Saturday, December 22, 2012


By Hubert:

Hives are funny things. Which is pretty much all I know about them. Other than them being homes to bees and honey and pollen and whatever bees really do to provide me with pancake toppings. I also know that a 'hive mind' means that everyone's brains and thoughts are all linked together, like the Borg, only with differing levels of hostility. (Voyager ruined the Borg by the way.)

I've always really wondered what bees do in their hives, something that I lack knowledge on. I could rectify my ignorance via the use of the great Wikipedia (Thank you Joe or whatever your name is for inventing it), but I'm actually a rather lazy guy, and whenever I actually think of doing something I usually leave it to later, and completely forget about it the next morning.

I do know that all worker bees are female, probably because the queen wants to keep the competition away from her harem of male drones, but don't quote me on that, because I'm a somewhat ignorant fourteen year old teenager who really likes giant robots. I wonder if I should write a story about a civilisation of giant robots with a hive mind, although I think Hasbro has already done so before.

The bee queens (or queen bees, I have no real idea on how it's ordered), supposedly fight each other for domination over the People's Republic of the Bee Hive In Hubert's Backyard, but I have no idea if that's true either, and I don't even have a beehive in my backyard. It does sound somewhat amusing though, with two giant bees fighting each other like Mothra and Godzilla, because of just how ridiculous it really seems. In my opinion of course, I don't know about the opinions of others.

Maybe I'm confusing this with ants though, but I have no idea if ants have hives or not either. Nor do I know if termites have hives, or any other ant-looking insect species possesses hives. All I really know is that bees have hives and within those hives they make me honey, which is tasty and I can spread it over my pancakes, although I much prefer jam.

I could also spread honey over my crumpets, which looks like a hive, although I'm pretty sure some people will say that a true fan of crumpets would never use honey. I don't really care about that though, seeing that I already microwave my crumpets instead of being a traditional person and using a toaster, possibly because I don't own a toaster.

So to clarify this point again: I have no idea how hives work, other than that they give me honey. I also really like honey. I spread it on my pancakes and crumpets. I don't eat crumpets the traditional way. Therefore hives are cool.

And Voyager ruined the Borg.


By Aimee/Aderia:

“Monty! Scram, get out of here,” Jane shooed the little tabby kitten off her pale pastel quilt, but she couldn’t stop smiling. He was so cute!! The nursing home had only adopted the cat yesterday. It was Jane’s first time meeting him. His full name was The Count of Monte Cristo. It was quite a mouthful, people took immediately to calling him Monty.

Still smiling, she tucked herself in for bed. She was healthy enough to be able to do that on her own. Truth be told, she hardly ever felt old. But still, there were just some things she couldn’t do by herself. Maintaining her own home was unfortunately one of them. She frowned, determined not to dwell on her old, dearly beloved home, and brushed the excessive cat hairs that Monty had left behind away from her.
Clicking the lights off for the night, Jane closed her eyes.

“Have you seen Jane? Has anyone seen her? She’s one of our early birds.” Lucy, one of the staff members who ran the breakfast line every morning asked each person that passed by. Nobody had seen her. Worried, she notified the rest of the staff to keep their eyes out.

The hours for the morning meal had drawn to a close, and Jane still hadn’t shown up. Sighing, Lucy cleared the last table and headed to check Jane’s room, instead of going back into the kitchen for clean up duty like she was supposed to.

“Jane?” She tapped on the wooden door, decorated with drawing from Jane’s grandchildren, twice. No answer.

Lucy pushed open the door slowly, on the off chance Jane was just still asleep. Walking in, she couldn’t see anything. The curtains hadn’t been opened, nor had the lights been switched on. Something changed in the air as Lucy made her way down the  short hallway.

Feeling along the wall for the light switch, she tried to place the peculiar smell that was wafting from further into the room.

Soft light flooded the room when Lucy flipped the switch.

Lucy screamed, and rushed back out the door.

“How did this happen?” Jane’s son asked the doctor. His voice was barely audible, as if he talked any louder, it would break.

The doctor looked at Lucy, who was just sitting with her eyes fixed on the floor and not moving. “Well, Lucy walked in this morning and found Jane. She was covered with hives, and there was an extensive amount of swelling. From what we could tell, she died of a severe allergic reaction. My theory is that it was in reaction to the cat.”

“She never mentioned animals in her childhood, and we never owned any when I was growing up. We just didn’t have that kind of life.”
“None of the residents indicated when they were asked that they had allergies to animals. But if she never knew, it couldn’t be helped, I suppose.”


By Nick Silverpen:


It was eerily quiet, as he felt his footsteps echo through the cavern. He wanted to shout out in fear, but it would only make him more scared. He’d gotten lost... why hadn’t he turned back? Why had he been subjecting himself to plunging deeper into this mess of losing his way, instead of turning back to the Koro like he should have? Whenua would not be pleased to know he had gone this far... the carvings on the walls were obviously not meant for his eyes. So why hadn’t he tried to get out? Cowardice was the answer, and he knew it. 

So as the echoes reverberated on the bubbled walls of whatever this place was, he quaked in fear. The dark green glow, giving him the creeps, the lonely emptiness of the place... it was too weird. He liked the mines better. Above they were busy bodies in the hives of the rock, chipping away. Here, it was though it were abandoned, or maybe awaiting something... he shivered. The fables always told of the Toa rescuing the helpless Matoran; it would be great if one showed up right now. They apparently weren’t, sadly. He would have to shake through this on his own, muttering and cursing his own stupidity for wandering this far.

Some other audible sound had to come from here; the tension was too much for it not too. His mask went darted around at all of the green pods that lined the walls. It was bugging him out, so much that his knees buckled and he was frozen in place. This was not right. Unnatural, the cavern felt- the carving of the place was too precise, better than that of Po-Korans. Slowly, he wandered further into the hive of the Bohrok, thinking all the while about it how he should turn back toward the Koro. As he went into the hive further, shivering all the while, the Bohrok slept on, almost letting the Matoran down in holding the silence, not bursting from their pods. 


By Caleb/Cederak:

Thinker Bees

It's really an interesting idea, working in an office. You grow up wanting to be an astronaut, a quarterback, a movie star, or whatever the hell suits your seven year old fancy, and you wind up sitting at a desk for a minimum of forty hours a week. If the boss needs you to work overtime, that's just a little more of your life sacrificed to an eye-crippling monitor. And sure, people like to sit around at the bar with their friends, laugh about how the overtime pay is worth a little extra time at the office, but is it really? What the hell do we need all this money for? Oh right, because we owe everyone a debt.

Somewhere down the road, when we were eating ramen soup, depriving ourselves of sleep to study for that next test, we incurred a debt along the way. That is the life of average, ordinary people in a middle class society. You grow up, become indebted to someone, and work for years to pay it back off. And somewhere in the middle, maybe you actually got that job you were gunning for in the first place. But along the way, you're here, in the office. And guess what, you're still stuck in the suburbs. There's no escape from the overprotective bubble of suburban life, the sedentary reminder that tells you to sit down, shut up, watch some television, buy some crap, eat some salty, greasy food, and wish you looked like a damn supermodel. All the while, we continue to live our lives in the bubble, even faking our social interaction through a screen.

Let's be honest, how many of us give a damn about the people we graduated with? Do we really need to see their new baby, their new significant other, their new house, or their new car? We don't? Then why the hell can't you just get away from them? Because this is the hive of suburban life. You're sent off to be a worker bee in the morning, and you're sent home to be a non-issue for everyone else when it's over. What kind of existence is that? No, can't afford to question it. If you don't keep your head down, you're going to end up like that guy on the evening news, mowing down a few people in his own office before he turned the gun on himself. Sure, maybe the office was a house, or a busy street, or whatever venue you can imagine, I don't think that matters much.

The point is that you don't want to be a newspaper headline, a cemetery soapbox for people's outrage about where society is heading. But what the hell can they do? They've got their own office to show up to, their own kids to get to soccer practice, their own significant other to keep from losing their mind or throwing divorce papers in their face. That's a lot of stress. Good thing there's a drug for it. We're so lucky we have the perfect drug for your every ailment, because that'll comfort people in the back of their mind. If we're numb, we can't think about losing it and going crazy on someone. And that's the idea. If you numb yourself to being alive, keep yourself awake from coffee cup to coffee cup, pill to pill, injection to injection, you can ignore what's staring you right in the face. We're all a little bit crazy, and sometimes we can't help but remind ourselves if we miss our scheduled appointment with our vice of choice. Have fun drinking the honey, the hive isn't going anywhere.


By Alex Humva:

The man entered the building, putting on a hat as he passed a rack of them. He scowled at his surroundings; black dust covered many surfaces, metal worn to the point where it had that industrial sheen of too many shirts rubbing against it. Moving through the hall into the building proper, he looked around at the old familiar surroundings. Vast machines rumbled and clattered, hundreds of people at assembly lines putting bits and pieces together into bigger bits and pieces. He was handed a toolbox by a waiting man, who pushed it into his comrade's arms and made a rush for the door in what seemed like a rehearsed fashion. The man sighed, pulling out a wrench and going off to do his job.

A few hours later he was neck deep in a machine, some of the gears occasionally making a turning motion. He'd been in quite a few death traps like these before; his nerves had long since dulled to the sound of metal creaking towards him. You couldn't keep sharp nerves in a place like this, not for long at least. He gave his wrench one final heave, tightening the bolt best he could before slipping out. Closing the hatch and coming off the ladder, he flipped a switch and watched the great machine whirl back to life.

"There you go miss," he said to a woman in a dirty dress. "It should work just fine now."

"For a week, maybe." She went back to the assembly line, the man sighing and continuing on. All around him were people working, people making things. He spotted two others doing the exact same job as him; fixing the machines that inevitably broke down. He sighed once more, falling into the same routine for the rest of the day. He found it somewhat funny, when he contemplated it, that he was little more than a cog in the machines he fixed. One more worker in a nest, a hive, of them, buzzing about and doing their jobs with little more care in the world than anything else they did.

He figured being a cog in a machine though was better than being in Europe, fighting in their war. Fixing the machines supplying the troops was sure better than being the troops. His train of thought was broken by a blast of hot, coal rich air, making him cough something harsh. He looked at the machine that had caused it, some smoke rising from it. He moved on, though; it wasn't his area, the mechanics that looked after it would be there soon enough. He gasped for some more air then continued on his way, ready to fix whatever other machine broke. A cog in the machine; there had to be something poetic in that.


By Andrew/Velox:

Detective Mason Daniels opened the door with his shoulder and quickly stepped inside the large office space. Inside there was a line of back-to-back desks with thin walls separating them. At each sat someone with a headset, all speaking loudly as if they were the only ones in the room – it was a hive bustling with activity.

“Who’s in charge here?” he asked the desk closest to him.

The man just continued talking into headset. “Yes ma’am, we guarantee a one-year warranty for all of our products.”

Daniels shook his head and continued passed the long line of telemarketers, coming to an office in the back. “LAPD, open up,” he said loudly as he knocked on the door, trying to make his voice heard over the others’.

A few moments later the door opened. Daniels was greeted by a finger telling him to wait a moment as the man continued talking on his phone.

Is anyone ever not on the phone here? he wondered to himself.

He was motioned to a chair across from a desk about the size of four of the desks out in the main room. He looked around the office, seeing various plaques on the wall. The table was overflowing with papers, with one clear corner where a phone lay. Of course, he thought to himself.

He was waiting nearly five minutes before the man finally hung up and smiled. “What can I do for you, officer?”


“Sorry. Detective.”

Mason Daniels just shook his head, sighing as he thought about how he would need to spend a good amount of time here, questioning the workers. He had always hated telemarketers. 


By Nick/Zarayna:

Stinging against stings

     “I wasn’t expecting ten of them to react!” the matoran said angrily, rubbing at the dent in his deep green Kakama. The turaga sighed, shaking his faded orange Akaku sadly.
    “You always say that whenever you go out to preach anything, Lasc. Each time you think you can convince enough of them, and each time a half a dozen and more attack you. The only thing I can credit is that you haven’t drawn blood, yet. But this has to stop.”
     “I’ll stop as soon as truth stops existing, sir. The way they react is the same way that the bees do when one pokes them; they can’t take the truth, so they swarm out at you. I win in the end, because they’ve departed from rational discourse.”
     “Lasc, Lasc, Lasc,” his turaga said sadly. “You’re as bad as I once was. Think of what you’re preaching! They’re not ready to accept what you say, and you’re forcing it down their throat.”
     “If they were rational, I would be. They don’t have a throat to force something down in your analogy; a throat in that sense implies they’re willing to listen, and be reasonable. These people are bigots. Nothing more.”
     “Is it your duty to teach them? If they act wrathfully, should not you refrain from acting the same way?” the turaga objected, clenching hiss staff.
     “I fight only to defend myself. If I struck out without cause at them, such would be so. I have not. Thus, your point has no effect,” Lasc replied, rubbing the pummel of his rapier now. 
     “Lasc. Put aside your logic now and think! Your teacher was executed by a mob, as was his. Is it really wise to continue this crusade?”
     “I am not a coward, nor am I selfish. These truths which I hold are true. Thus they cannot be contained by me alone. Others must hear of this! If I die in the process, then it is not of consequence. My life is nothing next to Truth.”
      “They will sting you again,” the turaga said, shaking his head. A smile lit Lasc’s face for a moment as he touched the handle of his rapier.
     “A fist cannot sting, but a blade can. And I have had far too much of this hatred. Should they render blow, I shall render defense…In my own way.”
     The turaga’s last pleading faded into silence as the tall matoran stalked out, leaving his elder to sit alone in sad resignation.


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