Today is much the same as the seven days that preceded it. I know exactly what it is that I have to do. I’m part of a crowd rushing to get to the place where we absolutely have to go. I really do not know what the hurry is. We will get there in time, whether we rush or not. This isn’t quite the change that I thought it was going to be at the beginning, but then, I didn’t have much time to think about it when the big change took place.
Okay, now we are here at our destination at last. We can now be the hard workers that we were intended to be. The work itself isn’t very hard. I found out on the first occasion that it was easy to learn what was expected of us. All I had to do was watch the others who were experienced at the task and do likewise. It was just like other jobs I have had in which observation was key to not being fired or demoted. No one appears to be thinking of me as different, as lesser as a worker. I’m just one of a gang of females, a contributor, not a sluggard.
I’ve had worse occupations filling my days. Yes, it is repetitive, but so are most jobs that I have had over the years. This is better than some. And no one asks me about my boring weekend, whether or not I am married, and why I am not. And “no”, I haven’t borne any children, nor am I likely to do so in the near future, or ever. That is not a consideration here.
And as nasty as the big boss can look sometimes, and she is certainly big, and can look like she intends something nasty, I’ve had bosses that were far worse. Everybody treats her with such tremendous respect. It is easy to see why. Ultimately, we could not survive without her, and she without us. It keeps things flowing fairly smoothly at the work sites.
A week ago, I could not have imagined this as what I would be doing today. There is a lot of now that I could not have imagined then.
The Beginning of the Big Change
The big change began with a bright light that flashed like a fast-falling star in a dark sky. Most people’s speculation had its identity nailed. The lights were coming from an alien spaceship. It couldn’t have been anything else, really. Some of the politicians got it quite wrong. There was no possible way that the bright light or the ship could have been Russian or Chinese or even North Korean in origin.
One alien spaceship became ten, then twenty, then who knows how many. The world takeover took place quickly after that. The aliens’ technological superiority soon became quite obvious to everyone. I remember thinking that the takeover would be a question not of whether, but of when, a matter of just a few days as it turned out.
Then there was the first broadcast sent out from alien central control. In my town the message was that we would all have to gather in one place, a large dried-up farmer’s field just a short distance north of town.
At first, we were all talking at once – the same questions posed, with a few quite nasty but possibly accurate answers in response. I believed at first that we would be slaughtered. Then a loud voice spoke, and all the people there went instantly silent. The voice was in English, which was something of a surprise to me. But the content of the message was much more surprising. I couldn’t have imagined it even if I had been a science fiction writer, which I am not, although I have read all of the works of Ray Bradbury. But even he had not conjured up something this crazy
That seems so long ago now, even though it is only a little over a week ago. We were given five choices, all of them sounding as nasty as the others. I cannot really say why I chose as I did. But looking back now, I guess that it turned out okay. I am reasonably content with my new life. The other choices could have been better or were just as likely to have been worse. No use thinking about it now, as my die is cast, my fate sealed.
The changes we all went through were performed in a very orderly fashion. We were more or less herded like docile sheep into our five groups on different parts of the field. Then a huge vapor gun was brought from the largest spaceship. It very distinctly resembled an old-fashioned cannon, although the diameter of the mouth was much wider. It shot out gases of five different colours – first red, then green, blue, orange, and yellow. Then the different changes took place in less than a minute each. I know that as my group was the last to be gassed, the last to change shape to what we are now.
I had a shrinking, shrinking feeling It felt like my view of the world was contracting, that world growing ever bigger. My place in it small. No one spoke when the big change took place. And we had no idea of what the aliens wanted to do, if anything, with or to us next. We would soon learn. There was a huge sucking noise, and we were drawn into one of the compartments of the large spaceship, like dust into a vacuum cleaner. Once inside we heard their instructions for us, and we were flown to what would be our new homeland on earth.
Others that looked just like us were already there. We had been told simply to do what they did, follow their lead. That wasn’t difficult, and we were within a day or two mistresses of our work. We would have an important role in the local environment – turning and aerating the soil, thereby allowing water and oxygen to reach the roots of plants. We would take seeds, which we would carry with us into our tunnels, and eat certain parts of them, the rest hopefully sprouting and growing into new plants for a local environment that looked like it needed a lot more life in it.
We had been changed into ants, all of us in my part of the group became female worker ants. Our boss was the queen ant. The males had nothing much to do with us, but that was fine with me. They just weren’t my type anyway. They weren’t interesting, to me as humans and even less so as ants.