Serialized Science Fiction.

The Nanovampire
Tom Haynes

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"Thanks, you're a doll." I replied in Spanish as I took the towel and started to dry off. His jaw dropped and I laughed, gently, at his presumption. He'd pegged me as an ignorant American, perhaps a heterosexual one at that. I gave him a show and caught his eyes a couple of times to reward his boldness in helping me out. His friends had been laughing along with me at first, but now they were whistling and telling him how lucky he was today.

I gave him back the towel and used his arm to balance myself as I put on the shorts. I squeezed his biceps and told him he was strong. "Aren't you going to put your shirt back on?" he asked. I laughed again, as any carefree tourist would, slipped my arm through his and shook my head. As I thought, he was just my size.

"Why don't you buy me a Margaritta and we can talk about it." I steered him toward the resort town.

"I'm Santiago, what's your name?" he asked me.

"Elroy, I'm from outer space.", was my reply.

We strolled down the beach, making idle chit-chat in Spanish. As near as I could figure, the nanobots were data mining my memories and supplying me with the translation. I was able to throw in English words which had been popularized, i.e., I showed off my PDA, so they hadn't taken over. They were just facilitating my recall and learning. Some of Santiago's words I had to guess from context, but once I had them, I was able to utilize them correctly - I was even able to properly conjugate new verb forms.

While I was engrossed in the changes occurring in me, my training made me keep focus on my victim, I made sure to dote on him as would any guy trying to get in his pants. When we got to their hotel bar, Santiago made his play before we ordered the drinks, "I forgot my wallet in my room, want to come up with me as I look for it? Perhaps you could wash the salt off of your body."

I demurely agreed to accompany him, and we left with his buddies smirking at his luck, I had the shirt on by then, the hotel had some rules. Santiago opened the door to his room, held it open like a gentleman, and motioned me inside. When he turned, I noticed the bulge of his wallet in his back pocket. I smiled as my plan was coming to a perfect fruition. As I entered, I pulled my shirt over my head, both to remind him of why he was here and to distract him from what was about to happen.

The first blow to my head staggered me, it came from inside the room, I think my upstretched arms absorbed some of the impact, plus I was probably made of much sterner stuff than the assailant was used to pummeling. I had to get the shirt off my head at least, but before I could do that, I felt the second blow, it was a blackjack, it caught me across the lips, and the third must have floored me.

When I woke, I tasted a strange mixture of blood and vomit. The shirt was off my head, I could feel the ceiling fan cooling off the liquid on my face. They had draped me over the side of the bed. They had been trained by someone, my wrists were handcuffed as they debated my fate.

Actually, they were arguing in that not quite a scream style, the we don't want to wake the downstairs neighbors. I couldn't understand everything, I gather the little boogers in my body were scrambled as well, but evidently they weren't from the Old World and the plan had been to kidnap me for a nice profitable ransom. Now they wanted to drop me off at a hospital; kidnapping was one thing, murder was quite another. I forced my eyes open and fought off a wave of nausea. As I looked blearily at all five of them, I realized that there were only

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