I decided the next phase was the reproduction of the merozoites inside the red blood cell. Normally they produce insite a schizont that bursts (along with the red blood cell) once it is swollen enough with merozoites, but to simplify things the merozoites reproduce within the material of the red blood cell. But the essential information is there - merozoites enter the red blood cell and reproduce until the cell swells and bursts from overcapacity.
First pass felt a little too artificial so I decided to step it up by giving the merozoites some motion, in this video they move in a circuit path inside the red blood cell.
I considered the idea that to best display the reproduction the cross section could be via an x-ray scan, which would also allow me to render it in a separate scene file. It's likely that when it comes to bursting, not all of these merozoites will be seen coming out at once.
This is what the interior will look like when it is close to bursting. In the playblast I used a basic transparency shader in order ot show what was going on inside during the pre-vis stages, as the x-ray shader is opaque in the workspace due to using a ramp shader to define the opacity.
Then I thought "I'm making a science fiction piece, I don't have to stick to hospital scrub green", so I looked into using two shaders - one for the red blood cell and one for the "hostile identified" merozoites. Render times for these frames (at 50% resolution) appear to hover around the 1:14 mark. So despite all the geometry render times don't seem too bad compared to everything else I have made so far.