Fleeing the Synthetic Trap
The Friends, a colony of captive bees, flee man's synthetic bubble, the Trap, aided by Wulwal, a fierce champion of the Cousins, a bee colony in the wild. But the Friends' quest to assert control over their life comes at a cost when they end up in the middle of a tug of war between sympathetic Wuwal's followers and a powerful cabal of Cousins who saw them as disruptive infiltrators with a mission. More
When the long tentacles of the synthetic Trap overreached into the realm of the Cousins, an independent bee colony that thrived in the wild, and drained its belly in a subterranean heist, the looters left behind wilting victims that aroused the ire of the Cousins, triggering a scouting mission by the Cousins into the synthetic bubble in search of the offender. The trip ends in a chance encounter with the Friends, a captive colony of bees who lived at the Fair Estate and toiled to prop-up its massive almond orchards. Blaming the Trap for the loss of their forage, Wulwal, an ace navigator and water auditor for the Cousins, suspects some entity downstream was drawing more than its share of water from the limited assets of their aquifer. To Wulwal, whose way of life is sustained by a folklore of codes passed down from one generation to the next and honored by her family, breaking an honor code is a serious infraction, and so she felt it was her mission to out the shameless thief. But a senior elder of the Cousins, Haab, was not sold on Wulwal’s theory, instead blaming what she called the Trap puppets, referring to “pesky” other bees that fed on their turf and "stole" what was rightfully theirs. The queen of the Cousins, Shoom, was skeptical of Haab’s accusations and so as a compromise urged Wulwal to investigate more to find out what was behind their shrinking forage.
And so the two sleuths from the wilderness, Wulwal and her sidekick Esat, follow the water trail all the way to the Fair Estate, the water guzzler supposedly responsible for the forage woes of the Cousins. To stop the water theft and save the Cousins, Wulwal persuades Mai, an unhappy camper at the Estate and a high-ranking Friend, to escape the shackles of the Estate. With the help of Wulwal, the Friends flee the Trap, the synthetic bubble that is home to heavyweights like the Fair Estate and settle in the wild next door to the Cousins, where the Friends face a new reality as the “others” and tackle age old demons of fear, suspicion and blame as they struggle to carve out a new home for themselves in the wild and try to come to terms with the bet they have made to leave the Trap for a new way of life in the hope of escaping its long, suffocating reach.
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