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Monday, May 13, 2013
- You can't get a wasp any meaner than General Vard of the SPACEHIVE from the planet Jive Hive.
- He's made it eight light-years to Earth with a ship full of hungry bees and angry wasps, and a voracious and audacious Queen Bee, and he's ready to rock 'n' roll.
- General Vard is one mean bee.
Excerpt from SPACEHIVE:
Zibb began grooming her cousin. "The migration will be an adventure to be endured before it's ended. They say the trip will take eight years in suspended animation. Then, on arrival, our poor, wasted bodies must prepare for war." She sighed.
"Or negotiation," Banter offered. She picked up another flower.
"Negotiation with General Vard and his black wasps? Never!" Zibb shook her barbs in the air. "The Black Watch wouldn't allow it. No, SpaceHive will deliver some of us to an early death once we've arrived on Earth. The humans are said to be a warlike race. I don't think they'll offer to share their planet. And our Black Watch sure won't share it. Earth will be taken by force and the human survivors used for food for the wasps."
Banter frowned. "I'll be sad, Zibb, to leave this haven of flowers, honey and sparkling waters."
"Me too. But it isn't a haven for many of our friends to the west, east and north. They're too crowded. Not enough to eat. Not like us, living close to the palace."
"Living close to our queen Selera. And she, poor dear, is old and sluggish, and listens too much to that horrible wasp, General Vard."
"The general says a new queen must travel with us to guide and reign over our species on the new soil." Zibb glanced at her smaller cousin Bipp. "Well, our old queen's endurance has seen her through the challenges of many rival daughter queens so far, lying now in tombs of wax with the queen's spike driven through their bodies."
To prepare the way, the royal jelly, culled from the milk glands of the nurse bees, would now be fed to the larva, who would then become a new queen.
The nurses often entertained the junior worker bees with a ditty.
Bzzzzz…ZAP! Honor the queen.
Bzzzzz…wake the hungry general.
Bzzzzz…he's black and full of poison.
Bzzzzz…ZAP! Hear us scream.
The song made everyone uneasy but was a source of amusement to the old nurses. There were other verses too. The bees loved song and dance.
Young Bipp brushed her fuzzy body with a barbed digit. "How will we know when we're leaving?"
"We won't, until the general tells us," Zibb said.
Bipp sighed. "Why can't we dance like we used to?"
"We all love to dance." Banter glanced at the hills where the Black Watch lived. "But there's more serious business now, little Cousin. We'll dance like nobody's going to die. But it won't be the joyful experience it always was for us."
"What? Killing the people of Earth so we might populate their planet?" Bipp drummed her digits on her bulging yellow abdomen. "That seems like a happy occasion to the general."
The bees had populated all the available planets in the star system, which lay on the edge of what Earth knew as the Milky Way. Now the Imperative rang out—colonize or perish in your own numbers and material wealth.
"The people of the green planet Earth will die," Banter said. "Nothing can save them. We have the war machine, SpaceHive and the deadly general. But some of us will die too, Bipp."
Banter stamped her foot and burst into an ancient nursery rhyme. "Bzzzzz…zap! Honor the old queen. Bzzzzz…zap! Long live the new!"
Bipp shook the gourds while Zibb played a fiddle fashioned from hard red wood and animal gut. Their old father drones built the fires. Their cousins and friends drummed on barrels and animal hides. All danced, whirled, flew and sang in high voices of ancient legends and science.
A drone huddled near a fire. "What legends are those you sing of?"
"Black poison and old science made new." Zibb stirred the flames as she pursed the black slit of her mouth. "General Vard doesn't approve of our emotional songs. But the old queen listens."
"Ah, the general." The drone cast a frightened glance up at the three orange moons. "Is that a shadow I see wheeling past the crescent of a moon?"
"No, it's nothing," Zibb said.
"I'm superstitious," the drone said, "though I don't believe in a god."
"What do you believe?"
"I believe in the necessity of the Black Watch and SpaceHive. I believe my body will rot in the general's larder if I disobey."
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