Biological Conflict: Installment 3 by @batkaren

Read part one here

Read part two here

When the Affecting bacteria evolved a millennium ago, there was one man who possessed two characteristics that made him incorruptible, and he took it upon himself to wage war against the Affected.

First, this man did not emit the odor that allowed an Affected’s teeth to extend and thus drain blood. As such, no matter how much an Affected might want to feed from the Hunter, there was only impotence. But that alone would not have allowed this man to begin hunting the Affected. The smell from the bacteria that the Affected gave off would still have rendered him useless if for not for the second of his traits. Because as luck would have it, the Hunter had no olfactory sense himself. His nose was entirely decorative and fully functionless. In the random probability numbers game of life, this man rolled biological snake eyes.

The exact story of how he came to start hunting has been lost to time. What I do know is that he made sure to beget a single, male offspring, and that child was also gifted with the same two traits of odorlessness. Neither a sniffer nor a sniffee be, the child was trained to become the Hunter for when his father passed. As an adult, this second Hunter also ensured a dually-gifted male progeny existed to be trained. And so on and so forth through the centuries. It’s not clear, but it’s suspected that over the years, female babies were likely slain at birth. It was believed in these sexist times that women were too delicate to lead lives of such violence, and the Hunter role was deemed too valuable to permit the line’s demise before reproduction could occur.

It clearly never dawned on any of these moronic men that even if the girls didn’t hunt, as long as they possessed the coexisting traits, they could have spawned additional children to increase the Hunter population. A community or even an army of Hunters might have allowed the bacterial strain to have been eradicated long ago. But Hunter-zero was not known to be a smart man, and unfortunately, the rules he passed down were quickly adopted as lore.

I know all this because my father told me, and he knew it because he was the Hunter. Just as I, his son, was Hunter after him.


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