You’ll get on just fine if you play the game the Hive Mind said to me. You’ll get on just fine, you’ll get on just fine. That’s the way we do things around here the Hive Mind told me. That’s the way we do things around here. That’s the way we do things around here. The sooner you learn our ways the better it will be for you. Make sure that you learn our ways fast, make sure that you learn our ways fast, said the Hive Mind. You’ll get on just fine if you learn how to play the game…
Bit of a humourless old bastard this Hive Mind I thought to myself. A bit inflexible in its outlook. A bit repetitive. A bit set in its ways. Not exactly a barrel of laughs, either. Not exactly what you’d call a laugh a minute. “Hey Hive Mind,” I called out jauntily, “know any good jokes do you?”
There was silence. A resounding silence. A rather toxic silence, actually. The Hive Mind was not amused, by the look of it. I got the feeling that the Hive Mind didn’t like jokes. “Don’t worry if you don’t know any,” I told it, “I’ll tell you a few…”
This didn’t go down very well either. The Mind started hissing at me. “You WILL respect me,” it said, its voice low and strangely compelling. “You WILL respect me, you WILL respect me, you WILL respect me…”
The Mind was communicating telepathically with me, speaking telepathically in my head. It spoke very insistently, very seriously. Every time it said the word ‘WILL’ it transmitted mental images of giant writhing chocolate-brown centipedes opening and shutting their venomous mandibles. Then it sent images of thousands upon thousands of malignant wingless bats crawling along the floor towards me. Following this it sent me images of men and women afflicted with hideous infectious diseases, writhing slowly in slow-motion agony. Then it sent mental pictures of creeping subterranean toad-like creatures without eyes and giant slugs with circular mouths and teeth like rotating buzz-saws, teeth that could bore right through your flesh in seconds…
“Are you done, Mind?” I queried. “Is that it?”
It was not done. It then sent a torrent of psychic death-spores in my direction, each one a fully-fledged psychotic nightmare in its own right, each one the darkest of all dark nights of the soul for anyone unfortunate enough to be infected by one of them. Every disease known to man, and a good few more besides, was sent in my direction in a silent unending procession of horror. The Hive Mind was silently and eloquently willing my death; it couldn’t even be bothered to speak to me anymore.
“Well I’ll be damned,” I thought to myself, “That old Hive Mind really doesn’t have a sense of humour! I guess I must have upset it….”