Philip kindred dick — oh, to be a blobel
Oh, To Be A Blobel!
He put a twenty-dollar platinum coin into the slot and the analyst, after a pause, lit up. Its eyes shone with sociability and it swiveled about in its chair, picked up a pen and pad of long yellow paper from its desk and said, “Good morning, sir. You may begin.”
“Hello, Dr. Jones. I guess you’re not the same Dr. Jones who did the definitive biography of Freud; that was a century ago.” He laughed nervously; being a rather poverty-stricken man he was not accustomed to dealing with the new fully homeostatic psychoanalysts. “Um,” he said, “should I free-associate or give you background material or just what?”
Dr. Jones said, “Perhaps you could begin by telling me who you are und warum mich — why you have selected me.”
“I’m George Munster of catwalk 4, building WEF-395, San Francisco condominium established 1996.”
“How do you do, Mr. Munster.” Dr. Jones held out its hand, and George Munster shook it. He found the hand to be of a pleasant body-temperature and decidedly soft. The grip, however, was manly.
“You see,” Munster said, “I’m an ex-GI, a war veteran. That’s how I got my condominium apartment at WEF-395; veterans’ preference.”
“Ah yes,” Dr. Jones said, ticking faintly as it measured the passage of time. “The war with the Blobels.”
“I fought three years in that war,” Munster said, nervously smoothing his long, black, thinning hair. “I hated the Blobels and I volunteered; I was only nineteen and I had a good job — but the crusade to clear the Sol System of Blobels came first in my mind.”
“Um,” Dr. Jones said, ticking and nodding.
George Munster continued, “I fought well. In fact I got two decorations and a battlefield citation. Corporal. That’s because I single-handedly wiped out an observation satellite full of Blobels; we’ll never know exactly how many because of course, being Blobels, they tend to fuse together and unfuse confusingly.” He broke off, then, feeling emotional. Even remembering and talking about the war was too much for him… he lay back on the couch, lit a cigarette and tried to become calm.
The Blobels had emigrated originally from another star system, probably Proxima. Several thousand years ago they had settled on Mars and on Titan, doing very well at agrarian pursuits. They were developments of the original unicellular amoeba, quite large and with a highly-organized nervous system, but still amoeba, with pseudopodia, reproducing by binary fission, and in the main offensive to Terran settlers.
The war itself had broken out over ecological considerations. It had been the desire of the Foreign Aid Department of the UN to change the atmosphere on Mars, making it more usable for Terran settlers. This change, however, had made it unpalatable for the Blobel colonies already there; hence the squabble.
And, Munster reflected, it was not possible to change half the atmosphere of a planet, the Brownian movement being what it was. Within a period of ten years the altered atmosphere had diffused throughout the planet, bringing suffering — at least so they alleged — to the Blobels. In retaliation, a Blobel armada had approached Terra and had put into orbit a series of technically sophisticated satellites designed eventually to alter the atmosphere of Terra. This alteration had never come about because of course the War Office of the UN had gone into action; the satellites had been detonated by self-instructing missiles… and the war was on.
Dr. Jones said, “Are you married, Mr. Munster?”