Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Taste of Success

Sisters, listen! Follow the honey suckle scent trail. 

Sisters, listen! Follow the dandelion scent trail.

Sisters, listen! Follow the food scent trail.

Daughter, what is this food? It is new, and we have not tasted it before. 

My mother, it is food that I found in the middle of a desert of no food at all. 


Yes, my mother. Shall we follow the honey suckle scent trail? Shall we follow the dandelion scent trail?

Yes, you may follow those trails, but only those trails. Meanwhile, call back all other explorers. We must plan what to do next.
All my daughters, divide up into your patterned groups. I shall feed you, and you shall feed me. Here is your first meal. When it has passed through all of you, bring it back to me.

Here, mother, the meal has been passed through all of us.

Very good. Let me taste the result. 
No, we will have to try a different plan. Here is your next meal. We shall do this until we get a good result.
Finally, we have a good result. This plan tastes good. 

Mother, we're ready to eat our plan. 

Then go on, and may the result taste good!
"Damn, look at the little buggers go!"

Safely outside the experimental area, Rob and Justin watched the ants clump at the ceiling over the prisoner's bed. When they had formed a ball of almost ten centimeters diameter, the ants holding on to the ceiling could no longer support their weight, and the entire swarm fell on the sleeping man's face. He woke, screaming and choking, but before he was even fully awake, the ants were swarming into his nose. The prisoner broke into fits of coughing and sneezing, ever more violently. His coughing turned to vomiting, and still the ants persisted. Blinded by stings and bites, the prisoner flailed his way to his sink, but the ants wouldn't let him wash them off.

"Should we call it a success?"

"No, we're supposed to let the experiment run its course. This guy is on death row, in any event."

"Sure, but... Oh, jeez, I think I'm going to be having nightmares for weeks. Are they seriously thinking this is a good idea? I mean, teaching ants how to make plans and kill people?"

Jason turned away as the prisoner was writhing on the floor of his cell, beating his face with his hands, and gasping for breath through his swelling throat. Ten minutes after the attack had started, the ants had finished their job.

"Log it?"

"Done. Do we gas the room now?"

"I think the docs will want to review the results before we do that."

"It just gives me the creeps to think these buggers are in the same building with me."

"Relax, they're sealed in tight."
All my daughters, the first part of our plan has tasted good. Now we must eat the second part of our plan.

Yes, mother. We are ready to eat the second part.
By the time the ants started to emerge into the dead prisoner's cell, climb the sink, and descend through the drain, Rob and Justin had turned off the lights, so they didn't see how the ant queen was carefully carried along doubled rows of powerful workers, who helped her swollen body up the wall, down the slick sides of the white painted metal sink, and down into the darkness of the drain.

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