What If Giant Fire Ants Overtook the City and You Must Stop Them
[SFX: “Huge red monsters! Stay at home! Close all the windows and doors!”] The blare of a loudspeaker chimes throughout the area. You jump out of bed, confused. The alarm call continues: [SFX: “Keep indoors! Huge red monsters!”]
You run out to the balcony and look down. Police cars, ambulances, and even fire trucks with roaring sirens swerve down the road. People run along the sidewalk shouting, “Ants!!!”
Ants? Those tiny insects? The average ant is less than 1 inch in size. But what is happening in the city? Suddenly, she appears at the end of the block—a huge red ant.
The size of a human, she’s confidently walking along the sidewalk, swinging her long antennae from side to side, searching for prey, opening and closing her mandibles like a trap.
She draws closer and closer to your house. She lifts up her head and spots you. The next moment, the monster jumps onto the wall and starts to crawl towards you. Thanks to their hooked claws, ants can actually climb vertical surfaces. Oh, no! You slam the balcony door and hide behind the sofa, where you find the TV remote. You turn on the news. [CHAOS IN CITY: ANTS OVERTAKE WORLD? LIVE]
A reporter in a panic is standing in the main square, looking around. A huge red ant is walking along the road and dragging a tree. The roots of the tree are trailing across the ground.
An eyewitness tells his story: [ANTS TOOK MY COOKIES!!!] “I was in the store looking for my favorite cookies. All of a sudden, two monsters appeared from behind the counter. They grabbed packages of cookies, opened them, and swallowed them all. It was terrible!
They ate all my cookies because ants have two stomachs. While one is digesting food, the second stores food for herself and her relatives. They talked to each other with their antennae. I didn’t understand anything because I’ve never studied the ant language. It wasn’t in Google Translate [Ant English?] either.”
The TV shows scenes from different parts of the city. Giant ants are everywhere. They move in columns of several individuals. Some climb onto buildings. People look out their windows and close the curtains in a panic. Ants pull up trees and poles and carry them in an unknown direction.
The ants rush along the road overtaking the cars. A man-sized ant can reach a speed of 34 miles per hour [34 mph (55 kph)]. Several car-ant accidents have already been reported. The city is in chaos. People are hiding in their homes.
And the ants keep coming. One enters a shopping center, and without stopping, she passes by the clothing departments. She is not interested in the latest trends. She goes to the sports nutrition section. She sweeps all the protein packs into the basket and runs away.
The ants gather in the main square. They drag everything they can lift (cars, poles, trees, signs, traffic lights) and put them in one place. This pile of objects forms a hill on which a throne is installed.
One of the ants brought it from the local art museum. And now, surrounded by guard ants, She appears in the square. The Queen of ants. She slowly moves to the throne and sits.
How did all of this happen? It started with an ordinary anthill in the middle of the forest. Two worker ants searched for food nearby.
— “Hey, Felix, we have to find something delicious. Otherwise, the Queen will, you know, kick us out.”
— Psst. Oscar look! What is it? Some kind of multicolored package, it says, “Pro-tee-in.” I don’t know what it is, but hey, it’s gotta be delicious.
The ants grab the pack, load it onto their shoulders, and head down the path towards the house. Ants can lift a weight several hundred times heavier than their own. At the entrance of the anthill, they’re greeted by guard ants. Inside each anthill is a massive labyrinth with many different rooms.
Closer to the anthill’s surface, there is a solarium, where ants warm themselves when cold. There is a recreation area where ants sleep for 15 minutes to recharge. But our heroes are heading to the food storage area. They unpack the bag and taste the new food. It’s delicious. They take the delicacy to the Queen.
The protein composition did its work. The ants started to grow up and, within a few days, reached the size of a human. Meanwhile, it is getting dark. Everything seems to be quiet. The most daring go outside, quietly making their way to the nearest shops to buy food.
Carrying a bat and insect repellent, you head to the nearest store. Suddenly, two ants appear. You unscrew the insect repellent and spray it around. The ants wiggle their antennae, catch an unpleasant scent, and flee.
The city administration has convened an emergency meeting. Surveillance cameras have recorded that the ants arrive from the east, throw drivers out of their cars, and drive to the city, violating all traffic rules. A group of ants runs across the field until a river appears.
They form a living bridge to cross. Ants appear on public transport, subways, cafes, and even bars. A group of ants occupies the gym. They run on treadmills and lift weights. The mayor makes a report: “we must fight these monsters. We need an ant control team and active measures.”
You join this team. Ants are afraid of birds, so the team decides to make an aerial attack. The next day, helicopters arrive. They take turns buzzing the main square, terrifying the ants. Several brave ants make a group and splash acid, which serves as protection from predators. The helicopters fly away. The Queen waves a white flag.
The ant control group and the country’s best myrmecologists are sent to negotiate. Myrmecology is the science of ants. They arrive at the main square wearing bulletproof vests, wrapped in a mosquito net.
Using a special vibration reader, scientists can translate ant speech. The Queen takes the microphone:
[SFX through translator: “We have been working all our lives. Enough. We are tired. Our civilization has reached its maximum size. The total biomass of ants and human beings is the same.
Just imagine if we reveal the secret of our growth to other colonies. We will take over the world! Our brain is made up of 250,000 cells. We are smart enough to rule everything! We’ll start with your city.”]
During the negotiations, you break into the ant store. You find all the protein the ants have collected—the source of their growth and strength. You return to the head of the team and whisper something to him.
When night falls, a steamroller set off from the headquarters of the ant control group. It approaches the protein store. Ant guards try to stop it. Unsuccessfully. The asphalt roller bursts forward and rolls over the raiders’ supplies. All the ants wake up from the noise.
Their protein has been destroyed! They start to shrink smaller and smaller until they reach their usual size. Some of them manage to escape, but others are caught by people and now live in lovely ant farms at home.