THE HIVES

After just a few days on Ploosnar, the Muse of Mischief and Agent  Brzko  were  exhausted.  The  story  of  each  Rogsaar’s survival was fantastic. There were many of them that had decided not to permanently return to Myaad. A few had stayed hidden on hostile or infantile planets, like Rogsaar on Earth, but most had managed to integrate into the societies they were in. This was an interesting turn that M wondered if Bivoor had expected. M and Brzko were headed to Myaad after saying goodbye to their hosts.

“Your Majesties, the Muse of Mischief and Agent Brzko have joined us.” one of Bartala’s many butlers announced, as M and Brzko entered the great green sitting room.

Emperor Bartala looked up, he was seated in an overstuffed, high back chair, with Empress Nalau standing at his side. As usual they were an amazing fashion statement. Today’s color was orange – she in a long flowing dress that looked something like the flappers would have worn  in the 50”s on Earth, and he in black slacks and a coat with tails. Of course the lining of the coat and the embroidery were of the same color as Nalau’s dress.

“I keep telling them to stop announcing you and Brzko, you practically live here.” Bartala teased M as she approached his chair.

“Please don’t let them stop, it makes me feel so official,” she jabbed back, “like a royal visitor to the palace of Genghis Khan back in Earth’s thirteenth century.”

“I do not know this Genghis Khan you speak of, but by the look on Brzko’s face I think you are giving me some tease my old friend.” Bartala said playfully with a little suspicion.

“Ahh well, I think we should save the Mongolian history lesson for our next visit.” M said with a smile that made it clear she was having fun with Bartala.

“OK, you can educate me about Mongolia and I will teach you how to dress.”

“Hey, what’s wrong with the way I dress?”

“Oh well technically nothing but, I mean, well, if you want to look like a time and space traveling ambassador that constantly travels around the Universe in striped stockings.” he teased.

Empress Nalau, not knowing the Muse of Mischief as well as Bartala was getting a little uncomfortable; she let him know with a skeptical “Bartala…”

“OK,  OK,  my  love  I  will  stop  teasing  M…  for  the moment, in this location, but next time we meet we shall drink nekmid and exchange insults until we drop, just as we did when we were young.” he said mumbling the last part.

Now all four of the old friends were laughing at the childish challenge Bartala had presented.

“As they say in Oz, it’s a date mate.” M said, and turned to Nalau, “Empress, as always you are the very definition of grace. Thank you for your hospitality and for all you are doing for the Rogsaars.”

M  turned  to  leave  the  room,  as  she  did  Brzko  took Nalau’s hand, bent and kissed it, “Empress, always a pleasure.” he said. She blushed, appreciative of Brzko’s charm.

“Be safe my friends!” Bartala called as M and Brzko left the room.

They went directly from Ploosnar to Myaad, Bivoor was expecting them. Over the years the Muse of Mischief and Brzko had learned that it was better to arrive outside of the building where you were expected, and then to walk in. Since other beings could not use apertures, and had to use conventional ships or portals to travel through space and time, they had a difficult time accepting someone just appearing before them, even if they were expected.

The landscaping outside the  Myaad  administration building was much like it was outside the hive. There were pleasant gardens and benches. Lelelu had contacted Kiik and asked her to meet M and Brzko here.

Kiik was already here when they arrived, seated on a bench reviewing something on a tablet. No doubt work related Kiik took her duties very seriously. While she worked, her long tail seemed to gently sway back and forth like a pendulum behind her. Kiik was holding it upright and they could see the tip of her tail  over  her  right  shoulder,  and  then  it  slowly  swayed  and became visible over her left shoulder. M wondered if this was an involuntary,  soothing  action  like  when  humans  rubbed  their hands together or tapped a finger.

As they approached, Kiik projected the answer to her question “Yes, it is an involuntary, yet soothing action.”

“Pardon, what was that Kiik? What is involuntary yet soothing?” Brzko asked.

“As we approached I was wondering if Kiik’s tail movement was involuntary.” M explained.

“I took the liberty of keeping my mind open to your thoughts as you approached. I hope you do not feel this was an intrusion.” Kiik projected.

“Not at all Kiik. I hope you were not offended by my curiosity.” M said taking a seat next to Kiik.

“No, offended by the Muse of Mischief, no never. A curiosity of other beings leads to understanding. It is an honor to be working with you. Your reputation is known throughout Suus. You and Agent Brzko are considered heroes.”

“That’s flattering Kiik. We were happy to help the Suus.” Brzko said.

“One day I would enjoy hearing the story of how you saved Ciic as a child. Today I have some information that I would like to share with you. It has nothing to do with Myaad or the hives, it has to do with your origins. I do not want to offend you so please tell me if this is inappropriate.” Kiik projected.

“Not at all” M said quickly. “Brzko and I would be happy to hear anything you have to share.”

“Well as you know, Suus has maintained databases of everything we can document, for as long as we have been an advanced race. This goes back centuries, many, many centuries. We record and catalog every detail we know of everything we encounter.”

“Right and that helped to quickly identify aberidus here on Myaad.” Brzko said.

“Correct.  In  my  free  time  I  have  been  searching  the databases for clues of your origins. I have found a reference to beings that can travel through space and time as you two can. As you know that is a rare talent. We have all heard stories of beings having these abilities, but you two are the only beings that are KNOWN to have the ability, in this time. Of course others can use the time portals on the Planet of Portals, or hire a timeship, but you two are the only beings that can move through time unaided.”

“In THIS time, it sounds like that’s key.” M said.

“Yes. I found a reference to a planet. The data is very old and not as detailed as I would like but the beings were able to travel through space and time and interestingly the males had dark skin and the females had light skin.” Here Kiik paused and let that sink in.

She   continued  “The   beings   are   not   named  in   the reference. I do not know what they were, or are called. It was suspected that they were either immortal or had an extremely long lifespan. The planet was referred to as Clyrea X9.” Kiik again paused to let this information sink in.

Brzko broke the silence “Where is Clyrea X9?” he asked.

“There is no reference to this planet’s exact location anywhere else in our database. But it is linked to other entries about the Trellan Galaxy. Either this entry has an incorrect name, the planet no longer exists, or it is hidden. I will continue to search for clues as time permits.” Kiik projected.

“We can’t thank you enough Kiik. I wasn’t expecting this today.” M said.

“My apologies, I did not want to shock you, or distract you from our work here on Myaad, but I wanted you to know what I have discovered right away.”

“Thank you Kiik. You’ve given us much to think about, but we still have work to do here on Myaad. Your team is monitoring the hives?” Brzko asked.

“Yes,  and  so  far  all  thirty  of  the  eggs  seem  to  be developing normally.” Kiik projected.

“That’s great news.” M said. “Let’s go in and speak with Bivoor.”

The three were an odd looking group by Earth standards, but not so odd for those that traveled the Universe. Agent Brzko led the group, with his tall muscular body and dark skin, in his long dark trench coat he looked the part of an “agent.” The Muse of Mischief, in step behind him, wearing her black derby, short skirt, and striped stockings, looked playful yet dangerous. In sync with M was Kiik, who was taller than both of them, with glistening green skin, four arms, no mouth, and a long narrow tail. Once inside they joined Bivoor, a petite, pale skinned being, neither male nor female but a clone of all Bivoors, with shocking white  hair  that  stood  straight  up.  M  was  thinking  about  the group’s diversity when Bivoor greeted them.

“Welcome back to Myaad. Has Kiik told you the eggs seem to be developing normally?” Bivoor asked M and Brzko.

“Yes, we heard the good news. We’re relieved. Hopefully development will continue to be normal.” M said.

“We have taken every precaution we could think of. As

you know the eggs were from thirty different donors, but there is only one Caretaker per hive. This should help to prevent any outside contaminants from entering the hive. Kiik has been kind enough to agree to keep a small team on Myaad to monitor the eggs. They will test each Caretaker weekly to make sure they do not develop aberidus and spread it to the hive. We believe the disease has been eradicated but we want to take every precaution with the eggs and the hives.” Bivoor explained.

“It is our pleasure to keep a team here on Myaad while the eggs develop. The team has a direct link to me and even to Ciic, so should anything develop we will know immediately.” Kiik projected.

“Bivoors have decided there is no need to wait for the eggs to fully develop before Rogsaars return. Testing has confirmed that aberidus is naturally occurring in our soil, an outside contaminant may have activated it but we will never know for sure. We will continually test the soil for it at numerous locations. If it activates again, we’ll catch it early. Now that we have this knowledge, we are ready to welcome the Rogsaars home. I have not shared this news with them yet. We will need help getting them and the ships back to Myaad.”

“That is exciting news Bivoor!” M said. Kiik, projected the same excitement to the group.

“The Ploosnarians have been able to repair a few of the ships, and Emperor Bartala is planning to modify one of  his roinad transports to deliver the rest. If they travel as a group the journey should be safe enough, but it will take about 25 Ploosnar rotations  for  the  journey,  those  large  transport  ships  are  not known for their speed.” Brzko explained.

“We just came from Ploosnar; it was fascinating to be in a group of almost one hundred Rogsaars. Many of them have fascinating  tales  of  their  survival.”  M  said.  “Have  you  had contact with any of them Bivoor?”

“Yes, with many of them. We have assigned a Bivoor to gathering and recording their stories. Many Myaads will find these stories interesting. We understand that not all of the Rogsaars want to return to Myaad. Many of them have created lives and relationships on those distant planets, but we still want to capture their stories.”

“Do you know how many will return?” Kiik projected. “Approximately  half  on   a  permanent  basis  and  an additional 23 want to return home briefly before returning to their new life.” Bivoor answered.

“I would like to meet this group of Rogsaars on Ploosnar, while they are all together. I have a proposal.” Kiik projected, “Ciic has authorized me to travel to Ploosnar, my ship can get there in approximately four rotations, if I visit with the Rogsaars for two rotations, I could then bring them all back on my ship, having them here in ten rotations. Emperor Bartala’s transport can  bring  the  ships,  and  any  Rogsaars  not  yet  found.”  Kiik paused to let that sink in.

“That is a very kind offer Kiik. I am sure Bivoors will agree to take you up on it.” Bivoor said.

“Great,  I  look  forward  to  meeting  the  Rogsaars  as  a group.  Muse  of  Mischief,  will  you  please  contact  Emperor Bartala and verify that this plan is acceptable to him?” Kiik projected.

“Sure, right  away.”  M  answered. “Brzko, will  you  be returning to Ploosnar with me or staying here?”

“Actually…” he said turning to face Kiik, “if you have room for an interstellar hitchhiker on your ship Kiik I would enjoy traveling to Ploosnar with you. The technology of various ships fascinates me; I enjoy learning about the ships from the inside.”

“Yes, we have plenty of room and it would be an honor to escort an Ambassador of the Universe.” Kiik projected.

“While you two prepare Kiik’s ship I’ll go talk to Bartala, I’ll contact you shortly.” M said as she headed to the door. Brzko walked outside with her.

“Be careful M, I’ll miss you.”

“I will Brzko, if Bartala is available I should have an answer right away. Have fun playing spaceship guy with Kiik.” she teased as they embraced. Then she was gone.

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