The Call

In a space surrounded by distant stars, the body of Peter is lying on a dark ground.

He was sleeping, and then a faint sound of ringing consciously woke him up. 

He slowly opened his eyes and was surprised to see distant stars surrounding him.

“What?” Peter confusedly said.

He got up his upper body and saw that he was no longer sleeping on his bed. He put his hand on the ground’s surface and felt a rough surface.

He then got up and observed his surroundings, there was nothing. Only the stars that no hand could touch.

He looked further to the horizon and concluded that he was standing on a flat surface, with no mountains or anything interesting that could be seen. He is alone.

He then looked up at the night sky and saw many stars, galaxies, and dominating clouds of various colors. He was amazed. 

This is the first time he sees these, when he goes out of his house at night and stares at the night sky, he can only see a few stars, some are outshined by the numerous buildings and streetlights around him.

Looking carefully, he noticed a straight line of blue clouds close to each other, getting closer and closer to the horizon.

He remembered that he went to his bed to sleep and now woke up in this unknown place.

He speculated that this could be a dream or he sleepwalked while sleeping. But doesn’t remember seeing or hearing about this place.

He then decided to head in the direction where the line converges and walk. If this is what he thinks it is, someone is telling him to head in that direction.

After walking for hours, not seeing anything interesting other than the blue straight line of clouds, nothing stopped him.

After a few moments, he finally noticed something on the horizon he was heading.

This time he saw a blue glow in the horizon, unlike the cloud in space. This time, this could be lights from a civilization.

He then decided to add a pace to his walking speed. To see what object emits that light, as soon as possible.

He thought that if he could go there and look for something he could ask for help, if not, find things that could answer his questions.

When he gets closer and closer, blue glowing lines start appearing, some lines are even branching from one another.

At the same time, he starts noticing the once solid rough ground, which slowly converges to sand, the color is still black and hills of it can be seen at a distance. 

As he gets closer to the lines he saw before, it now resembles a tree canopy, a tree that has no leaves.

He was surprised when he saw this. In his thought ‘no one could or would build this, especially if it is a tree with not a single leaf. Did humanity perish? And left this monument?’ Peter thought.

He was confused.

After being bombarded with thoughts, he decided to go there and find out the answer.

So he ran fast to reach the base of the tree.

As he keeps on running. He noticed that, as he got closer, a tall and long hill slowly blocked the view of the tree, and the tree was in that direction, he thought that ‘it wouldn’t be difficult to climb it since I will be climbing a hill, not a cliff’ so he decided to proceed.

After climbing the top of the hill, he finally saw the whole tree.

The hill which was tall and long, encircled the tree. The distance between the tree and the hill is huge he estimated it could reach 1 km.

Seeing this view, he found it hard not to be amazed and in awe of this view. Having the tree in this view showers anyone who would see it with magnificence and incomparable beauty.

As though lost in its spell. He was able to go back to himself. He then focused and fixed his gaze on the base of the tree, his aim since he saw the top of the tree, and was shocked.

When he saw the base of the tree he could not believe what he was seeing. The blue glowing line from the ends of its branches stops mid-air, just a few meters from the ground.

At first, he thought it was magic, but changed it when he remembered that architects on Earth would sometimes play with their projects and their audience. So he expected much but decided not to be carried out when he had not even reached the base yet.

So he climbed down and normally walked while still being amazed by being surrounded by a tall hill and a big tree.

This walk made him exhausted, the walk, run, hitchhiking, and another walk were too much for him. He blames himself ‘I should have listened to my fitness instructor to at least exercise once a week if you are very lazy’ Peter thought.

He traveled for a long time, 47 minutes to be exact, this is all his body could take.

After a few meters from the tree, he decided to stop and catch his breath. After that, he stared at the now huge tree, the biggest tree he ever saw, while catching his breath he still couldn’t figure out what or who made this tree and how.

He is now more confused than he was before, he thought that this would give him the answer to his questions, but after reaching this point, more questions started appearing one after another.

He couldn’t help but feel depressed and anxious. He doesn’t know where he is and doesn’t know what to do.

A few moments after being lost in his thoughts, he fixed his gaze on one of the ends of the glowing line at the bottom, he decided to proceed below the tree as it was still a few meters above him.

When he is about to move his legs to move forward. Voices were suddenly heard from the direction of the tree.

“Welcome h-” said the mysterious voices, but was cut short by Peter.

“Kyaaaaaaghh!!!” he screamed out of pure shock from the top of his lungs.

He was shocked and surprised at the same time and was even made to do a cute scream, remembering what just happened right now made him feel embarrassed.

The mysterious voices spoke once more.

“I apologize for surprising you”, a collection of many different voices spoke all at once and in unity as if they all rehearsed it.

Peter was surprised and confused to hear the voice of many people speaking at once.

After calming himself, he finally gathered his courage to bring himself back together.

“Umm, wh.. where are you?” Peter said while looking in the direction of where the voices came from. 

“I’m in front of you.” said the mysterious voices enthusiastically.

Peter is more confused, the many voices speaking all at once claiming that they were in front of him.

From Peter’s perspective, he could hear a boy, a girl, male and female, a kid, an old man, and an old woman, each having a different tone and original voice but somewhat familiar. 

And focusing on the voices with his ears, Peter is confused as they seem to be coming from one source. 

Which should not be possible, if there are a lot of people speaking. 

With these many voices speaking at once, he should be surrounded by all of them.

But no, instead, the voices only have a single source.

“You mean inside the tree?” Peter asked.

“The tree? Ahh, is that what I look like to you?” the mysterious voices asked.

But before Peter could answer. The mysterious voices spoke.

“Each strand you are seeing now represents my former connections to my drones and theirs to other drones. I may look like a tree to you, but I’m not a tree.” the mysterious voices said, with unity and elegance.

Peter is more confused and says, “Then what are you?”.

The mysterious voices never replied for a few moments.

“You are the succeding Hive Progenitor and I am the previous Hive Progenitor of the former hive, this body is all that’s left of the many drones of the hive.” the mysterious voices replied with confidence.

Peter is now more confused and can’t help but reply “What?”

“You have died while sleeping and your soul traveled to another world, your soul chose this as your new body.” the mysterious voices said.

“I don’t remember anything about traveling,” Peter said while dumbfounded, Peter looked down and fear could be seen in his face.

He looked up to the tree once more and said “The last thing I remember is playing my favorite game and falling asleep” Peter added.

The mysterious voices never answered back.

“Tell me, how did I die? Did someone kill me?” Peter asked with a confused face.

“No one killed, but your computer did.” the mysterious voices replied.

“Wha… What? How?” Peter asked while surprised and didn’t believe the mysterious voices.

“You did not shut down your computer, you didn’t even close the game you were playing. When players found your base, the explosions, fires, and smoke overwhelmed your computer’s CPU and started overheating. 

It seems that you have rarely shut down your computer which resulted in that, so it burned your table, and the smoke suffocated you because there was nowhere for the smoke to vent out, I don’t know what happened after your body lost its functions and vitals. 

Your family is safe though, I was able to hear their voices in front of your house, someone tried opening your door but that’s all I know about what happened” the mysterious voices said.

Peter was sad after hearing that, he always closed his windows and locked his door whenever he slept, but he couldn’t help it now that the worse happened. 

Peter then asked, “What do I do now?”

“You are given an opportunity, you are now the Hive Progenitor. The most powerful species in this world!” the mysterious voices enthusiastically said.

Hearing that didn’t change what Peter was feeling.

“What does that do? Am I the queen bee now? Am I being punished for not listening to my parents?” Peter sadly replied.

“This is not a punishment I don’t even know who would punish you. Besides, your soul voluntarily went into our child Hive Progenitor’s body, the last of our kind” the mysterious voices said.

“This is the last Hive Progenitor one of the last surviving drone of the hive.

The current Hive Progenitor created 4 of you and completed the ritual, this is all I can do at the time, this is the first time that this happened to the entirety of the hive’s lifespan, and this was to ensure the hive’s future in case something happened to one of you. 

But it was late, the warrior drones failed to hold back the invading forces.

I did my best to hide you away when the hive was breached that day, all the other child Hive Progenitor were killed during the escape, their growth vat was damaged by the enemy, and they passed away shortly after, you are the last one, although you were weak I pushed my luck to hide you to the deepest chamber of the hive and sealed it from the outside.

I did my best and used special measures to ensure no one could easily find you.” the mysterious voices explained sincerely.

“You are my last chance, you are the hive’s only hope.” the mysterious voices added.

“Who are these invaders? And why did they target you?” Peter asked.

“I do not know, the only thing I know is that they suddenly appeared out of nowhere and killed all of my drones, you are the only one left.” the mysterious voices replied.

As more and more Peter understands the situation, his fear and anxiety slowly vanish, and only questions remain.

He deeply thought that ‘if such a massacre did happen in this hive, then he would gladly accept to help, but if the invaders were still around, then he would have to live in hiding.

If not spend his entire life inside the chamber.

One wrong step could expose him and would lead to the complete end of the hive.

Peter thought, ‘If I truly died in my past life I would become a Hive Progenitor myself if it’s true then there is no risk, my soul chose this body and I don’t think I have the reigns in there’, so Peter decided to ask the Hive Progenitor.

“Are they still close? Or are they still in the hive?” Peter asked.

“As far as I’m aware or feel, they have left the hive for a very long time, they were going around as if looking for something, and then they left. Although terrifying screams can be heard sometimes since it is weak, I don’t think it is close to the hive, but it is best to consider caution” the Hive Progenitor said.

Peter was relieved when he heard that. So he asked more questions about the hive and the drones. He also asked about the life of a Hive Progenitor and the outside world.

After taking their time to talk. Peter couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by these new information.

The hive’s history is not that long, in fact, Peter is the 4th Hive Progenitor. The late Hive Progenitors had no choice but to make sacrifices to ensure that the hive lives on. 

Creating another Hive Progenitor could lead to problems if not done properly, requiring the successor to be in the growth vat and the Hive Progenitor will transfer a portion of its consciousness to it.

If the successor was born before the ritual, a new consciousness will emerge and will try to take over other drones. Since there can only be one Hive Progenitor in a hive. 

Having more than 1 Hive Progenitor will lead to internal conflict, confusion, and destruction.

The Hive Progenitor has also informed Peter that he was never expected to come. 

As the Hive Progenitor has previously explained, the successor drone was weak and lasted only before now.

The consciousness that was passed on to the successor drone was slowly crumbling when the vitals stopped. 

Until Peter came.

The Hive Progenitor did not expect him at all. Especially the soul of a human from another world.

The Hive Progenitor was relieved when the soul inhabited his last body. The Hive Progenitor was thankful when it restarted the vitals of his body and is now recovering from the damage.

Although the Hive Progenitor was glad that the body was recovering back. The introduction of a new consciousness will mean that the Hive Progenitors’ lesser consciousness could be suppressed, if not cease to exist.

Right now the Hive Progenitor’s consciousness was just a portion of its massive consciousness back then. 

And the consciousness that was just reintroduced by the soul could already take 3/4 of the total space of this young body. 

Leaving only a few more available spaces for new experiences. 

So the Hive Progenitor decided that since the new soul’s consciousness was full of knowledge he had never seen before, it was a natural decision for a Hive Progenitor to sacrifice oneself for the new one who would restore and potentially develop the hive into something greater than the previous hive’s Hive Progenitors’ supervision.

For this Hive Progenitor he never thought of choosing himself, since in the face of someone greater, the overwhelming potential of this consciousness’ is worth the risk.

So the Hive Progenitor informed Peter of what would happen if he woke up.

Peter was sad to hear this. He never expected to say goodbye at the same time he would meet someone for the first time.

Peter thought that having the previous Hive Progenitor would be very beneficial since he had no experience of becoming one, even more so, rebuilding the hive.

The Hive Progenitor also had the same thought as Peter. But didn’t want to risk this opportunity, if something bad happened it would really be the end for the hive.

“You said it will take about 3/4 of the total space right?” Peter asked the Hive Progenitor.

“Yes, but that is my estimation of the size based on how much knowledge you have,” the Hive Progenitor said.

“If something bad happens, the brain will take damage” the Hive Progenitor added.

“Is there any way to solve this? Like reducing the size of my consciousness or having more storage space” Peter asked.

“The storage space depends on the development stage of the body, the body in question resembles that of a 10-year-old drone, it will take time if we choose to wait, which we don’t have since there aren’t enough nutrients to feed the body,” the Hive Progenitor said.

“The other choice is sealing a part of your consciousness or memories, like your knowledge base. This in turn will shrink your consciousness depending on how much you will seal. I have done this before, but I no longer know what and for what reason, it must have been left in my previous consciousness” the Hive Progenitor said.

Peter was surprised to hear this, ‘the first option is out and the latter is still risky since I will be sealing a part of my memories’.

He thought deeply and decided on the latter. Right now, he needs someone who will guide him to survive and focus on avoiding the enemy.

“I think it would be best to seal most of my memories, right now I need to survive and find out more about the enemy, I need your guidance and experience as a former Hive Progenitor,” Peter said.

The Hive Progenitor was happy and relieved to hear this, ‘the succeeding consciousness shows kindness and conscientiousness of others, I don’t think I will regret this decision’ the Hive Progenitor thought.

“Sealing memories must be done carefully, sealing the wrong memory could result in changes to your beliefs and personality as well, are sure you want to do this?” the Hive Progenitor said.

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Hearing these words made Peter reconsider. But his answer is still the same.

Only allowed on

“As long as it does not affect my beliefs and personality greatly, I am fine with it,” Peter said.

After a few moments, screens showing Peter’s memories appeared in front of him like in augmented reality glasses. 

The Hive Progenitor saw Peter in a memory interacting with these and decided that it would help him decide, so he used it to visually present his memories.

After choosing memories and deliberating their significance, he chose the most that he thinks are useless, especially memories where he only watches short videos of funny people and animals, and videos of people doing weird things to themselves and others, etc.

After reconsideration, he finally made up his mind and chose the best useless memories to seal.

And left some fractions of them for reference, when he needs to remember.

Overall, the majority of the same type of memory was decided to be sealed away.

He presented the screens to the tree and the Hive Progenitor understood the gesture and sealed them.

After the Hive Progenitor sealed Peter’s memory.

Peter’s surroundings slowly went dark and the tree glowed brighter and brighter.

It was accompanied by dizziness until the darkness enveloped Peter’s vision and silence.

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