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By Robert Lynch

Zethula watched through the window as the re-entry plasma made a light show of swirling colours. Lasting only a short while, the show faded away revealing the pink of the atmosphere around Phirsis.

Landing at the academy Zethula disembarked and looked over the campus. Tall spires inspired by architecture from a several thousand years ago made the academy stand out from any other facility she had ever seen. The silver spires shined with the reflection of the sun and atmosphere. This place felt like a fairy tale.

She followed the signs to the administration building, along with the group of other students that had come on the ship. Once there she was directed to go to her patron.

Xellius Pius Bellephinx was a wizened old man who moved with a cane. Zethula had only seen old men with canes in books, never in real life before; joint, leg, and even complete carapace replacements all commonplace.

“Pupae Zethula,” the old man said, “It is good to finally meet you. Your exploits on Trella Colony sounded very promising indeed.”

“Thank you, Imago Xellius.” She replied. “It’s exciting to be here. I’ve never been to the homeworld before.”

“And you still haven’t.” Xellius said. “We did not evolve on Phirsis, or rather to be more precise I should say, abiogenesis did not occur here. Nor our development into a space fairing species. Phirsis is the capital of the Hive, not the origin of our race.”

“Truly?” She said. “You’d think that would be at the beginning of every history textbook.”


“History is written by the victors,” Xellius said, “Having it known that the first colony on Phirsis was a renegade faction of the Prime Hive is not something that the Monarchy wants young drones to know, lest they be drawn to the romantic notion of searching out the Prime Hive.”

“Then why are you telling me?” Zethula asked.

“History forgotten is doomed to be repeated,” Xellius said. “Renegade queens can be quite troublesome, so we nip them in the bud before they can raise a following and pull strength from the Hive.”

“What?” Zethula backed away. “I’m not a queen.”

“Not yet, you aren’t.” Xellius’ stance shifted, spreading his weight onto all four of his legs, and pulled an oiled sword from his cane. “And you never will be.”


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