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The Hive
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-352-0
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Science Fiction/Dark Fantasy
eBook Length: 226 Pages
Published: January 2017

From inside the flap

Trapped in the corporate hive as an insurance cost accountant, Barney Berry has his tedious life disrupted when he jumps between his world and a scary Waspoid world where he battles a hive of human-like insects that want him for bug chow. The Hive is a growing monster that gobbles up humans as slave labor and food sustenance. The Waspoid world is no different from the world of Baxter Life where corporate backstabbing and intrigue are equally dangerous to the life and soul. The company makes profits at the cost of the customers it was created to serve and sucks Barney into its treacherous web of corporate crime.

His Waspoid adversaries are the queen, general and oracle who are insect versions of the Baxter Life the president, vice-president, the company Intuitionist, a new age advisor, all hostile toward Barney. The antagonists of the two worlds want to use Barney to accomplish their own purposes. Then he discovers that the man who received the promotion Barney’s wife Melissa aspired for him has an exciting counterpart in the world of the Waspoids. Both men intend on betraying him to his enemies for their personal gain.

Meanwhile, Barney dreams of a life as a cartoonist living on the edge instead of a man who sacrifices creativity for the security of a big salary, benefits and the good life. And yet, the adventure of fighting the Waspoid Hive is far too terrifying for him.

In his real world, he is in danger of falling out of love with a wife who does not believe in him even while pushing him to climb the corporate ladder he hates. However, in the frightening world, he meets her spitting image, a resistance fighter with faith in him as the Liberator. He falls in love with her despite the fact that she expects him to free her world from the humanoid insects.

He wants to bring his new lover into his real world. His problem is how to extricate himself from the clutches of the Hives of both worlds before either of them kills him. Eventually, Barney develops a plan. Whether or not he survives the attack on both Hives is the question and the odds are not on his side.

The Hive (Excerpt)


Prologue

The moonlight cast a gentle blue hue across the forest giving the land a fairytale appearance. The woodland creatures went about their nocturnal activities as if nothing were different; the world was as it had always been. There was peace. It was an illusion.

Above the tree line sat the menacing peak of the Hive reaching into the night sky. It stood 50 stories above the highest treetop like a sinister forbidden mountain none would dared climb. Even in the dark of night much was happening around it. Waspoids fluttered about in a buzz of activity. These wasp-like, six-legged creatures with torsos of various colors and humanoid-type faces were more than giant insects. They operated hover vehicles that entered and exited openings in the outer walls, carried tools and weapons, nature and science in apparent harmony. Advanced beings with a purpose, build the Hive.

Entering the Hive past brown Waspoid armed guards, there was even more taking place within the brightly lit honeycombed interior. Waspoid workers distinguished by their tan bodies were busy at their tasks; building, unloading, moving. The colony was a never-ending place of work, order and responsibility.

Deep under the multi-layered structure was a room of subdued light. On a large slab lay the Oracle, set apart from the other Waspoids by her smaller wings and light blue body. The wings could not support her weight were she to attempt to fly. But she did not, would not. Her curse was to be completely dependent on the Hive as the Hive must rely on her to survive. From the shadows, the tan worker Waspoids fluttered out and back as they saw to her needs.

The General entered flanked by his aides and floated across to her, he and those under his command were brown in color. Out of reverence, they removed their weapons before entering. Though the General was comfortable in her presence, his aides were not and kept back out of awe and fear.

His tone was respectful but firm, his speech a cross between buzzing and the spoken word to human ears. "Oracle, I am told that you do not eat. You must maintain your strength. Please take nourishment. I beg you."

"For what purpose, General?" moaned the Oracle. "I have seen the creature again. It was most unpleasant. Numbered are the days of the Hive. We are doomed on this cursed world."

The General winced at the defeat he heard in her voice and regretted immediately having brought his aides. They were too young and too impressionable to understand that this revered one had periods of contentment but mostly wallowed in the bad she saw in her visions.

"Perhaps we shall yet defeat it?" he responded hopefully.

But the Oracle merely laughed a mirthless laugh.

"That is the soldier speaking," she said. "It is your task to fight for the Hive. But I was not birthed as you. I can only do the task that is mine to perform."

"The Queen does not share your interpretation of the visions. If she is correct, we will need your skills to build the power of the Hive. I implore you again; take nourishment for the sake of the Hive."

"I shall try, General."

The General bowed and retreated from the room, his duty fulfilled.

Movement in the darkness caught her attention. Something had just entered her chamber. It had come from outside, far, far away. The Oracle was not alone as a shadowy figure lurked, watched, waited. It was human.

The creature strained to make out the features of the insect's face from where he thought himself concealed but the room was too dark and the shadows too long. His eyes, the only part of him visible in the dim light were filled with fear.

Abruptly, the Oracle shuttered causing the workers to fly away the then fluttered back to her to resume their tasks as though nothing had happened.

"Leave me," she commanded them harshly.

Obediently, they complied and she was alone, almost.

She scanned the room with more than just her eyes, for not just her wings were limited but also her physical sight. It was that sense, the ability to see with her mind that located his presence, it was indeed human. Her gaze rested on a shadowy spot where she could make out his silhouette. The intruder was not a danger to her, not as yet.

"I know you are there though these frail eyes cannot quite see you," she said to the shadows. "I can feel you, Liberator."

The human stepped from the darkness just enough that his face was visible.

The Oracle fought the dread and foreboding he caused in her but instead, presented a bold attitude in the presence of the human.

"Yes, I feel your presence," she responded to the questioning eyes. "You do not belong in our world. Leave before our Queen tastes your blood. Stay in your world. There is safety for you there."

She knew, sensed that, for the present, this creature feared her, feared the Hive. As long as that fear remained there was hope. She had one weapon.

"You have no power to liberate," she buzzed.

The human cautiously approached the Waspoid and his close proximity to her sent a sense of terror through her being. Her natural reaction was the flap her wings. For a normal Waspoid it would have prompted escape or attack. But for the Oracle and her feeble wings it meant only that the flutter created a chirping sound that caused the human beast to recoil.

Chirp, chirp, chirp...