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   Chapter 15 The Hive

The Bite Cleaner By OldManSteve Characters: 19563

Updated: 2018-11-26 21:54


New Elk Grove Night Clinic, Welcome party at 6:30 PM

The Conclave of shifters and the other attendees clapped as Dr. Camacho took a bow, his speech to them finished. He stepped off the soapbox stage and the music changed to a relaxed jazzy theme.

At the edge of the large lounge, Montague stood with the leaders, each of whom had a glass of wine carefully stored for a hundred years. It probably would taste funky as hell, but they're vampires and have messed up taste-buds. Anyway, Montague joked with them about the coffin room. They heartily laughed when he described the time he almost got staked by the night shift in the funeral home coffin he hid in.

Dr. Camacho talked with Dr. Vargas, a general practitioner like him. He agreed to join Dr. Camacho's clinic starting on Friday.

"This is the first time I've ever worked with directly for a Conclave, " said Dr. Vargas. "Do they pay on time?"

"They bought out Folden Medical, " said Dr. Camacho, "so I hope they got the money." He looked at Dr. Vargas' eyes. He noticed something strange about them, that he also noticed when Montague sent him background info. "Are you a biter as well?"

"I try not to. I'm a lion shifter. We don't need as much human blood, " he explained, "as our vampire cousins." He pointed to Lucas. "Is your roommate always this pale?"

Lucas was playing rock-paper-scissors-drink with some young humans by the drinks aisle. The guy threw rock and Lucas threw paper, forcing him to take another strong drink down his gullet. "Yes, that's him, " Reuben replied. "I wish he wouldn't play that game with humans. Biters have some basic mind-reading ability. It's almost cheating in a way."

Dr. Vargas looked behind Dr. Camacho. Walking inside was a stylish black woman wearing a long red dress that brushed up against the floor. "Well, I wouldn't mind getting in her mind."

"Who?" asked Dr. Camacho. He turned around. "Oh, it's Tanya."

"Is that your girlfriend? I call dibs."

"Yes, she's my girlfriend!"

Dr. Vargas smirked. "Still calling dibs."

"You already have two wives!"

"Good evening, gentlemen."

"Good evening, Mrs. Tanya, " replied the tall Dr. Vargas with emphasis on the last 'a'.

"You look enchanting as always, dear, " said Dr. Camacho.

"Thank you, Reubes."

"Reubes? What a cute nickname!" Dr. Vargas noted. "Got one for me?"

Tanya looked at his beard that puffed out by the sideburns. "Puffy?"

"Puffy! My second wife calls me that! Must be a woman thing."

"Anyway, where's nurse Stone?"

"I haven't seen her all day, " explained Dr. Camacho. "The old clinic is closed, and she's not answering her cell." He looked around the room and still didn't see her. But there was one room he failed to check. "Maybe she's in the lab?"

"Making moonshine?" asked Dr. Vargas. They started walking towards the lab.

"She's a real busy bee, " Dr. Camacho explained. "She's really dedicated."

Dr. Camacho swiped his card and opened the door to the lab. There were lots of glass vials and jars on the counter and by the sink, but nobody was home. Then they heard a buzzing sound.

"Did you leave a window open?" asked Dr. Vargas.

"No… I didn't. I haven't been in here all day."

"That sounds like a bee, " said Tanya.

Sure enough, the buzzing sound became focused in front of them. A scrrrup sound followed. The air around them, along with the nearby light, sucked inward at the source of the buzzing. Then out of the light came the body of a woman… with a bee head, kneeling on the ground.

"BzzBzz, " said the bee woman.

"Uh…" Dr. Vargas said.

"That's nurse Stone, " said Dr. Camacho. "I'm sure of it!"

"So she really is a busy bee, " replied Tanya.

"Uh, nurse Stone? You have to transform your head too."

"Bzz, " she put her hands on her head. She shook her bee head. scrrup! Her head became human again. "Sorry. That was weird."

"What's going on?" asked Dr. Camacho.

Nurse Stone stood up and spoke quickly. "Things have gone horribly wrong at my superhive! We've been invaded by killer bees!"

"Again?" replied Dr. Vargas.

"What do you mean 'again'?" asked Dr. Camacho.

"This time they were joined by killer wasps!"

"Killer wasps are a thing now?" asked Tanya.

"OH yeah!" Nurse Stone said with even more urgency in her voice. "They've killed our queen and taken over the hive! I saw them bringing in their own queen! Everything's gone wrong! Everything!"

"OK slow down, " said Dr. Camacho. "What do they want?"

"They want to conquer the world and kill all humans!"

"So much for that stockbroker call today. Knew I should've invested in Dow Chemical, " Dr. Vargas replied.

"We have to stop them! If they infest humans, they could take over the world!" said Tanya.

"But I don't want my family to get exterminated in the process!" loudly said nurse Stone.

"We'll have to ask the Conclave. They'll know what to -" Dr. Camacho was turning his head as he spoke. Behind him, two of the Conclave leaders were tip-toeing away from them, having clearly overhead the conversation. "-ah, Deputy Mayor! Earl Peterson! I was just about to look for you!"

The two Conclave leaders froze in their footsteps when they heard Dr. Camacho say their names. A woman wearing a white dress saw them freeze at the end of the hallway. She immediately bolted for the nearest door.

The two leaders turned around and tried to compose themselves.

"Love to help you, but…" the Deputy mayor scratched his head like he had lice or one remaining scratch-off ticket. "...but… it's my back you know I have a bad back…"

"I…" Earl Peterson, the second oldest shifter in the community, gripped his elbow, "want to help, but my tennis elbow you treated me for is acting up. I couldn't swing a can of beer, let alone a weapon."

"Oh for fuck's sake!" said Tanya. "Whenever the world nee

lapped him. "OW! What was that for?!"

"And you slimy shifters. Race traitors, the lot of you. We have this great power (she raised her arms triumphantly briefly) and you choose to hide amongst the lessers like coyotes in a city!"

She's distracted. Now's my chance! thought Reuben. Reuben moved slowly but calmly and turned up the heat in the smokers while she ranted.

"Your way would doom us all to oblivion!" shouted Montague. "Without human blood, we all would die! You would leave the world barren in your quest, you fool!"

"Bah!" She backslapped Montague. He didn't budge at all, unlike Tanya or Lucas. "Your kind doesn't deserve life if it can't protect fellow shifters from the ravages of stupid women! And- why do I smell smoke?"

"That's the smell of plan B!" shouted Tanya. She leaned back, her amulet came to life and its ethereal glow captured the attention of the bee shifters holding her and the queen.

"NOOO!" shouted the queen. She shielded her eyes from the eyes. The other bee shifters freaked out a bit, releasing their hostage to run to protect their queen.

"Protect the smokers!" shouted Montague as he punched the head off the closest bee shifter. "Kill the queen!"

The battle was joined as the shifter strike team and Tanya sliced and swung swords, cutting through the soft-skinned bee shifters. Werewolf Bob and Lucas ran around the smokers, their movements made a ring of body parts and death around the smoker. Reuben tried to stand up but had to duck when a bee shifter swung its stinger at his head. He punched the leg, sending that bee shifter to its knees. He grabbed a smoker and blew on it. The smoke sent the creature quickly to the dirt. He coughed as well and reached into his pocket for a face mask.

The small, regular bees awoke when their queen joined the fray. The enraged queen fought claw for claw against the smaller and weaker Nurse Stone. A missed spin sting by Nurse Stone quickly sealed her fate when the queen caught the stinger with her strong arms. Using what she just learned from the muscular Montague, she swung an arm down in a karate chop, broke the stinger from her body, took it her hand and stabbed Nurse Stone through the heart with it. The painful shocked looked on Nurse Stone's face was the last face she would ever make.

Reuben pushed the smoker wagon towards the queen when he heard the buzzing. The wagon bounced up and down along the pitted cave floor, coming to a stop just past the queen. The bees roaring into battle, flew into the smoke and then flew back to the hive. Their fire instincts took over, their hunger and escape urge overriding the chemical influence of their queen. While this was strong enough for the bees, the bee shifters were not waylaid. More of them came from the ceiling and the shifter strike team were wounded.

He looked for Tanya. The bee shifters attacking her had backed off, the power of her amulet scared them away. The ones not scared had died at her feet from her powerful strikes. Tanya raised her sword in a ready stance and walked towards the queen. The queen took notice of her main enemy, the one with the glowing amulet. Her fear drained away, more concerned with the fate of her hive. This was going to be a lethal fight for one of them, and Reuben feared it might be Tanya that fell today. Montague was surrounded, and the others were protecting Reuben or the smokers.

This was the moment Dr. Reuben Camacho knew he had a decision to make:

1. Trust the smokers and Tanya to bring down the queen

2. Order a withdrawal and fight them off at the entrance away from the hive

3. Call Fabiola and ask for help, then stall for as long as they can.

*******

This is where you, the reader, get to decide the fate of the story. Leave the number of your choice in the comments down below. After 3 weeks, I will publish the conclusion of The Bite Cleaner: Season 1!

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