs,” the general informed the room.

“I can't believe you want this to happen,” Santis said incredulously.

“We have to know what we're dealing with. Our same sources say they're doing this to take this planet and its resources... primarily its people, as slaves.

They watched as Darnell's body was jumping erratically on the table from the internal movement. The things began emerging as the anesthesia began wearing off the patient. They were the size now of guinea pigs, hairless and white. They looked like human babies without arms or legs, only a torso and head... a large human-like grub.

The doctors could do nothing but look in horror while the general stood there smiling. He seemed diabolical.

“So, how'd the operation go?” Lucy asked Santis and Warner as they walked into her room.

“I have some bad news. Darnell went into shock and died on the table,” Warner told her.

“Excuse me. My husband's dead?” Lucy asked disbelievingly. “He's dead. My husband's dead!”

General Mayfield walked into the room then.

“So you're the lady with the other beetle attached to her?” he asked walking over to Lucy.

Lucy was too busy crying to pay any attention to the military. Warner and Santis just watched, wondering what he was up to.

“Let me see this thing,” the general asked pushing her forward as she sat in her bed.

But as he looked, he pulled a pair of heavy wire cutters from his pocket and wrapped the cutting edge around one of the legs quickly and squeezed. The thing immediately reacted the way the other one did with her husband. It felt threatened and injected her with fertile eggs, deep into the muscle. She reacted immediately as the doctor moved towards her. They weren't expecting the general to do what he did, and it took them by surprise.

“What the fuck did you just do?? Lucy screamed.

“You fucking asshole...” Santis began.

“I'd stop right there doctor if you know what's good for you. Besides all the other clones from her husband will be male. There will be all females from this lady,” he retorted. “Besides, that thing would have injected her with fertilized eggs within three days anyway, I just sped the process along.”

“You seem to be aware of what's happening more than just from a casual conversation, and probably more than you're telling us. How exactly do you know that is actually cloning inside that thing and what its intent is?” Warned asked.

“We have a whistle blower alien in our midst. He was part of the group that planned this,” the general explained.

“Why, since he was one of them planning this, did he suddenly become a whistle blower?” Santis asked him.

“I don't know, and I don't care. Maybe it was his conscience,” the military man answered.

“Well, the only conclusion I can see is either the plan is more nefarious than even he imagined or he's worked out some kind of special deal with our government and military... maybe both, and he's capitalizing on this, like most of our politicians probably are. It's just that the rest of us are likely to get screwed in the process,” Santis pointed out, and probably so. There was probably some element of truth somewhere buried there.

“You won't even be able to tell the difference in them from another human. What's the fuss?” the general mentioned. “So, what if a couple people have to be sacrificed for the common good?”

“The common good? Is that what you call it?” Santis plead,” How are those things going to grow indiscernible from the rest of us? They grow differently and they don't appear to have any internal skeletal formation. It has the elements of being some kind of science fiction horror story.”

“Just protect them. When the woman shows signs of their hatching, put her into the same room with her dearly deceased husband and quarantine the room. I'll be back in an hour to make sure you've followed my directions,” the officer warned.

The doctors watched as the man left and when he was out past earshot, Santis spoke.

“Bob let's get one of those things into an MRI, I want to see what's going on inside,” Santis suggested, wanting to know exactly what they were dealing with, and how similar or dissimilar the alien life forms were to humans. He thought it might come in handy later dealing with these things.

Warner picked one of the things up with a pair of tongs and placed it in a bucket. The things had almost doubled in size since they emerged from Darnell's body. Their voracious appetite had all but decimated his body. The only thing left were the bones. They had eaten all the flesh and organs as well as any cartilage available. The remains looked like someone had run over them several times with a truck.

“What the hell are we dealing with here?” Warner asked his associate.

“Nothing like a human. There are a few similarities but not enough to say you can't tell the difference. There is no internal skeleton and there are two hearts. The head is larger. That could change as they grow,” Santis hypothesized.

They eventually wheeled Lucy into the same room. Santis gave her a pain killer and a sedative knowing what she was about to go through. Meanwhile, it appeared the first six grub-like creatures were slowing down in their activity. They climbed onto the remaining bones of their host and stopped. Their outer skin seemed to be changing in both texture and color. They appeared, to the amazement of the doctors, to be creating a cocoon of sorts and were prepared to become dormant.

“You know if they continue to develop inside that cocoon, they could emerge completely different,” Warner suggested.

“You mean like us? Yeah, that's highly doubtful,” Santis replied, having misgiving about the whole affair, feeling like he had betrayed the confidence of his patients and spit on the Hypocritical Oath.

They watched again in horror as Lucy became a repetition of her husband.

“I can't watch this,” Warner told Santis as he began to leave the room.

“I can't either. The others attending the operation were told to keep their mouths shut, but how effective was that warning. This shit is going to get out and someone in here is going to answer for it... you, or me... or both. I don't trust that general. I'll hide the MRI scans,” he told Warner as he went through the door. Santis walked to the other room and 'misfiled' the MRI images.

General Elliott Mayfield showed up with a contingency of other soldiers. They isolated the room where the couple had been, and then where they ended up, where the alien offspring were born. Warner and Santis were given instructions on what to do, what to say and how to say what they could say.

The prodigy from Darnell had indeed created large cocoons whose texture and physical makeup were similar to the beetle's shell. They had attached themselves to the various bones that were exposed. A few days later, Lucy befell the same ending her husband had. By the week's end the cocoons were vibrating and moving with their internal gyrations.

As Lucy's body was being devoured by her brood. A couple of the cocoons began to split on top revealing something similar in color and texture as the others as they began to emerge. The doctors and military watched and filmed the emergence of the next stage of alien hybrids. They were twice the size coming out as they were going into dormancy, but their appearance had changed drastically. They were generally human in shape, but they now had an exoskeleton, formed in the cocoon. They had two legs on which they walked and two arms but there were smaller secondary arms coming off lower from the rib cage which was slightly wider than normal to accommodate the two hearts and whatever other new features that may have developed internally. The new creatures were about two feet tall.

The military then began moving cages into the hospital to house the offspring, turning the hospital into their own personal zoo. The director of the hospital came to complain but already had been told he had no say, and if he continued, he would be removed in the interest of national security. He had three years until retirement. He wasn't about to really rock the boat.

It didn't look like the same place anymore where Warner and Santis had worked over ten years. The military completely changed it and isolated it from any hospital workers. It limited the work load the hospital was able to do.

The creatures were placed two in a cage. Warner realized they were being fed a diet of human flesh one day when tubs of raw meat were brought onto the floor.

“Santis... do you realize the military are feeding these things human flesh? Where are they getting it from? And what happens when these things reach adulthood with a taste for it? Especially if they reach any kind of size at all,” Warner asked him.

“Human flesh? Dear God... what are they breeding? These things have voracious appetites. Are they modern day zombies? I'll look into this myself,” Santis promised.

Santis wasn't sure how to approach the general. He figured he'd get the run around anyway or at least a dismissal and a denial.

“General... it seems you're feeding these things a regular diet of human flesh. Why? It's one thing to have done what we've done and another thing to continue compounding things,” Santis said accusingly.

“You're mistaken, doctor. It's horse meat,” the general lied.

“You're saying a doctor doesn't know the difference and can't recognize human flesh,” Santis argued.

“I'm saying you are mistaken, doctor. You might be sadly mistaken,” the general replied producing a threat within his comment.

Santis left and went to his office. He was trying to think of how to handle this exactly and who to call. He was there about a half hour when he made his decision and picked up the phone to call the person, he had in mind to expose this and perhaps do something about the monstrous behavior going on here. He didn't care if he was accused of wrong-doing in the process. It needed to be stopped and publicized. He heard his door open and turned in time to see it shut while the first six creatures born, stood there in front of the door watching him.

Santis put the phone down and stood as the creatures approached him. He began yelling but now the only people hearing him were military... and maybe Warner but he couldn't do anything. He had nothing with which to defend himself. He pushed his chair in front of him in a vain attempt to keep the things at bay, but it only served as a springboard for two of the ravenous creatures, as they leapt from the seat and clung to his neck with their carnivorous teeth. The general stood listening outside the door, as the pack descended on the luckless doctor. Soon the doctors screams were muffled, and then they quieted completely.

Wagner came in later and looked around for Santis but her couldn't find him. He knocked on his office door. It sounded like someone was inside, but the door was locked, and no one answered. The doctor saw the general and asked if he had seen him. The general looked genuinely perplexed.

The officer put his key into Santis' door and unlocked it.

“There you go ,” he told Wagner but when Wagner opened the door, he quickly closed it again, when he saw the decimation of his colleague.

“You son-of-a-bitch, what have you done to Santis.

“He was getting a little rebellious. You might call what you saw, a fair warning to watch and listen, but not say anything. You'll might end up as dinner for our friends,” thr officer warned.

Wagner was sick. He had known Santis since they both came to the hospital and while not close, he considered him friend. He was scared now and didn't know to what extent the general would go to do whatever he was doing.

The six offspring aliens stuffed themselves on Santis' body and already went into a dormant stage again. The quickness of their transitions seemed to be based on the availability of food. Already they seemed to be spawning some kind of cocoon, much larger than their present size. The second set of offspring just went into their first transitional stage.

Four days later the four-foot sized hybrids emerged from their cocoons, while smaller ones emerged from theirs. The larger ones could not be kept in cages. They were way too strong and escaped almost as soon as they were locked in them. They were satisfied to remain locked in a room, but they could have just as easily torn through the wall board and escaped.

“I don't feel safe around those things,” Wagner complained to the general. “How is it you or your soldiers are not attacked?”

“Since you seem to have consciously become part of the team, I'll tell you and give you something to keep them from attacking you,” the general told him. He reached into his inside pocket of his coast and pulled his wallet out. He took a simple plastic card out that had a bar code on it and gave it to the doctor.

“That is encoded with a number they can read. They will know not to bother you when they detect that. Make sure you carry it with you at all times,” the officer informed the physician.

The doctor looked at it a minute before placing it into his billfold. He thought to himself 'the mark of the beast'. Then his mind wandered putting things together. There had been rumors for years about governments and industrialists espousing the need to decrease the world's population and creating a one world government. What if this was the way they were going about it? Have an entirely new world with new beings governing it while feeding them at the same time. It was diabolical but not without reason, considering what was going on. Were they going to create more of those beetles and release them eventually or did they not need to now? Wagner was afraid to ask and decided to not push anything.

He walked down the hall and made a call to a friend who was an expert with computers.

“Hi Doug... Bob Wagner. Hey... how hard would it be to duplicate a card I have with a bar code into multiple cards?” Wagner asked his friend.

“Hell, bob, that's easy. Is there anything else on it like a chip or maybe there's something in the plastic somewhere?” Doug asked the doctor.

“I don't see anything else. I can't see anything even holding up to a bright light, but maybe you'd know better if I brought it over and showed you,” Warner recommended.

“Sure, come on over. I'll be here all day,” he told his friend.

The doctor signed out and left. His friend was maybe a half hour away and hoped he could duplicate the thing without a problem. He would like to spread the word about everything happening but who would believe him? They would just deny it... call him nuts, or a conspiratorialist, and the average person would just believe them. That's how the world was these days.

“I think our doctor is trying to circumvent things,” the general told his second in command at the hospital. “We need to take care of the problem. Our second batch have emerged from their cocoons very hungry.”

Warner got to his friend's place in the downtown district on the other side of town, and went into his home, which was also his place of business. He handed him the card when he got there.

“Hi Bob. Let's take a look,” Doug told him.

He looked at it front and back, even sideways. Then he placed it over an intense light box and looked.

“Just as I thought. It isn't just a bar code, there's chip embedded in the plastic that probably produces a frequency that can be detected from a distance. I have a few chips I can download a frequency too but I have to find out what it is first. I have the frequency generating software to do it. How many do you want?” her asked.

“Get me two hundred cards for now, if you can,” Warner asked.

“I can get you a dozen, but I'd have to order more chips and that would take about four days to get them,” he advised the physician.

“Do what you can do. I can get the rest when you get the chips. I'll pay you when you're done,” Warner told the expert.

“What's it for anyway?” Doug asked.

“You wouldn't believe me if I told you. Let's just say every card can save a life,” the doctor explained simply.

“Do you think it serves the same purpose...,” Doug asked as he reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet and opened it to reveal the card he had, “...as the card I carry.”

It was an identical card with the bar code. Warner suddenly felt diminutive as he heard the door open behind him and the general walked in smiling, with two soldiers.


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