...He had recruited the ants. How much did ants weigh? - more than rats. Cossack dancing aside, the rats had proven largely ineffective allies. They did little but amuse, and ill-discipline meant they often failed to respond fruitfully to nose-whistles. Amusement had its own value, yes, but B. felt on reflection there was a little too much esprit, and not enough de corps. In the theatre of war, amusement was not the most effective weapon, and the world was at war.
It was Lovelock who had first noticed the traces of Mars' mating with Venus, to produce Gaia. The big bang, as it had come to be called, was the cornerstone of modern cosmogony. No serious scientist could deny it. The standard model, which had failed in a few decades going forwards, could with confidence be extrapolated backwards billions of years. And stars that were no longer there, showed that they always hadn't been.
Yet ants weighed more than rats. Even more so if they were carrying leaves, or pianos. One had to add them together of course, but ants were very social, apart from when killing one another. Would that humans were the same. Humans were much harder to weigh together, and B. knew, because he had tried. That was what made B. a scientist. A scientist of the highest order. Only a pedant would protest he had no formal qualifications.
Pedantry dictated ants counted with their feet. With their foot-brains. If one glued stilts onto ants' feet on an outbound journey, but removed them for the return, they always stopped short. Because the foot-brains had finished counting. They were masters of the internal ant-abacus. Approximately all animals were ants, and all ants were computers. What were ants if not computers? They were ants. Such computational power when multiplied together! B. had made another breakthrough. Gates was after this power. He was seeking to construct a global network, a global abacus of ants. An ant on every desk - wasn't that the clue? And for every desk-top ant, - the tip of the ant-abacus iceberg - a million subdesk - laptop and below. B. had seen the future, and it disagreed with him. Millions, trillions! Invisibly orchestrated, subliminally stridulating, unseen, unheard to all but those who kept the strictest strigil, the inexorable iceberg of the antichrist ant-abacus glaced its somnambulant descent, scouring the valleys of B.s U-shaped dreams.