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Biolet's Backpack 4/5/2017 7:34am
I'm afraid my mother has gone and done something rash.
I knew she was worried about losing the Hive, that she couldn't afford to keep it up and didn't know what to do. So I forgave her if she was getting into the nectar a little too deep now and then.
But I noticed she had the smell about her all the time. That sweet, perfumey smell. At first I chalked it up to her age, and that I hadn't visited for quite awhile, and maybe she was starting to get that "Old Queen Bee" smell about her.
And then I noticed she was so heading down into the basement all the time. Sometimes making excuses about looking for something, sometimes when she thought I was asleep in my cell. So I followed her.
Down, down the winding, spiral combs, deep down into the pulsing, ultra-violet blue center of the Hive. The smell of nectar became overwhelming, like there were great pools of it. But there was also an unfamiliar sound--a thin, metallic buzzing that grew louder and louder as my journey brought me to the shocking, horrifying truth.
Wasps. Here, in the Hive. Hundreds of them.
My mother began her communicative interpretive dance--the only way we communicate with the Wasps. They gathered around her, enormous, 5 times her size, but I could just make out her symbolic dance language from my vantage point.
DIMENSIONAL SPECTRUM WEAKENED STOP PORTAL NOW COMPLETE STOP CONTINUE THROUGH THIS GATE STOP DIG HOLES STOP BURROW THOUGH TIME SPACE STOP YOU WILL FIND THE WARM LAND STOP MY DEBT IS NOW PAID STOP
The Wasps looked at each other with their enormous compound eyes, turning their heads and waving their antennae. Then they swarmed towards a large hole in the combs and began scrambling over each other, buzzing even more loudly, working their long legs and wings and pressing their bodies through the hole.
It was at that moment my mother saw me, and turned white.
Biolet's Backpack 3/7/2017 9:33pm
It took a while for my mom to get around to it, but she's worried about losing the Hive.
For days she just wanted me to eat and eat and make small talk and go through my stuff and see what I wanted to keep and help her clean out the attic. But finally, one night when she had had plenty of nectar, she let me know the reason for calling me back home.
"We just can't keep everything up any more. We're underwater--it's taking more to pay off the Hive than we have. We haven't been extravagant with the building. All the combs and new cell developments were necessities at the time, but we're just not taking in enough to support it. We're going to have to sell to one of the big Apoidea conglomerates. That's why I needed to see you. We're moving out."
It was a big blow. All my life the Hive had been there. It took care of all of our needs, and seemed eternal. Even during the Doomsday Years with the Wasp cartel, the Hive never stopped producing. So to hear it wasn't something my mom could just lay her way out of was almost impossible to believe. What would she do? Where would she go? Downsize to apartments within the new multi-use structure the Apoidea was sure to put in? Move in as the resident failure at some distant relative's? Build something up in a tree?
She didn't seem to have a plan, but wasn't in a state to try and reason it out.
Biolet's Backpack 2/14/2017 10:06pm
Going back to your home town can be a mixed bag. I left the Hive because I wanted to get as far away from it as I could, not because it was a terrible place but because it was so boring. But whenever I come back I realize I kind of miss it. The warm familiar hum of the place. The combs extending in banks as far as the compound eye can see. The regularity of the hexagonal cells, the smell of fresh wax and propolis coming from the new structures. And of course the pulsing ultraviolet glow coming from everywhere.
When I was younger and getting into trouble, it seemed like we ran into a Drone around every corner, just waiting to bust us. Now I hardly see them anymore, not even at the nectar bars on every corner. There's sure a lot more of those than I remember.
But there are some parts that never seem to change. Like the wide entry ways to the inner portions, and the broad avenues that lead right to the neighborhood I'm headed for, near the center of this whole superstructure. I squeeze through the old familiar hole and into the luxurious domicile I know so well.
"Hi mom. I'm home. Happy Valentine's Day."
Biolet's Backpack 2/4/2017 11:30pm
The gates got opened again, but I was already past the point of no return with my cousin, taking the spaceways and the abandoned amusement park route to skirt the authorities. He's really more like a second cousin, and he's kinda sketch. I have no doubt that he gouges people when he can for the trip, and isn't likely to put his neck out to far for most people. But since I'm family I can trust him enough to get me there.
I plan to learn the way myself eventually, all the landmarks and the traps. But cousin Stinky leads me around purposefully confusing routes--quiet street corners at night in sleepy small towns that all look the same, transoms and stairwells and sodium lights and alleyways and razorwire in the rain. It gets hard to pay attention after awhile. Stinky wants to protect his secrets.
Without even a close call, we make it through to the Hive, emerging in a copse of trees just a few blocks from the official gateway juncture at the port authority. You can see the purple glow of the apiary just over the hill. Stinky looks at me for a minute--the first time we've really looked right at each other the whole time.
"You're really going to talk to her? Face to face?"
"Right through the front door."
He looks at me a moment longer.
"Don't tell her it was me that brought you."
And with that he slips back into the shadows, back the way we came.
Biolet's Backpack 2/1/2017 8:58pm
Oh I just saw your post @Genderific Slimemold
and that's really helpful because my phone was in my backpack at the time and I know exactly whose ringtone that is.
The trouble is I'll have to go and retrieve it, which mean all the way back to The Hive, but now it's cut off because of the gate closures! 4A14A0. Luckily I have some extended family members who know people who know how to get around the gates. I am meeting them in a parking lot near the abandoned coconut factory at midnight.
Because I really need my backpack.
Biolet's Backpack 1/26/2017 5:53pm
Have you seen my backpack?
Last seen in the cafeteria on the floor next to the windows. It's purple corduroy decorated with hand-sewn appliques from the Dresden Codex.