Starting Point: Give Blood

alien_market_by_artificialdesign-d80c1jo

“OK, you’ve got your money, now hand over the green.” Jim opened his palm to receive the vile of luminous liquid, but the alien continued to hold it out of reach.

“Not so fast, Human,” said the alien, his voice coming both from his flapping mouth-parts and from speakers built into his suit’s chest plate – the former in an incomprehensible language of squeaks and whistles, and the latter translated into a passable impersonation of Sean Connery. “First, human give some of human’s blood.”

“Blood?!” Jim recoiled. “Why in the ‘verse do you want my blood?”

“Old squitookian tradition.” The alien shrugged. “Every time squitookian make trade, squitookian take blood. If money fake, squitookian use blood to make curse. Put curse on disreputable trader.”

Jim made an attempt to scratch the top of his head in puzzlement, forgetting that the clear glass helmet of his atmo-suit made such an action impossible. “Wait…” he said. “Shouldn’t I be the one threatening to put a curse on you? I mean, what if this stuff isn’t as good as you claim?”

“Human want blood, I give blood,” the squitookian squeaked defensively. “Green very good. Best shit. No lie.”

What is this green stuff Jim is buying and is it as good as the squitookian dealer claims? What happens next?

Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.


Written by Mark Ball.

Image by artificialdesign.

  • Paul Owen

    What if the green is some sort of life giving or life growing substance? Jim’s wearing an atmo-suit after all, so maybe humans can barely survive in that environment and this green vial provides a timely infusion, food source, fertilizer, whatever. I like the seed of this idea (and perhaps the vial is actually seed as well) – seems there could be many opportunities for conflict, double-crosses, tension, fights, all good elements for an exciting story!

  • Leonardo Faria

    The green are dollar bills, whose nature and functions are ignored by the stupid superstitious squitookians. The money are colored beads, at the base of the squitookian monetary system. The intelligent and sophisticated human knows his colored beads are top quality so he gives his blood since there won’t be any reason by anybody to enact a fearsome curse. He trusts squitookian trade integrity.

  • Aidan903

    I find it hard to believe that such a large species would “Squeak.” I mean, it is twice the size of Jim.

    Wait, who are the guys in the background? Where are these two?

    • Kirov

      Perhaps there’s some sort of evolutionary reason for the squeaking, such as the sound mimicking something in their native environment? Or perhaps some odd quirk in their genetic material lead them to find the trait attractive and it’s been selectively breed into them over time.

      As for the two guys in the back, write and story and tell us! I’m sure they’d make for interesting plot development, especially given the feeling that this is some sort of illicit deal going on.

      • JeredNA

        Maybe it’s not all Squitookians that sound like this. Perhaps the justice system on this planet is very cruel or corrupt and because this Squitookian seems to be a criminal, maybe his vocals were mutilated as a form of punishment and that is why he needs the translator.
        As for the two in the background, they could be two of Jims buddies, (or the aliens buddies,) waiting to step in if the deal goes wrong.

  • JeredNA

    Jim didn’t trust the alien. Although blood hexing was new too him, Jim had heard of similar trading practices among’st Squitookians, mainly because the large alien race are notorious frauds. Sometimes these safeguards turned out to be scams as well. Jim tapped at his helmet, he needed the green and the alien was right, it looked like good shit. But he couldn’t give the Squitookian his blood, that could end up being used as DNA proof that he was here, and he couldn’t risk System Administration picking up his trail again. He was a criminal after all, “I can’t give you my blood,” he said, “I’m allergic to the gasses in your planets atmospherics, I can’t take off any part of my suit or take anything into my suit’s emergency medic tap,” he lied proudly. Jim lied a lot, he was the best in the business.

    The alien spat yellow steaming goo at Jim’s feet, “Human bullshit, why you so wriggly over blood human! You a criminal?”
    ‘Crap!’ thought Jim, he had to think fast, “you’ve never dealt with criminals before?” he asked, fingering the stub of the laser garrote hidden within his sleeve, ‘a last resort’ he reminded himself.
    The Squitookian smiled hideously, showing his sharp yellow teeth and puffy blue gums within the flaps of his mouth, he squeaked malevolently and Sean Connory’s seizuring voice reolied, “You calling me wriggly human?” He continued before Jim could excuse that, “Green as good as this shit gots it some hard taxes. Why you think it so cheap?” The creature asked raising a big ugly hand. Jim wen’t silent, “What?” The alien asked “Human never dealt with a criminal before? I black market Green dealing.”
    Jim smiled slightly at the well translated sarcasm, and removed his glove, raising his hand to show the constellation of small scar’s upon his palm that marked him as fellow member of the Constellation’s Criminals Guild. “If I let you take my blood you mustn’t turn it over to anyone, just do your hex.”
    The Squitookian nodded, “I promise me mother human, that you can trust me. I won’t even puts it into the registry of hex’s.”
    Jim proffered his arm and the alien drew a small syringe full of blood through a chosen vein. “Clearly wriggly little human has no allergy,” the alien muttered as his hexing device computed Jim’s blood and I.D.ed him as Jim Kelouc O’9, highly wanted criminal. The alien gave a slightly swindled look when he saw the bounty about Jim’s name, but then he deleted the results with the click of a button and they disappeared from the screen. True to Sean Connory’s word.
    Jim turned the bottle of Green over in his hand and the alien laughed. And drew its weapon on him. Jim raised his hands, fingering the stub of the laser garrote hidden within its sleeve. “Mother’s already dead, and I gonna be a rich criminal, and you gonna be a dead one,” the Squitookian said, his weapon humming as it held its charged power. Then released with a bang.
    Jim dodged the bullets, moving forwards towards the creature who did not seem daunted by his approach, continuing to fire sonic poisions and other pallets as Jim drew his garrote from his sleeve. The red laser of the cord came alive, and he whipped it over his head with a brilliant sparkling crack, then detached his foes gun hand with a red hot lick. The creature screamed as his yellow blood boiled from the searing wound, and he turned to run.
    But Jim leapt upon him, wrapping his legs around the aliens massive green trunk, and tightening his hell fire string about its sizzling neck. “Never trust a criminal,” he grunted as he pulled the string tight with a screech of laser upon laser, and the creatures head came clean off after its last feeble squeak, with the Sean Connery impersonation unable to translate. “That went well,” Jim pondered aloud in all seriousness, picking up the vile of blood and tossing the useless Green into the gutter. He had found what he needed to know, the guild also had a bounty on his head and he could trust no one now.

    ALSO: What is Green?
    The Squitoobians live on a planet where anything childish or remoteley fun is highly taxed by the government, so childish toys are in major demand in the Squitoobian black market.
    Answer: Green is play dough.

    • Kirov

      Great writing! You manage to make the idea of getting mixed up in the play dough black market quite risky. I like the idea!

      • JeredNA

        Thanks! I realized at the end of the story that I didn’t know what the criminal wanted that could be the Green. so I decided he didn’t and made it something silly. That’s why I like these starting points, and this was a good one.

  • Paul Owen

    I loved this, Jered. A creative take on it, and nicely told.