An Unknown Fee

I couldn’t believe my eyes at first. Nobody thought that they were beneficial in any way, only crop-destroying parasites. I believed it too, until that very moment.

They weren’t originally from Earth, or at least our Earth. Nobody knows when they appeared, they had just seemed to always be around. They’re gas filled organisms that have skin as thin and smooth as cloth, but harder to pierce than a metal suit of armor. One could say that they are floating indestructible jellyfish.

We had once believed that they were just an evolutionary feat of the jellyfish, but once they started to feed off the crops in Africa and South America and wiping out thousands of millions by starvation, nobody saw them as an evolutionary feat. They saw them as a floating sea cockroach. Their skin was almost impenetrable by bullets. They weren’t deterred by anything, no weapons or smells or biochemical warfare could rid the Earth of this parasite.

A few lucky scientists found a dead one in the middle of a highway median. They immediately went to work in the labs and their work was published not too long after the discovery of the dead jelly. Something wasn’t right. Their DNA code was almost illegible as though it was written in a different language. Their cells were unlike any found on Earth. They didn’t have a nervous system or circulatory system. The scientists believed that they had just decomposed after death, but a carbon dating of the jelly showed that it hadn’t been dead longer than a couple hours when they found it.

After several more intensive tests, and a few live studies of the jellies, the scientists concluded that they were extra terrestrial and that we had somehow missed their arrival. This caused a whole crowd of conspiracy enthusiasts to blame the government for things like covering up their arrival in Area 51 to even denying the “evidence” of crop circles and UFO sightings. The government had a lot more things to worry about than the opinions of the conspiracy enthusiasts. People were starving, forests were being consumed, towns evacuated and refugees everywhere looking for a meal.

I’d assume you’d see my amazement as I watch one of the horrible crop-eating jellies come across something so dark, cold, and terrifying.

I was coming home from work. My commute wasn’t that long but it did involve a drive through the country side. I had been driving past a corn field where I could see at least seven jellies meandering about the field. My car shuddered, and suddenly I was pulled over and my car wouldn’t start.

I was about to step out when I saw this dark figure ahead of me. It didn’t take a specific shape but it wasn’t exactly just a dark cloud of nothing. It sometimes looked like a person, then it would change to something more beastly, then an unidentifiable cloud, then a humanoid shape again. The air felt colder. My hand was frozen and paralyzed on the door handle.

The dark thing drew closer, flickering as though it didn’t belong here like a glitch in the system. I felt fear rise in my chest. This thing did not have eyes, but I knew exactly what it was doing. It was watching me, watching its prey, watching the blood run from my face. My heartbeat pounded and my breathing grew short. I tried the car again but nothing happened. My hands shaking as I tried the keys again, watching the dark figure intensely.

One of the jellies, who was floating above the field, had wandered above my car and towards the dark figure. The figure, no longer interested with me decided on the jelly as its best target. The jelly acted as though it was any ordinary plant and consumed the dark figure almost by absorbing the cloud until nothing was left.

The creatures that had consumed the entire world’s food surplus had saved my life. I wasn’t the only one though, there were other accounts. Nobody believed those reports of ghostly dark figures. Nobody had died from them. Not a single casualty, which was a reason for the majority to write off the reports. The jellies were protecting us from them.

I started to wonder. Had we been unknowingly paying them for a deed, we didn’t know would be needed?

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