Jean's house has termites.
They are, as it happens, very polite termites. They stay scrupulously away from load-bearing beams, so that he never has to worry about his roof collapsing onto his head. He does have to replace the non-load-bearing walls occasionally -- and the porch railing, and the interior doors, and the kitchen table -- but they stay away from the bookshelves, so overall he counts it as a win.
The bedbugs are polite enough not to bite. Jean is pretty sure this should not be physiologically possible, but he's learned better than to ask too many questions. The mosquitoes do bite, but they don't bite him, and they're careful about only biting one animal so they don't spread disease.
He didn't have silverfish until he designated a bookshelf to devote entirely to a collection of really, truly terrible books. It features Fifty Shades of Gray and To Train Up A Child and Dianetics and tie-in novels for various franchises. Now he does have silverfish, but only in the one bookshelf, so that's okay.
His favorites are the bees. (The spiders are his sister's favorite, but she doesn't mind that he likes the bees best. Bees are good too.) He has hives and hives of them, and none of them ever sting him, which is good, because if they did they would die and that would be awful. They make more honey than they need, so every so often he gets to go open up one of the hives (he warns them first, politely, so none get squashed by accident) and fish out jars and jars full of honey. He has a pantry full of it, all different colors, shades of gold and brown and pale and even auburn. Sometimes he shares it with the bugs.
The bees need flowers, of course, but he has forty acres all to himself, and when the grasshoppers know to stay away and the worms know to come and thrive, that can grow a lot of plants. He gets monarch butterflies every fall when they migrate, and he stands outside counting them and crying. He doesn't love them quite as much as he loves the bees, but he still loves them, and there's fewer every year.
They miss him, when he's gone, traveling to act or to attend conferences or to do other things, and he misses them. There's bugs everywhere, but his house has so many, and such good ones. His sister sends him all sorts of strange and foreign creatures: dung beetles with carapaces that shine like jewels, long-legged spiders that weave him clothes of strange fabric, African termites that build clay statues at his command.
They're letting him be, right now, so he can focus on his work, but he can still see them moving out of the corner of his eye, and it makes him smile: small winged things darting irregular paths through the air, or heavier bugs scuttling across the floor, going about their business. He never has to be alone.
Jean clicks out of the ninth article on bee depopulation and squints at the screen, tired-eyed. increasing bee population, he googles.
Ten minutes later, after working through a fruitless page of results: getting bees to breed more
After another ten minutes: bee mating
what do bees think is sexy
how to seduce a bee
Jean's house has termites.
The first link on the seventh page of the "how to seduce a bee" Google search is fairly dire, though the link looked promising.
Bee Mechanics of Seduction
Queen virgin flies to where thousands of bees are waiting and is with some of the flying men in flight. A male drone puts the queen, ejacates semen and inserts a rash in the intestines. After ejaculation, the bull is pulled away from the queen, but the endoderm is cut from the body and remains attached to the newly fertilized queen. The next stick with the Queen removes the previous endoderm and eventually is lost after ejaculation.
The next male bee with the Queen will remove the previous endophallus and then lose themselves after ejaculate. Male bees can only kill 7 to 10 times during a mature flight, and after death, dron quickly dies while opening his abdomen. Even the troops that survived the death flight will be expelled from the nest because they will kill themselves to achieve their goals.
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deathflight23 [12/31/17 02:04]
IF YOU'RE A PUSSY DON'T WATCH THIS!!!:
There's an embedded video in the last comment. The thumbnail shows a young man, thoroughly pierced with half his head shaved, holding a squirming tarantula hawk between his fingertips.
Poor tarantula hawk.
Jean hesitates, cursor hovering over the thumbnail, and finally clicks play.
The video plays.
"–so, I don't normally do bugs."
The insect squirms and thrashes, but his grip isn't actually tight enough to damage it.
"But I got this in the mail – and, uh, side note, don't rig things to blow on me right when you send them? If I hadn't caught this you wouldn't have gotten a video, you know? Anyway, it's supposed to have one of the most painful stings in the world."
It's hard to tell whether the waver in his voice is excitement or fear. His eyes flicker from the bug to the camera.
"When I get a tribute from a fan, though...I've gotta follow through, right? For you."
"The note said choke on it. Wanna see me try?"
Oh no the poor bug.
(A centipede emerges from the woodwork and crawls up his leg, comfortingly.)
It's awful but he can't look away.
He makes a show of bringing it up towards his mouth as it twitches and writhes.
The sting touches to his lips.
He lets go. The wasp flies off out of view.
After a second of choking he starts to scream, clutching his face, slumping back against the wall behind him and shaking in waves.
The camera is far back enough that it's not difficult to see how hard he is.
After a few minutes, when there's swelling visible over the top of his hand, the video ends abruptly.
Awww! A happy ending. He's glad he kept watching.
What a weird guy, though.
a happy ending.
there was something compelling about it.
...why was someone sending him a bug, anyway? Does he ... is this something he does regularly?
He clicks through on the embedded video, to see if there's some kind of channel he can investigate.
The embedded video redirects him to zlovesyou.red.
It's an oddly bare site, an all black page with index and contact links in red at the bottom. Most of it is taken up by the video player.
In the thumbnail to this one, he's frozen adjusting the camera, with no sign of what's going to be happening afterwards.
...sure, why not. He needs a break from work anyway.
Jean starts the video running.
He pulls back from the camera. He's shirtless, this time.
"143 donors. You know I fucking love you all, right?"
The camera pulls back a little. Make that 'in his underwear'.
"You all know the rules if you're in the chat, but for everybody else – cuts at least six inches, quarter of an inch deep. Call me out if I miss one. I wanna give you all your money's worth."
He picks up a box cutter from the bed next to him and sets it against his thigh.
"Okay. Here's number one..."
Every one makes him sigh, or shudder, or moan.
They start to run off his thighs, up onto his abdomen and his chest and his arms, criss-crossing, yawning open and pouring blood down onto the sheets.
By the time it's done – 143 cuts in all – he's a slick mess of blood, skin shredded, lips blue.
...did he just kill himself on camera?? That should not be possible to survive.
Jean looks for videos more recent than that one.
Clicking a link stops the page from trying to reload itself.
When he clicks onto the index, and then onto the archive, one of the links is a darker red, presumably the one he's already watched. There are several more after it.
The most recent was apparently taken yesterday.
...okay. So ... faked, then? Or ... he doesn't know.
He clicks the link to the most recent video.
...this is very confusing. Who is this person? Why is he doing this? How is he surviving it? Who is sending him hate mail, and why?
Jean scrolls down and clicks on the oldest video, to see if starting from the beginning makes any sense of it all.
The oldest video is the same man – a boy in this one, really. He looks about 17, and in the thumbnail his face is completely unadorned.
Over the course of the video, he pierces himself carefully and methodically through the lip, the eyebrow, many times through the ears. He doesn't say a word, and barely makes a sound.
At the very end, he looks up into the camera –
And then doubles over, making a strangled sound of total bliss.
The video ends.
Contact page have any information?
There's an email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – and an IRC server to join.
There's also a "BIO", but it's not especially informative.
Z loves you, and wants you to be happy.
What the hell.
He joins the IRC server. He has to see what kind of people hang out on a IRC server for ... this. Besides, well, him.