Ad Astra Per Apiarium

“It’s bees, I’m afraid,” Jill said, wiping greasy hands on her jumpsuit.

Rachel groaned. “Again? I just had the knees resealed. How do they get in?”

Jill shrugged. “Beats me why they would think a giant robot is a good spot to build a hive in the first place.”

“Maybe if I didn’t have to keep it in a damn field—”

“Then pay for a hangar like everyone else,” Jill interrupted.

Rachel crossed her arms over her chest. “You know I can’t afford that.”

“But you can afford a giant robot?”

As usual, Rachel stormed out, leaving Jill to the quiet hum of machines and confused bees. She looked up at Rachel’s Hyperion-class lunar mech, admiring the sleek alloy skin, the ultralight fuel tanks tucked into the booster boots. It was funny how some people preferred shuttles while others wanted to feel like they were doing the flying themselves. Like birds, or bees. And hoverboots only got you so far, even with a suit.

Jill watched the bees zip around the mech’s joint and thought, Maybe wings only get you so far, too.

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