The Ninth Tree

by Ben, age 11
The Ninth Tree Ben is an 11-year-old boy. He loves to read and write as well as play sports in his free time. He lives with his mom, dad, brother and pet dog, Ollie. Ben lives in Scarsdale New York.

“Bert the bee was a very happy bee. Most bees would always worry about the honey needing to be made, and the conditions of the queen bee. Bert decided there was more to life than that.”

Bert the bee was a very happy bee. Most bees would always worry about the honey needing to be made, and the conditions of the queen bee. Bert decided there was more to life than that.

There was a huge yard, and there were nine trees. There were nine hives. Eight of the hives had about 30,000 bees. The ninth hive had only a hundred. The ninth hive held different types of bees than the ones that worshipped the queen. Those bees started a new civilization in the ninth tree. Most bees in the first tree followed all the others in worshipping the queen, but there were some, like Bert, who wanted to follow another path to the ninth tree.

Those other bees wouldn’t sting people for coming near the hive. They wanted to join the ninth tree civilization. There was one problem to get to the ninth tree though. Kira. A human guard. If a bee attempted to enter and join the ninth tree, they would be killed. Instantly. Somehow, the queen had a connection or a controlling device on Kira. Some bees figured that out and tried to help Kira. Basically the queen bee was getting control of Kira’s mind and controlling it in ways unknown to bee kind. The queen was too fat to move, so she needed someone else to take care of the bees escaping to the ninth tree

Bert had been coming up with a plan to not only save Kira, but to also escape and happily live in the ninth tree. The only way to shut down the queen bee’s abnormal device was to manually access it. Bert needed to face the queen bee and stop her in a bee-to-bee showdown. The problem with Bert’s plan was that he didn’t know how the queen bee’s mind control device worked. And he would have to take down the guards before getting to the actual queen. He would take down the guards with a distraction.

Currently, Bert was a respected bee and would be able to have a bit more luck getting to the guards. There were eight bee ranks: (1) Queen Bee (2) Guard Bee (3) Servant Bee (4) Respected Bee (5) Respected Bee helper (6) Male Worker Bee (7) Female Worker Bee (8) Cleaner Bee. The higher rank you were, the nicer your room was, and the more respected you were.

The way the other bees got to the ninth tree was by temporarily disabling the mind control device. Bert just had to access it. Bert knew that all bees were attracted to light. So he could use it to distract the five guards. He created a mini light source from gathering things around the hive.

He would use a couple of things around the tree, like some of the bark from the tree as a protection layer, and an electric wire, and honey. Bert found the wire near the bottom of the tree. The honey was a conductor, and the wire let the energy flow through to the cracked bulb he found in the storage room. Bert also knew the guards would try to attack if they figured out his plan.

Bert was very, very smart and had a defense mechanism. A bee taser. He used an extra piece of the electric wire and, after a while, managed to produce some volts. It didn’t need to charge because there was a separate tube for honey storage that self charged the taser.

In the most powerful taser, there were 50,000 volts. This would instantly knock out a human and disintegrate a bee. Now, Bert would never be able to get his little bee hands on 50,000 volts. But 10 volts would stun a bee. Bert needed to test it. And since Bert couldn’t tell ANYONE about this, he had to test it on himself. ZAP! Wow, that hurt. But he kept telling himself that it was for a good reason. The right reason.

Bert also believed that the queen bee had mind controlled some of the other bees to get them to do what she wanted. Bert also thought that the queen bee wasn’t really her massive size. Her size was just a protecting layer that could be taken, or forced, off. Here was Bert’s plan. First, head over towards the guards and try to use the mini flash light to attract the guards. Now, the only reason that would work was because it was very dark in the hive. Hopefully they would go over and stay attracted to it. If that didn’t work, then Bert would use his taser, which would be a surprise to the guards. Hopefully that wouldn’t happen though. Once Bert got past the guards, he would advance through the series of locked doors with electronic keypads. None of the bees should have any electric power, so they would have to manually open the door.

The main reason Bert made the taser was to fry the keypads so the door would open, but, if he had to, he could also use it for defense. Bert didn’t have the next part of the plan because he didn’t know what the queen would do. Bert had been in his room for more time than usual, working on his plan, but he didn’t want anyone getting suspicious, so he decided to go out of his room and talk with some of the other bees in the hive. He went over to his best friend, who was also Rank 4, a respected bee.

“Hey, Bert!” Ken said. (Ken was Bert’s friend.)

“What up, Ken! How’ve you been doin’?”

“Pretty good. I just finished my shift of serving food to the bees,” Ken stated.

“I got up bright and early for my shift, but now I have the rest of the day to myself!” Bert said with a smile.

“Bert, I’ve been wondering how the queen bee is controlling the worker bees,” Ken said, with a lowered voice. “Well, she has to, because none of them would actually do what she says because they all hate her.”

Bert was thinking about telling Ken about his plan, so maybe it wouldn’t be as hard.

“Ken, can we go up to your room for a minute?”

“Yeaaah… why?”

“You’ll see. Just hurry please.”

In Ken’s room, Bert revealed his plan.

“Okay, Ken, so I have been working on a plan to save Kira and take down the queen bee. Just let me finish, and I know it sounds crazy. But I have devised a plan, and some weapons, AND some distractions to get past the guards and face the queen bee.”

“Hold up, you know we all hate the queen bee, but do you really think you could pull off something that crazy?” Ken asked.

“Yes. Of course. Like I said, I have a plan I have been working on for months. Are you in or out?” Bert asked.

“Oh, fine, but hey, I need a weapon or someth-”

“I’ve got you covered, Ken. I made a backup sword. You can use it,” Bert interrupted. Ken slung it around his abdomen.

“I trust you, so let’s go.”

The two bees stealthily went down the long corridor towards the area of guards. They approached and were greeted by the guards.

“You shouldn’t be here, Bert. Ken. What do you need? And make it quick,” the first guard said.

Bert didn’t answer, but flicked his homemade flashlight on and threw it. The guards didn’t move.

“You guys don’t wanna go to the light?” Bert quizzingly asked.

“In our goggles, we have UV ray protection, so right now we see everything mostly blue. We aren’t attracted to that light because the goggles block it. Now why? Is that a distraction to stop the queen bee or what? Bert, we aren’t stupid,” the guard finished.

“Well, neither am I,” Bert said, advancing towards the guards.

“Bert, what do we do?!” Ken yelled.

“The backup plan,” Bert whispered back.

Five versus two wasn’t the best matchup, however, the guards had no weapons. Bert had his taser, and Ken had a sword. This evened the playing field. The two weapons were drawn out and held forward.

“Let us through. We won’t cause any commotion,” Bert bargained.

“No, can’t do that. FORWARD!” the main guard yelled.

Three guards advanced towards Bert and two towards Ken.

“You can do this, Ken!” Bert supported him.

Bert dodged a punch from one guard and electrified him to the floor. The other two faced Bert and one tackled him. The taser fell, and Bert was down.

“BERT!”

Ken tried to help, but his sword was used against him, and he got jabbed hard in the back. Ken fell. Bert struggled, pushing over the guard and punching him back to the ground, then giving him one last punch to keep him down. Two guards remained. One was the stronger, and the other was the weaker. Bert picked up the weaker guard, which took him by surprise, and flung him over his shoulder. Bert had been practicing to fight. The final guard stood tall, facing Bert.

“I took out your friend, and now you.”

Bert looked at the taser on the floor. The honey had spilled out so the power was gone. And the sword had snapped from being smashed too hard. Fist fight. Bert flew into the air and zipped towards the guard. At the last second, he hopped out of the way. Bert once again laid on the floor. The guard came over and took a big swing at Bert’s face. He rolled over just in time, so the guard yelped in pain. He hit the floor hard and fell over. Bert tossed him over to the side. None of the guards were dead, but Bert felt like he was after that battle. He sank to the floor in exhaustion. He had actually gotten by the first area. He felt pain and blood. He quickly took off his shirt and tightly wrapped it around the wound. Then Bert remembered Ken.

“Ken, no, no, are you good?” Bert pleaded.

“Bert, go… g-get past… the queen, finish… her. Bert, we need you…” Ken’s eyes closed, and his hand dropped.

“NOOOOOOOO!” Bert screamed.

He ran over to the guard he knocked out and found what he was looking for. The passkey. He could open the doors with it because he couldn’t fry the keypads now that the taser was broken. He was going to attack the queen bee for Ken. Then Bert realised something. There was a possibility he could still save Ken. He thought he could save Ken by using the power source of the mind control device.  It was only a matter of time. He threw Ken over his shoulder and ran towards the first door. As he raced through the hive, the queen figured out what was happening and told the guards. She expected only Bert to come and be knocked out by the five guards. But it happened the other way.

“Ah, Bert, I’ve been waiting. It’s about time. I believe you are after the power source to shut down my strength? Well, there is more to it than you think. This device, the mind control device, can give you powers. Or it could kill you if done incorrectly.”

“JUST LET THE HUMAN GO!” (Kira the human was being mind controlled by the Queen, and Bert wanted to let her go) Bert yelled, rushing at the Queen.

Before he could reach the queen, she exploded out of her armor. Bert was smashed back into the top of the wall. The queen zipped forwards to Bert and picked him up by his feet and held him up to the wall. Bert was right, she wasn’t actually her huge size.

“Bert, I AM THE HUMAN. I can be the queen bee AND Kira at the same time. You are finished Bert!” The queen bee yelled.

“No, I’m not,” Bert said confidently, surprising the queen.

Bert figured out that without the power source, the queen bee and Kira would both die. Bert needed a distraction to get the power source, though. Bert had no time, and he saw it in the corner. And he ran for it. The queen, still shocked, wasn’t fast enough to catch him. Bert rammed into the source which made the queen fly back. She lay there drained, but not dead. Bert then ran to Ken and tried to jump start him with what remained of the power source. But he was too slow, and Ken was gone. Bert couldn’t believe it. Ken was really gone.

***

Bert was in the first tree, the first hive. Bert was King Bee, in charge of all the others.  There had to be a leader, so Bert was there. Bert still had scars and marks from his battle with the queen bee. He thought about what he’d went through and all the hard times. The secrecy and pain. The queen was doing what she had to do and what needed to be done. Now, it was Bert who took her place. Bert looked out on all the bees and knew they needed a strong leader. It was his time.

 

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