(This was what I was able to come up when we were asked to sum up the concepts we have discussed in Specultive Thought about two years ago.)
It was a warm and pleasant day. Everyone in the colony is all set to work – to gather food for the members of the homestead and please the Queenmother. The very long line of workers began to move and soon enough, each one had found something to carry to the food cellar. The food site that the Assistant to the Supreme Foodsite Finder had found just the other night was definitely a haven of supplies that would see the colony through the stormy and rainy months.
Red felt like somebody has broken the line. He had no way of telling who it was though. In the first place, he had no way of confirming if somebody has indeed done such highly prohibited act for he had ever since been unable to see. Everyone in Antiquadia has not been endowed with the ability to see.
Red had not bothered to examine who preceded him before the line of workers went mobile some five snats ago. In the colony, everybody would know everybody through smelling. Red’s thoughts have been somewhat fleeting before they started work – he was hearing and listening to voices again so he could not really tell who went out of the way. That is if there was really somebody who did. He quickened his pace and decided to think that he had been walking slowly, thus, the unusual space between him and the one in front of him.
Alone in his chamber, after a long, hard stan2 at the site, Red remembered what had happened. His thoughts raced. What if somebody really fell out of the line? Where is that worker now? What has become of him?
Red remembered a confrontation with his caretaker back when he was young. Every young ant in the colony had santys3. This is since the Queenmother had no time to take care of all her children.
“There has to be a way that we would be able to know how things look like, how we look like. I mean, we can smell almost everything around us and we can feel them and we know that these things have forms but don’t you think it is good if we would be able to know how those things really appear? Don’t you think so? Ha, santy?”
“Red!” the santy exclaimed. “How many times do I have to tell you that you must cease entertaining such thoughts! No wonder those who are of your angee4 think that you are queer. You indeed are!”
Red tried to talk but was interrupted by his santy.
“You know what you should do? Be like the others. Listen to your angeetors5 very well and learn the qualities if a good worker by heart. That way, the Queenmother will be pleased with you. Now, off to your chamber!”
Red remembered the feeling when he felt his santy turn away from him.
“Conformity will lead you nowhere”, he murmured.
He thought of the word that he totally disliked – queer.
There was indeed a time when he tried to question why he kept on having such thoughts. When he was younger, he thought that everybody has the same thoughts as he. He even thought that it was normal to hear and come to understand what people say. When he began to tell the other ants about “people stuff” making it sound like mere gossip, they laughed at him and started calling him queer.
He could not make out how he can decipher what the humans were talking about when they have totally different means of communicating with each other. He was only certain that he knew what they were talking about. He hated himself more than he hated those who make fun of him for quite a long time until he came to a decision. He would have to treat his “queer” ability as a gift instead of a curse. He decided not to tell anybody about his experiences until he finds a way to exhibit the concreteness of his thoughts.
And so, Red continued to hear and listen to people and began to construct a blue print of something that could break open the mindset of the members of the colony. It was a mistake to tell his santy about his recent find – the idea of seeing the things that surround them. It was a mistake that was not supposed to be committed again.
That was six sants6 ago. He no longer has his santy with him now. The blue print that he has been working on is very much concrete in his mind, but still incomplete. He knew he couldn’t give up now. He must not.
Red thought about his santy whom he met just two stans ago. She was very pleased and proud that Red is now one of the best workers in Antiquadia. She said she is very delighted that he has given up his “queerness”. Hearing these words, Red felt a familiar emotion rise up and began to consume him. He feels this toward every ant who thinks that he is queer. Pity, it is called.
Red pities everyone who believes that what exists is just everything that they know of. He thinks differently. He is certain that there is more to reality than everything that they know of and that they must not be boxed with what they know of as the only things that are real. He believes that his fellow ants would come to understand this view if they would acquire the sense which humans basically to learn and act with – eyesight.
“Could I possibly do it?” he thought. “Could I actually devise a way to create something that would enable us to see?”
He was barely awake when these thoughts came into his mind. It is as if he is somewhere between being awake and being asleep when ideas began swirling into his head out of nowhere. The scene opened while he was in the window of Foodsite Ichi.
Foodsite Ichi is considered as one of the primary food sites of the colony. This is mainly because food can almost always be found in every corner of the site. Humans have tried to apply certain chemicals to keep them away but the Chief for Colony Defense has already thought of a way to get past these chemicals. Listening to the humans around the site, Red has made out that Foodsite Ichi is what the humans call a “medical school”. It is where people study the components of the human body and how to cure it in case of corporeal malfunctions.
Red’s reverie continues. Scenes flashed in his mind. He remembered hearing a human voice talking about something called the eye. This is the organ that enables human beings to see. This is the organ that the members of the colony need. He mentioned a retina and many other parts of the organ. Red’s thoughts began to blur. He could not create the image of the eye in his mind based on the descriptions that the human had. But now, while red is resting in the sleeping corner of his chamber, everything became clear. The neurons of his brain have started to send the appropriate signals that turned into codes in no time. After passing through the gateways of the rules in processing codes, algorithms have been born and his mind has finally conceived the piece that would complete the blue print that he has long wanted to complete.
Red came to his senses and felt a surge of different emotions – shock, bliss, doubt. He focused on the mental image that has formed in his mind. For a while, he doubted if the blue print could actually be functional. He hesitated to believe that he could now create an eye out of the image that has occurred to him just now. But the hesitation was only fleeting for in a short while, Red had been convinced that the blue print is functional and that he can now make the other ants understand what he has long been wanting them to understand. The makings of an eye are now clear to him and he knows that he can create something like it.
Red did not rest that night for he knew he was not going to work on the sites on the following days. With the knowledge that he has come to acquire came his decision to devote his time in creating the great output that would exhibit the realness of that knowledge. The creation of the eye would scratch out his “queerness”.
One sant later…
Red is brought to the Queenmother’s chamber. The royal guards, as well as the elders of the colony, are also there. The Queenmother’s personal guards opened the doors of the chamber exposing everyone inside. Every ant in the colony is going to witness the proclamation of Red as the Queenmother’s right hand, spokesperson, and counselor.
The colony is already outwitting all the other ant species. Humans, on the other hand, are having a hard tome controlling the ant species that come from Antiquadia. What was once considered a dream, if not an imagination of the insane, is now giving power to one of the smallest species on Earth.
1. The colony’s measure of time; equivalent to minutes in human time 2. Equivalent to one day 3. Nanny 4. Pronounced as eyn-jee; meaning age 5.Eyn-jee-tors – the older ants who teach the young male ants how to work in the food sites 6. Equivalent to one year in human time