An icy wind blew glittering shards of frozen water up the ridge overlooking the ruins of B’hira City, plinking harmlessly off the chitinous black shell of the giant spider-like creature that gazed down upon the wreckage through black compound eyes that had the look of rotten grape clusters.

The last fires had guttered out just three years ago, after the ancient towers had already been abandoned by their inhabitants who were forced to flee by the relentless onslaught of the Il’ri’kamm Hive Mind and the captive warriors of the Hivers.

Okaskatitch swiveled his bulbous body around on skittering spindly legs, then worked his way down a path that led to a cave entrance. The B’hiri passed through that rough stone maw and through tunnels that ultimately brought him to a massive underground ice cavern. New towers rose, thanks to cooperation between the B’hiri and their felinoid neighbors, the Lyiri.

Dark hours troubled the B’hiri during the last years of that great war, when it seemed that they would remain locked in berserker combat mode until the conflict claimed the last of them. But once the enemy had been thwarted, Okaskatitch and other survivors had made the necessary transition to female, so that they could lay eggs to perpetuate the species and regain the clever thinking and sharp reasoning that would allow the culture to rebuild what had been lost.

Now, they had a new home.

They called it the Blue Hive.

By Brody

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