MISC: Hymenoptera

Tarq mitchell_crouch at caladrius.com.au
Mon May 26 01:26:28 PDT 2008

Right, so:
Assessment period is coming up in two weeks, and before then I have a
bazillion different things I have to write. This means that Yarns #15
probably won't be arriving until mid-late June, unless some spare time
pops into existence from nowhere.

So, have my Adveng 'Individual & Society' composition; HYMENOPTERA! It
got full marks (despite being cramped by a two page limit) along with
the following comment:
"Very clever and engaging. The word 'one' is overused and a little
annoying but the different meanings of the word evoke some interesting
notions of the relationships between the individual and society.
Sophisticated use of language."

---=-{( HYMENOPTERA )}-=---

One supposes that there was always something wrong with one, but one
could never guess as to what it would be. If one could see into the
past, see the first signs of it � whatever `it' really is � maybe then
one would know. But such thought is what makes one so repulsive; such
notions as ‘seeing into the past’, they’re what does this to one.

Perhaps one should begin more clearly.

One looks, of course, completely normal; one’s thorax is mostly black,
with standard golden markings; one’s abdomen mostly golden, with
blotches of black to mark one as a stinger; a head domed by an
exoskeleton helm, with eyes that can see in every direction at once
(as all proper eyes should); and, of course, one’s elegant, graceful
wings. One’s beautiful wings.

As with many things in life, one has noticed, it is beauty that begins
the tragic spiral into ruin; or perhaps it is vanity, that most
negative of associations with beauty. One could take it a step
further, if one so desired, and claim that the vanity is merely an
incarnation of greed. But greed is itself a product of jealousy, and
so on and so forth. One could continue for quite some time, if one
desired, though one feels that one has digressed from the purpose of
this warning.

One stated before that beauty began one’s downfall. Regardless of the
form, formation and semantics (which one has often felt to be quite
inadequate), one believes this to be true. For one to live a life
surrounded by ones who appear identical, for one to have such beauty
as one did and for it to be considered nothing but expected… it is
insufferable, is it not?

One remembers this day in unusual detail. One was foraging for
materials in preparation for the great undertaking of nest expansion
when one stumbled across a collection of small black rocks, growing
from a bush. These black rocks were unusual; they were soft of
texture, and leaked blue juice when crushed underfoot. Curious, one
examined their strange fleshiness in greater detail.

“What is one doing?” another one danced, ones wings thrumming as one
signalled ‘what’.
And this is where one must draw a significant line between ones mind
as the mind of the other ones. One’s language has, of course,
developed according to the other ones � the other ones have never
needed any other pronoun than ‘one’, for the other ones are identical,
and they share the one mind. But one can clearly see the difference
between the one recording this experience � this one � and the one
accessing the information � that one. Even if two ones were to access
the information, and the two ones shared the one mind, they clearly
have two different bodies (even if the bodies are identical, they are
differentiated by different positions at any given point in time,

So it would seem to one that, in order for one’s story to progress
smoothly, one would require several pronouns; not just the one.
Unfortunately, this is not the case, as one’s language has, as one
stated previously, developed for the other ones, who see the ones as
one mind and, for all intents and purposes, one body. It is this that
makes this one so ‘different’.

“What is one doing?” the other one signalled to this ones in the ones’
language of dance, thrums, and leg signals.

Does one see how tiresomely confusing this can get now?

“One has discovered rocks that leak blue,” one answered.

“Can they be used for sustenance?” the other one demanded.

“No,” this one replied.

“Can they be used for nest expansion?” the other one demanded.

“No,” this one replied.

“Can they be used for defence? For caring for the queen and young

“One daresays,” this one conceded, “no.”

The other one determined the leaking rock useless, and flew off to
forage for useful materials. But this one could not pass them by so
easily. Through stepping on several of them, one’s tarsi were stained
blue, and the ends of one’s usually yellow legs were also becoming
that way. The difference in colour, in texture… one could only call it

Naturally, upon seeing this beauty, one’s next thought was to cover
one’s beautiful wings in the juice of the leaking blue rock. One did
so, and though one’s wings became heavy and sticky, they were still
useable, and more importantly, they were beautiful. Beautiful because
they were different.

Is this such a bizarre thing to one? The other ones see beauty in
sameness, in identicalness, in the monotones and monochromes of
thousands of ones sharing one mind and working towards one task. The
other ones would call this beauty ‘harmony’. This one sees beauty in
the difference, the stark contrast between black and gold on a chitin
tapestry, in the swirling rays of orange and purple cast by a setting
sun, or in one pair of blue wings amidst an entity of gold. The other
ones call their beauty ‘harmony’, but this one feels certain that
harmony cannot survive in a world of monophony.

“One does not understand,” another one signalled to this one when one
returned to the great nest. It may have been the same other one as
before; it may not. These two ones share the same mind, and inhabit
practically identical bodies � the only way to tell them apart would
be to sample the other one’s odour, and this one could not be bothered
to explore the other one’s body with one’s antennae. “Why does one
have blue wings? One does not have blue wings. Is one sick?”

“One is not sick,” one explained. “One found rocks that leak blue. One
has covered one’s wings in blue, and now one is even more beautiful
than before.”

“One looks sick,” the other one stated dully.

“One is not sick,” one repeated. “Merely blue.”

“One is sick,” the other one stated factually. While this one danced
in protest, the other one continued, “Perhaps not sick in the body,
but sick in the mind. What is one thinking?”

The other one meant, of course, ‘What is this one thinking?’. This is
another case of semantic ambiguity; though in the original context,
the other one’s body language made it clear which of the ones the
other one was referring to, one sees that the other one’s exact
message may also have been rendered as ‘What is the other one

“One does not know,” one replied briskly. This was the truth; one
could not access the mind of the other ones. “This one is not a slave
to the one mind that binds one.”

This was, of course, foolish of this one. All the other ones turned to
face this one, though none of the other ones needed to move closer to
hear or see this one; the other one already conversing with this one
would fulfil all the other ones’ minds.

“One is sick,” the other ones danced in unison. “Why does one deny
this? Does one not wish to be part of one?”

“One is ones own,” this one returned. By this stage, however, one was
growing fitful � even afraid.

“One is not one,” the nearest other one danced. And that was that.

This one has not been danced to since. This one has had food retrieved
from the granaries taken away from one, and food brought to the
granaries by this one taken out of the great nest and left on the
ground. The expansions that this one has added to the great nest have
been taken off and replaced. It was as though, in the mind of the
other ones, this one did no longer exist, and anything bearing this
one’s odour was removed from the great nest.

Over time, one built one’s own nest, away from the great nest. One
kept one’s own stores of food, and one was never bothered by other
ones. This was extremely distressing, in a way; life among the other
ones, as uncomfortable as it was, was the only life one had ever
known. Over time, one came to miss the other ones, and, yes, see
things from the perspective of the one mind.

One � this one � had seen beauty in difference, the beauty in one pair
of blue wings surrounded by wings of glowing gold. And, as with many
things in life, it was this beauty that began the downward spiral to
one’s ruin.

And one pair of heavy, sticky, blue wings, surrounded by the barest
nothing, no longer seemed so beautiful to one.

---=-{( HYMENOPTERA )}-=---

Short and sweet! I also had to reformat it for Usenet, so I apologize
in advance for any wonkiness that may have occurred as a result of

Plenty more filler where that came from...

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