Killer Flies
Killer Flies
    By William D. Hicks
    Flies swarmed in the clear acrylic cage before Dr. John Pankow. They buzzed a loud rhythmic hum that was mesmerizingly maniacal. Fast and furiously they flew about their prison, so fast it was likely impossible to hit one with a fly swatter unless one got extremely lucky. The containers housing them looked to be formidable barriers to escape with interlocking rooms between them.
    When set free inside an adjoining cage that housed a mare their buzzing became even louder.
    Observers watched as the mare produced a bowel movement out of fear. The flies ate the excrement within seconds.
    “Flies usually don’t eat this fast, but these are no ordinary insects. They are genetically engineered for warfare: If a soldier bleeds, even a pin prick, these flies are attracted to the pheromones in his blood, and they attack.” Pankow paused to see his viewers’ faces. Satisfied they were in awe, he continued. “Flies are normally rather docile creatures, fleeing when swatted at due to anomalous air currents. These killer flies, however, don’t fly away, they just keep coming.”
    The mare released its bowels again. Within seconds the steaming pile of brown dissolved into microbe-sized specks on the green grass. Next the flies attacked the animal. She bit at herself, ripping at fur and flesh in an attempt to kill the flies, but they were too fast, too frenzied.
    “These flies were named due to similarities with killer bees,” Pankow continued, looking away from the re-created pasture scene. “Their only purpose is to feed. Most important—they attack and often kill their prey.”
    “Regular flies bite people once in awhile, but killer flies bite people hundreds of times a minute, releasing small amounts of venom each time, and removing small pieces of flesh. A single bite does little, but thousands are deadly. When blood or feces are involved killer flies triple their feeding rate. It only takes a few minutes to kill a man, seven to consume his remains. The remaining bones resemble medical school skeletons without any tissue. Remains often lay in gruesome contorted positions on the ground, some in twisted, agonized, warding-off postures, due to the pain of death. We discovered this during our animal experiments.”
    Pankow looked back at the horse, which was bucking now.
    Long brown mane soon became a crimson dish towel, dripping blood. She bucked, screamed in pain—a loud piercing sound—all to no avail. Fear streamed from her eyes as tears ran down her cheeks. She emitted a high-pitched “Neahhh!!!” laced with anguish. Bald spots appeared all over her body. Raw skin became muscle. The horse fell, its breaking legs cracked like a pistol report. “Neahhhhh!!!!!” she screamed as she rolled onto one side. The insects continued devouring her flesh. Finally the once beautiful chestnut mare stopped moving. Bones were all that remained.
    The demonstration was over. It would stick in the observers’ minds forever. Pankow was sure of that.
    “The point is the killer flies are too difficult to effectively control. Protective suits and heavy-duty insecticides work in a controlled setting, but nonmilitary personnel don’t own these things,” Pankow continued. “And chemicals are only so effective, plus they kill good insects as well as bad. And they harm important plant life.”
    “Someday these flies will escape captivity.” Pankow’s voice rose to make his point. “That is why it would be prudent to destroy this species now.” While he hated the thought of an insect extinction, he hoped the government would scrap this project.
    “Do all the research scientists feel this way?” General Bider asked.
    Pankow didn’t want to answer that loaded question with a one-word answer. That answer was no, but the reasons varied among his colleagues. “Not everyone,” was his veiled attempt at hiding the truth.”
    “How can you be sure these flies pose any threat to man if you’re only doing

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