Another person, a woman with reddish-brown hair and thick glasses, raised her hand, stepped forward, and yet didn’t wait for an Arslan to take notice before she inquired, “Are the only possible genetics females?”
“What do you mean?” Arslan asked.
The female scholar pointed her pen at the two girls, “You have two females here, are they genetically locked to be that gender?”
“Probably not,” Arslan answered, “I’ve found having females is actually a lot safer, aside from a few stray incidents.”
“So, males are possible?”
“In theory, they are. In practice…” Arslan shrugged, “Never tried it.” the crowd talked amongst themselves for a moment after hearing the disclosure. The female returned to him for a final question. “Why?”
Arslan leaned on the table and crossed his arms, “A lot of the time, the girls retain memories and instincts before they were transmuted into their new form. Their fears, hatreds, cultural habits have a chance to carry over.”
The woman seemingly wrote down just about everything he was saying. “I see; thank you.” She returned to her position in the crowd. They then started to trade information within their group.
“Any last questions?” Arslan interrupted their bickering.
Each person looked at one another and silently left without saying any more words. However, there was one last person who stayed, the dean. Aldan clapped his hands together and announced, “Excellent presentation!”
“Oh. Dean,” Arslan said, surprised at his sudden appearance, “I didn’t know you came around to watch.”
Dean Aldan smiled and clasped his hands together. “I just happened to be in the area and saw a bunch of my students coming here, so I just had to take a peek.” He put his hands into his pocket and continued, “And boy, you make it look simple.”
Arslan shrugged, “A little bit of common sense really goes a long way, I guess.”
“Common sense?” The dean chuckled, “I’m not so sure about that.” He looked past Arslan to peek at the blonde haired woman. He placed a hand on Arslan’s shoulder and locked eyes with him, “I’m sure you need to speak to your newest creation...Thank you for accepting this contract Arslan. it means a lot, really.”
“Uh. Yeah, no problem.” Arslan admitted. Aldan nodded his head and left with the rest of the group, closing the door behind him.
Arslan let out a long stream of breath. He faced Mandilyn and the unnamed empress. She had the likeness of a doll, her features were nearly flawless, thin cheeks, blues eyes that gave an impression of the cold and full lips, once her hair began to dry, thin drills could be seen taking shape. She also had strange tannish fluff that covered the majority of her neck.
At some point, Mandilyn had retrieved some of her clothing and had the bee-woman wear them, unfortunately, they didn’t very fit well. She had many more exaggerated assets then Mandilyn did, as she was nearly flat chested, this woman had the skin-tight top barely holding together, the bottom half of her breasts peaked out from the shirt. The shorts remained unbuttoned and slightly lowered to accommodate the extra abdomen and stinger duo.
As Arslan approached, the bee-woman ceased the conversation she was having with Mandilyn by raising a finger. She smiled and put a hand underneath her chin, “So, you’re the infamous Arslan this child was telling me about?” She looked him up and down with her icy blue eyes, “A little bit mysterious with the hood, but I can admire your choice in fragrance.”
“What?” Arslan dumbfoundedly said before realizing she was talking about the honey still lingering on his clothing. Arslan quickly shook his confusion and replied, “Oh uh, yeah, thank you?” Her smile and seductive eyes did not change from their stare. “To start things off, I’d like to pick a name for you.”
“Estelletoria,” she answered without hesitation.
“My name, unlike those lower creatures, our culture is complex and refined. We used names for each of our children.”
Arslan let out a tiny sound of surprise, “So you remember your hive?”
“Oh, how could I not?” She said, her posh accent becoming very apparent, “The hive was my life, I grew up with it, usurped my mother, the queen and become someone twice as powerful as she could ever imagine.”
Arslan couldn’t help but feel uneasy by how simply she talked about executing her own mother in a throw for power, but he knew a monster’s way of thinking would never see eye to eye with a human’s, but he still had to ask her about her feelings. “Do you miss the hive, Estelletoria?”
“It’s a shame, yes. But, I’m no longer apart of that swarm anymore, I already have plans to rebuild a new hive, with my daughters modeled after my new image.”
Mandilyn stepped next to Arslan and whispered into his ear. “At first, I thought she was normal, but now I think she might be completely insane.”
“Who’s this?” Avelyn asked from behind, startling the two in front of her. Her lack of presence in the vicinity allowed her to go unnoticed.
Arslan muttered curses under his breath, remembering just how she reacted with Mandilyn, rigidly he turned around to face the tall lizard woman and answered her. “That’s Estelletoria.”
Estelletoria smugged up her face and cascaded her fingers. Avelyn looked at the girl then back to Arslan. He then put his hand out with his palms facing down. “I think I know what you want to do, but don’t do it.”
Avelyn yawned, “Do what?”
“Fight…?” Mandilyn unsurely said.
Avelyn groggily looked back at the bee-woman and cleared the assertions. “She’s not a fighter. I don’t care about her.”
Estelletoria flicked her almost dry hair and laughed. “The savage is right; I’m not a fighter. All I do is make sure my hive doesn’t die.”
Avelyn smacked Arslan’s back several times, “Your explanations bored me. If you need me I’m going to take a nap in the sun, come get me if you need me,” Avelyn said, walking out the front doors.
Mandilyn also went for the door and said, “I still have to turn in the rest of the quests, so I’ll be back later.”
“And then there were two,” Estelletoria joked.
Arslan noticed something on the table, the rock. He picked it and looked around the room. He was in a room filled with top of the line scientific equipment.
“What have you got there?” She asked.
Arslan replied, “Something I’m gonna spend a couple of hours trying to figure out.”