The B Team
(I recently had a story accepted for a short story anthology with a theme of Superheroes. I just so happened to have a story with that exact premise. The same publisher is now asking for submissions for an anthology with Beekeepers as the theme. Flush with my recent success with them, I thought I’d plop myself down and churn out another story to submit. I did that this afternoon. It did not go well. I shall not be submitting it. This is that story… with my sincere apologies.)
At the first sign of an Asian giant hornet, better known as ‘murder hornets’ to most people, the beekeeper knew who to call.
The B Team.
Four bees that were driven out of their colony for crimes that they didn’t commit. Four bees that are now unorthodox soldiers of fortune out to clear their names.
Desperate bees. Bees with nothing to lose.
The beekeeper knew that the hornets would be back to destroy the hive. He’d seen it before. A few dozen hornets would return and kill every bee and then feed on the larvae. He needed to act fast.
So he did.
He made the call.
And the B Team sprung into action.
Instead of waiting for the inevitable assault, they decided to take the fight to the murder hornets. They quickly found the nest of the hornets and came up with the following plan;
Hannibal, the team’s leader, disguised himself as an attractive female bee and flew up to the hive, pretending to be lost. You might ask yourself how he did that. Good question. He wore makeup, fake eyelashes, three sets of high heels and two fake breasts stuffed in a makeshift bra.
“But” you might be saying to yourself, “that’s not what female bees look like.”
He hoped that Asian giant hornets didn’t know that, ok?
“But” you might be saying to yourself, “why would Asian giant hornets even care about a female honeybee? They don’t mate with bees. They’re hornets.”
I’m just telling you what happened. Hannibal did not know that.
Admittedly the plan started poorly.
As soon as Hannibal arrived the hornets began to attack him. “A distraction is a distraction” he buzzed to himself, cigar clenched in his mouth. The picture of determination. He had a job to do and he was going to do every inch of it.
Meanwhile Bosco, the munitions expert, made his way on foot into the hornet’s hive from the other direction. “Munitions’ expert?” you might be asking yourself. Yes. A bee with a background in explosives. “But” you no doubt are thinking, “how does a bee handle explosives without hands?” (the word hand is right the in the word handle) Well, they might not have hands, but they have six legs so it’s almost like a hand and there are plenty of munitions’ experts with only one hand. Given the profession, it’s not unusual at all for a munitions’ expert to have blown off a hand. Sometimes two. So really a bee is up a finger if you think about it.
“Did you say that Bosco made his way to the hive on foot?” would be your next question.
I’m not sure if you’re questioning why I would use the term foot when only a few sentences later I’d be suggesting that a bee has six hands (and thus no feet to speak of) or why the bee would be walking as opposed to flying.
I’ll answer the second question first.
Because Bosco has aviophobia. A fear a flying.
“Whoa whoa whoa” I hear you saying, “A bee with aviophobia? Do you think I’m an idiot? A bee dressed up as a woman, with enough anthropomorphism to choke a horse, I can almost buy. Almost. But a bee that is afraid to fly? Do you take me for a fool?”
No. I just take you for someone who is not very selective when it comes to what you read. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Anyway, so Bosco makes his way into the Asian giant hornet’s nest while Hannibal bravely fends off the guards at the front. Meanwhile Peck and Murdock… they… um…
I don’t know what Peck and Murdock are doing. The truth is that Bosco can easily place the explosives within the hive with no further help from the rest of the B team. I would say that the other two help Hannibal fight the hornets but the truth is that the Asian giant hornet are much larger and would easily decapitate the smaller bees.
Luckily for all three of them, and myself, there is an enormous explosion and the hornet’s nest is blown to bit. After a few seconds Bosco comes crawling out from the wreckage unscathed.
Unlike my reputation. It does not get to crawl away intact from literary wreckage of this magnitude.
“Wait” you are probably asking yourself, “how did the beekeeper even contact the B Team to begin with?”