How About No?

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Peregrin
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How About No?

Post by Peregrin » Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:14 pm

Yes, watching a couple of X-Files episodes gave me the idea to repost this oneshot which I expanded into a mini-arc.

Chapter 1: No, Not the Bees!

"Bees?"

Karen Salinas peered over the headlines of the newspaper handed her by her Blacksuit "minder" Clarisse Lewyn, wondering what business a Pointwatcher had investigating unreliable reports of gigantic, vaguely bee-like monsters.

With the voice of a schoolteacher eagerly awaiting the day's last workhour while educating an increasingly disinterested classroom, Clarisse replied: "We could have a genuine Byakhee sighting."

A certain chunky Ashkenaz Jewish boy roughly the same age as the Karen currently looking at the tabloid in equal parts bemusement and irritation extrapolated: "Neither crows, moles, bees, gargoyles, owls, winged cats nor elephant seals or even groundhogs... speaking of groundhogs, why is it exactly Groundhog day that the time loop in that movie occurs on? Because it's a rather obscure holiday so the people looking for the movie in the video store wouldn't rent The Valentine's Day Massacre instead by accident, or that-"

Karen's gaze now changed targets from the sensationalist rag to Kenny (as the hyperactive Jew was called) and it wasn't friendly. "The thing is that Byakhees don't exactly look like bees either... and the crosspoint that opened last night didn't have anything to do with any bees yet?"

Standing taller and blonder than anyone in the Miskatonic Area Blacksuit Team, even the skinny guy with a sentient extradimensional claw for a left hand, Clarisse explained laconically: "I'll admit it, I don't understand it either but I have orders from above to investigate it. The SDI is busy investigating possible hints at the resurgence of-"

"Yeah, yeah, I get it already. The giant bee-oids were seen nearby the newest crosspoint and X follows Y, we can't afford not to investigate because the Dreamlands are poorly explored by humans, yadda yadda yadda. Let's get it done anyway."

Max Li, as the boy with the spiky demigod for a hand was called, very much looked like he was about to call Karen a bitch but only refrained because... well, there were bigger threats to him (and bitchier girls) in the world than Karen.


"I wonder if they know what we're really doing."

Max sounded like he didn't expect anything else than a rhetorical answer from the other passengers of the Black Helicopter except possibly Kenny, who was humming a piece of music that reminded Max of some movie he had seen a while ago. Or at least, Kenny hummed it until Karen silenced him with a slap. If there was one observation that Max had made the most often during his tenure as a Blacksuit, it was that everything seems to piss Karen off. She would be rather cute if "everything crankier than everyone else" wasn't her default attitude.

"Of course, as usual I'm the only one who takes things seriously other than goofing off like a mechanical doll that hasn't been rewound or walking and talking exactly like an idiot savant version of Ralph Fucking Wiggum."

"Hate to say it, but you're wrong, Karen. I'm just not as much into petty infighting as you are. I also believe that we're officially visiting some sort of therapy centre we've volunteered to, or something."

She seemed conflicted in the look she now gave Max, or at least just expressing some sort of frighteningly casual revulsion at... well, just existing. For approximately time 10,191 in his life, he wondered whether or not Karen was very distantly related to that one-eyed French girl. They certainly had a lot of common in terms of personality.

The BH-53's pilot then announced something about a zeppelin refusing to identify itself being in the vicinity and a complete lack of apparent contact with the village below, as if it had been hit by a power shorta-

A sudden spread of thuds against the sides of the helicopter ricocheted in a metallic clanger from all sides as the craft shook from side to side.

Kenny panicked. "OY VEY! What the hell is going on?"

The pilot answered: "Giant man-bee things attacking! There's one obscuring the windshield right now!"

"Can't you try to land?"

All Karen Salinas could think about right now as the helicopter spiralled downwards in a barely successful attempt to land was how appropriate a microcosm of her life this moment was. Every time it appears to have hit rock bottom, things suddenly become ten times worse. If only my teammates hadn't been a brain-damaged nerd and an emotionless dweeb with a space god for a hand, then it would at least be tolerable more than a couple of days a year, but apparently the universe decided to hate me as soon as I started at the Academy. This day, though, it seemed to be spectacularly worse - maybe it had something to do with the new make of cornflakes they had started eating at the school?

She also noticed that the pilot was squabbling with some red-taper in the other end of Massachusetts, Clarisse sighed as a tacit admittance of how hopeless the situation was. Pretty much everyone could understand that the best thing about this was that... well, it could have been a lot worse even when Kenny's head hit the side of the windowless helicopter cabin, knocking him unconscious.

"See? What did I say? Just as it seems like it can't get worse, it doesn't."

"You didn't actually say that today, Karen."

"Shut the fuck up."

The helicopter pilot's argument with some military bureaucrat (probably SDI or even Black Light, an obscure branch of the US military authorized to assist in operations usually known only to the more secret agencies like SDI, Blacksuits or the even more mysterious Pluto Institute) ended as a chitinous limb tore open the supposedly bulletproof front window with a deafening echo shrieking cacophonically through the compressed-space enhanced interior of the helicopter as it suddenly fell some metres down on the hard ground.

Both Clarisse and Max were now basically knocked out - if still conscious, then both very much hurting by how much they had been thrown around by the turbulence, testing the seatbelts' ability to restrain. Yup, we are most definitely near a fuck-up zone. The merest shadow of such a doubt drowned as the multifaceted rattle of noise echoing throughout the helicopter changed to one of buzzing, splattering and a shriek of: "No, not the bees! NOT IN THE FACE! WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE BEES... IN THE FACE? NOT IN THE FACE!"

"Don't worry, you other guys... I'll do it myself." With those words, Karen let loose the seatbelts. To be honest, she felt some relief that she had to do this on her own and not with the annoying rest of the team.

There it was, right in front of her. Something of distinctly mutated countenance, a many-limbed insectoid abomination charged forwards with an infernal buzz of wings, bee-like horrors flanking the obscene hybrid. Leaping up through the room in a low-angle curve to grip a railing with her hands, Karen delivered a powerful kick with both feet to a head disturbingly humanoid for something at the end of a giant mutant bug. As sprays of blackish-purple ichor, chunks of carapace and gleaming eye segments flew through the helicopter's dark interior, Karen pulled out a certain modified Colt Python from a compressed-space pocket to hold loose the hammer while pressing the trigger.

With each gunshot, a monstrous insect the size of a small cat fell to the helicopter's floor with the distinct sound of hard carapace and icky fluids splattering across the room echoing throughout. Seeing more insects, both the cat-sized ones and the quasihumanoid hybrid atrocities swarming the inside of the helicopter, Karen lept elegantly in a randomized yet pattern across the cavernous interior of the downed helicopter, weaving an echoing symphony of punches using the still white-hot handgun as a club, kicks and offensively applied jumps that splattered overgrown monster bees against walls and making explosions of ichor-smattered chunks of carapace and insectoid organs flying in all directions out of winged nightmares neither vertebrate nor invertebrate.

By the time a high-serenaded salvo of high kicks and furious elbow kicks split an entomoform monstrosity into two, the seemingly dead pilot now staggered towards the ichor-soaked schoolgirl like a plaguebearing mutant . The slimy shards of carapace still sticking in her hair fuelling her rage by further ruining the hair she spent a lot of time dressing up herself this morning, she somersaulted up in another angle to land with the Colt Python just a few centimetres away from bashing the pilot's skull in.

"You know, maybe there is a cure."

Sickly, sticky slime drooling from the infected pilot's mouth as his shape seemed to have taken the first step in metamorphosis towards a bee. "But you know, Karen... in the meantime you might have to let me harvest the nerve-pollen of your BRRRAAAIIIIIINNNNSSSSS!"

Another gunshot, this one from a hasty reload done within less than two seconds and the cabin of the black helicopter was literally splattered with human headcheese and gooey wet pieces of brain quickly dissolving into some sort of strange greenish mass Karen had never, ever seen before.

Feeling something distinctly nonhuman materialize nearby, Karen turned behind and so - lo and behold, two Greys both wielding retro-spaceguns straight out of The Jetsons.

"It would be much appreciated if you two guys started respecting the border between different types of reali-"

One of the neotenous visitors apparently being smarter in this sitation than her, it aimed its unidentified gun directly at Karen only to have her leap with lightning speed in a many-angled arc through the helicopter. Within three seconds, the very same Grey's head was sent rolling off its dystrophied body with a powerful kick. The bloodied stump sprayed a sickly-smelling fountain of nonterran blood in several seconds afterwards, the alien fluids soon dripping from the floor of the helicopter cockpit. The other Grey was absolutely terrified, not being able to react before a swing with a still-hot gun hit it between the eyes, causing it to collapse dead.

Suddenly, Clarisse and Max arrived sleepily in the cockpit, surprised at finding two fresh Grey corpses (one decapitated) in the cockpit.

Max then went: "I understand that... but the bee creatures?"

For the very first time, Max got the impression that something was seriously wrong with Karen's mind. As if she had completely changed, mentally and physically - it certainly wasn't within her capabilities to absolutely massacre a group of creatures like the mutated insect-people this easily.

"Shut up. I just killed them, that's what. Apparently, if you get stung by them you turn into one of them as the pilot shows."

Clarisse gasped, shocked. "You... you killed the pilot?"

"He attacked me, looked like he was turning into a giant bee and said that he would eat my brains. Tell me what else I could have done?"


The Miskatonic Area Blacksuit Response Team stepped out of their crashed helicopter.

"My head hurts. It feels like my brain has been replaced by antifreeze, sorta like French people do to wine in order to make it taste better. Did you know that... urghh... that in old times, licorice was made with whale blood?"

Kenny was the last to jump out, following the other three through the clearing which he sensed was full of Dreamlands creatures behind every corner. More of the insectiform mutants appeared in the sky to fall from a flurry of gunfire from Kenny's akimbo .500s-

With only a faint hum, a beam of light from between the wood lanced from the crown of one of the trees, wounding Kenny's left arm.

"AAAAARRGHHHH!"

Discharging two bullets from the gun in his right hand into the tree crown where the beam came from, a groaning Kenny saw a Grey clutching a futuristic-looking sniper rifle falling like a ragdoll from the very tree.

Then, suddenly, an infernal buzzing deafened all other sound as a literal cloud of the gigantic infector bees swarmed forth to swamp Karen Salinas, who reacted by becoming a human whirlwind tearing into the horde of bees like a cornered predator, standing above a mountain of dead giant bees within half a minute but now with at least two stings on her body.

"This... is the worst day of my life. I'm soon turning into a giant fucking bee. Go ahead and kill me."

Clarisse rushed to the angry, somewhat depressed Karen to attempt to remove the stingers.

"I'll see what I- I mean, we can do." Max joined too, trying to get them out with Lefty, the symbiotic creature that was his left hand.

"Erm... Max and Clarisse, those bees had barbless stingers."

A fifth voice, clearly female, interrupted from afar: "Curses! Unfortunately for me, you don't have to worry about becoming one of my precious messengers!"

That woman, wearing a black/yellow striped jumpsuit and a bizarre-looking helmet, ran towards the MABRT from inside the forest.

"Damn you, Karen! Once I finally have teamed up with the Dreamlanders to remake the plague that is humankind in the image of my beloved bees, you not only ruin it but turn out to be the dreaded Bee-Slayer foretold in legend!"

"Bee-Slayer? What the hell are you on about, Alex?"

"STOP CALLING ME THAT!"

The woman in the strange outfit, whom Karen now recognized as supervillainess Queen Bee, threw a punch at the teenaged monster hunter only to turn around in confusion, finding out that she now stood behind her.

"You need to practise some more, Ms. Gale."

A certain non-human claw then tore a gash through Queen Bee's back, prompting her to turn around again, throwing a punch against Max while commanding another swarm of cat-sized bees in his direction.

"Do you know, Professer Elder God-For-A-Hand, how much these jumpsuits cost?"

Max pulled a Glock from his pocket to shoot down the bees, then fired the last bullet at Queen Bee, who let loose an air-shattering shriek and a lament of: "Fuck! You... ughhh... ahhhh.... are another Bee-Slayer too?"

Queen Bee groaned further as she removed the bullet from the wound with her own hands, muttering something about an ancient prophecy by the priests of He Who Must Not Be Named, while sensing Karen's .357 Python pointed right at the back of her head and the words: "Move the slightest, Queenie, and it'll suddenly hurt a lot more."

Karen's devilish smile turned into an expression of total bemusement as the wounded supervillainess answered with absolutely no irony: "I'm okay with that."

As Queen Bee finished those words, a flying saucer painted in yellow and black stripes swept down upon the clearing and she vanished into the air. Her voice now sounded from the saucer's speakers, vaguely distorted: "Remember... this is not the last you have seen of the alliance between the Dreamlanders and Queen Bee!"

The sound of approaching helicopters undoubtedly belonging to Black Light grew louder as the bee-striped flying saucer zapped away, all members of the MABRT seeing some of the helicopters give pursuit of the saucer.

"Is the Black Helicopter still salvageable? I mean, we still have another one in spare but we're running out of funding these days..."

Clarisse sighed as she looked up at the UH-60 Blackhawk descending to pick the MABRT, Karen quipping: "Today's lesson: With great power comes a life that absolutely sucks."
Last edited by Peregrin on Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you." - Heraclitus

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Peregrin
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Re: How About No?

Post by Peregrin » Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:15 pm

Chapter 2: The Geometry Files

Alexandra Gale, known under a host of pseudonyms as well as her supervillainess Nom de Guerre Queen Bee, was quite used to things not going quite the way she wanted. Yet, she had been more or less successful with one thing: Keeping the ties between her supervillainous activities and her various legitimate business enterprises completely invisible.

Considering that this was no small feat at all, she was extremely proud of this and had always been so... and that made it all the more terrifying that this day she had gotten an e-mail from someone who not only knew her real name but also claimed to know that all such fatal information could soon very well fall into the hands of the FBI, offering to help her prevent this happening as long as she answered within the next twelve hours, either by e-mail or in the GuerillaDay chatorum.

Her first thought was that this could already have happened and the e-mail might very well have been a trap. In fact, she had already started writing down a list of potential candidates for the "puppet master" on a notepad with a novelty pen. It didn't help that last night she had a somewhat ominous dream that involved seeing her reflection in a lake suddenly come to life, then turning into an owl and back to human again.

"Evadamic_axis@bunyip.skh? Doesn't have to be a Skyhavenite, all it shows is that-"

She googled the cryptic term evadamic axis, discovering it to be associated with UFOs and human-like, benign extraterrestrials. Her first speculation was that it could be the Theosophist, a Blacksuit or even Casanova. Another possibility was that it could not mean anything at all.

Then, there was the next option... the GuerillaDay Chatorum.

*ApisMellifera has entered GuerillaDay chatorum*

ApisMellifera: Who e-mailed me today about the FBI digging into Merope Agriculture's background?

Question-n-A: That would be me. It's really an accident that I became aware of this.

A_for_Anarchy: ApisMellifera = Queen Bee?

ApisMellifera: YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT

Ultraviolent: Good afternoon to you, Ms. Gale.

ApisMellifera: Now, exactly what happened=

River_Ayanami: The dogs dug up the shrubberies and the white stone because they heard noise from beneath, but not before the little pixie who was beneath the stone had scattered all her playmates who also around the garden so that the dogs could not maul them, and the ball that they were playing with in the shadow of the white stone. One of the dogs, when he dug up the shrubbery, accidentally ate a bug and found out that one of the cookies the little pixie and her friends had left behind tasted like bug.

ApisMellifera: There's no way you could have typed that in a single second. I don't know what you're trying to say either.

Question-n-A: R_A doesn't type with her fingers but with her aura, that's why.

A_for_Anarchy: Also, it's a bit difficult to decipher what she says since she has her head way up in the clouds. Then again, it's more or less the same deal with Maoists.

River_Ayanami: The Queen of Badness is a big blue meanie. She mocks my innocence and beauty.

Question-n-A: Anyway, Sandra

ApisMellifera: Okay, it IS you.

Question-n-A: Have you heard of Black Light? Military unit clearing up the recent ruckus involving you and Greys in MA. One of them was either dumb or crazy enough to barbecue parts of one of the mutant zom-bees he brought home.

ApisMellifera: I might have heard Black Light mentioned once or twice. One of their soldiers actually managed to get permission to... wait a second, isn't that technically kind of cannibalism?

Question-n-A: Tasted surprisingly like Grandma Karen's Cupcakes, to which secret ingredient is honey from one of Sandra's patented GMO bee species. Well, as much as meat could taste like that.

A_for_Anarchy: I was about to ask "Do you even know what's in that stuff?", but I guess you knew...

River_Ayanami: That soldier was a bad, bad man.

ApisMellifera: Let me guess... someone from the FBI then got to analyze it and found a chemical similarity to the special honey?

Ultraviolent: You are a very bright woman, Ms. Gale. And I do not mean this ironically.

ApisMellifera: You know that makes you sound even more sarcastic?

Ultraviolent: Sorry.

River_Ayanami: Don't take Infra too seriously, it just wants you to be its nice big sister.

Ultraviolent: Sorry, I lost my last social skill over ten years ago. And River, you're creeping me out.

Question-n-A: "Big sister"? Yuck.

ApisMellifera: Anyway, what can we do to snatch the info out of the feds' hands?

Question-n-A: Remember, their evidence so far is rather shaky. What they have is incriminating enough that they are afraid of hackers deleting it. However, guess what happened to the plane carrying it?

ApisMellifera: It crashed, don't act like I'm some sort of genius for thinking so while other women are too stupid to figure that out

Question-n-A: Near Brockley, Texas. The aircraft, if I haven't been misinformed, also contains a couple of other things both of us would find interesting.

ApisMellifera: Are you hitting on me?



Some hours later, a civilian helicopter buzzes through the sky over Brockley, Texas.

"The bee-striped saucer didn't have a cloaking device?"

"Question-n-A", whom Alexandra Gale finally had met in person, turned out to be a rather indistinct-looking white guy who nonetheless looked vaguely familiar to her. Basically, it was the sort of person she thought of every time she heard the time "government spook"... except a bit off. It didn't help that he insisted wearing the same fedora every second of the day, much like that bisexual Johnny Depp look-alike she went to high school with.

"No. I think the Dreamlanders are cheap."

The man, whom Alexandra assumed to be the legendary "Tinfoil Hatter", looked concerted. "As a rule, most of the trustworthy Greys are Orionians. I wish saying this wasn't true, but a trustworthy Dreamlander is a very rare occurrence."

Looking down, Alexandra saw National Guard forces going to and fro around Brockley in their Humvees and erecting anti-aircraft emplacements. The helicopter's communication system speakers now played a definite request to leave the airspace around Brockley.

"What? I was scheduled to have a business meeting with Eli Carreiras, of the local corporation Carreiras & Sullivan Enterprises, and I'm two minutes late."

"There's been a confirmed crash of a military aircraft carrying bio-organic weapons. The community is being closed off for the meantime until the possible contamination of the area is no longer considered a threat."

The message made Alexandra Gale very suspicious, not at all reminding her of the procedural she was familiar with whenever something like this had happened - and she had done her research into how such things happen. You had to do when you were reliant upon keeping lots of stuff secret.

"Something is telling me that those aren't real National Guard people you're talking with."

The Tinfoil Hatter glanced back at Alexandra, adding: "One thing we have to do: Fly so low that radars can't see."

"You're sure that even works? I swear I saw that one cracked by Mythbusters once..."

"Recent discoveries, although suppressed by the military-industrial complexes of the world AND the Technotheocracy, indicate that things may not necessarily be so. The first we need is to have the helicopter stall-"

Alexandra was thrown upwards, only held in place by her safety belt, as that exact thing happened.

"The trick is to have the helicopter miss the ground completely, a carefully guarded secret of the TTC."

As the spiralling-out-of-control helicopter threw its passengers around like rag dolls restrained by safety harnesses, the Hatter took a cat out from the glove compartment and a shaving razor from a pocket-

"No, Hatter! A cat is a living creature!"

"I don't care-"

Before he was finished replying, Alexandra Gale had bailed out of the helicopter and either gotten killed by the rotor or (more likely, since the rotor still seemed to be working) activated her parachute.


That was, of course, exactly what she had done - and managed to land in a pile of mattresses in an alley, near to a bright red hotrod '38 Ford.

Unfortunately, if she had learned to drive a car at some point in the past, she had clearly forgotten to do so by now... and the vaguely deformed-looking man stumbling nearby looked like he carried some sort of pathogen. It was probably the greenish skin (and the similarly opaque drool dripping from his mouth) which gave it away.

Climbing down from the pile of mattresses, Alexandra nonetheless crossed her fingers and ran towards the sicko to somersault up in the air, falling upon landing.

"Urghhh. My legs hurt like fuck."

It was somewhat shaky legs she got back up on, seeing the sicko turn around to rush towards a trio of armed civilians who clearly hadn't washed for three weeks. As the thing dropped motionless a shotgun blast to the face, the gunmen stumbled towards her while loudly mumbling something about making her squeal like a pig.

Knocking the leader unconscious with a strike with her elbow, Alexandra stumbled away into safety and unto the mostly empty street. The only harm they had done to her so far was the shock of attempted assault.

"Urghhhh."

She halted, the legs still being somewhat sore and scraped if not actually broken or even sprained. The best she could find about this situation was that it could have been a whole lot worse... and for a short while she did feel like this was the worst day of her life and the whole incident was going to leave her traumatized, but all of a sudden she now found it bleakly hilarious if only because of her assailant's absolute and monumental ineptitude. How the hell could something like this even happen, like throwing one of them unconscious with a single elbow punch?

The flapping noise of a flying helicopter suddenly grew louder, and the Tinfoil Hat's helicopter was soon right under Alexandra. Yes - under her. She looked down at the ground, seeing the moving full-size helicopter 10 metres beneath her. Now she was seriously freaked out, doing her best to run far away on her still straining legs. At least those were getting better.

Turning around, she now saw a helicopter ascending from some sort of compressed-space pocket below the ground, which closed as it "landed" on the street. Its engines slowly stopped to the point of the rotors decelerating almost completely silently, The Tinfoil Hatter exiting to greet her. "See what I meant, Alexandra? You look like you got hurt, by the way."

"Still beats killing a defenceless cat", she pouted. "Even if I'm very... surprised at what you meant by flying under the radar."

"You've killed lots of defenceless people yourself."

"That's because when viewed objectively, humanity is a plague upon the face of the earth."

She noticed that the pain in her legs had started fading.

"You're human yourself. Much more so than most supers, but fallen prey to Ouroboros Foundation memetic warfare."

The Hatter walked further down the street, beckoning Alexandra to follow with his hand.

As she did so, she asked with a somewhat disconcerted look on her face: "Ouroboros Foundation?"

"Splinter faction of the Order of the Black Sun. Best known member is probably Ted Kaczynski."

Alexandra worked hard to oppress an expression of total disbelief. The Unabomber, of all people, linked to some secret society of espers?

"Like internet trolls except that they troll 'meatspace' instead of the internet, alleged purpose destabilizing rival conspiracies. If you've never heard of them, it's probably because their network of front organizations is even more Byzantine than yours... and they're more or less a footnote within the Spookworld due to a more or less complete lack of funding."

"Aha. So, where is the wreckage? And you're sure they haven't recovered it yet?"

A military Humvee passed by at the next crossing, seemingly ignoring both completely as well as the marmot running down the street.

"They'll have plenty of difficulty if it is what I think it is. Don't forget that this town has a secret: Werewolves."

"But it's not full moon."

"Those three guys who assaulted you? They thought you were a werewolf."

She felt like slapping her forehead and mumbling Should have come in costume, but instead asked something slightly more relevant: "What was the guy drooling green sludge, then?"

"Possibly someone who had smoked radioactive marijuana."

Alexandra couldn't suppress another disbelieving stare while the faint whistling and rattling noises in the background suddenly erupted into what sounded like a full-scale gunfight outside the city limits.

"It's from the direction of where the airplane is crashed. Better get there after one faction has won, before... but I need to do some shopping first! You go guard the copter."


Half an hour later, the Tinfoil Hatter's helicopter landed near the uneven circle of flaming wrecked military vehicle and dead bodies surrounding the downed C-17.

"One faction is obviously government forces... let's see whom the other were?"

"You mean the National Guard impersonators?"

The Hatter and Alexandra stepped after the rotor slowed down to a standstill, both spotting the name of Black Light upon the nearest Humvee wreckage through their gasmasks. Alexandra was now in costume, having changed just before takeoff.

"You look like that Swiss psychiatrist superhero with that gasmask and the hat."

The two carefully walked towards the crashed aircraft, fearful that it might contain something else than both were expecting hitherto.

"The 'Schach, MOTHERFUCKER!?"

The Tinfoil Hatter nodded.

"Do the dead bodies in some way seem mutated, or-"

"They don't look that different from the remains of those few battles I have seen. I'm starting to doubt that any of my creations are in there at all. I find it highly unlikely that they've gone so far to set me up, though, if that is what..."

"That's actually far from unlikely. They could have staged this crash, but then the NG impersonators arrived... might wanna take a look at the plane's Black Box."

Approaching the wreckage, the Hatter noticed that it looked to be a somewhat modified version of the Globemaster III, not quite resembling any variants of it he was familiar with. He kept wondering whether or not this thing was a trap. On one hand... rare aircraft could be bait. On the other, unlikely that they'd treat something this expensive or unique as disposable. Out of a sudden, something else came to his mind.

He drew a cat from a compressed-space something-pocket in his coat. "See, Sandra? To do that, the machine-spirit of the helicopter only needed a placebo effect, so I used a hologram of this cat instead."

As the Hatter set the cat free, she once again looked in disbelief at him - this time wondering why he waited until now to set the cat free, and why he did it near a crashed plane allegedly leaking a biological weapon while humming Loose by The Stooges.

"I'm in costume now. Call me Queen Bee."

The moment the two entered the aircraft, they noticed that something was not quite right. It wasn't just that as they entered, the exact same marmot as they had seen in Brockley exited it. The aircraft's interior was completely in antiseptic white, and once they entered the cargo compartment they-

No, even the Tinfoil Hatter did a double take. What he saw were, on both left and right, aquarium-like tanks hooked up to all sorts of arcane electric machinery.

The most discomforting aspect, though, was what was floating in the tanks.

"They... they... they even have my hairstyle. What the hell?"

The aquaria were full of naked exact duplicates of Alexandra Gale, even having the same scars and other non-organic details as her.

"Explain to me how this is supposed to make sense."

"It doesn't. I don't understand... where is the plane with the evidence, then?"

"You said yourself that you were going to get the plane's black box. I'll examine this."

As Queen Bee cast a glance of fascinated revulsion at the machinery framing the tanks with her duplicates - she refused to think of them as mere clones, because the resemblance was simply too exact - the Hatter left for the cockpit saying: "Don't touch a thing!"

Remaining in the cargo compartment, Queen Bee decided that these duplicates of her were most likely gynoids manufactured to her exact specifications. Only - why and where could they be made, and why would they end up in the hands of the USAF?

Were they perhaps expensive love-robots manufactured for the pleasure most deranged of her admirers? The thought made her want to scrub herself with steel wool. After all, they all appeared completely inert. Not comatose or anything, they had open eyes and all-

Soulless was the word Queen Bee was looking for, and she found it exactly a second before the Hatter returned carrying a couple of flight recorders. "Queen Bee, I have an idea where those duplicates come from?"

"Uh-huh?"

"They could have been created by the Greys who helped you with your last scheme, but those were Dreamlanders. Something like this is really more of an Orionian thing, but the Dreamlands Greys are known to be rather... unpredictable?"

Sarcastically, Queen Bee replied: "Oh, sorta like how Jews have sharp claws and dangerous knees? And are cannibals too?"

"Apples and oranges. Outsiders moving to the Dreamlands turn nuts, especially their descendants. Proven fact."

"The Dreamlands... where Lamarck is right."

The Hatter pointed a finger at her while smiling. "Exactly! And the USAF obviously has some sort of connection to the Greys. Most current aircraft technology of Grey origin. AIDS and Ebola didn't jump from monkeys to humans, they jumped from Greys to monkeys to humans. From there, Pentagon tried to cultivate it to make it more contagious so they could use it against the Soviet Union. Brought in Dreamlander genetic engineers to help them."

"I thought Dreamy Greys mostly went for Americans?"

"They occasionally make exceptions. Aleister Crowley, for example."

"I still don't understand how this is going to give anything away... I mean, unless this makes the USAF hunt the Dreamlands for the Greys I collaborated with in order to interrogate them. Even then, couldn't that cause some sort of interdimensional crisis?"

"I'm only speculating."

The situation was getting weirder and weirder. Queen Bee did not at all believe that she had just heard the Tinfoil Hatter, of all people, admit that he was just speculating.


Twenty minutes later, in the helicopter, the Tinfoil Hatter had an epiphany: "I suddenly remember... mysterious women with striped hair have been sighted in Denmark, associated with that country's first cattle mutilation... but not its first horse mutilation, which is thought to have-"

"That still doesn't explain what happened to the plane with the smoking gun that could bust me for eternity."

"My sources were lying, then. Said it was on that exact plane... scheduled for Maestas AFB. You can't possibly infiltrate that base, not with your limited experience and the maximum security."

Queen Bee raised an eyebrow.

"How? We didn't even know each other until yesterday."

The Hatter handed her a portfolio labelled Geometry Files, containing base blueprints and notes to sabotaging surveillance systems. "Take a look at this. You don't know the structures, chains-of-commands and tiny details of Maestas AFB. I do."

Lots of flight later, and the Hatter inexplicably finished humming the melody to every song in Lily Allen's discography, Queen Bee announced: "I give up. I mean, I'm not Orchid Mantis or Ulysses Stirling."

"You're no Tinfoil Hatter either." He smiled, continuing: "I say quid pro quo - I raid the base to get your stuff out, you go to Denmark to investigate cattle mutilations."

Queen Bee sighed, touching her forehead only because she was after all too polite to slap it in this context. There was no fucking way she was going to even believe what she was hearing.

She then raised her head and lamented: "I guess I'm up for it, then."


Evening the same day, a large man in an... erm, Expressionist cow costume stumbled almost apathetically across a pasture in Denmark. Oh, and he was actually a demon who was just fortunate enough to pass for a human, if a fascinatingly ugly one.

"Demons aren't that stupid."

The armoured figure crouching in a nearby wood responded with his walkie-talkie to the one in the cow costume: "Well, they regularly travel here from Hell just to mutilate cows, make crop circles that cannot be used in any sort of spell I'm familiar with. Oh yeah, and they seriously believe that they could convince people that the Rapture is a big alien abduction even though that would require a lot of Hellish spaceships to be in the sky that day, and THAT wouldn't at all fly past the SDI. Besides, the Rapture doesn't even have any biblical basis so why would fallen angels, of all people, not know better? It's not as if the cattle mutilations have anything to do with that either."

"Good question. Perhaps we've been... y'know, hoodwinked?"

"I think so. Now, go back to looking like a convincing cow so you can come in a position to interrogate the demons. Greys look pretty flimsy."

Skrymir, as his name was, marshalled on as he grumbled that his girlfriend found the plan too silly to contribute her psionic firework to the plan. That would have been a lot easier.

A loud wheezing, jet-like noise then broke the familiar soundscape of a rural night, Skrymir's attention following it to fixate upon a yellow one-person aircraft resembling something Popular Mechanics could have done a feature about approximately 1955.

Awkwardly trying to resume his cow masquerade, Skrymir eventually found a woman asking him in English, her accent having a very mild tinge of the southern part of the United States: "You know, you're not fooling anyone in that costume."

Turning around to get a good look at her, observing a tacky yellow/black costume with an equally strange hat to form her attire, Skrymir sardonically replied: "Oh fucking noes."

"Surprised you two post-modern-day witch hunters didn't notice the coven of witches gathered in the woods nearby."

A minute later, Queen Bee removed her hive hat to slap her forehead the exact same moment Skrymir karate-kicked a witch in the ovaries. While wearing a mangy cow costume.

"This..."

Delivering an elbow swing to another witch's head, the cow-costumed Skrymir interrupted: "... is... SPARTAHHHHHH!"

She put on her Hive Hat again. "No, this is not happening."

Entering the grove, the Evangelist drew a literal flaming sword to holler something about demanding where the nearest gate to Hell was located.

Queen Bee regretted even mentioning it more and more. "Wait a second, I don't believe these witches actually have anything to do with the whole flying saucer business."

"It's all connected! It all started back in Babylon, when the witch-queen Semiramis was worshipped by her subjects as Ishtar... whom you incidentally bear a striking resemblance to."

As she noticed the somewhat mean streak with which the armoured demonhunter said the stuff after the dramatic pause, he : "Now, Evangelist, this is a bit late... but just pretend I didn't say anything."

A witch limped up to Queen Bee and said: "Maybe you should, you know, do something about this."

"Maybe if I had something that could counter a flaming sword and the superbees had accompanied me. Alas, I didn't have time to-"

The split second Queen Bee noticed that the witch she talked to looked like a hypothetical younger sister, a huge symmetrical pattern of light appeared in the purplish-blue firmament. Looking up, all people present saw something akin to a huge lenticular pagan altar of star sent light.

This is indeed looking very suspicious.


Queen Bee woke up from the blinding white light that knocked her unconscious in the middle of an alley of circular cloning tanks, all containing duplicates of the same tall, blonde woman in various stages of her development. As she walked down the corridor of cloning tanks, she ran across the witch.

"Wait a sec - so I woke up here too?"

A distinctly nonhuman voice then echoed through the corridor, but it was speaking in German - something about the corridor. The witch translated for Queen Bee: "He says we were dropped here because the clones are relevant to us both."

They saw the source of the voice approach - a Grey roughly the same height as both of them, escorted by two blue-uniformed clonetroopers who appeared to be "complete" version of the women in the cloning tanks. Both carried strange weapons resembling a cross between an electric cattle-prod and some surgical instrument used to provoke abortion in a radioactive mutant.

"This is going to be a very long day", Queen Bee remarked. For some reason, the witch translated it.

The Grey replied. The witch translated: "He says that day is a useless term to a galactic nomad like him."

The self-described Galactic Nomad beckoned them forwards with his hand as he and his guards walked downwards the corridor, expositing further in German as the two identical brunettes followed, one of them curiously exhibiting no signs of the limp she had acquired during the interrupted pagan ritual.

Entering another room, the witch translated to Queen Bee: "His name is Iikkirtu Eikkirhi... and well, he's not a Dreamlander himself but instead from what those humans in the know call the Orionian Empire, from a race of Greys whom the Dreamlanders are "degenerate" descendants of, driven mad by living on a plane of existence created by the dreams of the Great Old Ones. Apparently, the Dreamlands Greys you contacted there are agents for Eikkirhi and he's the real mastermind behind all this."

"Ask him what happened to Skrymir and the Evangelist. The other witches, for that matter."

After another exchange, the witch translated back from German: "Well, he left the other witches on the ground, really... the only reason he beamed up the two was to correct the two in their assumptions. As for the duplicates, well... we're both modified versions of the previous generation of his female clonetroopers. You see, those are engineered from antediluvian human cultures "transplanted" into somewhere else in the universe, referred to as the Human Diaspora among the Orionians, and he then genetically engineered us two from the previous generation as agents of change in human society, then placing our embryos in the wombs of parents who had a good reason to not notice things."

Queen Bee had serious trouble believing something this outlandish, but on the other hand she was already on board a starship. Not to mention that, her parents did have some intermediate trouble conceiving her. Right now, she could definitely not suppress an expression whose every position of minute wrinkles screamed nothing less than absolute existential terror without a single sound. The admittedly rather goofy outfit she had chosen as her costume only reinforced it through contrast. So, I am not even really of this earth which I consider myself a daughter of, and I'm only really protecting it because some weirdo from Betelgeuse tells me to... I don't even have any "family tradition" reason to have become a beekeeper now.

"The clones you and the Tinfoil Hatter apparently found in the crashed plane... well, they're bribes from Eikkirhi to the United States authorities so that they dispose of whatever dirt they now have dug up on you and your front organizations, exterminating all records of those investigations ever done etcetera. The Tinfoil Hatter's clues were just misinformation spread by various government agencies to cover up the fact that they've now collaborated with someone from another star system without the consent of the United Nations."

Now, she felt very conflicted. On one hand, Iikirtu Eikkirhi had pretty much saved all her business ventures and eco-guerilla operations... on the other, she did not quite feel mind-raped but definitely felt extremely humiliated and angry at the implications of the whole bribe scheme. The idea of her just being one of many mass-manufactured disposable things was almost even more revolting than the idea that all of her life and career just was a part of some extraterrestrial mastermind's pet exosociological experiment.

In short, she felt betrayed and violated by the very being responsible for her existence... while one half of her kept reminding her that this was basically an ordinary parent/child conflict only on a cosmic scale twisted into something totally absurd, the other half of her felt as pissed-off as she possibly could. This was the crystallization of everything she had hated so far about her life: Not having had time or room enough to exist for herself and what she cared to, instead having total dicks who cared about nothing else than bending the world to their own twisted desires.

Queen Bee did not once consider, nor would she ever do so in her life, that she might have reacted differently if the witch had described the Grey as female or androgynous.

"I can't help but ask... what do you think about the fact that your life is the result of some Adam Weishaupt from outer space having issues with women not even of his own species?"

"Actually, the whole thing kinda fits into my religious beliefs."

Right now, Queen Bee saw whatever belief she once had in genetics determining human personalities evaporating into thin air.

"Don't you understand how fundamentally repulsive the very concept is? Now, consider that some guy whose DNA probably is based on different chemicals than any life on earth seems to surround himself with human women which definitely would be considered attractive by most men on Earth as well, to the point that he seems to use them as a currency for bribing the USAF? Now, this person is who has not only given us two the lives we live to the point of even having genetically customized each of us for whatever the hell he wants us to do, but is more or less responsible for the fact that we exist in addition to just saving most of my business enterprises. And THAT is the only reason why I don't want to kill him... because the last thing humanity should do is to be to bite the hand that feeds it."

Finishing that monologue, Queen Bee suddenly sounded a bit more satisfied with this state of affairs, if not much. "By the way, what's your name?"

"Gianna."

"Anyway, Gianna, has Eikkirhi finished explaining his ? I'd appreciate it very much if he returned us to that grove where he picked us up."

Less than an hour later, that exact thing had happened. One of the blonde clonetroopers asked Iikiirtu Eikkhirri if he really was sure the Gianna believed what he had told her about her origins. Queen Bee, however, knew that this would not be the last rendezvous she and Gianna would have with Iikiirtu Eikkhirri.
"You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you." - Heraclitus

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Re: How About No?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:07 pm

mang...


Seriously. I LOVE it when you do surrealist CRAAAAZY stuff like this! Though, mang... now it seems as though we've got ANOTHER tall hot blonde babe!

I may retcon Queen Bee to look more like... who was that babe you told me of? Selma Hayek!

No... MEGAN FOX! :mrgreen:

(IMDB says Megan Fox is friends with Michael Biehn!)

Turning these two into an arc was an AWESOME idea, and I wonder how (and if) you will continue it.



Was the Queen Bee in NO, NOT THE BEES the same one as the one in THE GEOMETRY FILES, or was she a clone?

EDIT:

And, of course, this is totally NOT canon :P
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Re: How About No?

Post by Malchus » Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:06 am

Same here with the love for the crazy surrelaist stuff, and this one is just plain awesome. Crazy Queen Bee, possibly crazier Tinfoil Hatter, Greys (of both currently-known Comix varieties), and MABRT written by someone else. This is great. :D

Although, yeah, the canonicity of this is up for debate. For one thing, I have trouble fitting in No, Not the Bees! in the Crosspoints timeline I've recently thought up over MSNs with Shroom.
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Re: How About No?

Post by Peregrin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:05 am

Then make up some alternate timeline shit. That way, I can write another story where a character of mine tries to fix this. It's not a proper comics setting until you have continuity that's more confusing than a Cubist painting and more misogyny than you could shake Friedrich Nietzsche at! :mrgreen:
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Re: How About No?

Post by Vagrant Orpheus » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:51 pm

I thought the whole point of COMIX was that we wouldn't have such complex timelines and continuity.
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Re: How About No?

Post by Peregrin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:16 pm

I thought we did, and with AAoI it was kind of obvious that it wasn't going to fit into the OZCverse's canon. Here, however, I didn't plan things out that way. Perhaps we can retcon it away as just a dream/mass hallucination, or a conspiracy of some kind, or just have an author's saving throw by writing a fic where they go back in time to keep this from happening. Perhaps some combination of the above.
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Re: How About No?

Post by Vagrant Orpheus » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:18 pm

No, it's fine to have stories that COULD fit in somewhere, as long as they're not. Stand alone stories that are outside canon aren't an issue, but I thought we had a sort of unspoken agreement that this whole alternate timelines and parallel realities and the like won't exist, unlike the DC multiverse or whatever.
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Re: How About No?

Post by Peregrin » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:20 pm

Okay, then. How do we retcon this into fitting into the continuity, then? I suggest the time travel thing, but that might not jive with the "no alternate timelines" clause. Or should I just declare it non-canon like I did that short story about the clones of Louise Exner?
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Re: How About No?

Post by Ford Prefect » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:35 pm

Peregrin wrote:Okay, then. How do we retcon this into fitting into the continuity, then?
How about just not thinking about it?
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Re: How About No?

Post by Vagrant Orpheus » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:48 pm

Indeed. That would be my suggestion. That's what I would have done with my stories, including Manhunt and Cataclysm. They'd be awesomely non-canon, but non-canon nonetheless.
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Re: How About No?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:02 pm

I say we just keep it to "brands"

Peregrin-brand can have Exners, and Schach MOTHERFUCKERS, and this, and AA-motherfucking-OI.

Shroomy-brand can have DINO EATER, Cubans, and public urination in the Third World!

Orph can have the Goddamn Crow and Richard Gray, Age Twelve. I don't like him.

Malchus can have his MABRTs and Roach Coaches and other young teen adventures.

Ford has ACID and Black Humor.

Siege's got the Serpents and Jurgen Baccara.

And Etcetera.

Of course, there'll be intersections (like BACAROSS! ^_____^) but, yeah.

I mean, all sorts of stuff can happen in these various realties, but unless something incredibly world-shatteringly repercussive happens, ANYTHING GOES! Let's not get too bothered about it, I guess.

It's a free-for-all.
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Re: How About No?

Post by Vagrant Orpheus » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:34 am

So if I ever do recommence work on Manhunt, does my brand style allow me to have the Crow kill off every goddamned bastard who tries to apprehend him? Including a ridiculously large cast of lower-powered heroes and villains authored by all sorts of people?

Anyway, Per, as for the actual story :P

I quite enjoyed the first chapter, it seems interesting, though of course it was your brand of silly and sometimes I find it just doesn't agree with me. Like the Bee-Slayer thing. Kinda weird, but a good chapter nonetheless. I haven't yet read the Geometry Files, but I promise to get onto it.
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Re: How About No?

Post by Peregrin » Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:50 am

I'd still like to see Malchus write a story where he retcons this into the events he wants to happen. Or if you don't want to, Malky, you can PM me on how to do that. The results of that would probably be even more entertaining. 8-)
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