Author’s note: This story is based on the following writing prompt from A Jumble of Words: executive, amoeba, running, quietly, swift.
The amoeba assassin oozed through the door and crept past the security detail stationed at the first door, as it had done on countless missions past. But this mission was different from the others. It would be the most important job of its career, and regardless of the outcome, it would certainly be its last.
When you’re an Amoeboid, oozing is what you do. Walls are not the deterrent they are to humans and other solid organisms; they are pretty decorations easily circumvented through the tiniest crack. This ease of passage through otherwise impassable crevices is one of many reasons many of their kind turn to this kind of work. Many in the galaxies would – in a manner almost considered racist – attribute this to a corrupt, debased culture. But the Amoeboids do not see it this way. Pragmatically speaking, it would be foolish to squander such natural talents on anything but stealth infiltration and assassination.
So this particular amoeba assassin – who is but one of many – had plenty of experience. If it was capable of wearing one, it’d have many kills under its belt. Having changed its colouration from its neutral bluish state to a deep brown, it blended in with the walls of the corridor. It was now on the fifth floor of the office building. Just beyond the crack was a lone security officer, one the Amoeboid recognised as being a part of a private military company comprised mostly of Praying Mantis People. Her antennae twitched as her compound eyes gazed over the myriad of snacking possibilities contained within the machine located adjacent to the coffee machine and approximately twenty metres away from the nearest air duct. She’d need to be taken out in order for it to advance.
Instinctively, the amoeba assassin rolled through the ground and pounced into the air, landing firmly on the security guard’s head whilst covering her ocellus with its gooey black body. The mantis’ forelegs flailed wildly, but to no avail. If only she had heard the jostling from within the assassin’s body a nanosecond sooner.
“Eat this!” the Amoeboid communicated.
Before her tiny genetically-engineered brain could react to the attack, all of the nutrients had been devoured, granting the attacker even more energy to continue its assassination. Now it had a straight shot to the top of the building, if its layout as described by the blueprints it acquired were indeed accurate.
Like the stereotypical black shrouded ninja warrior of Japanese folklore it no doubt took its inspiration from, the amoeba assassin ran swiftly from one end of the hall and quietly leapt from the floor into the ceiling. Its body was stretched thin and broke apart into several segments capable of entering the air duct above. Once inside the ducts, its body stretched to fill the entirety of the metallic structure and moved through them like an ocean current. Through the innards of the office building it roamed until it finally ascended to the thirty-third floor, where its target, the CEO of a multigalactic assassin corporation, lived.
From its office/flat on the thirty-third floor, it oversaw all of the contracts taken in and processed by the company. It was nothing special, just another perfectly legal assassination corporation working more or less by the books. Its chief executive officer, however, had made a grave transgression. A transgression so grave in fact, one of its best employees was making it its personal mission to destroy the CEO for his, her, their or its crimes.
Said CEO was shrouded in utter ambiguity. No one save the CEO’s small army of proxy gynoids ever saw the CEO’s face, and even they were programmed to lose their memory shortly after seeing the chief. The amoeba assassin, when working under the chief executive officer, received its orders indirectly through the gynoid servants.
And now those gynoid servants that ensured the CEO’s secrecy would be his, her, their or its downfall. As it dropped from the duct above, it shimmied along the side of the wall almost perfectly camouflaged in the same reddish colour as the wall. The bulkhead door leading to the CEO’s Inner Sanctum was completely airtight; there was no possible way of entering unless you were a robot with authorisation to enter. As the Amoeboid crept towards the bulkhead, it leapt from the wall and attached itself to the gynoid standing at the centre of the hall. Unlike an organic creature, the gynoid could not be killed by sapping its nutrients. Instead, had the amoeba assassin planned on destroying the thing, it’d have to tear apart and short-circuit its innards from within.
But that was not the plan. Instead, the assassin entered its insides and stretched itself completely thin until its gooey body encompassed every part of the feminine humanoid machine. Now controlling it like a puppet from within, the amoeba assassin moved towards the door terminal and ran through the gynoid’s subroutines to unlock the airtight bulkhead. Once opened, fresh air flooded the sanctum as the amoeba-controlled gynoid puppet shambled into the spacious, sparsely decorated office.
“The view isn’t the best, but privacy is so difficult to come by, wouldn’t you say?” A computerised voice called out from behind the desk.
The amoeba-controlled gynoid stopped just past the entrance to the office. “Yes, it’s a bit too Spartan for my taste,” it audibly emitted via the gynoid.
The leather office chair from behind the oak desk swivelled, revealing the CEO’s face, or lack thereof. To the assassin’s surprise, it was another Amoeboid.
“Have you come to file a complaint, then? Are the workplace conditions not satisfactory?” the amoeba executive communicated.
“You! You sent me on a mission to kill my brother!” It communicated back angrily.
“It isn’t my fault you can’t tell one of your own kind from another. I guess it’s true what they say about us.”
“You knew… you know it’s against the amoeba code to kill another Amoeboid!”
“Ah yes, but it’s against MY code to turn down any opportunity to make more money. So what we have here is a classic conflict of interest. I’m just as upset about the whole affair as you are, really.”
“I suppose that explains why you’ve never shown your true face. With all the amoebas you’ve had killed, the Amoeboid Council would petition to remove you from your position. Better that they think you’re some kind of machine.”
“I am, in a sense. But that’s not what’s important. You came here hoping to assassinate me for hiring you to assassinate one of your own kind. Moral quandaries aside, how exactly do you expect to destroy a fellow Amoeboid? Our kind has never known murder, not of our own people. The best you can manage is to assimilate with me, but I assure you, my body is far stronger than yours. Further, security will be here soon. You have no chance of defeating me. It’s ironic… isn’t it? One of our greatest strengths as assassins is our ability to kill nearly any organism completely unarmed. Now faced up against one of your own kind, you have no way of destroying me. Our bodies were not designed to destroy each other, but other races.”
“Yes… that’s why I brought a gift from the humans. Take it, and die!”
As the gynoid sprinted towards the desk, the amoeba executive instinctively retaliated with a laser rifle blast to its head. This proved ineffective, as the amoeba assassin was merely using the robotic body as mobile armour. The executive fired off several more shots, tearing away at the gynoid’s metal plating, forcing the amoeba assassin to change shape rapidly before leaping out of the robot and bouncing off of the shag carpet and into the air. With its last shot, the target fired the last energy round into the amoeba assassin. Anticipating this, it transformed itself into a large donut shape, allowing the shot to pass straight through it.
The ring-shaped amoeba assassin shifted into a vertical form for heightened aerodynamic speed. A half second later, it pierced the amoeba executive dead-on before it could react. Their bodies now conjoined, the amoeba assassin activated the nanogrenade it had been carrying for its final mission. Then, another half second later, it detonated, leaving a messy blue and green splat all across the floor of the Inner Sanctum.