A few of the groups tried traditional pest control measures. Exponentially more poison was required in relation to the increase in size of these creatures. As we watched the proceeding generations pass in the hereafter – the stratagems that evolved were worthy of any of the visual media that the other planets so readily consume.
Poison was not one of the more successful means of fighting the beasts as the poison killed us as well. The concentrations in the old days were so small that the human cancers and adjacent strange ailments took years to form and the corporate masters that poisoned our meat suits profited greatly.
These ants too profit greatly and soullessly and greedily.
The poisons did not work. Naturally the first line of defense for many of the human nations was small arms. Rifles had no effect. Small explosive rounds, sure. One RPG round per beast is great in the forest but what about when the hive wakes and the hill comes up-on-and-over the hill.
It was enough to injure one or three and get away; the quieter the better. Though they cannot hear; vibrations were something they picked up.
The war-swords of old and the forethought weapons of a zombie apocalypse were the ideal means of defense in many intimate situations with many of the ants. Again… it varied so much. If you take out a leg or two of a bigger one; or one of it’s essential functions like it’s eye – it will attack briefly and then recoil in horror.
It’s all pissing in the wind anyway. Anything beyond daily survival was as uncertain at bed-rest as it was if you even woke up.
We learned to love and cherish our fellow human sisters and brothers, though. Goodness, did we ever latch onto one another at the end. Perhaps things could have turned out better if we had embraced the unity much earlier.
The conspiracy nutters early on felt the six-foot social distancing was for military order. A few had the right idea with facial recognition. More accurate it was ocular scanning at a distance. Early iris scanners were tested on the Afghan and Iraqi civilians that we hired for work on the bases in their respective locales.
Before we had iphones; the technology to climb into someones eyes with a large clunky but single-contractor operated retinal scanner was advanced enough in ’08 to render identification that a photo-less paper-text taskira was satisfactory carried paperwork for the local even though the Canadian contractor manning the cage scanner doesn’t speak Pashto and the local hadn’t a photo. Some fucking glad I worked a safe 30 feet away in a paper-thin shipping container office where two Afghan National Police rolled up one day un-escorted and we gave them water. They had RPGs and a machine gun. Spoke no English. We gave them some water and granola bars. Took a few pictures. Come to think of it; that may have been one of the first times I died.
Decades later we find ourselves in masks; afraid of that which would drown us from the inside out; spaced evenly; retinas and perhaps brains scanned from afar as the rectangle covering our mouths helps the scanner find our eyes to identify the person and their fears.
In the days of industry; there were times when research suggested whales and other sea creatures were affected by our sonar; by our boats; by our poisons; by us.
Now in the ant-times we find that all of these little pieces of technology that we implanted inside of us act as a honing device for those that it does not repel.
A great number of rebels were Luddites long before the ants took over. Many of those that survived the pestilence; and then the bombs; and then the ants; were those that believed in older ways. They were often the people that could not afford all of the implantable upgrades that those in wealthier societies received. The tribesmen of isolate villages the world-round had a great shot in some instances. Armed American “prepper” folk; provided they weren’t religiously motivated; came together and found comfort in those core values that shaped some parts of that former nation.
As we learned in the hereafter – the ants taste the radio-vibes of our robot parts; and the flavor is bolder with every piece of metal we put in our body. Doubly for the gold-plated antennae of contemporary bio-metric society at the peak of humanity’s collapse.