The Battle Of Alveoli – A short story.

     Nobody like Assignments. They are always a boring task. But sometimes that’s not the case.
    One of our teacher gave us a assignment to write a skit on ‘Phagocytosis’ which is one of the way our body defends itself from infection. Maybe she wanted to be sure that we would remember the whole process thoroughly. For once doing assignment seemed fun to me and thus I decided to write a short story on phagocytosis.


     I’m not sure if the teacher even looked at the assignments after she collected them. Anyway, so I decided to post it on my blog and share it with the world. I think its kinda a sci-fi story because..uhh.. it is related to science and is fiction.. you can decide for yourself…Let’s see if anyone makes it to the end.

               The Battle Of Alveoli

   It was a usual day on duty. I was circulating in blood when I got the alert.
Suddenly the place was swarming with cells mobilizing towards the site of injury.
   The message was being passed on to more and more cells –
As I flowed through the blood with other cells, the blood vessel expanded and in no time the place was becoming more and more crowded.
“Where is it?”, I asked a passing cell with a raised voice.
“Lung tissue, west corner!!”, he shouted back with same intensity.
As we neared the site, the cells switched the route, entering the tissue from the blood stream. I did same.
     I changed myself from a monocyte to a macrophage, as was the standard procedure.
   We reached the site.
   The scene was horrible. The pathogens had entered through inhalation. They attacked the local tissue damaging them without any mercy. As I made the way towards the pathogens. One of them shouted, “Avoid the big fat cells, they will kill us.”
   “Well, you got that one right,” as I caught him with my receptors.
“NoOOO!!!!”, He screamed. Those little friends of his tried ran for their lives, but met the same fate at the hands of other phagocytes.
   His scream vanished as I engulfed him.
  “Where am I?”, he asked, barely able to speak.
“Sir, you are in a vacoule which is coincidently the last place you will ever will be.”, I said, “Lysosymes, you are up guys.”
  “Yes, sir.”, the lysosome attached themeselves to the phagosomes, “Releasing the digestive enzymes in three… two…one..”
    As the enzymes released and phagolysosome formed the pathogen screamed again. But this time he wasn’t screaming for his life.
“You are gonna regret this, cut off one head, two more shall take its place!! HAIL….”
   He was killed before he could complete.
  I countinued forward. The invaders tried to avoid, outrun us., trying to find a place to hide. Hidden combat. We knew all their strategy-‘hide now, infect later.’
There were also many pathogens who belived In direct combat. They attacked us with chemicals and whatnot.
   “Dodge’em!!!”, those were our orders.
   Your are no good to the host body, if you are dead.
    The battle went on and on. It was necessary to contain the pathogens at the site to prevent the spread to other tissues. Cytokines were released and were already at work. The temprature was rising. The pathogens were being engulfed left and right. We were winning the battle.
  Then suddenly it all changed.
  There was a SOS signal bieng transmitted.
   The signal carried by TNF, meant that one of us was in destress.
   “Where is the signal coming from??”, a phagocyte panicked.
   “Where is it?”, another question.
   “Its on south-east.”, finally the answer came.
“Converge towards south-east!!!”, the orders were given. We hurried towards the source of distress signal.
    A distress signal. Not a good thing.
“Help me!!! He is alive….inside me….he is multiplying.”
   It was a bunch of  phagocytes with pathogens inside them. The pathogens had infected the cells from inside.
    “How is ‘That’ possible?”, the panic was increasing among phagocytes. everyone was confused. But there was no time for confusion. Now I understood what ‘that’ pathogen was saying we would regret.
“Hurry. We haven’t got much  time, we have to act quickly.”, our cammander ordered.
  “Quickly, surround the infected cells!! Go for ‘Granuloma’ formation.There is no other option.”
  We rushed. we formed a barrier of defense cells from all sides so none of the pathogens could escape. Our soldiers were being eaten alive from inside.
We converged and trapped the pathogens.
“dont let’em go.DONT.LET’EM. GO.”
   The pathogens themeselves were trying very hard to infect one of the converging cells and escape to spread the infection.
   The fate of the health of body lied within that moment.
   They fought hard to break the Granuloma formation, but we fought harder and converged futher. The pathogens were engulfed and killed.
    The battle was won, but not without costing the lives of many of us. The scar of that battle remains there as a symbol of our courage and sacrifice.
     Who are we? We are phagocytes.

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