Throughout the ante-chambers, confusion reigned. Colonists scrambled in red-alert mode to the crisis, each to a preassigned station of emergency response. Nurses tending to young, corpsmen relaying messages, hordes of alerted individuals seemingly moving in all directions. The appalling noise of the invasion above roared fiercely through every hallway and battered the senses mercilessly.
Then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, the hellish foe retreated. There was an eerie and profound nothingness in its place; a cool breeze, the grass still moist from rain, a gentle sun bathing the now calm morning. There was after all, no aggressor to confront. Nothing at all. No intruder at the doors, no apparent motive whatsoever for the momentary frenzy of awful terror and death. The attack was by all accounts, unexplainable. Then, even before preliminary damage assessments could be conducted, and while scouts were valiantly exploring the perimeter, the shadow of roaring, whirling destruction returned.
This time it crushed them with a terrible, wholly consuming force. Multiple passageways totally collapsed, burying countless victims beneath a sudden and pulverizing blow. Whatever it was ~ it was so massive, so utterly gigantic, its indistinguishable form filled the sky literally from horizon to horizon. Only the horrified scouting party had this particular vantage since they had ventured far enough from the compound to avoid a direct blow. A number of them were thrown violently by the whirlwind, but they escaped the deadliest impact their fellow citizens unfortunately experienced at ground zero. This was a tragedy of epic proportions.
Such is a day in the life of a large, new ant hill in the backyard I encountered while mowing the lawn. Ruthlessly, I sprinkled the last of a boric acid powder generously on top of the now seething mound of very aggressive, exceedingly nasty black biting ants. The fine, white cloud of powder sweetly settling on the ground reminded me of sifted powdered sugar delicately lacing the surface of a warm spice cake. It was easy. I quite enjoyed it.