Author : Garrisonjames

They used to joke that the world would eventually be taken over by cockroaches or rats. Both are pretty much extinct these days. We’ve all been done-in by the ants. Tiny, insignificant little creatures we used to crush under our thumbs, poison with impunity. In the end they were too smart for us. Too smart and too numerous.

By the time anyone noticed the super-colonies in Africa or Asia or wherever, it was too late. We were too used to seeing things from the perspective of mammals with centralized brains in our bodies. Ants don’t work like that. Maybe they did, once upon a time. At some point the ants developed into a form of networked intelligence. We used to worry about AI and robots rising up to destroy us, and in a way we are being exterminated by biological robots driven by a massively multiplexed networked consciousness that might as well be the Singularity for all we know or can prove.

Not only did the ants out-number us by trillions upon trillions; all those connections, all those linked synapses allowed them to outclass our own monkey-brains and computers. Insidiously clever things, the ants quickly, quietly, carefully infiltrated every one of our cities and settlements. They formed deeply embedded nests where their queens dreamed in pheromones and conspired through chemical signals among one another to take over the world.

Sinkholes ruined roads and collapsed neighborhoods. Cave-ins and avalanches and mud-slides struck without warning. Cables were severed. Sewers were blocked. Hordes of every kind of ant swarmed through the chaos and destruction.

People being people blamed one another and took up arms against their usual enemies even as city after city fell to the ants. Some took to the oceans, others took to the skies; there was a renaissance for airships after all. Of course ants can grow wings and swarms wrecked all but the highest-flying dirigibles, and it was only a matter of time before raft-like masses of ants stripped barges and oil-rigs, ocean-liners and other sea-going vessels of all life.

There aren’t many of us left these days. A few survivors wandering about what’s left of the old deserts that are slowly greening due to the ants’ efforts at making the world over in their image. There are some isolated island communities that the rafts haven’t reached yet. Some of us hide as far up in the atmosphere as our airships can reach. But we’re too few and too scattered to be any sort of threat to the ants.