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November 1, 2014 

Sanctuary 

 

It was midnight and the bees were SCREAMING. 

 

Comrade Frost, as awake as ever, was sitting outside in a small clearing, looking up at the so-bright stars overhead and thinking of the past. It had been a strange week, particularly since it had begun with Fleur de Joie approaching him and asking for help. Thousands of domestic animals had been brought to her adopted homeworld by the recent refugees from Entropy; thousands of unvaccinated animals in primitive conditions without access to 21st century medicine. There were veterenarians in Freedom City, it was true, but none with his experience, none with his training, and none with the willingness to drop everything to travel to another world to conduct perhaps the fastest rinderpest vaccination campaign in history.

 

In the last few days, he'd been calling on the skills of Dimitri Peshkov far more than Comrade Frost, among these people who had no idea there had ever been a Russia. So he sat beneath the half-Moon and sipped a hot drink, and thought about the past. When he turned around and saw the earth-walled barn behind him and heard the snoring of the cattle, when he looked further to see the ramshackle dwellings in which the farmers hereabouts lived, it was like he'd stepped back in time. To another place, another life. 

 

Then the bees started screaming. Frost jumped to his feet, his drink set aside, and watched for a moment in shock as gigantic cries erupted through the half-grown forest - and a moment later the sound of fiery eruptions and the glow of red and orange stood out on the smoky clouds that dotted the sky above. "Pizdets!" he swore as a gigantic insect body, lit from the fires below, swooped up again and then straight down as if dive-bombing something. Without hesitating, he left aside the past and erupted forward into the forest, a cloud of icy mist racing towards the apian creatures and their distress. 

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In the center of the sod-hut village, Stesha Madison looked at the stars and thought about the future. Ten thousand new human residents of Sanctuary had kept her too busy to think for weeks now, but things finally seemed to be settling down to a dull roar. She wouldn't consider living conditions to be entirely comfortable, with the food plain and served communally, the sanitary facilities basic at best, and electricity spotty and only when conditions were good, but it was livable. Everyone was living inside now, with enough clothes and cots and cups and candles to go around, and more supplies were on the way thanks to Gabriel's tireless efforts. She knew the refugees wouldn't complain, many of them still seemed almost stunned to be living in a place where they didn't have to be afraid all the time. They certainly seemed to be going out of their way to be model new citizens, to the point where it was sometimes a little unnerving. She wished they'd take a few more breaks, or at least be a little more open about asking for what they needed, but Tona had said it wasn't their way. Maybe when they felt more secure here, after they'd successfully gone through a winter and into spring. 

 

She was a little surprised at how well they'd taken to Comrade Frost. Stesha supposed that the acerbic Russian had toned down his attitude somewhat since his first days with the Aux League, but the heat-stealing vampire still vibed her senses badly enough that it was a little hard to believe people would voluntarily want to spend time with him. A veterinarian was a valuable asset to the community, though, and Sanctuary's new residents seemed eager to get to know him as he treated their livestock. It made the rather bitter pill of asking him nicely for his help on her world a little easier to swallow. She wondered if Frost would agree to some kind of apprenticeship for the drovers and shepherds, get them up to speed on husbandry techniques so they could eventually handle it themselves. It couldn't hurt to ask. Well, it could, but only a little, and mostly just that part of her brain that itched whenever he was walking around on the surface of Sanctuary. She'd deal. 

 

Behind her in one of the sod houses, a refugee woman was in labor, assisted by her mother, one of the healers who'd come with the group, and the trained midwife from Sanctuary's first and more established village. Stesha had been in to consult, but things were going well and the mother to be was in no need of magical healing or transport, so she'd stepped out to allow a bit more elbow room in the cramped house. She thought of Ammy, peacefully tucked up in the creche until her mother came to take her home, thought of the tumultuous day she'd been born. She looked to the stars and allowed herself to feel for a moment the horrible loneliness that crept in whenever she allowed it. What was he doing tonight, out among stars much too far away to see? Was he thinking of her, could he think of her after being Dark Star for so long, or had she been swallowed up under the weight of worlds on his shoulders? How long could they go on like this? 

 

When the first buzzing shriek rent the air like a car alarm, Stesha felt a moment's absurd gratitude for the distraction. Casting her senses into the earth around her, she let her thoughts race towards the scene of the disturbance, looking for whatever disaster had befallen her first and largest tenants. 

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Tarrant was supposed to be grading papers - nothing big, mind, he didn't like to spring the truly awful grunt work on his students until a bit later, but it was enough and he'd accrued a bit of a backlog trying to get housing up for all the new Sanctuary residents. Not that he didn't enjoy the work, but the control and attention it took to make a solid, lasting dwelling so many times over had worn him a bit thin. And then there was the grading....

Brain numbed by the dozenth student to assert that granite was a sedimentary stone, Professor McLeod's head slipped off his hands and hit his stone desk just as the first cry tore through the air, and it took him a moment to realize the two weren't connected. A moment later he was dashing off the side of castle wall, one massive brick separating from the rest to form a platform to ride as he shot toward the chaos as fast as he could go.

The beat of leathery wings told him his companion wasn't far behind. Teagan's crimson body pulled up beside him, the dirt and small rocks trailing off her claws betraying the haste of her launch off one of her preferred floating napping spots. "Any context here, or are we just charging into danger?"

"You know what I know," he grimaced, still strapping his sword to his belt. "I was expecting some kind of collapse, but it looks more like a fight. Who in their right mind would cause trouble with the bees?"

"Someone with an extraordinary lack of survival instincts," the dragon mused, though there wasn't a lot of humor in it as she tried to get a bit more speed. "Let's hope it's just some kind of accident."

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Gabriel had spent most of his spare time (such as it was) over the last few weeks making back-and-forth trips to Sanctuary, making good use of his spear's ability to open a portal between the dimensions, or using the Church's portal. Between coordinating various bits of aid and acting as an interpreter for various small issues among the new inhabitants who didn't share language. Exhausting work, but fulfilling.

 

This night, he had actually already finished any schoolwork (the paperwork of a theater professor was perhaps lighter than one of geology), and just a couple hours ago he had finished his coordination of relief efforts for the night. So he had laid himself to rest in the room reserved for his use, and tried to catch some sleep away from the hustle and bustle of a city.

 

Then one of the brothers shook Carson awake.

 

"Brother, there is trouble. Can you not hear?"

 

Carson blinked, running a hand over his face.

 

"What trouble do you-"

 

And then he was on his feet, his eyes suddenly clear as his sharp ears listened. His face went first to shock, then to anger. Then it was simply blank. The air hummed around him as he strode to a nearby basin, splashed water over his face, and wiped it. With but a thought, he was clad in his shining armor once more.

 

"Please prepare the brothers in case something comes here. Or people are injured."

 

It was phrased as  request but there was a strong hint of command in his voice. Before the monk who woke him could respond, Gabriel was gone.

 

Instead, he was streaking through the air toward the sound of the screaming, his arms held close to his side, his heavy coat whipping about his person in the breeze about his body. Tonight he made no secret of his presence, though his flight was quiet enough he would not wake any who slept through the screaming.

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Whether by flower, flight, or rocky platform, the heroes arrived to a scene of chaos and disaster! For Comrade Frost, unfamiliar with the bees, it was like stepping into some mad version of the warzones of his warm days - a half-dozen bees circled overhead like panicked fighter jets, their loud, angry droning nearly deafening even to the ears of the undead. There were fires burning, many of them, and the trees were already smoldering as if a bomb had detonated in the middle of the big round clearing. In the middle of the clearing, which must have been the size of several American football fields (and had been a favorite picnic spot for some of the locals) lay a hideous corpse - what appeared to be a gigantic mosquito  cut from the same scale as the bees, its head and belly torn open and with the edges burnt smoldering black. In the air behind it, beneath the circling bees (and backed by burning trees, as if FLAMES had erupted from its rear) shimmered a hazy, ominous portal that did not bear looking at closely; a gateway to some terrible place! 

 

Resisting the urge to simply stand beneath one of the burning trees and calm himself, Frost approached the portal with fascination even as the bee closest to the giant corpse descended to speak to the new heroes. With a domino mask big enough to cover the front end of a truck and a cape that could have covered an SUV with room to spare, there was no disguising Super-Bee!

 

"HEROEZ!" she exclaimed in a buzzing voice like thunder. "YOU ARE HERE! THANK GOODNEZZ, IT WAZ HORRIBLE!" She gestured with a limb like a small tree at the corpse. "THE CRAZY DOOR OPENED AND THIZ HORRIBLE MOZQUITO CAME OUT AND AZKED IF WE WORZHIPPED THE TRUE GODZ! AND WHEN WE SAID NO-"

 

"IT ZAID WE ZOON WOULD!" came a voice from above, a drone who must have been particularly terrified, "AND THEN HORRIBLE THINGS CAME CRAWLING OUT OF ITZ MOUTH!"

 

"ZO WE KILLED IT WITH FIRE! ALL THE LITTLE ONEZ AND THE BIG ONE! IT WAZN'T EXPECTING UZZ TO BREATHE FIRE!"  

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"I'm not sure I like the sound of 'horrible things came crawling out of its mouth'," Tarrant observed. He pulled in closer to the ground as the bees filled them in, but his attention was more on the portal than the corpse. If one thing had already come through....

He frowned, sweeping his hands up to direct the soft earth into hard shards of stone, and the shards into a fleet of spines surrounding the portal. He didn't know what else could come through there, and he didn't want to kill it if he didn't have to, but hopefully it'd make would-be invaders think twice...or at least give them a pretty bad day if they tried. And were vulnerable to sharp things. And couldn't relocate the portal.

Too many 'and's. "Any ideas, T?"

Teagan landed near the mosquito, circling it with her head to the ground before carefully striding closer for a sniff. She almost immediately reared her head back, taking two long strides away from the thing like it was toxic. "Anopheles," she spat, like the very word tasted bad. "Bad news all around. Across that door there's going to be a whole dimension of these things - or things like it. Big, carnivorous bugs doing what big carnivorous bugs do: eating. Eating you, body and soul. Maybe they even let you die first."

"It's a little worse than that, though," she grimly added. She swiped a clawed hand at her nostrils, like she was trying to get rid of the smell. "Not sure I've ever heard of these things invading, exactly - some idiot usually calls them, or pokes around where they shouldn't and get an unfortunate surprise. Assuming this thing didn't get him, and we don't have any more like it wandering around, someone around here has a nasty secret."

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Stesha stepped out of a nearby tree, following her senses as soon as she had an idea of what was going on. "Is everyone okay?" she asked Super-Bee with concern, even as she looked over the massive barbecued bug. "And are you sure none of the little nasties got away?" She walked up towards the portal, carefully avoiding the stone spines, and raised her hands to it with a look of fierce concentration. Vines grew around the edges, writhing and twining along the jagged hole in reality, but the portal itself didn't grow an inch smaller. She blew out a breath that sounded suspiciously like an expletive and dropped her hands. "Well, this is just not good." 

 

She turned back to Gaian Knight and Tiamat. "Teagan, are you saying that someone on Sanctuary summoned these things?" she asked, rubbing her temples with her fingertips. Behind her, the vines stopped growing and the ground heaved once more, this time bringing forth new plants: clumps of pungent grasses the height of a man, massive stalks of purple flowers that had the bees buzzing with approval, and marigolds the size of hubcaps. "Can we find who it was?" 

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"Hrrrmmh. Maybe," Teagan pondered, eyeing the portal with suspicion. "I cannot say for sure, as I don't know how this was done. I know how I would do it, if I lost all sense, but it wouldn't look quite like this...."

She pondered for another moment before snorting. "A tracing ritual is an option, if a thin one, but it would take time - hours to do right. Less with some...risk and unreliability, if I could wing it. It's possible that I could smell this on them, too, if it left enough of a mark and we found them quickly. I cannot offer a guarantee."

"And we'd have to find them first," Tarrant mused. "We'd have to narrow it down, at the very least, and with all the new arrivals...I somehow doubt we can have Teagan go around sticking her head into every home to sniff people....and that's assuming whoever did this is hiding in plain sight. If they're off in the woods somewhere...who knows. It seems odd to have called this thing up out here and just left it, though."

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Gabriel had seen the portal just as soon as the others, and the steaming corpse of some fiend's concept of a mosquito as well. He leaned on his suddenly-present spear, rubbing at the bridge of his nose under his helmet for a moment, while muttering a few choice words of his own. The sort you learn from your mother but don't repeat in front of her. 

 

On the one hand, giant demon mosquitoes were not the stealthiest creatures, to be sure. On another hand, giant demon mosquitoes. This was not a great day. 

 

Plus there was the game of suspicion and denial...

 

He shook his head, having heard most of the conversation and deciding to speak up.

 

"What if I try to listen in for anything odd? Or, if we check the forest out here, listen for anyone at all? I can't hear everything, but if they're incanting a spell or something like that, I might be able to catch it. That, or cursing those wretched do-gooders or whatnot."

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"Anopheles cult exists on Earth," said Frost, his voice tight. "Or did, in Russia. Attempted to open gateway underneath Degelen Mountains in 1950s - but they were destroyed." He stared at the gate, his red eyes hard beneath his hood. "I will stay here and concentrate on gate, I think. This is odd," he agreed with Tiamat. "Especially since gate does not close at Fleur de Joie's command. Anopheles buzz in the ears of cultists and offer them power, they do not simply appear in the middle of forest and waylay passing bees, even great ones." Reaching into his parka, he pulled out the same utility knife he'd used to castrate a bull earlier in the day and knelt over the scorched earth, tracing arcane designs with the tip. "I will try and trace this portal back to its roots. Perhaps the Anopheles was summoned elsewhere and hijacked a third party's dimensional transportation...this will likely be some time." 

 

"HEARD HUMAN VOIZEZ IN THE WOODZ," said Super-Bee, stepping back and forth on legs taller than a man's body. "DIDN'T ZEEM RIGHT, ZO I GOT THE ZQUAD AND CAME TO INVEZTIGATE. WHEN WE WERE BACK HERE, THERE WAZ ONLY THE HOLE, AND THAT...THING!" 

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Teagan issued a low, quiet hiss, thoughtfully pondering the gate and her options. Tracing the portal back to its creators by magic would take more time and resources than they had at the moment - she somehow doubted Stesha wanted this thing sitting on her planet for several days - but, maybe, just maybe....

"It'd help to know exactly what happened here, really," Tarrant mused, frowning at the portal and idly rearranging some of his defensive spines. "If they were already gone by the time the bees arrived, there's too much we don't know about who was here...or how many. You did say 'voices', plural?"

"....agreed. I will require---ah. Thank you," the dragon said with mild surprise, as her partner held out his hand in concentration; scorched flora were gently pushed aside as a great tablet of earth rose to the surface, providing her with a dragon-sized circular slab of soft stone to work with. One great claw went to thoughtful work, scratching symbols into the rock as quiet, echoing words like fire - perhaps literally fire - fell from her teeth to fill the crude sigils with a terrible crimson light. "<It is in the Fire, and the Breath, and the Word that the past is never truly lost, echoes of time burned into the memory of the world....>"

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Gabriel's default expression at this point was "deep frown", and he occasionally tapped the butt of his spear against the ground as he listened to the others. Then, something Super-Bee said registered with him, and he looked up at her, his eyes intense.

 

"Voices? Human voices? Yes, good. That means they can't be too far. I hope."

 

He folded his legs and was sitting in midair, his weapon now laid across his lap, his hands resting on his knees. His eyes were closed, and his face was relaxed...but his posture radiated tension and concentration.

 

"Let's see what I can find..."

 

And with that, he began to stretch out his hearing, far beyond what most any mortal could do...

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Fleur concentrated as well, stretching out her senses beyond the irritating nails-on-a-chalkboard that was Frost and his powers, into the night-darkened woods beyond. "Hey, I think I've found him," she told the others, her voice airy and a little distant. "He's running away in the dark, heading for the border. Gonna get himself in trouble going that way. Be right back." With a touch of the flowers in her hair she was gone, the usual green-grass smell of her teleport lost under the overwhelming aroma of slightly bruised citronella grass. 

 

Elsewhere in the forest, Fleur stepped out of an obliging tree trunk, directly into the path of the running man. "Stop!" she called. "Um... arretes! Ne... ne vont pas! Dangereaux!" She called the trees around her to attention, prepared to snare him if necessary to stop him. 

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"Oh , grande dame! Merci à tous les saints. Je dois avoir été mis dans le noir ! Il ya Dévoreurs dans les bois , une invasion de sauterelles faute!" He threw himself to the ground at Fleur's feet, practically clutching at her like a lifeline. What could he have seen to so rattle someone who had grown up on one of the Hundred Worlds? Looking down, she saw a youngish man, perhaps in his early twenties, with a look of terror still in his eyes. When she didn't seem to understand him, he slowly picked out, "The spirit world has fallen! The insects have come!"  

 

Frost paid no attention to the chase, instead remaining at the scene of the portal. He sat on the ground and took his knife in one hand, holding his palm against the blade with the other. "<Open to the gaze of Hel,>" he hissed at the gate as he carved runic symbols into his palm, the sharp doctor's knife leaving behind long cuts that did not bleed but instead stood out black on his skin. "<They have eaten of your dish Hunger and wielded your knife Famine! How have they come to this place, Lady of Death?>" he inquired before plunging his opened skin against the raw earth of Sanctuary, his body outlined by the faint unwholesome glow of the portal. 

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"Don't hurt him!" Tarrant called out over the league communicator, for lack of a better way to reach Fleur. Not that he imagined she would, but a little necessary roughness was sometimes called for in their line of work...and misunderstandings happened. With a hand on Teagan's side he'd seen what she'd seen, and it...didn't seem to fit. "Teagan let us see what happened, but something's wrong here. That guy didn't seem to intend to do much of anything."

"He is either a pawn or a witness," Teagan rumbled, her eyes - even normally a startling crimson, lit from within by her own fire - shining solid red as she watched the scene unfold again in the hopes of spotting anything new. "He was praying to his...'Legba': some sort of spirit world guardian deity, from what I can gather of his prayers. When the portal opened he ran away screaming. If he intended to be a part of this, then he is an excellent actor who puts on a play when no one is watching."

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Gabriel was only moments behind Fleur, his eyes having snapped open when he pinpointed the man running through the trees while imploring saints and other figures for protection. He arrived in a blur of white and silver, a calming smile on his face as he held his hands up in a calming gesture.

 

"Peace, my friend. You are safe now. Whatever is happening, we will make sure it is put right. Please. Can you tell us what happened, to the best of your knowledge and recollection?"

 

He lowered his arms, trying to keep his posture very relaxed as he spoke to the extremely nervous man.

 

"We do not believe you intended any of this, and just need what your own eyes saw. It may help us know what to do to fix this."

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"We're not going to hurt you," Fleur affirmed, keeping her comm open so Gaian Knight and Tiamat could hear as well. "The bees are friends. They killed the bad insects." She spoke slowly and clearly, hoping that he would understand. "We need to know what happened when the portal opened. Everything will be all right." Without waiting for a response, she caught Gabriel's eye, then reached out to touch each man on the shoulder. In an instant they were teleported back to the edge of the portal. "Tell them what you saw," she told the man, gesturing in the direction of Gabriel, Gaian Knight and Tiamat. 

 

At the unpleasant shiver up her spine, she turned to look at Frost. "What are you doing over there?" she demanded. 

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Still nervous, the priest explained that he was Henri Beauchamp, a cleric of the Old Gods of their lost homeworld. "We kept the faith even in the bowels of Hell when our gods were dead - I had hoped to find them here. But the crossroads were curiously barred, and those, those horrible _things_ were waiting for me outside the locked gatse..." He shuddered all over. "I have seen Omegadrones chew through the walls between worlds and they reminded me of that - save that Omegadrones are souless beasts but those...those horrible insects...they THINK, they FEEL! And they had about them an unnatural lust that..." He looked away. "Perhaps our gods are dead here as well." 

 

"<What road have they taken!? What door have they opened?! How have the Feeders come to this place!?>" Frost was chanting in Old Norse, his frozen blood half-seeping into the earth. At Fleur's call, Frost gasped, his head jerking backwards like a striking snake. "Bozhe moi," he murmured, red eyes wide with horror that gradually froze over into cold, angry acceptance. "The Anopheles that came here did not come from their homeworld. They came from here! From Earth!" He looked around wildly, as if seeing something beyond the sight of the others. "But not this Earth. There is a world adjoining this one, where this is...this is all overrun." He waved a hand around the forest. "This is all cities, all shining skyscrapers...all made into nests. And freshly-made. There are living people there," he added in a voice that chilled like the grave.  

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Gabriel gave the man a sympathetic look. Certainly what had occurred here would be no comfort to any rational being. But then Frost spoke, and the angel-inspired hero's gaze whipped over to the resident arcanist. 

Well. One of the resident arcanists, anyways. Then the white-clad man turned back to Henri, a very slight smile on his face.

 

"This is not your fault, Henri. It sounds like a third party...hijacked the call, as it were. Please, go with Fleur de Joie back to the others. We shall look to the matters here."

 

After Fleur took a few moments to run Henri back to town and return, Gabriel donned his not-quite-patented Serious Face.

 

"So our objective is twofold, then? Rescue of the people we can reach, and closure of this portal? Unless it would be possible to drive these Anopheles off of the other Earth entirely?"

Edited by KnightDisciple

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"Agreed, though we need to make sure no more of those things come here, while we're at it," Tarrant added, frowning at the portal. "It'll do us no good to save one world only to ruin another, and considering how often we jump and gate and teleport, I imagine it's only a short hop from here to Prime, these days."

He sighed, reaching one hand up to rub the back of his neck. "It'd be nice to just drive them off, though. That's our best case: drive them off, keep them away somehow. I'm growing pretty tired of seeing or hearing about worlds dying, and we already have our hands full."

"You don't have to bring them here," Teagan dryly pointed out, glow - at least, the unnatural, whole-eye glow - fading as she scratched her runes out with one mighty claw. "If the thermovore saw skyscrapers, they're a 'modern' society, for what little that's worth. You could send them to your world, let them live there, where they'd be more comfortable. You don't have to take in every lost, scruffy, lonely creature you find in the wild."

"Heh - says the lost, lonely creature that was found in the wild?"

"I," she replied, leaning her fearsome head down to look Tarrant straight in the eye...though not without some amusement, "am not scruffy."

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Stesha closed her flower portal and rubbed her forehead with her fingertips as she turned back to the others. When had everything gotten so complex and difficult, and so very, very crowded? "Any ideas on how we're supposed to free up a world overrun by these things?" she asked. "We don't exactly have numbers on our side." She looked to the masked giant bee still lingering near the portal. "Superbee, do you think you could gather up a detachment of GDBs willing to help out? At the very least, we know fire destroys them very effectively." 

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As much as the bees hated the giant mosquitoes, they were hardly about to refuse Fleur de Joie!

 

Within the space of ten near-deafening minutes of insectile chuffing and encouragement from the only superhero among Sanctuary's bee population, no less than three of Super-Bee's formidable sisters had joined her for the journey to the other dimension! Luckily the portal they had was just wide enough to accommodate each bee if they passed through single-file, something Super-Bee, ever the heroine, tested before her sisters arrived (albeit without actually entering!) For his part, Comrade Frost walked completely around the portal, leaving icy footprints in his wake until the self-inflicted wound on his hand had completely healed. When he rejoined the other heroes (well behind the bee swarm), he muttered, "Hmm. Would prefer old Akatsiya guns with us, but this will do. A mighty host you have assembled, Fleur de Joie!" 

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Gabriel holds up his hands in a placating gesture.

 

"Sorry, sorry! I mis-spoke. My point was, I'd like to help these folks win their home back if we can, rather than just evacuating them. But you're right, Tiamat. We could bring them to Earth-Prime. We won't know more until we try..."

 

He watched as the Giant Dragon Bees lined up to go through the portal. He himself looked to take up a spot around the middle, as he was not required for opening or closing or maintaining the portal. He looked to the other human-sized heroes.

 

"Any plan besides 'bust in and burn them all'? If not I'm fine with that, just want to check."

 

Obviously Gabriel himself lacked the ability to catch enemies on fire, but it was the spirit of the comment that mattered.

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"I suspect there'll be a lot of 'bust in and burn them all' to be had," Tarrant admitted, with the tone of a man who wasn't looking forward to such things.

Teagan made a sound that implied she very much was, and that earned her a disapproving look which, in turn, only got an apologetic, if guiltless, grin the size of a small car.

"Still, my vote for first step is contact with the local survivors. We can't - and arguably shouldn't - burn a whole planet down. Terrible crimes against nature and goodness they might be, but it sounds like these things are still basically intelligent and I'd like to keep casualties low to nothing if at all possible. That means information, and folks on the other side are going to have more of that than we will."

"Ah, the knight's bleeding heart," Teagan observed, not entirely approving. "It is going to get you killed one day, my friend."

He shrugged, pulling his goggles down and, with one hand, brushing his minefield of rock shards out of the portal's entrance. "Yeah, probably. Everyone ready?"

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While the bees were assembling, Fleur had disappeared for a few moments back to the village, looking in on the labor she was still ostensibly supervising and having a few words with the village coordinators. She didn't like leaving right in the middle of things, but another call to the hive had an obliging bee dispatched with one of the balloon-style baskets they used when transporting people hither and yon. The bee would have a nap in the big, warm barn, and if there were any problems, the monastery with its portal to Earth Prime was less than ten minutes flight away. It was the best she could do on a moment's notice, and it made her glad that the existing residents of Sanctuary were melding well with the new arrivals. Survival here would be impossible without cooperation. 

 

She arrived back at the portal just in time to hear Comrade Frost's words. "You should see when they all get together," she murmured, then hopped up onto Superbee's back. "Until we see what we're dealing with, I think "bust in and burn them all is the best we're gonna do. Though stunning them with sound and blasting them with rocks is also totally okay." Nudging the massive bee with her heels, she dodged the remaining spires and flew through the portal. 

Edited by Electra

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