Tag Archive | verse: buginvasion

Bug Invasion

The world wasn’t expecting the Bugs to invade.

But the Bugs weren’t expecting the humans, either.

A Week of Settings

From the moment they breathed our air (Lj) after: Staying in the City (LJ) and Spooks vs. Bugs (DW)
It’s all in your Head (LJ)
Out of Their Minds
Voices – After All in Your Head and Out of Their Minds.

Poison (LJ)
Beyond (after Poison)

Icon Flash: The Bug Rebellion

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/391028.html. You can comment here or there.

A week of Settings – Day Five: Bug Invasion

It was an ordinary day when the bugs invaded.

The bugs had swooped in, hitting the early-warning system and landing within hours of that. There was time to sound alarms, but not time to evacuate billions of people to safe places – if, indeed, there would have been safe places for all.

They weren’t truly bugs, of course; they were an alien species with alien biology. But they had segmented bodies and compound ideas, and the term stuck.

Worse than their attack, worse than their alien behavior, was how they succeeded in their attack: they invaded the bodies and minds of humans (not all humans, but a select few) in a symbiotic merger that left them better able to work with and understand the human psyche.

They won the first thrust of the battle.

However, they were not counting on the complexity and strength of the human resistance.

Bug Invasion starts with the invasion. From there it follows the symbiotes and their struggle to deal with the human condition.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/585273.html. You can comment here or there.

Beyond, a story of Bug Invasion for the June Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith‘s continuation of Poison, a Bug Invasion story

The symbiotes had been talking about poison.

Paula couldn’t always hear everything; sometimes her symbiote shut her out. But this conversation just kept going on, so she could fill in the parts she missed easily enough.

%*&^ …and it tastes like the nectar… ^&*%

%*&^ …but it deteriorates their neural processes… ^&*%

%*&^ …the HomeLand sun never left one feeling this relaxed… ^&*%

%*&^ …too much can cause failure of the organs. It kills them. Look at this one; it is killing it. And it keeps drinking. Its symbiote should stop it. ^&*%

%*&^ No no no no no no no no, no no! ^&*%

%*&^ …It is poison for us as well? ^&*%

%*&^ Not poison. Pleasure. Sweet Pleasure. Pleasure that must keep going. ^&*%

%*&^ No no no no no no no no, no no! ^&*%

And so it went. Fallon’s symbiote was further gone than Fallon was, chittering angrily at anyone who got close. It, not Fallon, was going to be the one who tipped his body over the killing point.

“Addiction.” She wrested control of her body back from her symbiote – it was easier, the more sugar she ate. It got jittery. “Do you have addiction?”

Eli’s symbiote blinked Eli’s eyes at her. “We don’t have that word.”

“You wouldn’t. It isn’t a hive word, it’s an individual problem.”

“Is it why you eat poison?”

“We eat poison for pleasure. I have told you that already. It is why we don’t stop eating poison when it’s killing us.” Or gambling. Or shopping. Or hoarding.

“This addiction makes you… Keep doing pleasurable things?”

“Or things that are normally useful. Eating. Storing for winter.”

“Why do you have addiction?” Eli’s symbiote was becoming uncomfortable – its eyes were twitching – but so was Eli. His hands were jittering and his shoulders beginning to shudder. She recognized the symptoms – the subconscious found tiny ways to take over.

She couched her next words carefully. Eli had less control than many of them, and he was generally twitchier and more secretive. “I don’t know what happens that makes people more likely to be addicted. Nobody’s entirely certain. Some people think it’s upbringing, or neurochemicals, or some combination.”

“Nerochemicals…” The symbiote went off on a long string of the bug language. Paula’s brain-rider provided imperfect translation; all she could tell right now was that the bug was very upset.

Finally her bug took over.

%*&^ You are reading what she is saying incorrectly. ^&*%

%*&^ If their brains are different then they are buhdeparp… ^&*%

That word had no translation Paula could understand. Outside? Sideways? Beyond? Beyond what?

%*&^ You see that this is not true. They are within. Held to their families. They have no buhdeparp ^&*% Paula’s voice was very calm, very soothing, as her symbiote tried to convince Eli’s of… something. That their addicts weren’t beyond something?

%*&^ But they do not know. If they are truly different… ^&*%

%*&^ They are not. ^&*% This time, Paula could hear the bleed of thoughts. If they were, perhaps this would mean freedom.

Freedom? For their jailers?

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/383029.html. You can comment here or there.

IconFlash: The Bug Rebellion

Continuing flash series! I’m going to write one flash for every Icon I have, over 4 LJ accounts, 1 DW, and a whole bunch of not-currently-in-use, until I get bored or run out of icons.

Today’s icon:

Swirls, picked by @dahob

Icon by [personal profile] lo_rez

I have been using this icon for my Bug Invasion series.

It hadn’t been Kaylie’s intention to steal a Bugship. She and Derrick had just been trying to get away, as away as they could get when Derrick had one of those bugs in his head, just trying to have the closest to privacy they could get.

But the Bug-shuttle had been right there, and its swirling interface, like Mandelbrot sets of buttons, had answered to Derrick’s touch. Blushing, he’d told her his symbiote thought this was a good idea.

It wasn’t until they were in the front seat, both of them fitting easily in the single Bug-shaped seat, and Kaylie’s foot hit the second set of buttons, that they thought maybe the symbiote had bigger plans. And when Derrick’s face got a suddenly stricken look, Kaylie knew it had to be something big.

“They won’t follow us.” He said it, and then /It/ said it, in the metallic voice it forced out of her lover’s vocal cords. “They don’t understand what it’s like. They will say I have left the… chirrrZXkkglg…. the reservation.”

“And what about us?”

“You won’t be the only ones. We have a plan.” Derrick’s eyes blinked silver-and-gold for a moment. “I will sleep now. You may be alone together. Do not worry.”

They had a plan. That was not the most reassuring of things. But Derrick’s arms around her, in the pilot’s chair of a shuttle shooting towards the atmosphere… that was the most comforting thing Kaylie’d felt in a long time. There would be more.

It looked like the Bugs had a rebellion going on. Kaylie wondered how Earth would fare in the aftermath.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/367376.html. You can comment here or there.

Voices, a story of Bug Invasion for the March Giraffe Call.

For [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith‘s Prompt.

After All in Your Head and Out of Their Minds.

All round, hosts were rejecting their symbiotes. The Earth was rejecting the Bugs. The faeries were taunting the invaders, the ghosts were haunting them; even the Things were fighting off the aliens. Nobody wanted them there anymore. Nobody wanted a creature in its head. Nobody wanted the bugs on their planet.

Nobody, it seemed, except Josh.

^*^They are rej^*^ecting their riders,*^* his symbiote whispered in his mind. ^*^They are kil^*^ling them.^*^ The simple statement came with layers of meaning: We didn’t know they could do that. No race has ever rejected us before. Are you going to reject me? Are you going to kill me.

“They are,” Josh muttered. He was staring at the fence penning them in, holding the hosts close to one another. “They’ve never been alone. They don’t know what it’s like to be left alone with the voices.”

^*^I am a voice,^*^ the symbiote pointed out quietly. ^*^And you do not mind me?^*^

“I don’t mind you. Look, we could get out this way.”

^*^Out? Why Out? This is where the Home is.^*^ The concept for Home in the symbiote’s mind seemed to consist in part of the-family-I-keep-around-me and in part the-place-where-I-sleep.

“Home is… humans have a saying, okay? ‘Home is where the heart is.’ I don’t like this place and, besides, the bugs are losing. Eventually, the humans are going to swarm this place. And they’re already figuring out forced separations.”

^*^I do not want^*^*^ to be sep^*^arated.^*^

“Me neither, buddy. You’re the only voice in here that makes sense.” And, besides, since the symbiote had taken up residence, the other voices had gotten a lot quieter. “And you don’t think I’m crazy.”

^*^You make more sense than most hu^*^mans.^*^ The symbiote fell quiet for a moment. ^*^Not here. Down there. There the fence is thin^*^ner.^*^

“Got it.” Humming to himself, Josh went about making his escape.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/301189.html. You can comment here or there.

Poision, a story of the Bug Invasion for the Feb. Giraffe Call

For YsabetWordsmith‘s prompt,

Out of Their Minds (LJ)
All in Your Head (LJ), after
From the moment they breathed our air (Lj) after: Staying in the City (LJ) and Spooks vs. Bugs (DW)

Paula moved among the surviving bug-hosts, those that were still hosting a symbiote, those that were either too stable or too gone to reject their rider, those who simply didn’t want to, those who couldn’t bring themselves to kill another living being, even if it had taken over part of their mind.

There weren’t many left, fifteen of them out of two hundred in this camp, maybe more, in other camps. Her symbiote had stopped talking to her. She was pretty sure it was angry. But it gave her, still, these half-hours at a time when she was still herself, and she took every minute of them.

She sat down next to Fallon, who had found another bottle of vodka somewhere and was nursing it quietly. He blinked at her, human eyes replaced by bug pupils, and the bug belched and giggled.

“This stuffff,” it chittered in Fallon’s voice. “You humans. You humans, this stufffff, you poison-on-on yourselves so nicely. You poison yourselves so many waysss. How? How-how-why?”

It had asked that before. She had answered before. This time, instead, she handed it a cup of thick hot chocolate, the best she could find. “This,” she told the bug in Fallon’s body, “this thing is poison in large doses. Chocolate. Cacao. It’s a stimulant, among other things.”

Fallon’s shaking hand took the drink, while the bug’s eyes watched her. “It is good?”

“It is wonderful,” she assured it. “We poison ourselves, my friend, because it feels good. Because we can. Because we are allowed to do what we want to our bodies, and revel in that.”

Her half hour was nearly up; she could feel the presence of her symbiote crowding in on her consciousness. She took the bottle from Fallon and swallowed down a long burning gulp. “We poison ourselves…”

The symbiote took over “…becaussse their bodies are wired to accept it as good. These creatures. These creatures.”

“These creatures,” Fallon’s bug agreed drunkenly. “They cannot be defeated. Their biology has already done that.”

In the back of her own mind, forced into silence, Paula giggled. How little they understood.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/291504.html. You can comment here or there.

Out of their minds, a story of Bug Invasion for the (January) Giraffe Call

For fflox‘s commissioned continuation of
All in Your Head (LJ), after
From the moment they breathed our air (Lj) after: Staying in the City (LJ) and Spooks vs. Bugs (DW)

“You’re not real. You’re in my imagination.”

“I don’t believe in you.”

“I can live my life without you just fine.”


“I’ve never seen this many fair folk. I’ve never seen anything like this many so close to a city.”

“Or ghosts. It’s like everyone who ever died here is back…”

Paula was, generally, a well-grounded, sensible, rational young lady, or so her bosses had said, so her teachers had said, so her friends had believed. She had her feet on the ground and she didn’t, as a general rule, believe in things she couldn’t see.

She was also, and had been for several months now, infested with an alien symbiote that read her mind and sometimes controlled her body.

The bugs had invaded dozens of planets, some successfully, some failures, but none, she was getting the impression, as big a failure as Earth was becoming for them. Their system of bonding with native hosts had, she had been told, served them well even on planets where they couldn’t manage a full-scale invasion. They could sit undetected that way, breed that way, and conquer large parts of the planet from “on the ground.”

They had, she was pretty certain, never faced this sort of resistance, a two-front rebellion from the un-infected outside their walls and from their hosts, the hosts they needed to survive the pollution, in their very homes and bodies.

And Paula, the sensible one, the one who didn’t believe in, say, faeries and was a fan of pharmaceuticals to help the unstable, found herself slipping from host to host, suggesting that they look at the fae, asking how they dealt with the voices in their head, reminding them to forget their allergy meds.

She was too practical and too calm for any of this to really work for her, sadly; she couldn’t really see the fair folk or ghosts that well, and she had never heard another voice in her head before, except her conscience and the echoes of her mother.

But she could help the others. She could sit down with a new friend and talk her through a panic attack, talk her through a dark moment until the friend could look up and say “this isn’t real. That’s not me saying that,” and have control of her head again. She’d done that before, for college friends, bad acid trips or just bad brain chemistry, more than a few times.

She knew it was working the day that three of her friends, all at once, sat down and said “You’re not real. You’re not real. You’re not real.”

And it was, finally, too much for the symbiotes, as all three fled their hosts and lay choking, dying on the ground like so many ant-fish looking things.

“You’re not real,” another friend said, and a fifth said “the ghosts are really thick here. Do you think bugs have ghosts?”

And that was it. AS their non-symbiote family watched helplessly from their controlled-environment ship, well over half the hosted bugs fled their clearly-insane human hosts, as unable to handle the strange brain chemistry as they were the atmosphere.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/288957.html. You can comment here or there.

All in your Head, a story continuation of Bug Invasion for the Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith‘s commissioned continuation of
From the moment they breathed our air (Lj) after: Staying in the City (LJ) and Spooks vs. Bugs (DW)

This came out a little strange, and I’m not certain it *entirely* got across what I was trying to do, but here it is.

Those who had already been bonded with a bug had a unique advantage over those who didn’t. They had many, many disadvantages: they shared their brain with a symbiote who could skim their thoughts, affect and shift those thoughts, alter moods, and take over their body. They were, because of that symbiote, tagged and lojacked, stuck, now that the bugs had been repulsed from continuing attacks, in small encampments behind enemy lines and even if they could get out, the humans had learned what to look for, and would often shoot them on sight.

On the other hand, they were behind enemy lines, with an enemy sharing mind-space with them, and the bugs did not seem to have a tradition of keeping secrets from their hosts. And they were learning how to reboot their symbiotes, giving themselves more and more time to talk – to plan, that was important – without their enemies overhearing.

And there were a host of things that they’d found the bugs just couldn’t handle. Ghosts and fae, that had been a fun one. Paula was still giggling about it – much to the consternation of her symbiote (The bugs had humor, but it was more on the lines of puns and clever-tricks than slapstick or situational comedy).

She wasn’t giggling about the chemical sensitivity – no one was. The expelled symbiote had died, and the host had nearly done so. But she hadn’t, and that told them something very useful. And the hosts were talking.

Talking was risky, of course. The symbiotes only stayed dormant for so long, and the “so” was hard to predict. And when they were awake, you had to trust yourself to not think about the plans, not even think that there were plans. You had to be very good at being a prisoner in your own mind.

She’d been going back and forth about that one for a while, when she had room to think, chewing over it, trying to figure out how to plot a rebellion against something in your own head. The ghosts helped, but the bugs were beginning to understand them and, as they understood them, were less likely to glitch out.

The chemical sensitivity was trapping the bugs into environmentally-controlled ships, buildings, and bubbles, which, in the end, would probably give the rest of the world the tools they needed to defeat their enemy. But it did nothing for those already bonded, if they didn’t happen to have asthma or a chemical sensitivity.

For all of her mulling over it, Paula ended up almost literally tripping over her solution.

Her symbiote, for all the little it talked to her, had clearly been worried ever since the woman with chemical sensitivity had rejected her invader. That had, she gathered, never happened before. But if it had happened once, the bug seemed to think, could it happen again?

It sent waves of pleasure-feelings through Paula in an urge to soothe and, she thought, bribe her: ::good human, you wouldn’t kick me out to die?::

::I don’t know how.::

But it could be done. Somehow. Somehow, if its body thought it was dying from you. Which was easier said than done, she was pretty sure, short of poison, short of actually almost-killing-yourself. Which really didn’t solve the problem.

And then she tripped over Anya.

Anya was new to their collection of hosts, a slight girl with a nervous tic and a habit of staying in the back of any conversation. She’d seemed shy but not all that unstable when Paula met her, but now, she was curled up in a corner, staring into space.

“What is it?” Paula asked her gently.

“My meds,” the girl admitted. “Without them, without them it’s hard to stay calm. I have to work to remember that the voices in my head aren’t real, and the worst part of it is, now, one of them is.”

One of them is. She sat down next to Anya, carefully not thinking of anything but the girl’s problem. “How do you normally deal with the voices in your head?” she asked. She’d had a friend in college with panic attacks… and another one who learned how to self-induce them to get out of tests.

“I tell them they’re not real,” Anya whispered. “And then they stop bothering me for a while.”

“Have you tried,” she asked, even more slowly, “trying that with the bug?”

“I…” She closed her eyes, and curled up on herself. “This isn’t real,” she murmured. “You’re not real. You’re just a figment of my imagination, and I don’t need to listen to you.”

When she opened her eyes, she seemed happier, more human – and Paula had the beginnings of a plan.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/265529.html. You can comment here or there.

From the moment they breathed our air, a story of Bug Invasion for the Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith‘s prompt.

Title adapted from the last bit of War of the Worlds.

Bug Invasion stories before this were:
Staying in the City (LJ)
Spooks vs. Bugs (DW)

The bugs weren’t winning.

This was confusing them to no end.

They were losing because of things they couldn’t understand – ghosts and faeries, monsters and spooks. They had no defense against things that did not exist on the material plane.

They were losing because of things they could understand – rebellion, tenacity, and ingenuity. They had lost to those before, Paula realized, but not so badly, not so quickly. They had never before been stopped like a wall before finishing their first sweep of a world.

They were losing because of things in the air – environmental pollutants, among others, smog and smoke and such – and in the water, most amusingly hormones and flushed pills, and this, they had no defense against. She asked her symbiote, ::has no other place you’ve invaded had such problems?:: but the symbiote was busy being upset by the suffering of the non-bonded and had no answer for her.

Those that bonded seemed to have a better time of it, which meant that the bugs left in their slowly-decreasing area were hurriedly kidnapping those they thought could take it and bonding, being less and less picky just to get in a body, just to survive.

…and then, and Paula had to giggle, even though it wasn’t funny, in their rush to get hosts, they didn’t ask important questions like “How do humans withstand this pollution?” or, more importantly, “are there humans that can’t handle it?”

It wasn’t funny, because the poor girl they got with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities just found her issues doubled by having a symbiote. It was, on the other hand, telling, because Paula got to watch what happened when a host rejected its bug. Which meant she knew it could happen.

Possibly more importantly, it meant the bugs knew it could happen.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/253905.html. You can comment here or there.

Spooks vs. Bugs – Giraffe Call

For YsabetWordsmith‘s prompt.

After Staying in the City (LJ) – from last month’s Giraffe Call.

Commenters: 6

Warning: potential squick – referenced mind/body control

The bugs had a problem.

Paula knew, now, that they weren’t bugs, but the word they used for themselves, Tillalillathianin, twisted strangely in the human part of her brain, so in the parts that were still hers, she still thought of them as “bugs.” Her symbiote didn’t seem to object.

Symbiote. She was still getting used to the feeling of it, to the double-senses inside her and the loss of control of what still seemed like her own body… mostly. She was still getting used to the additions the symbiote had brought, and the echo of its feelings against hers. They all were, symbiotes and hosts, the bonded and those who were still Just Bugs.

But that wasn’t the problem – not quite, at least. The problem was, it seemed, that the Tillalillathianin’s home planet – not their home planet, really, but the one they had conquered the longest ago within their memory; when you asked a bug or a symbiote “what happened to your real home planet?” you got an hour-long headache and no good answers – well, anyway. Either none of the planets the Tillalillathianin had conquered before had an otherworld, or they had never before merged with a race that could see them.

This was causing them some issues, more because the bugs-proper could still not sense the other-beings, the fae and the restless undead and the monsters-under-bed sort of creatures, but those that had been bonded could, and it was freaking out the symbiotes. They kept giving up control of their human hosts every time they saw a ghost, which was, if disorienting, rather entertaining for both ghosts and hosts, and upsetting for the bugs-proper.

The fairies had already figured it out; Paula had a host of the tiny pixies following her around now. The ghosts were beginning to get it, and somebody, she’d been told, had sent the monsters a message.

The spooks were going to spook out the bugs. In the growing part of her brain that was still hers, Paula found this very pleasing indeed.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/154662.html. You can comment here or there.