Detective Kokonut was presiding over a council meeting of the colony when he heard a commotion outside the briefing hall.
"Excuse me! I shall be back in a moment!" said Kokonut and he swiftly moved towards the aisle. The two guards standing near the door saluted him with a tensed face and opened the door. Kokonut motioned the guards to accompany him. He was shaken by the scene he witnessed.
There were around 50 ants gathered in the stairway with some agent ants flashing lights and shouting out questions. Kokonut hurried towards the stairway with a look on his face certain that he knew what was going! The guards nearly gave out a scream when they saw the person.
It was Inspector Jaan standing midst the crowd with a couple of bandages in his hand and a bruise on his forehead. Kokonut chuckled at this sight of the famous Inspector and greeted him with a grin. Jaan couldn't face Kokonut and he hung his head in shame but there was vengeance in his heart.
“So Jaan, how do you do?” asked the detective.
“Sarcasm? Please don’t hurt my pride detective.”
“I warned you against your action. What you attempted to do was suicide!” told Kokonut checking his bruises.
“I at-least have attempted to teach Alex a lesson but you! You cautioned everyone to hide when he is out. That is preposterous and cowardice. Dare you mock my attempt again detective, I will blow your heads off!” growled Jaan.
“Relax boy! What you attempted to do was not bravery but foolishness! Completely imprudent! See what it has done to you! See what that Alex has done to you! Alex has taken out his experiment on you! I knew what was going to come and so I recommended our fellow-ants not to wander carelessly!”
“You knew that this was Alex’s thing! How come? I didn't tell that anyone. I wanted to brush it off thinking it would hurt my reverence. How come you knew that this was going to happen? I escaped from that place with the help of a cockroach. I am still puzzled about that cockroach! How did it know about me?” Jaan looked entangled.
“It was me who requested the cockroach to help. When I was informed of the continuous murders before the last one, I got a bit suspicious. I wasn't satisfied that his torture porn films were the only reason but something else was there for these murders. I wanted to investigate the case myself thinking setting off others for this may not produce any results. I came to understand several horrible things that he is going to undertake!”
“What are those?” claimed the Chief. None noticed the arrival of chief. Everybody nodded their heads to give their respect for the chief.
“We are all aware that the family recently toured China, Japan and other countries. We all have the notion that Chinese are fond of food recipes of us, the insects. And I was not too much surprised when I found a Chinese recipe book of insects in this home. I became eager to know his next move and so I sought the help of the detectives of spider and lizard colony as they can wander anywhere. I came to know his next move from the lizards.”
At the same time, the representatives from the cockroach, lizard and other insect families arrived at the place. The chief and Kokonut personally welcomed everyone.
The lizard chief broke the silence. “My guard eaves dropped the conversation of Alex with his mother. I will tell you the exact conversation; please don’t act haste. Listen with patience.”
“Mom, I need those dishes we ate in China.” told Alex.
“You want me to run after the insects in home to give you a snack, Alex? I have several other works to do!”
“Mom, please! I need them so badly. Please prepare that for me. I have even bought a recipe book.”
“But I don’t have patience Alex. Do a thing! Get them and I shall give you!”
“Are you sure? I shall get them and you must keep up your word?”
“I have seen some insects in home; a very few here and there. Where are you going to get a whole damn of them?”
“I shall take care of that!”
Everyone stood glued to their place. Kokonut came forward in a placid manner and faced the gathering.
“Yes, He is trying to locate our colony; the ant colony. It may be us now but in the near future all the colonies are in danger. The cockroaches-they hummed-the lizards-they screeched-the bees-they buzzed-the worms-they shuddered. Which colony is going to escape from Alex? Not any one of us. Jaan, how long you have been away from Alex’s place?”
“An hour Koko!”
“Don’t call me Koko! Alex has purposely made the situation so easy for Jaan to escape. He has cut his stomach to bleed and he would follow the drops; like the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale except that this time it is too late to erase the marking. If I am not wrong, within minutes he will attempt to capture us; all of us. What are we going to do?”
Everyone hissed. They all seemed so frightened even the guards! The chiefs of all the colonies looked puzzled as they had no idea regarding the things to be done! But they were all certain that something should be done to prevent a disaster. Kokonut stood so serenely thinking about the situation.
“Call the guards of all the colonies!” ordered Kokonut.
“But why Koko?” the worm chief asked.
“I have an idea. Assemble all the guards and even ordinary citizens, who are dare enough, in this place within 15 minutes. I shall announce my plans then.”
Within 15 minutes, the guards and a very large number of common insects assembled in the place. Kokonut gave some quick orders to a few spiders, called the chiefs to the front and he started speaking.
“Friends, We all know that we are in a great peril now! We must do something brave enough to stop this kid now and forever! I shall require courage, honesty and wisdom from all of you present here. Will I get them?” Everyone said a loud ‘yes’.
“That’s good. Now listen to me. I have asked two spider guards to watch the entrance of our colony. They will let us know if Alex approaches us. Our plan is this. We all know that this part of the house is never used and nobody pays us a visit except for that monster. This room is located beside the portico and one must cross it in order to enter this room. The other side of the portico is covered by a few waste boxes which they haven’t touched in years. 70% of you hide in those boxes. When the spiders give us the sign of his arrival, the rest of us must be ready inside the colony for saving the inhabitants. And at the time, when he peeks into our colony, one of you from the boxes must bite or sting him. Then he will turn to catch that one and when he turns each one of you should be near him. If you have wings, fly around him and if you don’t, spread out in the floor beneath him.”
“What’s the use detective? He isn’t a common boy to feel frightened at our sight. He is a dodgy one. He might harm the entire community!” asked Jaan.
“Foolish Jaan! That is the thing he will expect us to do. Fear! I also understood from his actions that he had never harmed or attempted to harm us when we were in groups. His attacks are always on when we are alone. 70% of us will be very much greater in number. Very much larger enough to threaten him.”
“What if it doesn’t work? What if he is not afraid of us even in groups? We can’t afford to risk all our guards.”
“That is not possible. He is and he will. Do it now or don’t feel sorry afterwards. Who is on my side?”
Initially none responded but gradually everybody accepted it as they had no other option and the 70% of the insects hid in the boxes. The remaining waited for the signal from the spider guards.
“Who is going to do that life-threatening job of turning his attention? I think flying insects could do it after all they can easily escape. Will you please volunteer?”
Only one raised hand and it was Jaan.
“Jaan? You? Don’t risk your life again! You are not capable!” the detective told.
“You have never allowed me to do my job! I am doing it and I will finish it successfully!” Jaan left leaving all of them in admonishment especially the detective.
Everything was in place when the Bee chief in the boxes saw the spiders running to the colony. Kokonut also noticed the signal. The sight of Alex threatened everyone except Jaan. He made slow movement behind him and when he peeked in the colony inside the room, it bit him in his foot real hard taking its revenge on him. Alex lost his balance for a moment but gained his control back so easily. He took Jaan in his hand and identified it as the same ant he caught a few days back.
“How dare you? This time I am not going to leave you!” barked Alex!
It wasn't a moment when all the insects surrounded Alex. He didn't notice them till the buzzing of bees made him a little peevish. He turned around and was stunned to see so many bees, grass-hoppers, mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches suspended in the mid-air. He let out a long cry and tried to run away. And that is when he noticed many worms, ants, spiders, lizards and others were surrounding him. He nearly jumped and ran to his room and fainted. Thankfully no one was hurt. It was then they realized that Jaan wasn't there and everybody praised his sacrifice.
“I am not dead still fools!” shouted Jaan in the hands of Koko! Koko saved him when he fell out of Alex’s hands. Everybody rejoiced their victory. Needless to say that Alex never entered their territory again and they found that recipe book in the boxes. Hail Koknut! Hail Jaan!