“One With the Hive: Being a Silithid Wasp” by Tanix-Dragon; March 13, 2023
Very slowly over the course of…. I don’t know, the last year or so, I’ve been chipping away at some kind of insectoid kintype. How I arrived where I am was quite the journey, and I’m still discovering what it means to me to be the kind of creature that I am. I hold out no hope of finding other silithid, nevermind other silithid wasps: maybe I’m just putting myself out there with this ‘type out of the hopes that seeing something so strange will make someone else feel better about their ‘type.
Brief mentions of animal death below the cut, as well as insects, of course.
I consider myself a fictherian because of this ‘type: the silithid are a fictional “race” (as they’re described in-game and on the wiki) of giant, cunning insectoids from World of Warcraft, a game that my hearttype (Netherwing dragons <3) is also from. The silithid hatch out from eggs laid by a queen into larvae that glow with bioluminescence, lighting their giant underground hives made from materials found in the environment and various excretions. Eventually, those larvae can grow into one of many shapes: ant-like workers, giant scarabs, scorpids(?), wasps, large soldiers called reavers, or even larger and stranger forms, such as the colossi.
Silithid are animals. They are members of a hive, and individually, are not particularly intelligent. They possess an animalistic cunning, yes, and as a group, their hivemind can make them quite tactical, but at the end of the day, they are just extremely large insectoid creatures. Silithid do not talk, do not have higher reasoning–this is the source of my calling this a theriotype in addition to a fictotype. Hence my taking on the label fictherian–I don’t remember who coined it, but whoever it was is a genius.
Being a wasp… I don’t know. Wasp on its own isn’t enough. I’ve never felt any kind of kinship with wasps, with the forty or so who struggled into my home this past autumn and trapped themselves inside the light fixtures. A certain fascination, yes. When I was younger, a terror, sure. I love watching them sit still and clean themselves, and as of late, I feel a kinship with that, at least. Arthropods love to be clean, and will spend a tremendous amount of time ensuring that they are. That’s something I can relate to: when I get into a shift, I want to paw at my face and eyes to wipe them clean, run antennae through my mouthparts to make sure that they’re clear of debris.
Maybe part of my fear of wasps was an instinctive that’s dangerous response. Would I know, since I am one? Was one? I don’t know the origin of this kintype, spiritual or psychlogical: I don’t know, since I’ve always been drawn to the silithid since I was a kid, playing WoW and stepping into a silithid hive for the first time. The buzz and hum, the glowing orange lights in the purple and yellow-brown interior, the almost plastic shine of everything that wasn’t dull and rough… I wanted more. I wanted to be there. Stepping into the desert ruins of Ahn’Qiraj, the entire raid devoted to the silithid and their insectoid/humanoid qiraji creators/masters, servants of the Old God who created them… I had a fixation on it from as young as perhaps eight or nine, as soon as I had a character high enough level to see that content. The music is really something else, too–look up the Ahn’Qiraj music on YouTube for me, both the interior and exterior. You can see why it might sink into a kid’s mind as the Coolest Thing Ever. Was I in love with the hive because I remembered it being my home? Or did my love for it, totally normal and human (if autistic) in nature, form the kintype? Who am I to say? It doesn’t matter that much to me.
The wasps weren’t even my main interest. Sure, they’re bigger than a human, come in fun colors, have a stinger that could pierce a human’s torso (and I do mean pierce), and have some kind of strange bladed legs that let them slash at opponents–but it was the scarabs and reavers that really drew me in. I felt a kinship with the reavers, some kind of family instinct, and now I think it’s because the reavers and the wasps are the main protectors of the hives. The reavers are strong and tanky on the ground while the wasps come in from the air, more delicate but more damaging. They must work together to be effective. As for the scarabs… I don’t know what job they performed. The game devs don’t seem to know either. But they’re slow. Well-armored, sure, but slow, and probably in need of protection. I love real-life scarabs, too: I love looking at them and I want to touch them and protect them. Beetles are just cool.
But I’m not one. My shifts usually encompass the mouthparts (what I got first, and what started this whole search for a kintype, after years and years of getting them and thinking nothing of it even after being in alterhuman circles for four years) and the wings, which I know were big enough to carry me and not protected like a beetle’s are. I’ve gotten noemata since latching onto the idea of being a wasp, too: noemata of things like being up in one of the cells high on the wall of one of the hive chambers, crawling partway out and clinging to the wall, looking down at some tunnelers–workers–passing by below, scanning to make sure that there was nothing else trying to sneak by with them, no nasty little invaders from the mortal races. The silithid had been at war with humans and other mortals since the beginning: there was no love or trust lost between them. I can also “remember” flying over the dull gray-brown sands of Silithus, I think, either patrolling for threats or hunting for food. I can hear the buzzing of my wings, the hot, still air of the desert around me. My shifts drive me to chew up wood and other organic materials, to help build structures in the hive like the one I rest in out of these chewed materials glued together by a kind of glue-like salive-esque excretion. I want to chew my wooden desk so badly some days.
And it all just feels like home, like I know what I should be doing and there’s no ambiguity to it. It’s part of being a greater whole, a cog in a machine, a cunning, ferocious beast who will die without hesitation for the hive, for the qiraji, for the Old God that spawned my kind. No sense of right or wrong, good or evil: only feed and protect and kill. It’s like my deathclaw kintype in that way, and it’s comforting in a shift, sometimes. I can escape the worst of my emotions and worries by just thinking, a silithid wouldn’t worry about this. A silithid would just press on–eat, fight, survive, until the day came where it had to die to protect its hive, and it would do so without anxiety or a second thought. The hive must be protected. There is no ambiguity in that. And if orders came over the resonating crystals in the hive, sent by the intelligent qiraji to the silithid, telling them to swarm, march, move, or do anything else? There’s no ambiguity in that either. Obey. Do what instinct demands, whether that be the simple defend-kill-feed-sleep loop or something more complex, something darker.
It’s a strange mindset to peer into as an individualistic, intelligent being that is also dragonkin, of all things. As if a dragon would not think about their actions! As if a dragon would ever take orders! But that’s the oddness of being alterhuman, isn’t it? The pieces of your identity that don’t always align nicely, that are so separate from one another that they could only coexist in the you-that-is? It’s strange, and fun to think about, and part of the joy of being alterhuman, at least to me. Picking apart your identity, delving into each piece, and then stepping back and going well, that was weird.