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An awkward symbiosis (science fictiony short)


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(unnamed OC. this just popped into my head. Chest congestion, maybe a llittle bit gross but no specific warnins?)

The symbiote was incredibly useful most of the time. It helped her adapt to new environments, gave her strength and stamina beyond normal, allowed her to breathe atmospheres that would have killed a human without it.

But then there were days like this where the side effects got to her. Because the thing about neutralizing toxins in augmented lungs was that they had to go somewhere eventually.

She woke with an uncomfortable fullness in her chest, and when she breathed in, there was this tickling, dragging feeling. Like something moving inside her lungs.

She knew the symbiote itself was microscopic, really - something like a virus, though the specifics were confusing to her. She knew she must be feeling the crackling of phlegm dislodged by the first deep breath of the day, like wind whipping through her airways disturbing the overnight buildup of sludge in its turbulence. It hurt a bit, and then it *tickled*, and she snapped upright in bed and bent forward with a series of hoarse coughs; spat something bitter into a handkerchief; and gasped in fresh air as she folded the now-wet handkerchief and set it aside.

Her lungs felt clear but sore, and there was a warning prickle in her throat that told her the cycle of irritation, neutralization and coughing up the remnants was going to continue again later.

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