Glad you could join us for the next enlisted episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Scant hours before dawn, as the storm passed, the Freelands bees gathered in the Hiverarchy’s Assembly Chamber. Arturo, the Freelands wasp who served the Alliance, had returned to speak with Queen Madalena. Rumors claimed she would send them to fight with the Alliance, but they had no heart to die for someone else’s hive.
The Queen emerged from the Inner Chamber with Arturo at her side. “Our neighbors — our kin — in Fen request our help in the war they fight against The Arids tyrant. I believe this is not our war, but the Alliance Ambassador argues that our freedom depends on its outcome. I refuse to order anyone to fight for a cause they do not believe in, but I cannot deny the family bond many of us have with Queen Lilian’s people. I invite any who wish to speak for or against this request to speak now.”
Andre rose to face the colony. “Before you decide this isn’t our war, you need to know what I saw. Princess Samantha is an Alliance Captain. She’s invented fighting methods that allow bees to kill without stinging. They work. I’ve seen it.”
“Can you show us these methods?” a voice called out.
“I’m not trained in them, but if we decide to go, I can show you what I saw.” He scanned the faces before him. “I also witnessed wasps take down one of our own by shredding his wings. Then Sam and a bee from Fen saved him from being killed. Their—”
“Without wings, he might as well be dead!” someone shouted.
“No,” Andre answered. “Their medics have ways to patch his wings so he’ll still be a working member of the Hiverarchy.”
The murmur that swelled from the crowd might have been admiring or skeptical.
Andre’s voice cut through it. “The Alliance needs all the strength it can gather. If they lose in Fen, the enemy will come here and we will have to fight them alone. You know what a small group of them did to the Freelands wasps. When they come for us, without the Alliance, we will lose.”
Another voice asked, “What if the Alliance wins in Fen? What will we gain by joining if they don’t really need us?”
Someone else answered for Andre. “Non-sacrificial fighting techniques, apparently. And advanced medical knowledge. Sounds like a valuable arrangement to me.”
The Queen rose above them. “I call for a vote.”
The Freelands Free Bees flew into Fen with the sun behind them. Andre and his Guards surrounded their Queen and the Ambassador at the swarm’s head.
Fen’s Hive, slashed and draining golden blood, came into view. So did the vulture mangling his honeyed plunder.
“Andre,” Queen Madalena commanded, “take half our forces and harass that hateful brute away from here. The rest of you follow me.”
Trevor released Barry. “Let’s help take that bastard down.”
Barry grabbed his arm. “Wait. What’s dat?” he asked, pointing at the shadow coming from the north.
To be continued. . .