Lucina sighs as she puts a small notebook back into her leather satchel. It has been months since she has seen her younger sister, signing in at the new interspecies breeding program had been the last time anyone had seen her. When asked she was just told that Marica had left with one of the anthros, and still sends occasional messages.
This didn’t sit well with Lucina because of the way the notes had been coming in, wax seals from the ‘hive’ that was hidden within the woods, adorning each of the notes insisting that everything there is wonderful, and that her mate is treating her excellently.
Lucina heavily doubted this thanks to the long records of people in the program disappearing, and never returning to their original homes. She takes a few deep breaths, patting down her brown jacket, and pushing the Animorph Breeding Program building’s doors open. Nervous due to the fact she had signed up for a visit with the hive to see her sister, and ‘consider’ a stint in the bees program.
A bee girl is at the desk working, hearing the jingling from the door and looking up, a small polite smile slips onto her face. “Hello, welcome, you are new, or do you have an appointment?” She buzzes up and grinning a little wider, giving off a nice flowery scent. “Wait, you resemble someone… did a relative of yours decide to join our program?”
“Yes… My sister, Marcy, joined just a few months back. Do you know her?” Lucina sighs, shifting her jacket trying to hide her satchel under it, not wanting anyone to notice the recording devices, and the gun that she has packed into the bottom of the bag, just in case the situation gets hairy.
“I know her very well, we have spa days every other week together! She has been such a big help around the hive! I know she took a while deciding just where she wanted to go, but we have loved having her, every step of the way!” She giggles a bit and pulls Lucina up to the counter. “So, are you here to see her? Business, pleasure, or a bit of both?”
“Just business… I’m a reporter for the local news, so I figured this would be a two-for-one deal. Report on how one of the ‘successful’ members of this program is doing several months down the line. It was weird not having her return after the ‘breeding’ portion of the deal was over, so I asked my station if I could do a report here.” Lucina smiles wearily at the bee woman. Trying to remain confident despite her hesitation about the situation. “My name is Lucina by the way…”
“Of course, so far everyone who joins the program ends up loving being a part of the community, time really does fly thinking about how long it has been.” The bee giggles and buzzes her wings before checking the time. “My partner for the front desk is almost here, as soon as she arrives I’ll guide you to the hive and see about setting up an interview, Miss Lucina.” After a few minutes, an ant girl walks in and smiles at the pair, giving the bee a little hug, before taking her place behind the counter. The bee walks around and takes Lucina’s hand. “Right this way, now is there anything I can answer while we get on our way?”
“Well, I would like to know more about your end of the program. My research has shown that the least is known about your hive and most beehives across the states in comparison to the Ants and Arachnids.” Lucina shudders as she feels the soft pads on the end of the bee’s carapace-covered hands. Fluff from the bees mostly undressed form, rubbing against the significantly smaller human’s side.
“Well, I never figured we would be that secretive compared to the others. Well, the Ants of course prefer to make their homes in underground tunnel networks, they do come up and utilize their strength and skills in building the towns where we set up our branches of the breeding program. The spiders typically either live in underground smaller caves or high up webs, they usually move into the towns with their mates as unless the mates get an anthro shot, they are ill-suited to life in webs. In the hive, things are a little different.” She leads Lucina into a meadow “We take care of crop growth and honey production, as well as a little help on higher up construction, but we live in a communal hive with our queen. Workers go out of the hive with warriors as protection, though in towns our warriors join the ants in a sort of malita force of sorts, but we retain plenty around the queen as she helps bolster our numbers quickly… even if that doesn’t help the most for genetic diversity.”
Lucina nods along, taking mental note of how odd it was that they felt the need to bolster their ranks so much. “So what do the humans who join your hive do? From what I’ve been able to tell, unlike the other two species, you bees on the whole are just lacking in queens, and princesses being trained into queens given your reproductive cycles… I’ve been curious about what my sister has been actually doing while with you unless she’s just a caretaker for the princess or queen?”
“Well you see, as we have developed, our birth rate has plummeted. The attempts at queens take too long to reach maturity and end up producing smaller numbers on their own, and without donors cannot actually birth princesses to become new queens. The ants have similar problems, but not as severe as our own. On the insect size level, what human-sized people would consider a small amount of food is a feast fit for the whole colony… but once we are grown, we cannot feed as effectively, which reduces said output. Our workers are individually pretty great, but we have always specialized in strength in numbers… which have become far more lacking due to the inability to feed ourselves in a way that suits that. Breeding with other species helps bring in genetics more fit for fewer large bodies into our pool so to say in the long run… on top of helping birth new princesses.”
Lucina nods along, not wanting to argue with the larger woman as they pass through the field, and through a remarkably thicker brush before exiting in front of what looks like a pure orange and yellow office building. “So… what did happen with my sister then? I’ve been really worried about her, and she’s been incredibly vague about what is actually going on with her, other than. ‘Fun’ and ‘good times with her guards’.”
“Well, fun and good times, we treat our volunteer breeders very well. Your sister has helped raise our numbers, and general morale more than any other.” She grins and guides Lucina inside, past two guards at the door. “During free time, she joins the caretakers in the nursery, feeding the larvae, and she has even helped with putting them into their combs to finish maturing, and growing, she puts 100% of herself into caring for others.”
Lucina sighs, nodding a small smile on her face. “Yeah that sounds like my sister… she really always had a massive heart, and hearing she wasn’t gonna be able to have kids broke her…” She looks down, shaking her head. The wax floors click against her boots as they continue into the honeycomb halls. “It’s why I’ve been so supportive of her being here… All I’ve ever wanted for her was to be happy.”
The bee grins nodding rapidly, starting to fly around the hall in front of Lucina. “She cried so much when, through helping us, she gave birth. While she does a lot of help, she requested to keep parenting those that directly came out of her… so whenever she isn’t helping in other places, she is raising her kid… we do impose required breaks for her, after her first few weeks she worked herself to exhaustion.”
“That ALSO sounds just like my sister.” Lucina sighs, shaking her head thinking about all the times Marcy would take care of her, when they got sick. Despite her mistrust of the bees, and their society, she is at least happy to hear that her sister is doing well. “So… I know each race has a way to ‘transition’ so to say to become a permanent member of the group that they choose. How does that work within your system of doing things?”
“Well, we feed those who wish to transition, a special honey mixture, then they must sleep for some time within a comb as their bodies convert. Like with all transitional cases, lots of food and sustenance are needed for the vast body changes. Those who go through it can have a bit of adjustment time too, as their minds process the changes to the body. With ants, it is usually just getting around an extra pair of arms, and some slight hive mind in the background… for us… well wings are completely different, and overall there is just a lot to catch up on.”
Lucina pales a bit as she’s led over to one of the chambers that has the said conversion chambers. Seeing through tinted wax nude mostly female bodies, in all different stages of the transition are floating with tubes in their mouths, and noses, to ensure that only the appropriate amount is being fed, and that breathing would be easy for the trapped humanoids. “Yeah, it seems like it… so that’s the generic transformation, or is this specifically attempting to make more queens?”
“Any who have transitioned with intentions of becoming queens become princesses… but cannot quite progress to full queens… however when they do focus on birthing a princess, it has a very high success rate of one who transitions to a queen. I’d say if I had to take a mathey percentage, they progress like...75% of the way to queen...then just stop. They all still get to help as they wished, but all they can do is support the acting queen.” She grins a bit “Our queen may be aging, but we have a princess that looks like she will finally be able to finish the transition to be a new queen!”
“Oh yeah? Who would that be if you don’t mind me asking?” Lucina chuckled, taking a few steps away from the conversion chambers. “It’s interesting to hear the struggles you all have to go through in order to propagate your hive. As I was talking about earlier, an interview with maybe this new potential queen could do a lot for your hive's public relations.”
The bee shakes her head, quickly pivoting the conversation. “Well, why don’t we start by meeting with your sister, she is the one who found who can become a new queen, and has been working at helping with the transition.” She leads Lucina further in, towards a very nice door just past the transition chambers. “I know she would be thrilled to see you before we go further.”
“Yeah checking in on her sounds nice. I’ve been worried about her ever since the last letter I got. Every time they would get more vague, and she wouldn’t even send pictures of her supposed child! Claiming that I just ‘had’ to come here in person to meet them.” Lucina looked at the door, waiting for the bee to push it open for her. Able to very clearly tell that she wouldn’t have been strong enough to open it on her own.
Inside she can see a woman who shares many features with her… purple eyes, short spiky blond hair, though she is wearing a bee-themed gown as she rocks a little baby. After a moment she looks up, her smile widening into a look of complete excitement. “Lucy! It’s been so long!” She walks over, holding a little cooing half bee child. “Come say hi to Robin, I’m sure she would love to see her aunt!”
Lucina smiles softly at the pair, before walking over and checking out the infant. She was very clearly a half and half split of human and Bee. Little neck fluff tufts growing out around her neck, alongside her antenna, and pitch-black eyes with purple irises. “Aww, Marcy she is the cutest… It looks like you were right. I really did need to come and see her in person to believe it.” She giggles, reaching out with one of her fingers, letting Robin grab at it as she tickles the baby bee’s chest. After a moment of loving on the baby, Lucina looks up and smiles softly at her twin sister. “It is really good to see you again though… How have you been? Have they been treating you well?”
“They have been treating me fantastically, at first I was a little scared… mostly that nothing would work still… but the queen promised me that everything would be fine. For little Robin here… we had to get me to the point of ovulation, then the queen injected one of her eggs into me. It was able to take in what it could of my own, then I let it grow in me.” She rubs her belly. “I was so stressed even with the care I was receiving, that we had to basically do everything possible to get me to relax, until I let her egg out of my body. Once she hatched, I couldn’t let go.” She smiles blinking several times crying a little. “My body gave life… it is not barren… I really can help life grow.”
Lucina nods, leaning in to pull Marcy in for a side hug, making sure not to disturb Robin. “I love you sis, and I’m so happy they gave you the care you’ve always deserved.” She sighs looking down at Robin’s golden hair that matched her mother’s. “And she looks so healthy, I’m sure as she grows up you’re gonna be the best mom in the world.” As Lucina said this Robin’s wings started buzzing a little under her blankets as the baby enjoyed the new person's presence.
Marcy giggles a little bit. “She gets really lively around new people, but even more so around you.” She smiled a little bit more. “So sis… there is something I’ve been thinking about doing… I want to transition into a bee. To be as close to my baby as possible, but I also really needed to talk to you too before doing anything like that.”
Lucina chuckles a bit, looking over Marcy’s striped clothing. “I could tell from when I walked in. Marcy, I will always support you as your sister, you need to be with your baby and that’s entirely understandable. I gotta ask where’s your mate? Knowing all you’ve bragged about them in letters I wouldn’t think that they would let you out of their sight.”
“Well, you’ve met her already.” The bee who led Lucina here buzzes around, and hugs Marcy. Smiling and giving a little ‘V’ with her fingers. “Hello there, sorry for not introducing myself earlier, but you seemed a little on edge, and I figured this would be the best way to introduce myself. My name is Mist, it’s nice to meet you, Lucy! Marcy has gushed about her super cool sister so much!”
Lucina chuckles a bit, rubbing the back of her head. “I’m not really that cool… I’ve just kinda made a reputation for myself by constantly looking for the TRUTH in my journalistic career.” She sighs looking over Mist, noticing that Marcy’s dress has identical striping to Mist’s. “And I can now see the resemblance. It’s nice to meet you.”
Mist grins, and buzzes over pulling Lucina into a hug. “You two are so close to identical, even the purple eyes! It’s adorable.” She backs off a bit while Marcy shyly walks forward. “So sis… I’ve been looking into the process of queen bee development, and I think I may have a breakthrough, though it can really depend on who becomes the queen.”
Lucy reaches into her satchel, pulling out a pen and notebook. “Well shoot, I’m always up to help my little sister. even if it was only by a few minutes.” She smiles softly back at her sister, her discomfort still apparent despite trying to push all of that down after seeing the transition chambers.
“Well, you see, royal jelly bonds to genetics, and is used to make bees into royals. The base body needs to be close to female at the very least, though queens are somewhere in between. Those that have gotten the furthest are females, then trans females who have gotten their hormone treatments far enough. There does not seem to be much of a difference between them as both can reach a princess state. Now as for queens… bee entomorphs genetics have degraded a lot, which is where the breeding comes in… and well… we have found a number of properties in humans that all increase chances… most hit about 75%... but there is one who has all the boosters so to say, to potentially make it all the way to a queen transition.”
Lucina nods along writing all of this out, while looking over the room. “That makes sense… who would it happen to be by the way? I have been listening to your mate about the difficulties faced in birthing a new queen in any shape or form.” She looks over at Mist, forcing a smile as her pale face betrays her. “Is there any way for me to help you out?”
Marcy nods, gulping as she speaks up. “Because of my reproductive issues I do not qualify… but do you remember what mom died of… that we were discovered to have antibodies for? Based on all the factors… which include those who have these rare antibodies… you are able to become a queen bee sis.”
Lucina’s pale face goes from bad to ghostly as she takes a few steps back, shaking her head. “No… we said we don’t talk about that sis… it was early on into interspecies introduction, and she got sick with a disease from one of the local hives.” She looks like she’s about to puke as she speaks, her voice coming out in shaky waves, shoving the notebook back into her satchel, keeping her hand in there just in case.
Marcy holds out her hand, tears in her eyes. “Sis… I know how you are feeling… that disease. I found out that it was made to kill off the hives… and it spread to humans. It is what damaged the queen’s genetics… and that is why it is so important to have the antibodies. Just getting vaccinated can’t do it either, otherwise, I would never even ask this of you!” She grits her teeth, looking down slightly. “it spread through the honey. The bees never even realized that they had been infected when they started production.”
Lucina shakes her head, and starts marching towards the door. “I can’t think about this now… not again. I JUST WANTED TO SEE YOU!” Her whole body is shaking as she stands at the edge of the room, not wanting to risk being too close to the group. “I thought you actually wanted to see me Marcy… for me to meet your baby! I trusted you when you came here, instead of staying in medical school but… I just can’t believe you would really ask that of me.”
Marcy just stares at Lucina, not speaking for a moment. “I… I found a cure.” She takes a few steps forward towards her sister. “It took so long… even with my colleagues shooting me down. Funding into my private projects taken away… I lost hope.” She collapses to her knees as she loses balance. “It wasn’t until I came here to have my child. That I started applying my knowledge to helping the bees… all the entomorphs with getting proper medical treatment… that I was able to start finding those sick… and I got enough to isolate everything. I really do want to see you, and I wanted you to see my child and mate… but I also wanted to confront this demon of our past together.”
Lucina just looked down at her sister. Heart feeling like it’s beating out of her chest as she turns around. “There were other sick kids our age… there were other people you could have thrown this at.” She takes a deep breath, stepping out of the room. “It was a city-wide quarantine until the sickness had its way with everyone unfortunate enough to get it. Just find someone else… clearly you’re good at it.”
“Sis, wait!” Outside the room, two guards held her up. “Ma’am, please wait and calm down.” One of them puts a hand on her shoulder. Marcy scrambling over to the door. “Sis you are the only one who medically checks out in every area, and has the antibody, please listen!”
Lucina takes deep breaths looking at the two guards, and shoving her way through. Trying to ignore the tears that are streaming down her face. "I'm not giving up my ENTIRE LIFE for something I don't care about! I'm a reporter. I cover the truth, and this can just be broadcasted requesting volunteers!" She pulls the gun out of the satchel, ignoring the calls for her to stop as she runs away.
As she gets to the front of the hive, trying to push the door open is like trying to punch a brick wall. A few guards cautiously approaching from behind, eyeing the gun. “Ma’am, please relax, wielding a weapon while stressed out is an easy way to unintentionally hurt yourself, or someone else.”
Lucina is panting and leaning against the massive yellow doors. Her gun being held tightly against her chest as she starts
hyperventilating. Her pupils tiny from the panic, as her near ghostly appearance is completed. "JUST GO AWAY!"
One of the guards rests a hand on her shoulder. “Lucina, please, take a deep breath and think about what you are doing, really deep down. Your sister is trying to do right by not only the hive but the world. With a queen, we could mass-produce a proper vaccine for bees and humans.” They just hold their ground, but do not move to open the door.
Lucina’s fingers clamp down on the gun. Flinging her body around and pointing it at the door, and pulling the trigger. Trying to break the doors while ignoring the guards. "You all are sick… I get it you want the sickness to go away and I'm the 'one' but just NO! Wait until another one comes along! Why not just wait for Marcy’s daughter to grow up she should have the same stupid immunities you want OH SO BADLY!" At this point Lucina is just slamming her body against the doors causing them to shake slightly.
One of the bullets ricochets and a feminine gasp is heard from behind Lucina. Turning around she watches Marcy fall to the ground, clutching her now bleeding shoulder. The guards move in slightly more aggressively, as the door has a chip from the bullet. Mist who was following close behind holding Robin, hovers around Marcy worriedly. Covering the crying infant's ears to make sure that she’s not subjected to all the unexpected noise.
Lucina, despite the guards holding on to her, one last time throws herself into the chipped portion of the door. Breaking through it, and falling to the ground on the grass outside, sobbing. Her head and heart screaming in both fear, and anger, at her sister's betrayal of her will. The gun falling out of her hand, being quickly grabbed, and taken by one of the guards to be disassembled.
The guards lift her up, carrying her back inside. They walk past where several bees in nurse’s outfits are looking over the wound worriedly, and lifting Marcy onto a stretcher.
Lucina is soon taken to a smaller room, and sealed in with another unfamiliar bee. “Why did you come here with a gun?”
Lucina is just shaking quietly, as her purple eyes shoots over to look at the bee. She tried to speak at first only getting chokes out as her body convulsed until she took enough deep breaths to speak again. "BECAUSE I DIDN'T TRUST THIS! Because my sister disappeared after being at my side our entire lives, and then started being vague, refusing to even show me a picture of her daughter, or mate, until I came here! You would be an IDIOT to not notice the signs of a trap. I only even came because I wanted to trust HER to be honest. To see my niece, and maybe do a nice piece for the news to help the Bee community with public relations…" She growls at the significantly larger bee. Her shoulder dislocated due to how hard she had thrown herself through the door. "All of this behavior makes me sick…"
“At what point did your sister ever say you had to do something? I was right outside the door and only heard her ask… then you seemed to go off the rails.” The bee frowns. “if you had calmed down, and not had the gun out, you would have been let out equally calmly. Due to how you reacted, your sister is now injured.”
Lucina holds her shoulder, growling as the bee could hear popping as she puts it back in place by force. "Don't act like you know our relationship… her asking this of me IN THE FIRST PLACE is the issue! She tried to make the concept of me refusing just as bad as killing everyone myself." She slides to sit up across from the bee. Her face bright red from blood flow, and tears still leaking down the sides of her face. "I've never asked anything of my sister… I always wanted her to be happy. She could have TOLD ME all of this through mail, and DIDN'T. Do you know how that feels when you've built your entire RELATIONSHIP with someone on honesty? I ASKED! I asked if she had made any progress, and she LIED TO ME! I might be considered irrational, but I'm damn well not a liar."
“But she did make progress, she was just worried about how you would react… and I see now why she was. For someone so devoted to honesty, you have a funny way of showing your support. If you had said no, it would not have been out of the picture to begin requesting another wave of testing, there is bound to be at least one other person… but Marcy wanted to share her happiness with you.”
"This isn't MY happiness! We both lost our mother to this sickness… I lost chance after chance at relationships because of my eyes!" Lucina looks away at the door. "You all just hear it the way you want to, because it is better for you. And you bringing up another wave of testing? Of looking for others? DO YOU MEAN THE IDEAS I HAD DURING THAT CONVERSATION, the ones she shot down instantly because she couldn't let me say no!" Lucina pulled the still recording camera out of her satchel, before throwing it over to the bee. "Listen to it again if you want so badly to act like she didn't explicitly pressure me instead of apologizing, and trying to be on MY level."
The guard rewinds the tape and hits play, going over the conversation once more, from the beginning. Once the tape got to current the guard hands it back to her. “All it sounds like to me, was you asking if you could help, and Marcy mentioned that you had the genetic matches to become a queen...then you blew up at her and barely let her properly explain herself.”
Lucina rolls her eyes, shoving the recorder back in the satchel, curling up and starting to sob. "It’s because she KNOWS it's a trigger for me! I never said my behavior was ok… but if anything your selective hearing is just being proven here." Once she finishes she just curls up, continuing to sob into her legs. Feeling guilty for accidentally hurting her sister, while still holding firm about the general behavior.
The guard groans, really wishing they’d not been picked to deal with this. “I get avoidant trauma and all, but she did say she wanted to face this demon from your past together… just stay there while we wait to hear the medical report.” The guard leans against the wall, closing their eyes and relaxing. The longer they waited, a strange sweet scent kept getting stronger… or was it there the whole time?
"Then why was the door closed… you've managed to ignore the biggest reason my panic went into overload. Why were the front pair of doors, that I KNOW are meant to be open until 3 hours from now constantly, to allow visits closed… if they were open I would have just run outside, collected myself, and returned when I was ready." Lucina sniffles a few times, only barely able to notice the smell due to how runny her nose still is.
“We open and close the doors for all visitors, it helps us monitor movement in and out of the hive. Given recent attempts by a pharmaceutical corporation to break in, and steal your sister’s work, we have been a bit on edge. I do apologize for our guard forces actions making your reaction worse on that front.”
"Can you just send me to town now? I'll go to jail for accidentally hurting my sister. I just can't stay here anymore, and all my medication is at home." Lucina stands up while taking deep breaths, pulling her phone out to check the time, noticing the lack of data in the hive. "I'm also gonna be late on feeding my cat…"
The guard bee sighs and goes to the door, opening it and talking with the guard outside. After a minute the guard turns back. “We can go take care of your cat and bring you meds, we need to wait for word from above before we just let you go. May we have your house key to do this?”
Lucina raised her eyebrow noticing how they ignored the mention of her being arrested. "Can I talk to said higher up about going with an escort? My kitten is very skittish around new people, and I really don't want her getting out." She smiles softly, making wide pleading eyes that almost resemble how a younger bee would start sucking up to get extra honey for a treat.
The guard rolls their eyes, taking a breath. “Fine, please come with me and stay close, everyone is on guard currently.” The put their hand out to Lucina. Calming down and clearly trying to be at least slightly comforting. “The queen will judge if that is ok, please take my hand, and I will escort you.”
Lucina nods, taking the bee’s hand and following them out of the room. “Sooo… if you’re gonna be guarding me, what’s your name? It would feel a little dehumanizing to just call you ‘bee guard’.” She is gripping the guard’s hand rather tightly, while trying to get a feel for the person that will apparently be in charge of her, for the foreseeable future. Noticing the very androgynous figure as opposed to the more extreme male and female variants of bees.
“My name is Celica, as for my appearance, I was an attempt at growing into a queen… it failed, though I turned out rather… well you can see. I have all the parts so to say, but my more feminine qualities did not come through as strongly. I also retain our lower fertility issues… Though I at least have that, instead of being sterile thanks to Marcy’s work. I’ve never really decided on male or female… use whichever you wish.”
Lucina blushes a bit, nodding and following behind Celica finding herself edging closer and closer to the bees back, wanting to hide from all the bees who are peaking out of windows and behind doors to watch the ‘crazy lady’ be brought to their queen. “Well if that’s how you want to be addressed then it’s how you will be. I’ve always found myself floating more in the middle in terms of identification, but after trying masc pronouns that one time… yeah she/they would be my preferred set.” Through their blush, she couldn’t place why she’s being so open with the bee. Their line of thought breaking as they reach a pair of massive doors nearly twice the size of the entrance. “Sooo… I assume we are there.”
Celica nods slightly, frowning. “Edel can be very understanding, just focus on keeping calm, the other high guards are likely to be on edge after earlier.” She pushes the doors open, and leads Lucina inside. She stops right inside the door and gives a bow, before moving to rest a hand on Lucina’s shoulder, as in front of them is a much larger bee, easily 9 feet tall, though she sat in a throne, wrinkles around her eyes, paired with her long silver hair, and specks of gray in her striped fur. The elder bee smiles calmly and kindly, looking over the clearly shaken human. “So, you must be Marcy’s sister, I understand you must be feeling stressed, but we currently have to remain on guard. What is it that you wish to ask?”
“Well, you see I’ve got a kitten, and medication schedule I need to keep up with, so I came here to ask you to let me go out with my new friend? Celica here, to go feed my kitten and get my medication.” Lucina chuckles a bit, nervously looking to the side, and pressing more against Celica. “The meds they’ve got me on for BPD aren’t the type that skipping a day is an option. Unless ya really wanna see me worse than earlier somehow.”
Edel quietly nods, looking closely at Lucina, her gold eyes taking in her details before sighing. “That is fine, Celica will stay with you, but just know that with what happened earlier, I consider this all a hive issue. That I would like solved within the hive. If things would be easier, you may take your cat, and their food, back here with you and Celica. My solution shouldn’t take too long, perhaps no longer than a week… Your sister will recover, by the way, her transition has been accelerated in order to take advantage of the process to patch her up.”
Lucina looks up at the massive woman. Her eyes locked with the bees for a moment, before clenching her free hand. “And why do you want me to stay here? Wouldn’t it be more ‘logical’ to just ban me from interacting with your hive after my episode?” She takes a deep breath, trying not to be intimidated by the woman. “There’s just a few things today that… haven’t fully added up in my mind against my prior research… if I do need to stay here instead of being monitored at my home. I would like to at least have some straight answers.” At this point, Lucina is almost fully behind Celcia except for her head poking out. Subconsciously trying to hide from the queen without even noticing.
“Of course, and I wouldn’t want to ban you from interacting with your sister, or niece, on either end. I hear you are a reporter, so how about we have tea, and an interview… tomorrow or the next day at noon? Whichever would be better for you, if you feel you need a little time to adjust. Celica… I’ll be assigning you as Lucina’s personal guard for the duration of her… temporary detainment. You will also accompany her out of the hive, to run any errands until this is over.”
The high guard bee nods, not moving from their position in front of Lucina. “Of course Queen Edel.”
Edel grins, peaking over Celica’s shoulder. Making sure that she’s looking Lucina dead in the eyes. “Is this a suitable arrangement, Miss Lucina?”
Lucina nods, slinking fully behind Celica. “I will admit that I’ve always had a bit of apiphobia… it’s not a big deal, I just figured it would be important to know. I’m good to set up an interview with some questions for tomorrow.” At this point, she just goes quiet, pressing fully into Celica’s back next to the large stinger that is almost fully wrapped around her side at this point.
Edel nods, making a mental note to get everything prepared ahead of time. “Very well, tomorrow at noon then. You two better get on your way.”
Celica gives a short bow before turning, wrapping an arm around Lucina’s shoulders “There we go, and I apologize for earlier, I think Marcy was always so excited to talk about you, your apiphobia did not come up. How are you feeling?”
“Queasy, and hungry.” Lucina is rather stiff as they walk this time. Not used to being held this possessively by anyone, let alone someone that she doesn’t trust, and that is currently imprisoning her. “Also whatever smell is going on is not helping the whole hunger situation. It’s like candy is in my nose, but I can’t eat it! It feels like dissociating without losing my sense of reality! IT IS THE WORST.”
Celica giggles a little bit. “Sorry, just trying to be comforting… how about we stop somewhere for some fast food on the way to or from your house, I haven’t gotten take out in a while.” She smiles kindly, and loosens their grip on Lucina. “As for the smell… well we do produce honey and other sweets, a few of the workers have even been looking into the production of other candies. They have been thinking of bringing them to the local farmers market.”
“Yeah… I don’t really… do honey… for obvious reasons.” Lucina chuckles a bit, trying to ignore the small amount of drool that has dripped out the side of her mouth, as they pass one of the honey production rooms. “Well, maybe not that obvious… It's eternally conflicting. I have a fear of honey but also every time I look at it I feel STARVED for it!” As she continues the rant they pass through the now still open front doors to the hive. Only barely managing to notice that, as they headed down the path towards town again.
Some workers who were working on the doors to fix them nervously waved as the pair passed. “Honey is pretty great, though that sounds like the fear stems from the apiphobia. I’ll try to get some more food for you, but we can figure that out down the line. Do you avoid all honey altogether, or if it is an ingredient in something larger are you fine with it?”
“It’s an ingredient that if baked into something, and I don’t notice I won't mind, it’s just the whole… well my mother was killed by a bad batch thing, that leads to paranoia despite my supposed 'immunity’.” Lucina leads Celica to the Interspecies Breeding Program building, before walking over to a small electric car. “I’m… unsure if you’re gonna fit in my car unless you hunch… a lot.”
Celica giggles, and curls up in the seat surprisingly easily. “We are used to tight spaces, don’t worry. I haven’t ridden in a car before though. As for the batch, and what I know of your discussion with your sister, that must be why you have such pretty purple eyes.”
Lucina blushes more, looking away and getting into the front seat. “Yes it is… no one ever could really explain why me and my sister got them, alongside our blond hair, because our parent’s hair was hazel and eyes were brown.” She sighs, turning the car on some light musical songs starting to play. “Needless to say I wasn’t the most popular girl in school, thanks to the eyes. Getting rejected because I’m a ‘bug eyed freak’ was my first experience with ‘love’. Gave up on that.” She then pulls out of the parking lot heading into town towards her apartment.
Celica huffs crossing their arms. “They are very pretty eyes and anyone who can’t see that doesn’t deserve to be with you.” She flashes a smile at Lucina. “The queen used to have a different shade of purple with specs of gold, but when she got sick, that started fading, and her gold took over… don’t tell anyone this, but Queen Edel’s eyesight is not quite what it used to be. I suspect that within a few years she… may go blind.”
Lucina rubs her eyes trying not to get distracted while driving. “That is alarming… I will admit it’s surprising to hear given me and sis have always had excellent vision. It’s always just been the little ‘changes’ that happened due to mom's sickness when she was carrying us, that has driven us away from most of ‘normal’ society.” She sighs as they drive through the town, and park in front of a rundown apartment complex. “We are here… you might wanna take my umbrella out from the back seats… People around these parts are the less accepting folk, and I don’t want you getting hit with something from above, if I can help it.”
“Thanks for the warning” Celosia grabs the umbrella, and opens it once she is out of the car. “Do you live here? This place feels very… unwelcoming if you don’t mind me saying.” She carefully looks around, keeping her wings tucked to her back. “Also is the air supposed to smell… not bad but not fresh?”
“You try living on a reporter's salary, and see how nice of a place you end up living… especially while paying off college loans for yourself, and your now disappeared sister.” Lucina grumbles a bit, walking to the gate, and punching in the code to let herself and Celica into the complex. Walking up a few sets of stairs before reaching Apt 201. “Here we are.” She unlocks the door to the sound of meowing, as a small black kitten with purple eyes is curled up right inside the front door. “Apparently the sickness spread to cats, and no one wanted them out of fear of the infection… this is how I got little Amy here.”
Celica kneels down and smiles at the kitten. “She is so cute though, her eyes are as striking and beautiful as yours. As for the college debt… Rell, Mist has been saving up what money she has gotten to put towards Marcy’s. Sorry we didn’t have your info to get it to you in some way. I know she was trying to surprise Marcy, which made asking a little difficult. Perhaps that is something we could work out… though if you don’t mind me saying, it seems really inefficient of the human regulations, and systems to charge for school. Especially enough to where such debt can become a thing… wouldn’t that reduce the number of people that enter into your education system on the higher end in the first place?”
“That’s depressingly exactly the point. At the end of the day, humans kinda suck, and treat each other, and anyone else they can get their hands on horribly, just for the sake of their own gains.” Lucina sighs, picking up Amy and gently petting the kitten. Heading deeper into the apartment that’s mostly barren, the only notable thing aside from the essentials, being massive amounts of notebooks piled all around the house. “It’s a reductive state of things, and I became a reporter because I wanted to expose the unhealthy way humans have been handling… well existence. Like my sister said, the sickness that killed our mother was human-made, and mutated to become deadly to non-entomorphs… I don’t like humans, but I also am not particularly partial to any non-human species… I’m starting to think I just don’t like society in the way it functions because I know the pieces, the people are good… it’s just everything does its best to break them down and turn them into more Villains or mindless goons.”
Celica sighs “Part of why we stayed hidden so long in our history was fear of human leadership, and the things they would do to take advantage of nature. While we have met so many kind humans since coming out. I fear what I hear from society scares me even more. I understand the success of the individual and all, but by raising everyone up as a society to do what they want, you could construct a system where nobody suffers like that… It’s just sad to see the state that people can even be forced to live in. I won’t say that things haven’t been in cramped conditions here or there in the hive, but that is when we expand.” She moves around, gradually helping where asked as Lucina does her own thing.
“Yeah well that’s human society for ya, we were biologically predisposed to roaming the world, and then we decided we hated each other enough to kill each other senselessly for decades.” Lucina sighs, grabbing a nice cat carrier, and putting Amy inside before having Celica grab the cat food. “Half of learning history in college is finding out that most of it is made up by people who won wars, and then they burnt down any dissenting information. I’d say you all probably if ya hadn’t come out on your own would have suffered the same fate as native Americans, or worse.” She slumps her shoulders a bit, shaking her head. “Can we stop talking about this… I’m not here to change the world. I just wanna do what I can when I can to spread the truth.”
Celica nods. “Yeah… sorry, it’s just a lot to take in as to why Marcy needed so much money.” She picks up the food, and carries it out, balancing the umbrella between their head and shoulder as they leave the apartment. “How does life work out here?”
“The short of it is that it doesn’t. Nothing’s comfortable. It feels like no one likes you, and occasionally a slur will be thrown in your face without much warning, whether or not it even has anything to do with you.” Lucina puts Amy in the back seat, buckling the carrier in while checking to make sure she had a month’s worth of medication on her. “I work for local news so it’s normally just conservative villain supporting bullshit… guess that’s what I get for staying in Texas.” Once Celica is inside she turns the car back on, and heads downtown towards some fast food.
Celica frowns, watching the city streets as they pass through. Frowning at how sparse the sidewalks are. “Well… have you ever thought of moving somewhere smaller? Maybe report on what you want more, rather than what someone overhead wants you to. Texas is a large state, there has to be some other studio more in line with what you want to report on.”
Lucina snorts, breaking into giggles. “Oh sweetie you’ve never seen texas news have you? It’s all mostly like this, the only people I can really tolerate in the news business are still conservative, just sliiiiigtly less than the rest. I would love to make a name for myself, and get outta this town but that takes time, and money that I don’t have until everything is paid off.” She then pulls up to a small drive-through burger place. “This place has the best drive-through burgers in town. Do you… eat meat?”
Celica nods, looking over the menu. “As we developed to become human-sized, we do need larger quantities of food, we evolved to be omnivores. I’ll have a cheeseburger.” She grins. “As for the news stuff, I know there is a small station in the town where our program is based out of.”
“Yeah, I’ve worked with them a few times. They are the ones who are doing my interview with the queen tomorrow. I had alerted them beforehand, and they thought it would be a really good story for the program's health. Given I’m one of the ‘sick’, and my sister is a major success story of the program already.” Lucina then pulls up to the ordering area getting food and drinks for both of them, before pulling up to the window. After a few minutes of waiting two burgers with two sodas are handed into the car, Lucina putting them on Celica’s lap, before driving off. “So… how much do you know about what’s going on with me? I noticed unlike the… majority of the people I’ve talked to you’ve been rather… chatty and open about your opinions.”
Celica hums, tilting their head from side to side. “Well, off and on I’ve been on guard duty for Marcy, and she has lots of nice things to say about her ‘super cool sister’. I know you are a reporter, and I learned today that you have apiphobia. I know I’m supposed to be your escort and all with what happened, but you are pretty, and I figure that I can just do my best to make you feel more at ease.” She smiles kindly. “That and… well I haven’t really gotten too much attention outside of my guard duty, so getting to talk with someone else feels nice.”
Lucina blushes as she pulls onto the highway, heading back towards the office where she had parked earlier that morning. “I find it very… flattering that you find me attractive Celcy but…” She shudders a bit nervously. “I don’t really know how to feel about it. Especially as a prisoner currently.” She chuckles a bit, trying to look away, and hide the fact her cheeks are turning a bright pink.
Celica sighs, shaking her head. “Yeah… sorry about the prisoner thing, but I mean, we can make that as comfortable as possible. And you are very attractive, any who can’t see it are dumbasses.” She buzzes happily, hearing a meow in the back. “See, Amy agrees with me, such a beautiful cat too.” She looks at the carrier and smiles. “I’m sorry if I am asking a lot of questions, I just am really curious.”
Lucina reached over grabbing Celica’s burger and shoving it in the bee’s mouth. Wanting the bee to stop being so damn cute in her general direction. “Enjoy your food! I need to focus on the road! YES, THAT IS ALL!” She then very quietly drives them the rest of the way to the breeding programs office. Her face stays a bright pink even after they have parked. Grabbing her own cheeseburger, and starting to eat it. Curling into side of the car away from Celica. Intimidated by how openly flirty the bee is able to be.
Celica giggles, and downs the rest of her burger. Once they are parked, and she is finished, the bee leans in and buzzes happily. “Seriously though, you are cute, have wonderful eyes, and have a fiery side, anyone should be happy to date you.”
“Well, humans aren’t really attracted to any of those things… except for the cute comment.” Lucina reaches into the back grabbing her kitten's carrier, before looking at Celica. “Let’s get back to your hive. I’ll text about the interview to the group on the way there.” Despite her attempts to hide it, she’s becoming more and more overwhelmed by Celica’s affection. Happy at least to have that foggy feeling from earlier out of her head, as they walk back down the path towards the hive.
Celica smiles and carries the cat food, making sure to toss their garbage from their takeout in a trash bin at the building. As much as the foggy feeling was gone, there still was a nice almost flowery scent around Celica. “So, what do you do for fun in your free time? I go and play some of the board games we have picked up since coming to show ourselves.”
“I write a lot. Mostly about people or places that I’ve seen, I value my connections to the people around me immensely. All the notebooks you saw in my house were filled with pages about different people with different skills that I’ve either met in college or met through someone else. I find it’s a very interesting way to spend my time.” Lucina giggled a bit before looking down at her kitten. “Then of course I spend all my free time loving on Amy when she wants it, but I will admit… slowing down with board games sometimes might be… nice.” The doors were yet again left open. The dent where Lucina shot it and broke through now patched up with new harder wax.
The guards nod “The door was just fixed, we were about to close up.” They smile as Celica leads the way in, the doors being closed, cutting off the cooler nighttime air. Celica sighs happily “Home sweet home...since I have to watch you, I can either bring you to a guest room or my quarters. Whichever you prefer.”
“Probably a guest room for now… I’ll admit I’m not used to sharing my room with anyone so I’d just like a little privacy at the end of the night to feed Amy and rest up.” Lucina smiled softly, the sweet smell now far more noticeable without her tears and gunk blocking her nose off from them. “This place does smell incredibly nice though.”
Celica nodded and led Lucina into a side area and opened a door that was in a honeycomb shape. Inside was a simple yet clean room. “Alright, the bed here uses a thick and soft wax with a honey core to facilitate a nice weight distribution. This right here is a bathroom. It took a while to figure out modern plumbing, but we got it installed. The water is fed from an underground spring and heated along the pipes. And as for food, we eat in a communal area where we eat honey, but I’ll talk to some of the girls who are looking at cooking to see about getting you some other foods. Also, this guest room is in the same wing as my room, it is across the hall if you need me...just keep in mind that the guards probably won’t let you wander off without me.”
Lucina gave a thumbs up before putting the carrier down, and opening it up. Letting Amy hop out, and start to wander around and sniff at the room. “I’m gonna need to fashion her a litter box given we couldn’t take that with us… but that’s about all we will need.” She smiles softly, having grown to actually enjoy the bees company throughout the day. “As for wandering around… I don’t really have any reason to be without someone with me.” She walked over to her bed sitting down as she could feel it give in to her weight almost like a water bed. “Just… if you see any of my sisters' guards tell her I’m sorry.”
Celica nods, smiling as she walks over to the door to the room. Holding onto it as she looks back, watching Lucina and Amy. “Give me a minute, I’ll go find something to use as a litter box, a few of the others who moved in brought their cats too.” She closes the door, and after only a minute Lucina hears some buzzing on the other side.
As she hears this she raises an eyebrow, walking over to the door, and pushing her ear against it. Unable to tell if it was just Celica flying away, or if there were other people here to see her. As she leans against the door Lucina watches Amy walk around the room. Starting to claw at the walls and bed frame. “And you clearly like your new… scratching room…” She chuckles a bit, one eye glancing back at the door.
The door cracked open quietly, a bee poking in, obviously a lower-ranked guard. Much shorter than Celosia but still well enough built. “You hurt Marcy… You could have hurt our chances at fixing everything.” The guard growls out, slipping into the room. Their fists clenched as they glare at Lucina.
Lucina looks at the bee, slowly backing away into the room… only to have Amy zip between the pair’s feet, and outside. “And now YOU let my kitten loose in a massive hive. I have no idea how to navigate.” She frowns, taking a deep breath, and looking the bee square in the eyes. “Just… move aside, I need to go catch her.”
The bee growls, shaking her head, starting to buzz more aggressively. “No, you need to be hurt for what you have done!” She gets close. “Your cat will be fine, I can’t say the same for you.” She raises her fist, watching as Lucina winces. “You brought a firearm in here… after what happened last month… just imagining what else could have happened infuriates me!”
Lucina waves her hands taking a few steps back. Ending up with her back pressed flat against the room’s wall. “Look, I'm not looking for another fight. I had a trauma episode. I fucked up and hurt my sister. I feel guilty for that… but I have to warn you if you lay a single finger on me. I’m gonna kick your ass.” She hardens her expression. “You also probably have… 3 minutes maximum before Celica gets back here, and I don’t think a punk like you would wanna mess with her. I just really don’t wanna disappoint her by attacking you either.”
The guard goes to punch Lucina in the face… only to freeze as a cough is heard behind her. “Excuse me, but last I checked this isn’t your post, and Lucina is not your responsibility.” Celica is standing there, holding a litter box in one arm, and Amy cuddled up to her in the other. “Now then, leave here, Lucina is sorry it happened, a lot of stressors happened all at once, and if I catch you here without express permission, and without me, I swear you will be put on outer patrol, for the whole winter season.” The guard squeaks, and runs out of the room. Ducking around Celica in order to avoid the bee’s wrath. “Lucy, are you ok?”
Lucina sighs, her shoulders deflating as she goes back over to sit on the bed. “I’ve been worse… surprisingly.” She chuckles, looking up at Celica with weak eyes. “Can you stay with me, and Amy tonight… seeing… that. Has me a bit worried that other people who are mad will come and attack me in my sleep.” She looks down, wincing at her admission of her own fear.
Celica smiles, watching Lucina’s body language. Despite all the trouble she’d caused, feeling more than a little guilty for allowing her to feel this unsafe while under her protection. “Of course Lucy. You don’t mind me calling you that right?” She closes the door with her foot, and places the box down by where she notices some scratching spots.
Next, she comes over to sit on the bed and wraps one arm around Lucina, rubbing her back with the other. “The last attempt to break in was by a group of pharmaceutical agents… They brought guns, and killed several of our guards, and threatened Robin in order to get Marcy’s work… I had to stop them.”
Lucina frowns looking down, and simply leaning into Celica’s side. “You know you should have had Marcy tell me about this. I could have reported on it! Publicized a medical attack on an endangered minority! She didn’t even mention it in the letters she would send…” She wraps her arms around the bee’s side, nuzzling in slightly. “It hurts to have had my sister lie to me so much… when I would have been there to help the next morning! I wouldn’t have brought my gun. I only even have that because you’ve SEEN where I live, it’s a bit of a necessity…”
“I’m sorry… we had a full lockdown for a while after that. I remember Marcy just saying she needed you here. She might have been waiting to talk about it given how… big what she was discussing was going to end up being. Unfortunately, I can’t read minds, so I don’t know when she was planning to tell you herself.” Celica squeezes Lucina lightly, buzzing in a way that she would to comfort other bees. “I’m sure the Edel will have more information that you can ask during the interview.”
“Y-yeah… let’s just get to sleep.” Lucina took her jacket off and slipped out of her top before patting on the bed and having Amy hop up to lay at the feet of the bed. “Tomorrow will be easier, hopefully… Maybe Marcy will agree to see me…” She scoots into the corner of the bed that’s pressed against the wall, before patting the area beside her while looking up at Celica.
Celica shakes her head, leaning down to lay next to Lucina. “I’m sure she will, she may have not handled things the best on her end, but I know she loves and cares about you.” She presses herself gently against Lucina, trying to help her feel more secure. “We can check in the morning, if she wants to maybe we can have breakfast with her, does that sound good?”
“Sure…” Lucina then grabs, and nestles into Celosia’s chest. Pressing herself into the bee’s back, cuddling in and letting the fluff warm her. “For now it’s time to sleep…” She yawns, her arms locking down around Celica, and quickly falling asleep due to the exhaustion.
Celica takes a bit to fall asleep herself, making sure she’s facing the door. The night goes by alright, just one guard peaking in at the pair as Celica opens an eye, seeing it was one of the hallway guards checking on her.
In the morning, there was a small knock on the door, and the same guard from the midnight check in walks inside. “Captain, we have gotten some food from town, based on what you told us about Lucy.”
Celica smiles as she wakes up, rubbing her eyes as she checks around the room to make sure that everything is the same as it was last night. “Thank you, can you check on Marcy and see if she would like to have us as breakfast guests?” The bee nods and leaves.
Once the door’s closed Lucina opens her eyes. Groaning slightly as she was still tired even after a full night’s worth of sleep. “G… morning.” She grumbles a bit sitting up, and noticing a slightly tingly feeling on her neck. Reaching up, she rubs her hand against the fluff, thinking that it’s just some of Celica’s until she looks down. Shrieking as she falls over into Celica’s lap, seeing that it’s very much fluff on her neck. “WHAT HAPPENED TO MY NECK?!”
Celica turns around, and tilts her head. “Lucy, calm down, and let me look.” Once she’s staying still, Celica starts looking her over carefully, poking the fuzz a bit. “Strange, this is almost like bee fluff. Maybe Marcy would know more as she is the one who has been studying our genetics and all… how do you feel aside from that, just look into my eyes and focus on how your body feels overall to you.”
Lucina takes a few deep breaths. The hazy feeling from the day before, now having fully returned overnight as she looks Celica in the eyes. “I feel like… kinda heavy? I feel like despite sleeping, I’ve gained exactly 0 energy, and now have to drag myself through an entire day.” She rubs the fluff even more, before shuddering a bit at its sensitivity. “Can we get it off of meeee…”
Celica winces unsure what that could do, and imagines the pain that shaving her own neck fluff would cause. “I’m not sure, I’d like to have you see someone before we try and do anything too drastic, but if you really want it gone we can try shaving it, I leave the final choice up to you.” She rubs the fluff, pinching a clump of it, and watching as Lucina reacts to it much like a bee would. “I do think it is cute, but I want you to be comfortable.” Amy meows lightly, and paws at the fluff playfully after padding up the bed.
Lucina smiles softly at Amy, petting her kitten gently, before getting out of the bed, and putting her clothes back on from the day before. “I kinda feel like a jackass for forgetting to bring extra clothes of all things, but here we are.” She chuckles a bit, shaking her head and heading towards the door to the room. Clearly trying to ignore the neck fluff to the best of her ability. Despite the difficulty it had added to getting into her outfit. “And I’ll wait for someone to check it before I shave… if you really do like it.”
Celica slides out of bed, following close behind Lucina. “Alright, as for clothes, how about I give you something casual of mine. I’m not sure how awake you are, but I had one of my guards go to ask Marcy about having breakfast with us.” She rubs Lucina’s back. “I’ve got a couple of jackets, and dresses that should fit you.”
“Ok…” Lucina takes a deep breath, opening the smaller door. Struggling slightly more, because of how heavy her body felt in comparison to the weight. Once they are in the halls, today is much more lively, everyone while still on guard whenever they would get near Lucina, are buzzing around, and the bees flying in the very high ceilinged halls. “So… maybe just a dress and jacket combo?” She looks down as a few bees are pointing, and staring at her, interested in the new fluff around the woman's neck.
Celica smiles leading Lucina into her room, it’s simple yet nice, filled with a closet, a few training dummies, and a simple vanity. There’s also a bookcase with several board games on it, and a decently sized table. “Here is my room, now let me find you something.” She pulls out a jacket, it seemed like a nice ‘varsity’ jacket, with a yellow and black striped symbol on the back. Next, she pulls out a sundress, it was a daisy yellow color. “Here, do you think this will work for you?”
Lucina looks over the clothes, taking them, and slipping into the bathroom. “It’s not really my style to be in a dress but maybe it will help people be less scared of me.” She closes the door, taking a few minutes to swap between the outfits. Once she comes back out, the yellow and black patterns match perfectly with her purple eyes, and new neck fluff that’s sitting right on the collar of the jacket. With her blond still messy hair flowing into it. “So… how does it look?”
Celica can’t help but sit there staring at Lucina. Astounded with how well the new outfit worked out. “Beautiful… I mean you look cool!” She looks to the side, if Lucina could see under her fluff her cheeks would be stained red. Wings buzzing rapidly due to how flustered she is. “It goes really well with you… if you don’t mind me saying, Lucy.”
Lucy chuckles a bit at her own blush, matching Celica’s. “Only if you don’t mind me calling you Celcy.” She walks over taking Celcy’s hand, and leaning into her side. “Well, my good ‘guard’ why don’t you lead us down to wherever breakfast is. I really hope this ‘disguises’ me from the more harsh looks. Wouldn’t wanna ruin your reputation after all.”
Celica laughs, shaking her head, as they walk up to the door. “Everyone will calm down soon enough.” She squeezes Lucina’s hand a bit. “And I’m fine with you calling me that, Lucy.” She quietly leads them outside, a guard coming down from above, and motioning to them. “Marcy is feeling up to company for breakfast… if you two are still feeling up to it.”
Lucina nods, and starts walking down the halls behind Celica. “Yes, please… I heard that she’s transitioning right now because of the accident… so I was worried that I wouldn’t see her for several days.” They eventually arrive at one of the transition rooms. Nurse bees working with Mist, and Marcy, as the pair arrive. Seeing her sister still mostly humanoid but in one of the pools of honey-like substance makes Lucina gulp, pressing into Celica’s side to almost hide herself in shame.
Marcy looks over and smiles, gently raising a hand, slightly coated in a chitin-like substance as she waves them over. “Hey sis… how are you doing?” She shifts a little, wincing as she moves her recovering shoulder.
Celica leads Lucina in, as the nurses back off to give them some space. Marcy sighs “Sis… I’m so sorry, I never meant for things to happen like that. I should have started smaller before building to that… I was not being considerate to your personal trauma and fears.”
Lucina just looks down, sitting in front of the chamber that Marcy was in. “I… I know.” She shakes a little, forcing herself to look into Marcy’s eyes. “I’m scared, sis… I’m scared, and I don’t know what’s happening. I’m so sorry for hurting you…” She curls up under her dress, hugging her legs as she can barely make eye contact with her sister. “And now this weird fluff grew on my neck! This fluff isn’t just Celcy’s style of clothing, it's just actual fluff that grew on me overnight…”
Marcy shifts, and half crawls out of the honey, looking at the fur closely. “Strange, well… I have a theory. I just don’t want to trigger your fear again.” She puts one of her hands on Lucina’s. “Lucy… do you think you can keep calm for my theory that involves your phobia? If not it would be best if we waited.”
Lucy takes a few deep breaths, nodding. Pulling back the tears that have been edging in. “I can take it… after everything, I just want this all to be over, and being uninformed at this point will probably just make things worse… especially given that after we live here I’m being taken straight to the Queen for an interview…”
Marcy nods, taking a moment to prepare herself for any reaction. “Well… I discovered in those who have natural antibodies… We have very small amounts of bee entomorph DNA within us, given that the base disease was engineered to target bees in the first place. When we form the antibodies, we gain what could be considered ‘royal’ eyes in bee culture. Because of that, all those that have the antibodies have a… from a human point of view, an unnatural craving for honey. While some do not gain a fear… approximately 80% of those with the antibodies have gained a case of apiphobia.” She sighs. “Those that do not have the fear tend to come to interact with the hives more… but you are the only one who is afraid and has come. I don’t know if you have done anything else, but maybe the chemicals running through your body are trying to make you feel more comfortable, and relying on that slim bit of bee DNA within you.”
Lucina takes deep breaths as all of this is being explained. Barely maintaining her composure as she looks back at Celica. Clutching her new friend's hand, as she shakily looks back at Marcy. “By the way… I sort of… have become friends with Celica here over the last day. She’s been really supportive, and understanding. It’s honestly the only thing that’s kept me sane.”
Marcy smiles a little bit, nodding. “I’m glad, and I’m still sorry for what happened, if I had pulled my excitement around you back to do things slower, and more quietly, none of this would have happened, though I’m happy you have made another friend… are you comfortable overall though sis?” She pauses, before slapping her forehead with her good arm. “oh, and we were supposed to have breakfast, is there anything specific you would like? I heard that a few workers went and did some special shopping for you.”
“Most people here hate me so that’s… a lot to take in.” Lucina sighs, shaking her head, and looking around the room. “I would like some breakfast though, however this DNA is responding it clearly took a lot of energy, and now I am STARVED. Did they get waffles? I like waffles.”
Marcy, giggles happy to see at the very least some things about Lucina hadn’t changed since last they saw one another. “I got them to get a waffle iron when I moved in, and they make some of the best syrup, harvesting from the trees, and flowers around here.” She shifts, and looks at Robin in a little honeycomb baby carrier. “Mist sweetie, could you ask for waffles with syrup for us?”
Mist smiles and nods. “Of course… also Lucina? It is not hate from most… but fear. We largely find guns scary. There are some guards that may respond hatefully, but nerves and fear will grip most of the hive.” The bee gives a little bow, and buzzes out of the room.
Lucina, while the group is waiting, just walks over to Robin’s crib. Gently tickling the baby’s belly. “I will admit you still have the cutest baby in the world…” She smiles sadly down at Robin, before sighing. “Hopefully someday I’ll be ready for that kind of responsibility.” She glances back over at Marcy who has slipped a bit more back into the transition chamber. “So… you’re gonna be a bee… what kind of role in the Hive are you looking into?”
“Unfortunately I cannot become a queen… otherwise I would have never asked you. But I can still be a carrier, it would be best if I become a worker, though my job will largely be improving medical treatment in the hive.” Marcy forces a small smile, looking over at her daughter. “That is basically my plan, also yeah, Robin is adorable.” The little bee giggles and buzzes playfully, gently reaching to grab Lucina’s finger. “Aww, do you like Auntie Lucy?”
Lucina giggled, continuing to play with Robin for the next few minutes. Eventually, Mist comes back with a pair of guards holding several plates with waffles and syrup. Mist coming over to hand Lucina a pre-poured stack of waffles covered in a pinkish syrup.
“Thank you Mist.” Lucina walks away with her breakfast, plopping herself down next to Celica, taking the fork. and starting to devour the waffles. Her eyes widen and become a bit glossy as she devours the meal, unable to describe or resist the amazingly sweet flavor.
Celica giggles and enjoys her own, watching while Lucina consumes her meal. “You like it, Lucy?” She flashes a grin, continuing her own meal.
Marcy giggles, and eats her own at a more relaxed pace. “Sis has always loved waffles with syrup… though I think that a little bit of extra touch with the homemade syrup does the trick that bit more.”
Lucina is first to finish eating. Putting the entirely empty plate down occasionally, eyeing the syrup that’s on the bottom of the plate. “Ok whatever that was I NEED more of it! Like that was the best f-” She looks over at the infant in the room. “Freaking waffles in the world. I’ve never had ANYTHING that goooood.” She giggles a bit, feeling a bit floaty as she leans into Celica’s side.
Celica giggles a bit, and wraps an arm around Lucina, finishing her own waffles, and wiping a finger along the syrup, holding it up to Lucina’s lips. “I’ll make sure we can let the cooks know how much you love it after the interview, if that sounds good.” Marcy and Mist finish theirs at the same time before Mist pulls out a bottle of a honey-like concoction to hold to Robin’s lips.
Marcy looks over, sliding more into her tank, but watching her sister intimately. Decently curious about what had gotten into her during this breakfast. “I know you want to lick the plate clean sis, don’t worry, unlike back home, it is considered a compliment to literally ‘clean’ the plate for lack of a better term.”
Lucina lets out a little whimper as she looks at the syrup on Celica’s finger, eventually breaking and licking it off. Sucking on the bee’s finger in her excitement, once it’s all gone she realizes what she’d just done, pulling back with a massive blush and continuing to scrape the remaining syrup off of the plate, and licking it up. Feeling incredibly embarrassed about her behavior, while still paradoxically unable to get herself to stop after having been given approval.
Everyone copies her by licking their plates, though Celica keeps an arm around her shoulders. “Seriously, don’t worry about it Lucy, we all understand, sweets are well-loved here anyway, much less whatever the cooks concoct. They will love to hear that you like this, it will encourage them to try more with you honestly.”
Once Lucina finishes she just closes her eyes, and cuddles into Celica’s side. The warmth from the meal along with a light fuzzy feeling filling her head. “I feel… hehehe funny.” She nuzzles into Celica’s neck giving it a little kiss as her eyes droop slightly. “You’re pretty~”
Celica blushes, but lets out a happy buzz in response.
Marcy laughs, shaking her head. “Yeah, we in general love sweets, and our bodies process sweets differently from normal human bodies… and the bees specialize in the production of sugary sweets, and the like. You probably have been filling your sweet tooth with cheaper candies, and other things, haven’t you sis.”
Lucina crosses her arms and huffs looking away. “It’s not like I have money to get the good stuff!” She can’t remotely keep a straight face for long though, breaking back into giggling after a moment. Having to take a few minutes to collect herself, before looking back at her sister. “The longer I stay here, the more overwhelming all the scents, and smells become. I mean seriously can no one else smell that delicious smell that’s like… if the syrup was like 2 times better somehow!”
Marcy grins, nodding excitedly. “It was like that at first for me too, it is that small bit of bee genetics from our antibodies, we can process all the smells, and pheromones, that the bees use. There is of course every unique scent from a bee, then while there is vocal communication, a lot can be told by scent alone, and what they give off. For example, these chambers have unique scents that can be tracked almost like a roadmap around the hive. Does that make sense sis?”
Lucina nods a few times, taking a minute to calm down before standing up, and taking a deep breath. “Well, we better get to that interview. I really don’t wanna keep the Queen, and the news station waiting given the situation… I do need to ask though, is it gonna be safe if I remove the fluff? Like I know that it can feel things more directly… and I’m worried it would kinda hurt.” She chuckles nervously. Looking at the door to the chamber a few times, obviously worried about her interview.
Marcy sighs, running it through her head a few times. “Well… it is just like hair technically, so it is safe, but I would also guess your flesh under would be sensitive to anything like that as well. If you feel like it would be better to keep it, maybe stay in those clothes, and say you are trying out some hive fashion. If not, then just be really careful… and be ready in case your body tries to grow it back when you sleep next.”
Lucina groans, nodding along with Marcy’s explanation. “I’m just gonna keep it, and say it’s part of the outfit… Thank you for seeing me this morning sis… I hope that you have a nice day of changes.” With that, she takes Celica’s hand, and starts pulling ‘her’ guard out of the room, and towards where she can now smell the strongest scent coming from. Assuming that’s where the Queen will be waiting.
As they walk, she finds herself pushing down her still bubbling under the surface anxiety, and mistrust of all of these changes. The tingling feeling in her chest confusing her on if it’s her feelings about Celica, or nerves from the situation.
Celica watches Lucina surprisingly accurately navigate the hive. Taking a moment to pull her a little closer and give her a hug. “Alright, you are actually doing a really good job tracking the queen, now take a breath and calm down. This will go great, I’ll be off to the side, and Edel is very sweet.” She opens the door, looking to see the queen and the news crew all set up, the queen had a table with some tea set up, and two chairs, one of which she’s already in. “Hello Lucina, I hope you don’t mind the arrangements, it is difficult for me to really leave the hive to go to a proper studio set up.”
Lucina gulps looking up at the significantly larger woman, before walking over onto the set. “It’s perfectly fine… Thank you for trusting Celica with me last night. She's made my stay far more comfortable.” She looks at the wax frame with fluff chair, before gently sitting down, and locking eyes with Edel, her eyes having sprinklings of gold at this point. “Before the interview starts though… this neck fluff stuff grew on me last night. Marcy says it’s my body reacting to the hive due to the way we were born. I apologize if it’s a bit surprising.”
Edel looks closely at her, the eyes in particular catching her attention. “Well… it happening suddenly is a bit surprising, but I do think it is a good look on you.” She smiles and sips at some of her tea. “Are there any other pre-interview questions you wish to ask?”
Lucina takes her own tea, sipping it quietly mostly to be polite. After a minute of thinking, hardening her expression to lock eyes with Edel again. “I want to know what you really want of me. Like I get that you need to keep an eye on me, because of my breakdown, but every time we talk I get a feeling deep down that you’re not telling me something important.”
Edel leans her head back slightly, humming to herself. Carefully considering each of her words. “Well… I do want to see if some time spent around us perhaps gets you to change your mind… though if at the end of your week you still do not wish to go through with anything, I will stop trying with you. That, and I noticed how quickly you and Celica took a shine to each other. I am a little worried about my daughter, she hasn’t really taken quite a shine to anyone else… if nothing else, her making a friend in you is success enough to me.”
As this was said Lucina’s taking a sip of the tea, gulping it down and pausing. Noticing the taste of honey in the drink, and shuddering before looking back at Edel. “Celica is your daughter?!” She looked over at her new friend, blushing and looking back at Edel. “As for us being friends… She makes me feel comfortable. I’m not gonna promise anything but I see her and feel buzzy, is how I believe how you would put it, so despite still being entirely uninterested in being a queen… I still want to be close to her, and get to know her better.”
Edel represses the urge to frown, keeping a polite smile as she nods. “Fair enough, and I have at least some form of relation to all the princesses, most of which who could not become queens decided to become royal guards, as they are physically more capable than the others in the hive. So while she was not what one might say ‘directly’ born from me, I see all of them as my children, and I hope the best for my family.” She giggles a little bit, taking a moment to calm down and make herself look a little more dignified.
Lucina notices that the crew is getting everything set up, putting her tea down. Pushing it as far away from her as possible, before clearing her throat. After a few more seconds there’s a countdown and the cameras start rolling. “Hello again everyone I’m Lucina Evens and today I’m here with the Queen of the local hive Miss. Edel.” She smiles softly at the camera, before looking over at Edel. “Before we start with the questions, would you like to say anything to the people at home?”
“First, I know that some may have opinions on the matter, but really, take care of the environment, keeping things clean really helps improve life everywhere… and those more sensitive to changes are going to be the first to be lost, please just be aware of how quickly life can change if we do not altogether take care of what we have been given.”
Lucina nods, frowning slightly. “That’s all too true. The most vulnerable of us are hit the hardest when the health of the environment is taken for granted, and we should all do what we can to make things just that little bit better as a community.” She then clears her throat, looking at the notes that are on the tea table. “So the first thing on today's agenda is the entomorph breeding program, how do you feel that it could be improved to better support all entomorph communities?”
Edel crosses her legs, taking a deep breath. “Well, right now we are just trying to spread awareness to find those willing to participate. While I have heard from my hive rumors from the outside such as ‘oh insects like that are able to breed super fast anyway’ or ‘spiders are not nice’ or really anything about any of us, a lot of that is either being ignorant to who we are or a misunderstanding of biology. While yes, our smaller cousins breed, and produce en masse, once you grow to human size, very large quantities of food are required to expand like that. On the bee end, each female is capable of carrying or giving an egg with any partner… but in exchange it is only one or two at a time. We are all hoping to integrate with society, and help make things more supportive of the natural world, without taking away from the high points of human quality of life… however we cannot do this alone.”
“Indeed, propagation of all races is important for balancing both our ecosystem, and our understanding of each other.” Lucina then turns to the camera, getting a more hardened look on her face. “At this point, I must advise viewer discretion, the next question is related to the sickness that developed around 24 years ago now. Edel, would you mind telling the people at home about what the major pharmaceutical industry in this city had done only two months ago now?”
Edel sighs, taking a moment to think of a proper response, before nodding. “We were going to report on it, but had to make sure everyone was safe first, this seems like a good time. Currently, a human who has joined the breeding program and decided to live here with us. Has been researching the virus used to try to cull our species… and for it to infect our honey which caused it to spread to several other species. A cure is being developed, and is nearing its final stages, and some mercenaries under hire from the local pharmaceutical company, attempted to break in and steal her research.” She narrows her eyes. “They held her daughter at gunpoint, and were only stopped by the quick thinking of one of my royal guards who was there at the time. This has slowed down production, but this cure and a true proper vaccination is looking into the relationship between human, various animals that have been infected, and our own bee DNA, and just how the natural antibodies form, to see if we can make artificial growths within the body to prevent such a disaster from happening again.”
Lucina looks away while the cure is being discussed. Just letting Edel have her moment to finally expose this situation and sitting back, feeling her body reach out for the tea, and start sipping it. As this happens she can’t explain any of it other than the fact that whatever was inside the drink is making her feel calmer. Once Edel’s done Lucina takes a breath, and looks over at the camera again. “These people endangered my younger sister, a person who has been a victim of this sickness ever since we were children, and for what? Nothing more than more money in their bank accounts, and their hatred for other living beings. Please whoever is watching this please send your love to the people of this hive, and if you have the extra income the program does accept donations to help support these marginalized, and harmed communities. Thank you.”
Edel nods “We are hoping as a whole to as we expand, be able to construct comfortable housing for all. We have been adjusting our methods to make rooms more comfortable for humans and other non-fliers, and the ants have been working on aiding us in strong ground-based foundations, as well as allowing our workers to come underground, making what we believe is comfortable living space in a few tests so far. The spiders have gone over and worked on furnishing with homemade blankets and other goods, along with increased supports depending on the area. These projects, if given support, should allow for non-invasive living space just about anywhere, and these would just request those living give back to the community, no rent required at all.”
At this point, there were just a few more minor topics, before Lucina wraps up the interview, and the cameras click off. “So… how are you feeling about all that? I feel like it went really well, if I’m gonna be entirely honest.” She then sips more tea as she looks up at Edel a few times, before her eyes darted back over to check on Celica.
Edel smiled gently, a look of complete satisfaction on her face. “I think that went wonderfully. Thank you for allowing me to talk about some major issues, and actually get the proper information out there. All three of our species have met with many unsure questions, even from those who willingly came to the program. Hopefully, this will clear up some worries, and let others experience what we have to offer. I’m really excited about the expanded housing options given all the work we have done to adapt our methods though.”
“I’m glad.” Lucina to her own surprise can’t help but finish the tea, putting the cup down and standing up. “So… is there any other thing you want to have me do during this ‘punishment’?” She looks over at Celica, waving lightly at the larger bee. “Because honestly the longer I stay here, the more I seem to change… and it’s making me feel unsafe.”
Edel frowns, humming to herself, her wings actually starting to buzz lightly. “Honestly I just want you to experience hive life, but if changes keep happening, I’ll agree to shorten your… sentence to just another day or so. Is that agreeable to you?”
“Fine.” Lucina takes a deep breath, stepping away to walk over to Celica. Quickly burying herself in Celica’s chest clinging to her friend, and starting to shake. “Can we go… I want to go now…” Celica is able to feel wet spots on her fur as Lucina suddenly breaks into tears.
Celica nods, glancing at her mother and queen, before picking Lucina up bridal style, and walking out of the room. “Are you ok Lucy? I understand Edel wants you to keep seeing things here… but is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable, and feel safer?”
Lucina curls up in Celica’s arms, trying to keep herself together. “I’m sorry… it’s just all of these changes are so damn horrifying… I don’t understand any of it, and Edel is treating it like nothing…” She rubs her head against Celica’s chest to get the tears out of her eyes. “I don’t know if I’m being paranoid, but it feels like they are DOING something to me!”
Celica thinks a bit “Well, mother… Edel is always keeping the hive in general in mind, it is part of the job of the queen. Going off of your sister’s theory, maybe because of your worry and all, your small bit of bee DNA is naturally producing changes to make you feel more at ease. Maybe the smells, and tastes, are stacking against your worry to speed up these reactions. I’m not really a biologist or psychologist… therapist… you know. I can only really guess at what sounds right.” She smiles softly, giving Lucina a small squeeze. “I have an idea though, how about we go for a bit of a hike, there are still a few hours in the day, and I’d like to show you around more… but being inside seems to be making things worse for you.”
Lucina nods, taking deep breaths as Celica carries her towards the exit to the hive. “Have you noticed anything else other than the cravings, and fluff, that’s changed?” She looks up at her friend's face in a whimper as her paranoia from the previous day has kicked itself back into overdrive, because of the contact with honey.
“Not anything that has really stood out to me, I’m a little shocked at how fast the fluff grew in, but the cravings. Well I could make an argument that being around the source of your cravings for so long has made it worse? It may be wearing down your fear… which might be compounding on your paranoia. Mind you I don’t want to disregard your feelings either depending on the situation at hand.” Celica frowns, shaking her head, and feeling like she’s about to speak blasphemy. “Honestly I think that keeping you for a week is a bit… extreme, given that your sister didn’t push for such action. Though I do understand detaining you for a little bit, if that makes sense… from a peacekeeper point of view.” As they step into the sun and fresh air, Celica looks down at Lucina’s eyes, and blushes some more as she stares in. “Umm… I don’t want to sound creepy or anything, still just admiring you and all… and it could just be the light, but I swear I see a hint of gold in them… though it is faint.”
Lucina gulps, taking a breath, and hopping out of Celica’s arms. “Well then why don’t we, I don't know… consider this our first date?” She took the bee's hand, starting to walk further into the woods following the clearly marked trail. A massive blush on her face as she says this, trying to stay ahead so Celica couldn’t see her. Trying to find a way to change the topic away from the source of her anxiety.
Celica grins, and nods rapidly, speeding up to be able to walk next to Lucina. “That sounds great, we can swing by town, I know a wonderful sandwich shop, then there is a nice clearing which has kind of evolved into a natural park for lack of a better term. The lake is right there too, so we can get our feet a little wet and just enjoy nature together.” She leads Lucina to town buzzing happily. “Is there anything you would like to do on our date?”
“I would just like to spend time with someone who likes me… it had really just been me and my sister all these years after all. I’ve got contacts, but those aren’t really friends.” Lucina smiles and presses into Celica’s side, as they continue towards the sandwich shop. “Honestly just the idea of us spending time outside of the anxiety inducing hive, or my shit apartment sounds amazing.”
Celica takes a breath of fresh air as they walk past the breeding program building. “That sounds really nice… maybe tonight we can play a game before bed too.” She stops by the sandwich shop, ordering a rather large one for herself filled with veggies and cheese, before letting Lucina order “Order whatever you want, I’ll cover it all. I’m also thinking about grabbing some juice while we are here.”
Lucina gets a meat and cheese sandwich, with a soda. Wincing as unlike she expected, everyone’s still staring at her while they are out, more people being interested in seeing the hybrid than the royal guard who’s a regular at the shop. Once the food’s served Lucina takes hers, and rushes outside letting Celica catch up with her once they had their own done.
Celica buzzes after her, and makes sure to stay close once they get away a bit more. “Sorry about that, I didn’t really think about what being out here for you would be like.” She rubs Lucina’s back. “Let’s go find some private space, and just relax away from everyone else.” She cuddles up to Lucina, and enjoys their quiet nature walk.
Lucina just quietly munches on her sandwich as they continue down the trail. Enjoying the feeling of Celica against her as they make their way back past the hive, and down a secondary trail. “It’s just… weird being the center of attention. I am the type of person to fade into the background, to get information that normally would be unavailable to me. It’s a surprisingly important trait for being a journalist so this is just… uncomfortable.”
“I understand, while my own position is ‘royal guard’, you would not believe how important just blending in is for that.” Celica chuckles a little bit. “I will say your presence is just a little new to this small town, though when this is over if you keep visiting, they will back off, and treat you as normal. I remember when I first started coming around, they could not keep their eyes off me, it really made me feel self-conscious.”
"I'm an inner-city girl. I'm so used to no matter how different you appear, people just treating you as normal." Lucina chuckled as they got to the end of the woods. The pair being faced with a massive lake and picnic area. "I will admit though seeing this is really wonderful. This is the kinda thing you'd never see without people taking care of the world around them."
Celica smiles and sits down, pulling Lucina along with her. “Lucy, people out here are a bit more accepting, I’m sure they see you for how beautiful you are.” She blushes a bit, pulling Lucina in to kiss her cheek quickly.
Lucina takes the kiss, her cheeks turning red from the contact. "Thank you Celcy. Hopefully, once this is over we can go out together more without any strings attached." She smiles softly nestling into Celica’s side as a gentle breeze blows through the area.
Celica smiles and holds Luina close. “While I do love the fuzz if you do really want it gone, I’ll help you carefully shave it off.” She gently runs a hand through Lucina’s neck fluff, staring into her eyes. “Whatever you want… though I still want to take some time to play games.”
"If you wanna play board games, we will play board games. I don't have that much experience with them, but I am more than up to learning." As the pair lock eyes Lucina found herself leaning in. Gently placing her lips on Celica’s, surprised by the sweet taste that she experiences, before pulling back nervous that she’d taken a step too far too soon.
Celica blushes hard, buzzing wildly and pressing her finger to her lips with a smile. “W-wow… did you get that almost… buzzing feeling from that too?” She looks at Lucina again and gives the girl a quick kiss back, letting her lips stay a little longer than their first, before pulling away.
Lucina just enjoys the feeling for as long as she can. Relieved that she’d not made a mistake, eventually leaning into Celica’s chest and closing her eyes. "It did feel wonderful, yes… I hope we get to do it more in the future." She keeps a soft smile on her face, taking pleasure in the small joys she could get out of the situation. "Sorry about being really noncommittal. I am just hoping to be able to give you an answer, without any outside influence, once my punishment is done."
Celica nods, placing a hand on Lucina’s cheek. “Take your time Lucy, if you feel deep down despite whatever is happening that you want to commit, then I’m willing to give anything a try, if you need time, then I will give you all the time you need.” She holds Lucina close, letting her heartbeat, and natural pheromones tell a lot about her own feelings.
"I might not like all the changes, but being able to smell how you feel, makes things feel a little easier." Lucina chuckles softly, taking a deep breath. "Also your fashion choices, for me, are very comfortable. Be careful, or I might just steal all of your clothes."
Celica giggles a little bit. “You are so cute, and I’m fine with that, I’ve always wondered how it would feel to have someone else wearing my clothes.” She grins ruffling Lucina’s hair lightly. “I kind of like the feeling… I don’t want to push too fast, but it makes me feel a bit like a sign of who you are with, so to say.”
"Well, you're the only person I'd wanna be with at this point." Lucina squeezes Celica lightly as they look around the area. Seeing a few pairs of bee entomorphs flying around the area. A drider sitting with her significant other, while little drider kids skitter around playing with one another, and even a few ants all trading pins with one another. "It’s nice to see everyone out in the open, just having a nice day."
Celica smiles, and looks over the different groups. “Yeah, I’ve come out here or there, but I’d love to go do things with you like this some more.” She buzzes happily. “It is really nice out here… just seeing the clear clean sky makes me think of the freedom we have out in nature, makes me think of actually pursuing happiness.”
Lucina frowns at that last comment, before looking Celica in the eyes. "Are you not happy in your hive?" She gets a rather serious look in her eyes while asking this. Clearly concerned about how Celica has been treated in the hive, before her arrival, and the fact that the other bees seemed to be intimidated by her.
Celica shrugs, a soft almost pained smile on her face. “I mean… I am happy, and I love everyone there. I just sometimes want to see a little more. I think it is more… when I do leave the hive to do patrols, or accompany one of the stand-ins for the queen when we go to human cities. Everything feels so suffocating… then I return to our land, and while I feel free here, just the fact that there is so much more out there, almost makes this feel suffocating… Does that make sense?”
“You live in a world that doesn’t accommodate your natural size, along with the only place you can feel comfortable in is your home, and that can feel suffocating.” Lucina chuckles a bit. “I can relate to that feeling. Marcy doesn’t talk about our dad, but he really did try his best to keep us safe from those who would try to hurt us, until he passed. Our home for years felt like the only place where we would be seen as normal.”
Celica frowns, nodding slightly. “Yeah, that seems right when put into words like that.” She pulls Lucy down as she lays in the grass, letting the girl lay on top of her. “I just want everyone to be happy, and able to do what feels right without harming anyone, or anything.” She smiles and gently runs her fingers through Lucy’s fuzz some more. “I want to see more places that I can feel comfortable in.”
“Ditto… while there will always be people who hurt others for the sake of their own pleasure and power, but hopefully someday even if it’s decades down the line, we can live in a society that actually cares about each other.” Lucina yawns, closing her eyes, and just relaxing on Celica’s chest.
Celica slowly closes her eyes. “Yeah, that would be great.” She yawns and wraps her arms around Lucy as she soon falls asleep, simply enjoying the sounds and smells of nature. After a short time, a fawn peeks out from the tree line and slowly approaches the pair, giving some cautious sniffs.
Lucina cracks her eyes open, before smiling at the doe and just nestling more into Celica’s arms. Not wanting to spook the animal, and just letting it curiously observe them for a few minutes, before running back into the brush as a pair of bees had started heading towards them to head back to the hive for the evening. Once the doe was gone Lucina shakes Celica lightly, sliding off of the bee to stand up still a little drowsy from the nap.
Celica yawns, stretching slightly as she works the grogginess out. “I was having such a comfortable sleep too.” She grins at Lucy before standing up, making sure they had whatever trash from their sandwiches gathered up, before holding out her arm. “My lady.” She smiles, and bites back a giggle.
Lucina does a little bow, before locking arms with Celica, and heading back to the hive. As they arrive everyone who was out for the day is shuffling back inside. The pair easily able to blend in surprisingly easily, as Lucina doesn’t resemble her past appearance at all unless you are looking closely at this point. “So I assume you’re gonna have to go do your guard stuff for the night, while I wait in my room, then we can play some games together?”
Celica grins squeezing Lucina. “Well, my current job is to guard you, so unless you want a little alone time, I don’t have too much I need to do right now.” She smiles kindly as she stretches some. “I’ll need to do a little bit of my work out either tonight, or tomorrow though.”
“Why don’t you go do that now, and I’ll just go take a bath in my guest room. We were kinda laying around in the dirt today, and also I feel like that would be the best plan.” Lucina continues through the halls with Celica, holding the guard’s hand tightly out of excitement. “Then we can play games and hopefully I won’t face anymore… changes, and things will just be stable until the end of the week when we can establish a more… solid relationship.”
Celica can’t hide her excitement, nodding rapidly, and bringing Lucina to her guest room, before leaning down, and kissing her on the cheek. “I’ll see you in a bit, be safe.” She pulls back and passes the hallway guards on her way deeper into the hive. In the room, Amy stretches and runs over, purring and rubbing against Lucina’s legs.
Lucina smiles leaning down to pet the kitten, before heading into the restroom. Looking at the massive tub before turning the warm water on and starting to strip down. Putting Celica’s clothes on the sink, smiling at them before stepping into the tub, and curling up hugging her legs as the warm water starts to fill up around her. In her nude state, she’s able to get a much better view of how her body looks, noticing that her wrists seemed to have the beginning of fluff poking out of them. This causes Lucina to take deep breaths as she attempts to not throw a fit about another unwanted change.
As she’s bathing, Amy sniffed at the clothes, before jumping up and purring as she sat down next to them to watch Lucina. “Meow” The cat’s eyes almost twinkled as she watched her ‘human’. Upon seeing Lucina beginning to panic, the cat jumped over and onto the edge of the tub, leaning in to lick at her cheek.
Lucina smiled nuzzling against Amy lightly. “Good girl… Thank you for helping.” She slowly sinks into the water grumbling a bit as she just lets the warmth soothe her fried nerves. She sat in the bath for almost an hour, before crawling out and pulling the plug. Using the towel that was left in the room to start trying to dry herself off. Getting annoyed by how much water is retained in her neck fluff.
Amy follows along, once Lucina’s close to a spot she could perch on, the cat gets up and playfully bats at her neck fluff, mewling. Just outside Lucina can hear a door open and close from across the hallway, probably Celica coming back from her workout and going to clean up herself.
Lucina sighs, grabbing her borrowed clothes. She brushes her hair putting it into a ponytail, and pulls the sleeves of the jacket up to change her appearance. “A little bit of snooping in your free time never hurts anyone. Anyway, she’s gotta bathe, and I wanna check on Marcy.” She takes her notebook out, opening the door and peaking to make sure the hall’s empty before slipping out, and leaving Amy behind.
As she moves down the hall she scrunches her head down a bit to hide her face structure, trying to appear to just be another human in the program. She then uses her newly acquired ability to smell to lead herself around the hive. Wanting to make it back to the conversion chambers.
Things are a bit quieter, several bees and humans wandering around together getting in her way, but overall the general mood was quite relaxed. The conversion chamber guards were talking a little bit, not looking her way as she made her way inside. In the chamber, Marcy’s floating with her eyes closed, alone for now, though she looked towards the door, and looked a little surprised. “Oh, hi there Lucy.”
Lucina waves lightly, putting a finger in front of her lips as she comes over to the chamber to sit down. “Sorry about sneaking around a bit. I just needed to talk to you away from… everyone else honestly.” She smiles softly while sitting down, and making herself comfortable. “Marcy I’ve got a problem… the changes seem to be accelerating, and I don’t know why. My eyes have apparently changed. I've got neck, and now wrist fluff, and despite my fear of it, if honey is in front of me, I can’t seem to resist consuming it despite my fear. I’m… scared ya know?”
Marcy looks over all the changes, wincing slightly. “Well… that does fit with a theory of mine regarding the bee genetics in our antibodies. By fearing them and everything, your body is adapting to make you comfortable… but that is not getting rid of your fear, which is compounding all this.” She gives a little hand wave over Lucina’s body. “Mind you, you are also the first who has gone through something like this, and I can’t exactly take a blood sample, and study it currently.” She sighs. “Sorry if I am getting all rambly, I find it fascinating, but I am trying to focus on how you feel about it.” She shifts around, and reaches out to grab one of Lucina’s hands “I love you sis, so how do you feel… not about the honey or anything else, just deep down how do YOU feel about you right now? Anything at all could help me try, and come up with a more detailed answer at the very least.”
“There are two other things that are in my head right now… I have a small crush on Celica, we went on a date today and it was… nice.” Lucina smiles, holding her sister's hand, and taking deep breaths. “Then there’s the queen… Edel… I don’t trust her. She’s said a few things that after years of being a reporter set off some alarm bells in my head. Especially her openly admitting that her motive is trying to emotionally pressure me into being a queen. Then she said some vague stuff about the end of the week that gave me a pit in my chest, but that could be paranoia.”
Marcy nods, considering Lucina’s words carefully. “I’m thrilled about you having a crush, Celica comes around Mist and me here and there, she always seems super nice, and I’d fully support you if you wanted to pursue a relationship with her! As for the queen… she doesn’t like to lie, but she also will sometimes not say everything on her mind… You can always trust that what she says is the truth though.” Marcy leans back a little bit. “I will say, that until we find more people who meet all the qualifications that raise chances of being a queen, you make it literally as of my current numbers a 1/200 chance of someone meeting all the qualifications, there is a good chance that she just doesn’t want you to leave with a bad feeling about the hive, while you are the only candidate that I have tested to hit that number so far. There are more to check, which could adjust those chances though, so I just want you to do what feels right to you.”
“Yeah, and she probably sees me as a selfish ass who won’t give up my life, and dreams, for the sake of everyone else.” Lucina sighs standing up, and looking at the door. “I think it’s about time we talked privately, every other time we’ve both had eyes on us…” She sniffs a few times, before nodding. “Alright, I know where I’m going… good luck with your changes sis. I’ll see you again soon I promise.” She then marches out of the room towards the queen’s private chambers.
Marcy sighs, sinking back into her pool, smiling as soon after Lucina leaves, as Mist comes in with Robin. Outside the path to the queen’s chambers was fairly sparse, though in front of her doors are a pair of royal guards of a similar size to Celica. They look at Lucina and move to stop her, though they stop when the Queen’s voice rings out. “You may let her in, and no need to follow her inside either.” The two look at each other, and open the doors for Lucina, closing them once she’s inside.
The interior of the room is nice, and definitely a step above the rest of the hive. But Not excessive having all of the niceties to make a room comfortable, along with a few family photos on the walls with different royal guard generations. “Hello Edel, you told me to come to you if I kept changing.” She holds her wrist up at the queen bee, who’s simply sitting on her bed. “Well here’s more changes.”
Edel shifts a little, and nods. “I see, please take a seat, get comfortable, I can smell your sister on you, so I know you probably heard one of her theories… I however have one of my own.” She coughs somewhat hard, holding a hand to her mouth before looking down and frowning. “While I do believe Marcy’s theory is valid, I don’t think any old person would cause changes like this… at least this fast.”
“Yeah, you don’t say.” Lucina went over to the edge of the bed glaring at Edel the entire time. “Look I don’t hate the hive, I think I might actually really like Celica for fucks sake…” She leaned in locking her now half gold half purple eyes with Edel. “But you’ve been doing something haven’t you… something you’ve been avoiding bringing up… I’ve noticed it in your vocal patterns, along with sis admitting that you don’t like lying, but you might also avoid saying something in order to get what you want.”
Edel nods, looking down at Lucina. “You are partially right. The food you have been served has had royal jelly in it instead of normal honey, mostly testing a theory. In any normal person, they might have noticed a little of what you humans refer to as ‘peach fuzz’ along your neck, and in any who meet some or even most I have seen such a low amount used cause simple yet small changes… but in you, they are vast, and rapid.” She sighs and shows her hand, an almost red-orange liquid on it. “I am being a little… pushy about you… because I don’t believe I have much longer left to live… and that means the hive does not have much longer left to find a new queen.”
Lucina’s face gets contorted with rage, as she only barely holds herself from lunging at Edel. “YOU DRUGGED ME!?” She at this point is shaking, gripping her shoulder as tears start leaking down the sides of her face. “I KNOW you don’t have the most time, but THIS ISN’T OK! Why would I ever agree to help you even if you HADN’T been lying, and doing this to me against my will NOW?!” She chokes out a little sob, letting her tears drip onto the bed. “I… I love Celica… I’m taking her, and I’m leaving. I’m not coming back, and YOU can’t force me to do ANYTHING ANYMORE!”
Edel sighs, shaking her head as she fully sits up. “I really hoped you wouldn’t have responded like this.” She focuses on Lucina and an intense smell, almost addictive, filled the room. “Calm down, come and kneel before me, young lady.” The words coming from Edel… sound so commanding, yet motherly. An urge to obey swelling within Lucina.
Lucina freezes up for a minute, taking a deep breath, before holding it and scurrying over to the door. Trying to get as far away from the scent and the commanding voice of the woman before her. “Leave me alone!” She bangs several times on the door. Regretting coming here without Celica at this point as her phobia was the only reason she had been able to resist these commands.
“Sweetie, you know you are being unreasonable, where would you and Celica even go where you both could be happy? Truly happy.” Edel grins, shaking her head. “I know you like reporting the truth, but how often are your reports pushed to the side, not given a good timeslot on TV, or relegated to a small informational in the back of the paper? How much are you really appreciated out there? Please come back here and relax.”
Lucina at this point is only taking breaths when absolutely necessary. Each one making her body shake, and feel just that little bit weaker. “As long as we have each other, we’ll still be ok!” She pulls her notebook out and starts writing in it rapidly. ‘Dear Celica, don’t come in here, the Queen is forcing me… I don’t know how long I can hold out but if you see this. Please run… I want to be with you away from here… I love you.-Lucy’ She then shoves the page under the door, before dropping down to her knees from lack of air and strength.
The queen sighs and weakly walks over, pulling the girl into a hug/ “Now why would you do that? My on-duty guards are just outside the door.” She smiles. “You two may come in.” The doors open, though the scent doesn’t get any weaker as the two come in, one carrying the letter. “Could one of you let Celica know that Lucina and I are getting to know each other a little better tonight, then let her know that there will be a joint breakfast in the morning? Then I would like you to join me in the private conversion chamber.” One of the guards nods, picking Lucina up and following Edel, while the other walks back towards Celica’s room.
“You know she’ll never believe that lie! No one in their right MIND would believe any lie about me ‘agreeing’ to any of this!” Lucina wiggles around in the guard’s arms. Feeling just how much stronger than her a royal guard actually is. Especially with how heavy her body feels at this point. Having held her breath for as long as she could manage, she’s now panting as the scent floods her system. “Just stop it! It’s so… so… heavy…”
Edel tisks as they enter a small chamber, with a pool of royal jelly. The guard gently strips Lucina, before resting her into the pool, letting the thick liquid coat her whole body before standing back.
“Now just relax, let me teach you all about the job of the queen.” Edel rests her hands on either side of Lucina’s head, rubbing her temples as some level of almost instinctual knowledge begins to enter her mind. “Just sleep, and let me do my work.”
Lucina can’t help but keep wiggling around the jelly, as her eyes drooped down. “N- No… NO!” As she opens her mouth the jelly slides in. Causing her to instinctively consume it to avoid drowning. Being pushed further into the chamber only her nose and above even being exposed to the air at this point. Her mouth slack as more, and more, of the jelly slides into her, her eyes turning fully purple with golden borders.
Edel buzzes with satisfaction. Rubbing her antennae against Lucina’s head. “Good girl, now let’s re-focus some of those thoughts. Gotta keep a fear in place of us… so how about being away from the hive.” She focuses more as somewhat alien thoughts begin to invade Lucina’s mind, the royal jelly filling her ears, blocking all normal sounds, while her mouth is filled, she somehow does not feel like she’s drowning, everything instead feeling warm and all-encompassing.
Lucina’s eyes are wiggling, that core fear still there but shifting. The look of fear and hate in her eyes, becoming one of desperation and need. Unable to communicate but having her body start to limply push against the wall of the chamber she’s in. Her hand barely getting out of the jelly to reach out for Edel, the fear of being alone overtaking her, in the place of her fear of bees.
Edel lowers her face so that Lucina’s hand touches her face. “I’m here for you, just relax. I won’t let you ever be alone, and I know that when this is done if you ask Celica real nicely, she will be oh so loyal, and loving to you my dear Queen Lucy.” She gives Lucina’s fingers a little kiss as she watches the changes that were already suspiciously fast, accelerate. “Now once your sister is done changing, you will also need to let her know that everything is ok.”
Lucy nods along with this, as from her shoulder blades clear strips of hardened flesh start to grow into a regal set of bee wings. Starting to wiggle around in the jelly trying to learn movement, along with this her entire body seems to be growing rapidly. The jelly burning off incredibly quickly to balance out all the energy this change is requiring. Lucy eating so much that her mouth was eventually above the surface of the royal jelly again. “P-please… it's… so hot.” She whimpers, reaching out as the fluff that was on her wrists and neck started to flow up her arms, and down the rest of her body.
“I know sweetie, right now that is just the energy of change, though soon you will need to breed, and Celica would love to help with that.” Edel smiles, and leans down to kiss Lucina’s forehead. “Doesn’t that sound nice? Having Celica love you forever and ever? Getting to take in her love, and fill her with your eggs?” She grins. “You will be the youngest and most fertile queen we have had in years.”
Finally, the stinger began to grow out of Lucy’s tailbone. Sinking her deeper into the chamber, as fluff starts to grow up on her face. While simultaneously two antennae emerge, starting to feel the womans ‘new’ mother. “Eggs?” She wiggles her head around as her breasts start swelling in size. Going from B’s to DD. Beginning to look much like Edel had looked in her younger years. The more major changes had been completed allowing for the more subtle but equally important ones to take over.
“Yes sweetie, part of the queen’s job is to expand the numbers of the hive. Your eggs can be injected into others in order to absorb some genetics, and grow into beautiful new children. Doesn’t that sound nice? This even lets people like your sister have children, bypassing infertility issues.” Edel pulls Lucina up and into her arms, running her fingers daintily through the new queen’s fluff. “Another job of the queen is to do the best for the hive as a whole, though I have started the process of looking to help others as well, you know how poor human living conditions are after all.”
Lucy nods along, with a soft dopey smile. New gentials now growing during the more intense changes, as she nestles into Edel’s arms. Not minding the fact that she’s still coated in royal jelly, and can’t do anything more than follow along with her mother’s words. Finally, the last change hits her stinger developing into an abdomen being almost the same size as Edel’s. She clearly has a bit of growing in height left to do, but other than that the new young queen is completely changed. “Do… what’s best for the hive…” She starts to flex her new padded fingers. “Is this what’s best? Everything… feels fuzzy. Where’s home? Who’s… Lucina…” She tries to focus on the memories that seem to be held at arm’s length away from her. Remembering small flashes of her humanoid form, but not being able to place who it was, and why they are in her head.
“Lucina is the past, Queen Lucy is the future. What’s best is for a new queen to learn from me, and take over before I die.” Edel moves her fingers through the fluff some more. “Take your primary mate, show them your love, and help the hive make greater decisions. Lay your eggs whenever you feel comfortable to, and eventually make the world a better place for all. Does that sound nice Lucy?”
Lucy nods, weakly nestling into Edel’s chest. “Yes mother…” She giggles a bit, the tingles of fear slipping away from her mind. The safety of being held, along with the new lack of pheromones flooding her senses. As they return to the queen’s chambers Lucy is still scraping the honey off of herself, and eating it absentmindedly. “Clean…” She mumbles a bit as Edel sits her down in a tub, before turning the water on and starting to wash the remainder of the jelly. The whole time Lucy is just making movements with her mouth, experimenting with her new body, and speaking in a now far softer and kinder voice. “Thank you, mother…”
“You are welcome sweetie, I’m sorry if you were scared through that process at all, I’ve waited for oh so long to meet you properly.” Edel nods as the remaining guard leaves the room, closing the door. “In the morning, how about we get you fitted for some new dresses? We can keep them in Celica’s style which you seemed to like.”
Lucy smiles and nods as rapidly as she can manage, each still wobbling a bit to each side due to how heavy her head is now. “I like Celica, she’s nice to me…” She then leans into Edel’s side. Taking deep breaths as she tries to center herself. “I was very scared, but I know you do everything because you want what’s best… but mother… Why was I qualified? What made me different other than being able to have kids?”
“Lots of little things, between being fertile, having the antibodies, and your general health status… The antibodies make hosts DNA about 1% bee, you were 3%. This manifests in a level of fear that must be overcome, but in exchange, your capacity to push onward is bolstered.” Edel rubs Lucy’s abdomen. “Under that fear though, there was a curiosity, an inclination towards the hive, and that is what spawned the fear in the first place, the rest of the human mind unable to understand, and unable to fight those feelings, it goes with flight.”
Lucy wiggles around under Eden’s touch, surprised at how sensitive her entire body feels at this point… combined with how heavy her stinger feels. “So you were just helping me overcome my irrational behavior… thank you, mother.” She smiles as the bath starts draining, all the excess royal jelly washed away as she gets out, and starts to try, and dry herself out. Only 8ft tall in comparison to Edel’s 9. “Am I going to grow more mother? Or do queens size differently?”
“You still have a bit to grow. I’ve shrunk since I got sick honestly, I expect you to be about 10 feet tall when you finish growing. A queen has to look regal after all.” Edel starts helping Lucy dry off, gently patting her down with a towel. “As for your behavior, it’s understandable, I had to be a little forceful near the end, you were at an intense tipping point, and your fear could have multiplied so much more if you left.”
Lucy nods as she is fully dried off. Blushing a bit about being nude, as she now has new parts to hide. “Of course mother…” She shakily walks into the main bedroom to get in bed, and cover herself up with the blanket using her wings to help herself balance. Despite being a queen now she can’t help but feel a pulling pressure to obey Edel. “Mother, how do you keep control over everything? I’ve noticed your scent is… very powerful when you desire it to be.”
Edel hums, and sits down next to Lucy, gently petting her. “Well, we always release pheromones, letting others know our wishes. The queens carry an extra layer within their own that pushes a level of control down onto those that take it in. Bees are particularly susceptible to it, and those with any genetics at all have a great sensitivity to it. All you need to do is focus on controlling before you speak, and your body will naturally step up production.”
Lucy nods, taking a deep breath. Looking Edel in the eyes, buzzing lightly, and trying to make herself look cute. As her own set of queenly pheromones came out. “Mommy, how do we need to handle my sister and Celica? They both know that Lucina wouldn’t have ever agreed to this, especially without telling them?”
Edel smiles, with this question coming from Lucy entirely certain she’d made the right choice. “Why sweetie, you just need to tell them while focusing on making them believe you. Neither of them are full queens, so their capacity to resist your word is much lower. That and they both love you, while they may not like how it happened, as long as you are you, they will do anything to help you.”
Lucy nods, yawning and pressing into her mother’s arms. “Mom… why can’t I remember the outside of the hive anymore? Is there something bad out there? All I can get when I think about it is fear crippling… fear.” She shudders a bit, closing her eyes to talk to her mom, while still drifting off out of exhaustion.
Edel sighs, giving Lucy a gentle squeeze to help keep her clam. “Things are not good outside, there is a small town nearby that is nice, but being outside the safety of the hive is dangerous for queens, especially if we do not have another one ready. There are bad humans who make the world worse for other humans… and every non-human as well. They want the air to be all yucky, and almost everyone to be struggling to survive, just to pay the bad people for the right to live.”
Lucy shudders, nodding and snuggling deeper into Edel’s arms. “Ok mother… I want things to be good and better, but the outside does sound very dangerous…” She cracks one of her eyes back open to look up at Edel. “Does me being a success mean we can make everyone better? So our bees and volunteers don’t need to be hurt, or be sick anymore?”
Edel nods. “Yes, your sister will need to take some blood samples, but you can fix many sicknesses.” She hugs Lucy to her own neck fluff. “Queen Lucy, you must tell the truth of the world for all to hear, and use everything at your disposal to cure the sickness that plagues not only us but society, to make the outside no longer scary.”
Lucy smiles softly. “The truth is important… even if I didn’t want to face it at first.” She buzzes lightly, closing her eyes again, and curling up on Edel’s lap. Letting the exhaustion overwhelm her and lull her finally to sleep.
Celica could soon hear a light knocking on the door as she gets out of the shower. The guard that Edel had sent standing outside patiently, even through the door she was able to smell the queen’s pheromones that were coating the guard.
“Oh, hello, how are you doing tonight?” Celica looks at the guard over. “Does mother need something of me?” She glances around a little more. “And is that a hint of… Lucina on you?” She looks worried, hoping her girlfriend didn’t get into any trouble while she was busy.
“Lucina was requested to spend the night with the Queen.” The more masculine guard smiles. Out of his pocket, Celica is able to see a piece of paper sticking out. It’s clearly from Lucina’s journal that she had seen a few times. “You have been requested to join them in the morning for breakfast.”
Celica nods slowly. “Alright, excuse me for a moment, I should probably check on Amy.” She carefully bumps past the guard, swiftly swiping the note and going across the hall. “Tell mother I’ll be at her chambers bright and early, have a good night.” She slips into the room, and looks at the cat before reading the note, shaking a little while frowning. “Mother… what is going on.”
The guard just walks away. Their focus entirely messed up by how much the pheromones have affected them. After almost an hour Celica hears knocking on the door. Mist standing outside and rubbing her arm, only here at Marcy’s request given no one had seen Lucina since she visited Marcy.
Celica frowns, and let Mist in. “Hey… I got a strange note from Lucina… warning me about her interaction with Queen Edel. I’ve been invited to breakfast with them in the morning… but I am unsure on how to handle this.” She sits on the bed, gently petting Amy while reading the note again and again.
Mist looks over the note, shuddering at the thick smell of the queen’s pheromones. “I… don’t doubt that anything that is written here is true… but Celica what can we even do? The queen’s pheromones would instantly take over if you went to confront her, and if this is to be believed… I think it might be too late for Lucina. The queen if she is doing this wouldn’t prolong the process of creating a new queen.”
Celica looks down “I know she is warning me to stay away… but I can’t just leave Lucy. I don’t want to let her being turned against her will stand… but I just… Mist, what do I do? All I want is to be with her. I’m positive that I actually love her.”
“Well, then we go to see Marcy. If anyone can think of a peaceful way to handle things it will be her… I wouldn’t ever ask you to run away, and leave your potential mate.” Mist squeezes Celica’s hand, smiling softly, and trying to support her friend. “I trust that you are feeling something real here… so we will support you even if it’s against Edel’s desires.”
Celica smiles gently, taking a deep breath. “Alright… that sounds like a plan.” She cuddles Amy a little bit more, before setting the cat down. “I’m going to get dressed properly, then go talk with Marcy a little bit… and see how my heart feels about a decision.”
Amy mewls, pawing at Celica lightly before nuzzling into her side as the pair left the room. “That’s a cute cat though… I know this is all serious and fucked up stuff is happening but…” Mist smiled at Celica before hugging her friend tightly. “I am so happy you finally let yourself love someone.”
Celica nods, forcing out a small smile, leading the smaller bee to her room, where she gets on some normal clothes. “Yeah… it is a nice feeling.” She rests a hand on her chest. “I’m afraid of losing this feeling. I’m scared of what changes Lucy might have been put through, and I’m scared that it all happened so fast too.”
Mist bites her lip, looking to the side. “She was probably taken to the royal jelly room… Marcy had been developing it with Edel… to hopefully make a new queen once they got a successful volunteer.” She shakes her head, leading Celica to her room. Quickly darting inside, before coming out after a minute holding Lucina’s gun. “I think she would want you to have this…”
Celica winces, reaching out towards the weapon. “I don’t know… she did not seem to be too attached to it.” She runs her fingers over the weapon. “I really don’t like guns.” She sighs, sliding the weapon into her jacket pocket. “I don’t think I can use this… but I’ll hang onto it.”
“I feel like she was probably lying about not caring much about it… it had a name engraved on the handle, that Mary said was their dad's name. She might not like guns, but that one was clearly important.” Mist then led Celica down to the transition chambers. Marcy’s full transformation having just wrapped up at this point as her antennae have finally grown in. “Marcy! We have problems sweetie…”
Marcy groans as she gets out of the tub, rubbing her shoulder cautiously, looking like a full bee version of herself. “What happened sweetie… and Celica?”
Celica frowns, and looks at the note. “Queen Edel… appears to have taken drastic measures… and we believe she could have forcibly taken, and changed Lucina. I have been requested to join both of them for breakfast in the morning, and she left me this note telling me to stay away.”
Mist walks over, getting a towel to help Marcy dry off. “Sweetie I’ve already put Robin to bed for the night, and I promised that I’d help Celica in any way possible… Do you know how we could bypass the queen’s pheromones? If we can’t do that, I don’t know if we can even help your sister.” She frowns, able to see the tears forming in Marcy’s eyes. “Sweetie… did you know about this?”
“I… had my suspicions. Lucy’s changes were odd and fast. And she made me swear not to tell, but Queen Edel… she’s dying. Probably having a month or three left at best. I know she has been getting desperate.” She looks down. “In theory, if we found a match, such as Lucy, she would be able to transition in no longer than an hour, in a royal jelly transition chamber.” Marcy sits down and rests her face in her hands. “I shouldn’t have had sis come here. I should have gone to her home, and talked to her about things there.”
Mist frowns, wrapping her arms around Marcy. Rocking her partner gently while looking up at Celica. “So… what are you gonna do now? It’s been too long since she’s disappeared… in all likelihood Lucina is gone… and a new Queen has been born in her place…” She takes a deep breath. “I don’t think the queen would erase who she is, but I don’t doubt that the queen has changed her in major ways.”
“I talked a lot with Edel about this method of creating a new queen. The base personality still must exist, or they would most likely suffer a mental breakdown… however there are many things that can be altered. First is Sis’s fear of bees… fear itself cannot go away, especially of such a phobia. Instead, she likely re-routed it to some other fear… Then sis was very devoted to the truth… that will always be a part of her but is likely twisted into a way for the hive. The thing that scares me most… it actually does not take that many changes to a person to in theory make them suitable for a position as queen… and I know Edel wouldn’t want to take Lucina from us necessarily either… I just have no idea what results would happen from what could have been done.”
Mist takes a breath, stealing herself for what she’s about to do. “I’ll go in and talk to them. We can use the hive communication system to allow you two to talk to them from a distance… then all we can do is hope Edel sees reason, now that she’s already technically gotten what she wants.” She goes over to Marcy’s workbench and grabs two walkie-talkies. Tossing one over to Celica. “I know you two can do this… and Marcy I love you… you made a mistake but we will fix this.” With that Mist buzzes her wings, flying out of the room, and down the hall.
Celica winces, and collapses to her knees, rubbing her eyes as she looks down. “Marcy… No matter what, I know I need to be with Lucy. I have no idea what is going to happen.” She flinches as the newly changed bee hugs her.
Marcy frowns, just rubbing the larger bee’s back, trying to keep herself from breaking down as well. “I understand fully… just hold out faith.”
Mist soon arrives at the queen’s chambers, laughing because the guards have fallen asleep due to the effects of the pheromones. “Well, at least I can get in.” She then shoves the door open. The lights in the room are off as she can see a bee that’s slightly larger than her, laying in Edel’s arms. “Mother… What did you do.”
“What I had to Mist… what I had to do.” Edel looks over at the smaller bee. “Celica is a smart girl… I know she figured things out. Did Marcy tell you… about how long I have left?” She brushes the hair of the smaller queen. “There was no more time to test for another to be a potential match. No time at all… and you know what happens to a hive without its queen.”
Mist walks over to the bed, and simply holds out the walky-talky. “Yeah I know you did what you had to… but now we are doing what we have to.” She can’t bring herself to look Edel in the eyes as she just stands there. “I don’t hate you mom… we just don’t want to lose who Lucina was, what did you DO to her… if you’re really gonna be gone soon we need to know… Celica was crushed by this…”
Edel nods, tightening her grip on Lucy’s sleeping form. “I modified her fear of bees to of being alone… her memories of the past are blurred. She can still remember some… but others are much like dreams of another life.” She frowns. “Right now, she is finishing her adjustments… but by morning, she will begin getting her urge to take her mate, and I know she still loves Celica greatly.” She smiles. “Perhaps… Over time, Marcy will be able to help Lucy remember more clearly, but to start off, she just knows what she loves, and cares about, and that the hive will always protect her. Help her feel safe.”
Over the radio, Marcy can finally be heard sobbing. “So she doesn’t remember dad anymore? You made her forget everything?!” Marcy had to be held by Celica who just felt stuck. Angered by Edel’s behavior, but also desperately wanting to just be with HER mate.
Mist reaches out gently petting Lucy. “Edel… you need to think about what you did. Really I know it is because you were worried about leaving us all without a leader, but this was… not ok.” She looked up at Edel with tears flowing. Unable to describe how hurt that her mother had made her feel by doing this without talking to anyone else. “You could have told all of us… you could have had, US help you with convincing Lucy… we thought you were just going to lose your sight. You didn’t present it as an emergency to anyone… you didn’t meet her on her own level. If you had promised to pay off her, and her sister’s debt in exchange for all of this responsibility, she may have just agreed! You could clearly see she had a good heart… I just hope you didn’t taint it.”
“She will remember all parental figures in her life… every single one of them shaped her.” Edel looks away from Mist. “I made a decision, could there have been a better outcome in another way? Maybe, but given how drastically she responded when the slight mention was brought up. Then watching her being so quick to panic. I could and would not take chances. I can’t let any of you get hurt. I can’t let her get hurt.” She sighs, looking over at the walky-talky. “Marcy, you were injured. Very badly… if the bullet had hit just a little closer to your chest instead of your shoulder, you could have had a pierced lung or heart. She may have reacted worse to being pressured by people who she loves and trusts, given what we already saw.”
“That wasn’t your choice to make for her…” Marcy mumbles over the speaker. “You can’t blame her for being traumatized… that’s unfair, and you know it. Your guards could have just opened the door… I watched them stand there, instead of letting her out to calm down… you never intended to take no for an answer… and we know that now.” She takes a few shaky breaths. “And that’s something you can’t ever take back.”
Edel nods, looking down at Lucy. Nuzzling the sleeping bee slightly. “No, it isn’t, I can never take it back.” She refuses to allow an ounce of weakness in her voice. “I took that choice from her, and I made one of my own to ensure the continued safety, and prosperity of the hive, after I am gone. This is the one remaining trait that Lucina had… that none of you do.” She sighs. “To be a leader, to TRULY lead and be queen. You must have it in you to do something bad. To look at your options, and be able to pick the morally bad one, and be able to live with it. All of you are such wonderful, giving people. Lucina can be too, but that is what she has, that none of you do.”
Mist sits down on the bed, pressing into Edel’s side. “I… mom…” She grips the queen’s side, pressing her head into it to hide the tears. “I just wish you had told me… about you running out of time. I was in your last brood before… the sickness… so having you hide that honestly is what hurts the most.” At this point, she just turns the walkie-talkie off. Wanting to just be with her mother after that explanation had been given.
Edel rests a gentle hand on Mist’s back. “I’m sorry sweetie, part of my job is keeping up a strong exterior for the sake of the hive. Everyone looks up to me as a leader, to keep the peace. I couldn’t tell anyone, in fact, I didn’t learn about my time limit until once while working on the chamber. Marcy saw me cough up blood.” She bites her lip. “I made her promise not to tell. I couldn’t let this information get out, not only for the internal security of the hive, but external as well. The fact that I lived through their engineered sickness. It scared those bad humans into not attempting anything. If they knew I was sick… who knows what kinds of actions they could try to take.” She lets out a quiet sob, finally faltering now that they’re alone. “I don’t want to leave any of you, but I have no choice in the matter.”
Mist just quietly cries with her mother. Holding her like if she let go she might just vanish into thin air. “I… understand why you did it, mom… I’m hurt because it was my mate's sister but… if I’m being honest, if I didn’t have an emotional tie to her, I probably would have helped myself.” She then looks over at the sleeping Lucy. smiling softly. “Is she at least gonna be happy? And… Do you have any wishes for when you pass mom?”
“She will be happy. Like I said, her mind will be clouded to start off, to allow her to adjust to being queen, before memories come leaking back. Along with some final words from myself. She will know she had apiphobia, but that it has been shifted. She will just start off like a peppy princess learning her place in the hive, during what time I have left.” She wraps an arm around Mist and holds her close. “As for my wishes. I want all of you to be happy, do not mourn my passing when it comes, embrace the future, and lay me to rest once that time comes.” She closes her eyes, and a single tear drips down. “If we had a reasonable amount of time left. I would have tried other options first, but the first wave of tests and gathered info took 4 months, and I don’t have that kind of time left.”
Mist just weakly nods along, nuzzling into Edel more. “We will all do our best to make things as good as possible… then when she’s ready I’m sure Lucy will be an amazing queen, and a wonderful mom… I just hope we manage to get the cure to the other hives, before they lose their queens…” She sniffles slightly as Lucy rolls around in her sleep, clearly on the edge of waking up from all the noise.
Edel smiles, and gently nods. “I know you all can. Though this will all be on Marcy and Lucy. This will all rest on them… and perhaps if that takes too long, another wave of testing can find other candidates, before the queen’s pass.” She strokes Lucy’s hair, before looking down at Mist. “I am so happy you found love. While this program brought extra attention onto us, it has also let me see so many of our numbers find genuine connections. My personal wish for you is that you, and Marcy will do whatever makes you two as happy. Love my granddaughter Robin with all of your heart… and continue working towards a brighter future.”
“Of course mom… I love her more than the world.” Mist chuckles a bit, scooting over to take Lucy out of Edel’s arms. “Now… I know it’s late, but you should have a conversation with Celica. This is the last time you’ll have a chance to apologize, without her being forced to see this… I’d recommend not missing it.” She gently rocks Lucy who just nuzzles more into the woman's arms.
Edel nods, taking the walkie talkie. “Celica, Marcy, I’m going to come down. We need to talk.” She slowly gets up, and glances at Mist. “Thank you for being so good at caring, and don’t take this the wrong way. I’m glad you did not qualify to become a queen. It would irreparably change who you are.” The queen buzzes out of the room, stopping to gently pet each of her sleeping guards, before continuing on her path.
Mist looks down at Lucy after that last comment, sighing and just pulling the younger bee against her chest. “I know mom… oh do I know…”
Marcy is sitting in the dining hall, having chosen the throne in the center of the room as the best place to meet with the Queen. Being the largest room, and least likely to have the pheromones overwhelm her, and Celica. “This isn’t gonna be good… Celica… if you wanna hide, and go get Lucy, I won’t blame you.”
Celica shakes her head. “No, I need to be here for this.” She clenches her fist, ready to almost snap. Although the tension left her body once Edel enters the room, the queen’s sluggish movements, paired with her even more drained appearance, signaling just how wrong things were.
“Hello, you two shouldn’t need to worry about what I can do. I burned out almost all of it earlier.” Edel shakes a little bit, and collapses into a chair… not even making it to the throne.
Marcy winces at this, walking over to the chair. Starting to observe Edel’s state. “Ma’am I might be… infuriated by your behavior but… you look bad.” She starts doing a basic checkup. “You didn’t look this bad yesterday… how much did you use on sis to break her? It had to be way more than I told you you’re allowed to.”
“If I had to gauge it… let’s say 40% more than you told me I should push.” Edel chuckles weakly before groaning and holding her stomach. “I understand you both are angry with me, but as one request for this conversation, can we please just. Speak quietly, and give me time to put thoughts together. Everything hurts quite a bit more, and it feels like I have a constant headache that is just always on the peripherie.”
Celica frowns, gently rubs the gun in her pocket, and nods as she takes up a guard’s position right behind Marcy, keeping her eyes locked on Edel.
Marcy goes and grabs a wet rag. placing it on Edel’s forehead to help with the headache. “You’ve got a lot you need to say… I’ll take partial responsibility for this happening, given I knew your situation but…” She looked back at Celica frowning. “You just took someone's love away…”
Edel shook her head “You girls were too emotional, and did not hear me out earlier… Her memories are clouded right now to help her take in everything about being a queen. The more her mind processes that information, the more she will adapt and come back to who she is. Let’s just say, Queen Lucy, and Lucina are both the same person… but Lucina is asleep to help Queen Lucy process her capabilities. I may have gone too far, but she is the first human to queen conversion… and our minds must be capable of handling a lot about our biology, and the status of the hive.”
“I didn’t say she was gone forever, I just said you took her.” Marcy glares up at the woman. “This was a really important time for both of them and given ‘Lucy’ as you put it, is going to be looking fervently for Celica to breed as soon as she wakes up… you did more damage than you think.” She glimpses back at Celcia, noticing the bee’s hand in her jacket. “Being coerced like that could be one traumatic for Celica, and two when Lucina comes back traumatic to her.”
“I know, and that is why we are talking now.” Edel looks at Celica. “While our minds were together, I could feel her raw love and worry about you. Sure she is scared of things not working out, but I can tell you it is pure, just like the love shared between Marcy and Mist.” The queen takes a labored breath. “Yes, she will not be able to control her initial instincts, she WILL need to go through with it, and her control on her pheromones will basically be non-existent. This first time will be like a drug for you Celica, but after that, you should adjust to it. The best thing you can do, is to go in ready to go under, and just let your heart guide your body. Instead of your mind.” The guard weakly nods, remaining silent as she squeezes the gun a little tighter. “Once everything comes back to her, as long as you continue to show that you are ok with it, I believe Lucina will be fine.”
Marcy just sits out of the way at this point, observing the situation, before taking a deep breath. “Celica if you don’t want this you can tell me… we could have her just work with a volunteer tomorrow given her amnestic state.” She then looked back at Edel. “And if she decides to do this, you’re gonna show up to take care of both of them once it’s over.”
Edel nods, her face remaining mostly neutral as she finally has caught her breath. “I know, it is my job… my true last job to nurture the next queen.” Celica closes her eyes, and pulls the gun out, aiming it at Edel who simply smiles. “Celica, I know you are one of my royal guards, but I also know that you specialize in self-defense more than sheer offensive actions. If you feel like the only way to fix this is to shoot me, then shoot me. It may make Lucina’s recovery take a little longer, but I will accept that punishment.”
Celica tears up, slowly lowering the gun a little more. “Mom… why didn’t you wait, why didn’t you talk to all of us?”
Edel frowns, keeping her eyes on the gun. “Because Lucina wanted to talk to me. Without anyone else there, she pushed the issue, and I refuse to lie to anyone.” She pushes herself to sit up a little more. “In doing so, she began to panic, and things would have become worse, so I had to push earlier than I wanted. My original goal was to have her go through the week, then talk calmly about my condition, and remaining time, but I had to act then to ensure that there would be a next queen to save the hive.”
Marcy looks between the pair, grabbing the gun out of Celica’s hands. “Don’t lie to her…” She then points the gun at Edel, a look of deep rage in her eyes. “Tell her that you were drugging LUCINA!” She tears up. “Tell her that you were slipping her royal Jelly with my help!”
Edel nods. “I was, it was my personal test based on what I had observed in others. When she first grew so much fuzz, I knew I needed to sneak a little in to make sure. That is what solidified my surety that Lucina was capable of becoming a queen.” She looks Celica in the eyes. “You may not want to hear this, but I would do it all over again. To ensure that all of you have a future to look forward to. Once queens are dead, with no replacement, a sense of dread overcomes all in the hive. They will rapidly lose motivation to keep living, soon starving out. These choices are things that must weigh on a queen. I will never apologize for having done an action, though I will say I am sorry that it needed to happen.” She then looks at Marcy. “I will not ask for forgiveness, but I will ask once Lucina is ready, find a cure for the other queens. Your sister’s genetics now hold the key, and you just need to find a way to apply it. To save our species as a whole, and if you discover any other humans who qualify, try talking to them in a better way than I did, and line them up with the other hives if it will take too long.”
Marcy grips the gun screaming, and releases the magazine, throwing it into the wall. “FINE!” She then storms out of the room, leaving Celica and Edel alone for the first time since Lucina had arrived.
Edel just takes a deep breath relieved that Marcy hadn’t shot her, and sunk to this level. After a moment looking up at Celica frowning. “So… is there anything else you need to say to me? I’m gonna take care of Lucy then… in a few months I’ll pass, and you can hate me forever if you want… I’m sorry I had to ruin this for you. I do love you, sweetie.”
Celica tears up and runs up, flinging her arms around Edel. “I am mad and confused. But I cannot hate you. I’ll go and be there for Lucy. I want to have her first.” She sniffles a little bit. “I won’t hate you, on the condition that you try, genuinely, to make it up to Marcy. Your actions may be for the better of the hive, but Marcy is still a convert to us, and you used her, and her sister to get what was best for us.”
Edel nods, hugging Celica back. “I know I did… of all the things I’ve done to ensure this happened… hurting Marcy is the only one I would say I genuinely regret. Having her be part of the hive, and helping Mist and her have a child, was the happiest I had been in years, but when I learned about her sister… I knew what needed to be done. Despite how painful it would be for her.” She sighs, having to pull away and coughing into her hand for a minute. “I love Marcy like my own child… I just hope that when I pass she will be at my side, with the rest of you.”
Celica bites her lip, whimpering slightly. “Yeah, I think she will calm down once Lucina recovers.” She exhales sharply, standing up. “Mom, I think you need to go back to bed, I don’t think you want many others to see you like this.” The guard looks over at the gun, and picks it up along with the magazine, pocketing both in different pockets, before moving to lift Edel, showing her enhanced strength.
Edel sighs letting her daughter carry her due to her lack of energy at this point. “Yeah… it doesn’t matter much now, but I’d prefer not to have the drones see me like this. After all, they all rely on the stability we provide…” She shakes her head. “I didn’t wanna take that away from them.” Once they are back in the Queen’s chambers, Mist is zonked out on the bed with Lucy. The new queen releasing pheromones constantly in her sleep as the final changes have at this point wrapped up.
Celica shiveres, barely able to take it as she laid Edel down, before picking Mist up. “Ma’am… I’ll come back in the morning, I think I need to keep Mist away from Lucy right now though.” She whimpers a little bit, and gently brushes Lucy’s cheek. “I just need a little time to prepare myself.”
Mist as she was taken into Celica’s arms just whimpered. Curling up in the larger bee’s arms a massive blush covering her face even in her sleep. Edel nodded, moving over to pull Lucy into her arms. “I’ll bring her to the dining room myself in the morning. You go get your rest sweetie…”
Celica leaves the room, carrying the worker bee all the way to hers and Marcy’s room. She gives a little knock, and pushes the door open. “Mist is a little overwhelmed. Even in her sleep, Lucy can’t hold back her pheromones right now.” She sets Mist on the bed. “Nothing beyond that happened. I’ll be there for Lucy in the morning. Please take your time, and I think Edel and you need to talk a little more, but you do have some time left to have some space. Mom mentioned that she does really care about you, and regrets having you help her do something so bad.”
Marcy just wraps her arms around her partner without a word. Nestling into her back, and just taking deep breaths. “I can’t talk right now Celica… I’ll go talk to Edel when I feel ready… I’m sorry for facilitating this entire situation… I wish I never had.” She sniffles a bit, shaking her head.
“What's happened has happened. You could have gotten a better control on the situation, we could have sent Lucy a more detailed letter earlier. We could have all met her in the town and not in the hive to ease her into things. Edel could have been more gentle about everything, but we are past that. All we can do now is move forward, and make the best of what has happened. Sleep well, Marcy.” She closes the door and goes back to Lucy’s guest room, laying down on the bed and hugging Amy to her.
The next morning there’s an overwhelming sense of dread over everyone who knows what had happened the day before. Lucy is the first to wake up, both her stinger and abdomen feeling overflowing while also being far too empty. Her pheromones flood out as her wings buzz, only serving to spread them further. “Need… Celica…”
Edel gently hugs her, keeping Lucy in place. “I talked with her last night, she will be coming to have breakfast with you, sweetie.” She brushes the new queen’s hair gently. Meanwhile, Celica finishes refreshing Amy’s food, water, and cleaning her litter box, before leaving the room, and stopping by Mist and Marcy’s room, knocking before Mist opens the door, blush still staining her cheeks. “Oh, hello.”
Celica smiles “Hey, I’m going to go see Lucy, I don’t know how long we will be. Out of it, if you two could keep an eye on Amy, she is in the guest room across from my room right now.”
Marcy is hugging onto Mist’s back. “Sweetie, come back to bed. I’m not done with you yet~” She giggles a bit nuzzling into the larger bee partner’s fluff. Giving her ass a light squeeze.
Lucy wiggles around in her mother’s arms. “But I don’t wanna wait!” She grumbles as Edel pulls her in closer. “My whole body feels hot, and I need my MATE!” Her wings start buzzing more as she tries to break out, to go and find Celica.
Celica giggles, and waves at the pair able to tell they’ve been trying to work off last night’s effects all morning. “Have fun you two” As the door closes, and the two return to their fun, Celica stops by the kitchen, picking up two plates of waffles, and heading to the queen's private dining room.
Edel smiles, shaking her head. “Just wait, Celica is on her way, going to look for her right now would put the whole hive into a heat.” She guides Lucy into the attached dining room. “Also you two should eat first, to get your strength up.” The elder queen pushes Lucy into the large seat at the head of the table, and looks to the door when a bumping is heard. She walks over and opens it to Celica who smiles.
“Hey, I got us some breakfast, and you are looking a little more lively mom.” The queen grins, and switches places with Celica. “Eat up and have fun, you aren’t gonna get to leave for a while. I’ll check up on you two in a few hours.” The queen shuts the door behind her, leaving the pair in the room. “Hey there Lucy, are you doing ok?”
Lucy is wiggling around in the seat as she looks at Celica. “I feel hot and needy.” She looks at the plates of waffles, licking her lips. “Now please come bring that over to your queen, so I can fill up.” Celica is able to instantly feel the pheromones once the door closes, Lucy’s buzzing swirling the scent around the room.
Celica chuckles, remembering to just go with the flow to make it mentally easier on her. “Of course, my beautiful queen.” As she gets close, she sets the larger plate of waffles down in front of Lucy, and her own smaller plate at the seat next to her, looking into Lucy’s eyes and smiling. “There may be more gold there, but I still see my Lucy all buried inside of you.” She leans in and kisses Lucy on the cheek, taking a breath and pulling back a little. “Now let me eat up, then we can take care of all your needs.”
Lucy lets a little squeak out, before kissing Celica back. “Celica, is mate correct?” She grabs a fork, shoving one of the waffles into her mouth. Devouring the entire thing almost instantly. “Waffles good… reminds me of my first breakfast with mate…” She smiles softly, buzzing a bit more to waft more pheromones in her partner’s face.
Celica finishes half her meal, and blushes. “Y-yeah, we did have these first.” She shudders, and starts to chomp down the rest of her meal, trying to finish before she loses herself to the feeling. “Lucy, I just need you to focus on one thing. Feel deep deep down to the bottom of your heart.” She bites her lip. “I want you to feel that in your deepest part you want us to be mates, I want to be, but I want you to be absolutely sure Lucy.”
Lucy nods rapidly, devouring the remainder of her waffles. Once she is done Lucy stands up looming over Celica at her new 9ft height. A soft but lust-filled expression on her face. “You are the only thing that Lucy feels no fear around… you make Lucy feel warm here.” She put a hand on her heart, before leaning down to kiss Celica.
Celica smiles, leaning up to kiss Lucy sweetly, before pulling back. “Well, I’m going to miss being the bigger one, but I can work with this.” She slips her jacket off, giving in to the intense pheromones, whimpering and wiggling. “So my queen, how may I serve you.” She gently drags her fingers through Lucy’s fuzz.
Lucy giggles lightly, pulling Celica into her arms. “Mate… fill you with my first Brood.” She smiles wide, nuzzling Celica possessively. She then carries Celica over to the large seat, starting to gently peel Celica’s clothes off. “Just tell me when you are full, and enjoy the process~” She pulls Celica against her bust, sliding her fingers down to rub at the bee’s ovi. Noticing that it had been out the entire time, and grinning. “Mate Celica is excited… this is good~”
Celica squeaks, blushing and nodding slightly. “Of course I am excited, it’s you… and you are sure that deep down you want this too.” She quickly grabs the last bit of waffle from her plate, finishing it as quickly as possible. “There we go, all full.” She presses up against Lucy. “I would love to start now if you are ready Lucy.” She kisses the new queen. “I love you.”
Lucy nods excitedly, leaning down to nibble on Celica’s neck. Her fingers sliding a little lower down to Celica’s slit. Slowly pushing in with her middle two, starting to spread her fingers to loosen her mate up. At the same time, she shifts moving her stinger from behind her to between her legs. Balancing Celica on top of it once she has adjusted.
Celica moans out and blushes, shifting a bit before sliding a little down the queen’s stinger. “Oh my, this is more than I’ve taken in my personal playtime, my queen.” She gasps a bit as she squeezes down on the stinger. “Use me, to your heart’s content, Lucy.” She smiles wide, feeling the last of her will slipping away. “I want to have your children.”
Lucy leans in capturing Celica’s lips with her own. Shoving her tongue into her mouth, while moving her hands to support Celica’s back, and neck. As she did this her stinger opens into an ovipositor as large almost football-sized eggs began to slide up, and into Celica’s pussy. The first egg popping inside leaving a large lump in Celica’s belly.
Celica’s eyes widen as she spreads her legs as far as she can manage, groaning as her body accepts the first of many, part of what is natural to her. “Th-thank you, Lucy, I love you so much” She smiles and weakly reaches up, resting her hands on Lucy’s cheeks as she does her best to loosen her muscles, allowing for easy implantation of the eggs that her new queen was giving her.
Lucy whimpers as another egg slides out of her, and into Celica. The overwhelming need she is experiencing decreasing with each egg that she implants in her mate. “I love you too Celcy.” She nuzzles Celica as the second egg fully goes inside the bee. Moving her free hand down Lucy starts to gently pet the large bump. “Three more my mate. Can you handle that?”
Celica smiles, and nods rapidly, tears of joy leaking out of her eyes. Craving nothing more than having her mates full intentions to come to fruition. “Like I told you when we first met, I was an attempt at a queen, so all of us royal guards are princesses technically. Our bodies are adapted to hold more eggs than normal. I don’t think I’ll be able to move on my own with three more, but I can take every one, Lucy.” She licks her lips. “Now fill me to the brim.”
Lucy lets out a labored breath as egg after egg slides into Celica’s body. Up until all five had made space for themselves in her womb. Once she was done Lucy gently pulls her stinger out. It closes itself back up as she holds Celica in her arms bridal style, to support the now heavily weighed down mother of her future children. “Many new Queens will be born… All thanks to you.”
Celica smiles, and rubs her belly. “I know mother did things in not a great way, but I am thrilled to carry your children Lucy, we will help expand a nice, healthy hive that can make things better out in the world.” She nuzzles into Lucy’s fuzz, quietly breathing in the scent of her new queen. “I love you so much.”
“I love you too, my beloved Celcy.” After taking a few deep breaths Lucy stands up, carrying Celica over to the door, managing to easily push it open with the back of her foot thanks to her new increased strength. Most of her pheromones have been burnt out by the hour-long process of laying. “Now let’s get you in bed, safe and snug.”
Celica gently kisses Lucy’s neck as she’s carried over. “Of course my queen. Before I came I made sure Amy was taken care of too.” She lets out a groan as Lucy sets her in the queen’s bed. “So comfy, and I get to see my beloved while being comfortable too.” She closes her eyes, and yawns a little bit.
Lucy gently pets Celica as she sits on the corner of the bed. “There you go, sweetie.” She leans in, kissing Celica’s forehead. “You’ll stay here until the brood is ready to be born in a few months. I hope mother is alive to meet them all, once at least.” She then gets up out of the bed, heading towards the door, always keeping one eye on Celica to make sure the eggs aren’t making her uncomfortable.
Celica curls up, and holds her belly as she falls asleep. The door quietly opens, and Edel peaks inside. “Hey sweetie, did everything go ok?” The queen glances at the bed and smiles. “She looks so happy. Are you feeling up to walking around the hive some?”
Lucy takes Edel’s hand, smiling softly. “Yes, mother… It feels nice to have my mate safe in bed.” She moves outside the door, before gently shutting it so as to not wake Celica back up. “Our first brood is going to be 5 little queens strong…” She looks up at Edel, worry clear in her eyes. “Will you be around to meet them?”
Edel smiles gently nodding. “I will try to hold on just long enough, as long as I take it really easy from now on.” She rubs Lucy’s back. “Top priority is making sure you are ready, but I will do my very best to hold on for you.” She weakly guides Lucy down the hall, nodding to the Royal guards as 4 take position outside the door, and 2 begin to follow them.
Lucy looks at the guards that are following them. Feeling odd that she’s now important enough to need to be guarded. “So… are people really gonna try to hurt me from now on? I know they hurt you…” She pressed into Edel’s side, the idea of being without her mother, with new people causing a slight fear spike from her shifted fears.
“I don’t think so, but I am not taking any chances either. You do not need to fear inside the hive.” She rubs Lucy’s back. “I promise.” She guides the way to the throne room, to begin showing Lucy everything about being a queen.
Lucy nodd, taking a deep breath and sitting down on the throne. A tingling, almost anticipation swelling in her stomach as her mother began to go through the different parts of the hive that needed to be managed on a daily basis. “Thank you… it’s just not having Mate Celica, or sister Marcy, around gives me large amounts of anxiety… while I know I need to lead them, they give advice I can trust.”
Edel grins slightly, nodding and looking at the small queen sitting on her old throne. “I understand that… they are very good for other points of view, just remember, sometimes as queen, you will need to make very hard decisions… sometimes you will have to do a bad thing in the first place in order to do what is right for the hive.” She sighs. “Marcy is actually pretty mad at me over a bad thing I did recently.”
“I know that… I know sometimes others won’t understand… I know Lucina wouldn’t have wanted me to be born.” Lucy takes a deep breath, before looking Edel in the eyes, smiling softly. “But I’m happy I’m me now. I’m happy I get to be with my mate, and sister without reservation. Lucina was blinded by her fear, but with the clarity you gave me, I want to surpass what she could do, and be more.”
Edel sighed “I shifted Lucina’s fear to that of outside… because I can’t get rid of phobia altogether.” She looks down. “Marcy is mad that I forced the issue with Lucina in the first place, and after you adjust, you and Lucina will gradually come back together. Right now it is more like the Lucina part of you is asleep. If that makes sense.”
“I know… I’ve noticed the difference mostly in my vocal patterns.” Lucy sighs looking at the door to the throne room. “Should I go speak with Sister Marcy? While I don’t think it will remove her anger at the situation, I do believe seeing me will at least help her calm to a more reasonable state.”
“Yeah, Mist should have worked out your unintentional pheromones from when she watched over you, while I talked to Marcy last night.” Edel sits down, almost nervous to see Marcy again. “Do you want me to come, or do you want to do this part on your own?”
“I believe it would be best for me to speak with her alone. She holds resentment for you, but will likely at worst, only pity my current state.” Lucy pushes herself up off the throne, buzzing her wings and starting to tentatively fly towards the door. Wanting to give herself practice with these new limbs.
Edel slowly sits down on the throne and watches as Lucy leaves her behind. Once outside, one of the guards follows Lucy. “I will give you space with your sister, but it is probably for the best that one of us stays nearby.”
Lucy nods, bowing slightly. “Thank you this will likely be emotional, so having guards is important.” She then walks down the halls. Heading over to Mist’s room, before gently knocking on the door a few times. “Oh, I hope they are alright.” Inside Mist is in bed with her belly swollen from one egg that Marcy had managed to implant in her during their heat.
Marcy looks over at the door, and freezes up a little bit. “S-sis?”
Mist smiles, and waves. “Come on in, we were just talking about you.”
Marcy blushes, and looks back at Mist. “It’s embarrassing!” The natural-born bee rolls her eyes. “And you need to talk with Lucy to feel better emotionally, embarrassment aside.”
Lucy rolls her eyes, leaning down and lifting her sister into her arms. Walking over, and sitting down next to Mist. “I see I’m not the only one who laid a brood today. Good for you sis, giving your mate a chance to experience what you had.” She leans in, kissing Marcy on the forehead before sighing. “So… what do you want to know, that could help you feel more comfortable?”
Marcy looks Lucy over slowly, before pulling her into a hug, squeezing. “Don’t you ever scare me by doing that again.” She nuzzles into the queen’s chest a bit, tears leaking out. “Do you have any idea how terrified I was, when you went to talk to Edel alone?”
Lucy nods gently, stroking the smaller bees’ hair. “I know sis but I also knew that going in alone would be the safest for everyone else I care about. Think about it, you all are bees. You would fall instantly to the queen’s pheromones, if I had brought anyone with me. I wanted to deal with things myself to protect all of you…” She sighed, using a finger to tilt Marcy’s head up slightly. “Because that’s what a queen has to do… take care of others, even in ways that would be painful for her.”
Marcy tears up some more. “But sis didn’t want to become this. She was scared, and I made a mistake that made her get in this situation in the first place. My mistake made you, even if you would have eventually been in the first place.”
Lucy nods solemnly, wiping the tears off of Marcy’s cheeks. “Yes she was, she was scared of losing herself, of losing her sister and the person that she had just become interested in romantically. While she didn’t want this to happen… she knew that it would if she went inside that room. She could have just gone back to grab Celica, and run… but she didn’t. She confronted mother, and that was her choice… she probably was hoping to get the queen to see reason… but we all know that probably wouldn’t happen.”
“Because there really was no time left to run another round of tests, and find another viable person to change… not with the time she has left.” Marcy pulled Lucy to her small table where the two sat down. “So, The parts of Lucina are all asleep except for what is on the surface being you right now right? Do you know how long until all of that wakes back up?”
“Probably once my brood is born. I need to learn from Mother as much as I can until she passes. Then ‘Lucina’ will begin to slowly reemerge, with all of the issues that our change entails.” Lucy sighs, squeezing Marcy gently. “I am still your sister… even if my memories of everything outside here are blurred. I still will always love you.”
Marcy nods, unable to bring herself to look at Lucy, “I love you too sis… I’m sorry for pulling you into this in the first place.”
Mist pulls herself out of bed and walks over to hug Marcy from behind. “Marcy here is mad at herself as much as she is at Edel for what happened.”
Lucy tisks a few times, before nuzzling Marcy’s cheek. “Sis I know you were just doing what you could to keep our family together. You wouldn’t have done any of this unless you knew it was the only way.” She leans in, kissing Marcy’s forehead. “It’s ok to feel bad… but I’m never ever leaving you again. I’m sorry I was gone for so long in the first place.”
Marcy whimpers and nods. “Thank you sis… thank you.” She smiles gently. “We haven’t gone to check on Amy yet, I’m sure she would love to see you. Anyone and any animal with the antibody have some bee in them… so she should respond well.”
“Hehe yeah, I wanna see my little kitten.” Lucy giggles standing up, and taking Marcy’s hand. “Alright let’s head over there, and check on her. Probably move her into the queen’s chambers… and also hopefully mother will have clothes for me by the time we arrive. Walking around nude is rather undignified, even for Lucina’s standards.”
Mist and Marcy both giggle, before Mist hugs both. “Sounds like a plan. I’m fine moving a bit with just one egg in me.” She grins. “Are you excited for Robin to have a sibling, Marcy?”
Marcy blushes and nods, smiling wide while fantasizing about her happy family.
“Alright, come on, we got a cat to pick up.” Mist grins, leading the two sisters out of the room, seeing the guard casually waiting for them.
Lucy gently pets the guard’s hair. “Thank you for waiting here for us.” She smiles softly, before taking the lead, walking everyone down into the guest rooms. Opening her old door, and needing to hunch down to get through the doorway given it stopped a foot ago. “Wow, my old room is tiny.” On her own, Lucy took up almost a third of the room, before anyone else even entered the room. “Why do I have a feeling I’ll have this issue with most places.”
“To be fair, you are around 50% taller than most ‘tall’ people as is.” Marcy said quietly, looking around a bit. “Bees can fit in tight spaces for their size, but you really are pushing that limit for sure.” A mewling is heard as the little cat runs up and purrs, pressing into the queen’s legs.
“Mother says I still have another foot to grow before I’m done too.” Lucy giggles, leaning down, and pulling the kitten into her arms. “And here’s mommy’s little princess.” She nuzzles Amy gently, before crouching to get out of the room.
Marcy quietly picks up the bed and litter box, before handing the light items to Mist. Once that is done she grabs the bag of cat food, and follows Lucy out on the way to the queen’s room. Once there, Celica gently waves from the bed as she is happily being pet by Edel who grins at the group. “Hello sweetie, we got a dress made for you.”
“Thank you, not having any clothes, while freeing, isn’t the best for garnering a reputation of being anywhere near respectable.” Lucy smiles at Celica walking over, and laying Amy down next to the woman. “There we go sweetie, now you can protect your new mommy.” She then walks over to the dressing room that is linked into the room. Seeing a smaller bee who has just finished altering one of Edel’s dresses to fit the new queen. It was in a black and purple striped pattern with golden borders. “Thank you dear, this looks lovely.” Lucy smiles down at the bee giving them a kiss on the forehead before starting to slip into the dress.
The bee smiles happily and nodded “Of course my queen. This was the quickest I could put together, though Queen Edel brought me the clothes you seemed to like from before your change. They belong to princess Celica, but I’ll be working on making some copies in your size if you wish to have them as a design as well.”
Lucy nods while patting the dress down. “Yes please dear, I would love to have the ability to match with my mate when we are relaxing.” She then gives a gentle hug, before walking out of the room. Happy to have not overwhelmed the smaller bee with her pheromones. “Alright everyone, how do I look?”
Celica claps lightly. “You look amazing Lucy!”
Edel smiles “You look prepared for the position, lovely.”
Marcy and Mist both smile and nod “You are stunning sis.” She turns to Mist “Let’s go to the nursery and pick up Robin, then meet up at the throne room.”
Mist nods and takes Marcy’s hand, walking out of the room, and towards the nursery. Lucy then walks over and picks Celica up, kissing her partner deeply, before pulling back and starting to head towards the throne room. “You aren’t gonna be out of my or mother’s sight once, not until the little ones are born.” She giggles lightly, before heading out into the halls, and over to the throne room. Noticing the slightly smaller seat that is more like a cushion next to the throne. “I’m going to assume that’s where my mate can lay while we deal with everything.”
Edel giggles and nods. “I made sure to have this set up to be as comfortable as possible for her.”
Celica giggles and hugs against Lucina’s chest, nuzzling into her bust slightly. “I love you, sweetie, worrying so much about me, when all I want to do is make sure you are ok too.”
“You can care for me when it’s my turn to carry the brood.” Lucy smiles gently, laying Celica on the cushions, and grabbing a blanket to cover her up. “There’s my big strong princess. All cozy next to me while I work.” She then steps over to the throne taking a deep breath, as she sits down and takes on a more serious expression. The weight in her chest returning as she is again faced with the fact everyone here will soon be her responsibility.
Edel rests a hand on her shoulder. “You have this sweetie, I believe in you.” Soon Mist and Marcy return, carrying Robin, the little bee buzzing in her mother’s arms while the pair look at the queens, before Edel motions to some seats to the side with nice cushions, the pair taking their places at Lucy’s side.