Frenzy was initially pleased to receive his current assignment, but it had long since grown boring. He had been watching the lifeforms upon the planet below for a great many rotations, yet he had not learned much that was not already known. Still, he continued his job observing the planet with the most zeal he could muster.
The observation post was near the keel of the ship, far away from the rest of the ship’s company. This made it a rather lonesome place. Frenzy monitored his sensors as they scanned the surface of the water near one of the planet’s numerous sandy beaches. When he saw the human female, his first thought was that she was swimming.
Gabrielle breathed deeply, inhaling the scent of the ocean as she paddled her surfboard out into the sea. She paddled far from the shore, away from the people and the problems of life. Every time she came this far out, a part of her was filled with an inexplicable want to just keep paddling, maybe forever: just her, her board, and the ocean.
Once she felt that she was far enough, she stopped paddling and waited. There is a feeling of peace that a surfer feels while waiting for a wave that is incomparable to anything else. As she lay on her board, Gabrielle closed her eyes and enjoyed the silence. Soon, she heard the buzzing of a bee as it landed on the end of the board.
The bee had no true thoughts. There are God’s creatures that are driven by thought, and there are God’s creatures that are driven by only instinct. Many classics have been written that are anthropomorphous to creatures like bees, mostly so that human audiences have a way to relate to them. The bees themselves, however, enjoy what little brain activity they have left after giving up most of it to the demands of their DNA.
The bee was being led by an instinct that was so deep within her that she didn’t know what to do. She was happy, though, as far as happiness is possible for such a tiny creature. She walked in circles on the surfboard, doing her communication dance for an inattentive audience.
Gabrielle opened her eyes and watched the bee as it walked seemingly aimless upon her board. Her first reaction when she’d heard it was fear — she was terribly allergic to bee stings. The memory of a childhood sting and it’s swollen after-effects welled up intense emotion within her.
The sensation soon passed, leaving Gabrielle curious of the little insect’s motives. She watched her new buddy as it did its dance. She didn’t know what, if anything, it was trying to say, yet she decided right then that she wanted the bee to survive. There was nowhere for it to go this far from shore. The ocean is too big. Gabrielle had heard of migratory African bees, but unless this little bee was part of a bigger swarm then there was no reason for it to be all the way out here by itself. Bees are social animals, as are humans.
The bee wanted nothing. She was an insignificant speck in the world, much like Gabrielle. The difference is that the bee didn’t know it, nor had she any reason to care. She was following the smell of the ocean, for she had confused that smell with the smell of the flowers she so loved.
The bee flew off. She headed away from the shore and out to the ocean. She was instinctively chasing that incomprehensible smell. She didn’t know where she was going, she only knew that she had to get there. Her passion had successfully taken over.
Gabrielle only stared. The bee did it. It actually did it. It will never have a chance in hell of making it, even less than she would, but at least the bee had the guts to try.
Gabrielle began paddling again.
Frenzy watched the human female on the board and wondered what she would do next. The human began to paddle harder, pulling herself farther out to sea. The human chased the insect, as if she wanted to join it on its journey. This didn’t make any sense. Frenzy’s careful observation’s of humankind led him to the conclusion that the human was trying to reach the bee to save it. This didn’t make any sense, either.
The bee was very far away and the human had no hope to catch up. The bee would drown, the human would drown, and Frenzy would drown in his incomprehension.
Gabrielle stopped paddling. The bee kept flying. Eventually, she couldn’t see it anymore. The bee’s instincts would lead it to death. Gabrielle‘s instincts could have lead her to death if her mind had not intervened. Gabrielle paddled her board in a circle and began her trek back to shore.
Frenzy learned a lot about humans that day. Their instincts can lead them into trouble if they let themselves be a party to them. Frenzy didn’t really understand this kind of passion, for he was a stoic observer.
There was something to be said about that kind of passion, though. Frenzy wanted to feel that way, but his observational duties denied him. What if he were the human on the board? Could he have kept paddling? Could his passion had been given the chance to take over? No, probably not. That bee was obviously diseased. The human had chased it in error, so had corrected herself.
The bee continued to chase her passionate instincts. She just knew that there was a flower too sweet to pass up out there. She didn’t know, however, how close she was to death. She continued to fly on.
The sweet flowery sensation began to wane. The bee’s instincts began to fade.
Frenzy focused his sensors on the bee. It flew for a long while. Eventually, it, too, turned back toward the shore. It was clearly too far away to make it back safely. Perhaps its mind had taken back control away from its passion. This was the first thing to make sense to Frenzy, for loneliness is not compatible with the swarm culture, anymore than it is for the human cultures that he had spent so much time observing.
Suddenly, Frenzy longed to talk to someone else, anyone else. He checked himself out of his post and went to join the others on the ship orbiting far above the surface of the human planet.