Description: Lord Dohma returns to the Soul Bee hive the following day with an offer for their Queen. It's not an offer she has a mind to refuse.
The Soul Bees in this area of Africa have been pretty busy for the past.. How long has it been? In Soul time it would be roughly 4 meals perhaps? Q-Bee has displayed a surprising amount of leadership between then and now, having taken care of the fires, the wounded tended to, and their food source somewhat carefully divided amongst the twenty that is left of them.
The bad news is that the hive is horribly damaged, the food is starting to run low, and on top of that the workers still aren't fully healed. It's a very troublesome problem for the Queen Bee, that currently is sitting atop the crumbling remains of the hive, lost in thought as the others once easily forget their troubles by eating like wild animals. It's currently mid-noon. There's absolutely nothing left of the village she had been raiding before. If they had just a little more food then they could afford to go without repairs for the several more days needed for recovery- And this isn't even getting into the reproduction aspect! She wonders and wonders; what would the Tall Hero do in this situation? Quite the dilemma indeed.
Jedah has been observing the Queen, from time to time. He has noted a rather remarkable recovery in the area, but they've lost a lot of their structure, and a lot more of their workers. Fate ordained that they lose -something-, but his intervention has prevented them from losing the battle. But even despite a Pyrrhic victory, the war itself may not yet be over: the looming threat of the humans' allies is ever-present.
The small noontime shadow of the "Tall Hero" falls upon the Queen Bee as he flies overhead. Wings spread wide, he descends, one arm folded against his chest, the hand of the other stroking his chin in thought.
"You seem troubled, Your Highness. And yet... your people are happy. Productive. Thrilled, even... at the recent victory."
He hovers a few feet away from the battle-damaged hive, cautious to avoid touching it with his feet, lest that be considered a grave offense. A sympathetic look crosses his features. "The burdens of leadership are difficult -- something I know far too well. But please, tell me of your troubles -- perhaps I can be of some assistance."
Despite the strong impression Jedah had made, The Queen didn't seem to be aware that she was being observed at all, not to mention was probably a little too trusting given the situation. Shoot, it didn't even come to mind to ask him -why- he had decided to help them in the first place. So when he appears before her again, the Queen's expression lights up, hands raised to her shoulders and wings flittering at such a rate that the buzz she emits is higher pitched than usual.
This is a good thing.
"(Tall Hero!)" she exclaims as she slips off her seating place to instead hover in the air; but her arms and her head slump over lower than usual. "(They're happy now; everyone is happy now, yes. But workers need to work extra hard and more bees coming in soon. This is not enough; if I don't get a lot more soon somehow...)"
A brief moment of silence.
"(I only know this area.. Can you help me find someplace with lots and lots of food?)"
The "Tall Hero" flashes a warm smile back at the Queen, allowing her all the time she needs to think. No rushing, no impatience -- when one is immortal, one learns to appreciate the luxury of simply allowing things to happen in their own good time.
As such, when the Queen makes her request, it is as if she had come up with the idea herself. The Black Messiah has already taken a great deal into consideration: the armies, their allies, and the surviving forces of the Soul Bee colony.
He reached a similar conclusion as the Queen: Staying here is tantamount to suicide. The colony is hungry, and the humans may return at any moment during the colony's rebuilding.
He makes a show of thinking for a moment. Insects tend to think fast -- which would make Lord Dohma's show all the more excruciating, though it only lasts a few seconds.
Raising one taloned finger, finally, he states, "As a matter of fact... I do." He pauses, letting that sink in for a moment. "I have just the place for you, Your Highness. Though, in return for this kindness, and travel -to- the place where your colony can feast upon so many souls... I would kindly ask for your hive's assistance."
Indeed, Jedah takes -far- too long to think. On the other hand, the blank, almost zombie-like stare of expectancy that the Queen gives would likely give anyone else the creeps. There's only so far a cute face can go after all!
She's just seconds away from puffing her cheeks out before he makes his 'lightbulb' gesture, and instead a gasp-like buzz comes from Q-Bee. Her upper eyes practically shimmer as an unsightly bit of drool escapes the corner of her lips. "(Ooooh!! I knew you would! You are very good! This is twice you have helped us a lot!)"
The queen raises both of her palms in the air, the gesture likely extremely odd to her company, but it is, again, likely a positive one. "(Then what shall we do for you?)"
The Queen's brimming impatience is... in its own way, a delicious sensation for Jedah. It's a known conversational tactic, and it has the delightful side effect of provoking the exact response that he's interested in.
Which is to say, interest. He nods slowly, without any trace of delight -- just friendly concern for the colony's cause. "First off... I strongly believe that the -safest- place for your hive is within my lair. Transporting it shall not be a tremendous undertaking -- I have a means of moving your hive without causing it any undue structural damage." He's fond of using big words, but hand gestures illustrate the concepts in case they escape notice.
"As for what you can do for me... the answer is simple. I am in need of talented and gifted workers. My... children, shall we say, are practically newborns when it comes to coordination. I will need your help to train them. Guide them. And when the time comes, perhaps fight alongside them against the humans."
The Blood Weaver pauses for a moment, steepling his fingertips before his nose as he leans his head down slightly. "And of course... those who fight alongside me will naturally reap the rewards of such, within the bounds of reason."
An eyebrow arches. "Does this deal meet with your approval, Your Highness?"
The Queen goes from sparkling eyed to giving a glazed over look as Jedah speaks- She's pretty sure she has a basic idea of what he's saying, but no doubt it is frustrating for the young Queen- And not because it makes her feel dumb, she just expects him to put more effort in speaking her language.
Of course he has the advantage of her being in his debt she she settles for racking her brain and looking to wheverver is being gestured toward when necessary.
The final parts are far more simple to comprehend, and she raised a pointer finger to her lip as her head tilts slightly in thought. Frankly she doesn't see at all how this is a favor for 'him' per se. It's so easy; it's something she could do alongside training her worker bees. Which means that he's not as good at negotiating as she is. Oh ho ho, smart and strong as he might be, she can't help but grin when she feels she has outwitted him. "(Yes!)" she confirms with a nod of her head. "(We should go really soon.)" Before he changes his mind.
The Queen is certainly one to look out for her people. But... Jedah has certain failsafes in mind to ensure that he doesn't come out of this arrangement at a loss.
"Excellent." Jedah punctuates this with a reassuring smile. "I will warn you, though... the process of moving the hive and your colony into my domain may be... confusing. You will want to make your colony aware that they should not leave the hive at any moment, no matter what it looks like outside the hive. I will need a moment to prepare... and then we will proceed."
The Blood Weaver floats a long, wide path around the hive, stroking his wrist tenderly. Was he injured? He is... bleeding all over the sand and dirt...
Once he completes a circuit around the hive, he glances over to the Queen for confirmation.
And then the entire hive shudders... and begins to sink into the sand, with Jedah's acidic blood seemingly having torn a hole into the fabric of reality.
As the hive descends, darkness falls. The hive is so far from civilization the stars would normally be a comforting sight to the bees, but there will be no stars here -- just pure, unabiding darkness for what seems like an eternity.
There is no sudden landing. There is no abrupt bump. Just... one moment there was darkness, and the next... the hive is in its new home.
Jedah has clearly picked out prime real estate for the hive -- arid, dry -- and the perfect locale, nearly identical to the one that surrounded the hive just moments ago. Or an eternity.
But the sky is a dense, saturated red. And there is a bubbling river of blood just a fair distance away.
"Welcome to your new home, Your Highness." Jedah had been flying above the hive as it fell, quiet as a churchmouse. And as he descends, with his arms spread wide... his face is not the one of someone who lost out on a deal.
Log created on 19:54:08 04/15/2015 by Jedah, and last modified on 08:53:55 05/15/2015.