Sequel to ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ By: Mary Frances Stanish

Fanfiction

This story starts the night before Flik’s wedding. His identical twin brother, Abe, is getting married that day too. Flik is spending the night with his brother. Now here the story will begin…. (Hang on!)

Flik tossed and turned in his bed. “How can I get to sleep?” he wondered. “Are you still awake?” asked his brother. Flik nodded and rubbed his eyes. “I’m just so nervous about tomorrow”. “Me too,” said Abe. “But think how nervous the girls are! I bet they’re shivering and crying in bed by now!” Flik agreed, “Yeah, Poor Atta. I don’t think she’ll make it! She goes ballistic over little things!” Abe laughed, “I wonder how Mari is taking all this?” Flik shrugged, “I dunno. Her mom is here so I think she’s okay”. The brothers settled back down and finally went to sleep.

Meanwhile, Mari paced anxiously in her chambers. “Okay, the dress is ready, Mom and Dad are here, Winky will be my flower girl, Larry is…oh boy, “ she rambled on and on making sure everything was set. “My wedding’s in the morning, Atta’s is right after…ooh!” Her mother woke up hearing Mari chattering away. “Mari? What are you doing? You should get to bed, tomorrow’s a big day,” said her mother. “I know! I just wanna be sure everything is ready and I have butterflies in my stomach,” said Mari. Her mother took her hand and said,” I know you’re nervous, so was I. But remember, it’s the sacrament that’s important, not the dress”. Mari sighed, “I know but I guess I’m scared too”. “What’s freighting you?” “Flik,” answered Mari as she dropped onto her bed. Her mother sat beside her. “All girls who get married feel the same way,” she explained. “Men-ants are always scary at first but think about what you know about your…Flik”. Mari’s mom was not too keen about Flik. She was still warming up to him. Mari thought about Flik and all that they had been through. She smiled, thanked her mother, and relaxed. Mari finally went to sleep.

The next morning buzzed with excitement. The whole colony would witness these two weddings. Everyone was excited. Mari’s chambers were full of family and friends from America, hastily preparing themselves. “Remember,” said Mari’s father. “Think about those vows”. Mari hugged her father, “Yes, Daddy”. Abe’s chamber was a riot of men-ants. All of Abe and Flik’s buddies were there. Even Larry was there, to Flik’s great annoyance. “Be careful tonight!” they poked. Raunchy jokes about the grooms spread around the room. Larry relished it all and showered Flik with many insults. It was glorious, but too easy. Everyone was suddenly silent. The priest entered to get ready. He talked encouragingly to the grooms about their brides and vows. Larry snickered to himself.

“It’s time!’ said Thorny. Some of Mari’s family left to go outside. Only the bride, her bridesmaids, and her father remained. Mari looked at her father. He gently squeezed her hand and said, “You’ll be fine”. Then they left to join the rest.

“Woah! Hey! We gotta go! Come Abe or we’ll be late!” Flik shouted suddenly. All the members of Flik’s wedding followed. They hurried out of the anthill to the back of the altar. The priest, in his robes, walked down the aisle and took his place. The procession began.

Mari appeared at the end of the aisle in a beautiful, white dress. She walked solemnly with her father down the aisle. Flik walked up to take Mari as his bride. “Take good care of my baby,” whispered Dr. Stanish. Flik nodded and escorted Mari to the altar. The mass continued. Then the priest asked Flik to take his vows. “I will,” Flik stated loudly. “And do you, Mari, take Flik, to be your awful…oops…I mean lawful wedded husband?” the priest chuckled. “I do,” said Mari. Then the priest also asked Mari to take her vows. Mari hesitated, remembering her father’s advice. A nervous look from Flik encouraged Mari. “I will,” she finally said, to Flik’s relief. “I now proclaim you ant and wife…you may kiss the bride!” the priest announced. Flik faced Mari and kissed her. The crowd cheered as they ran back up the aisle into the anthill.

“We better hurry, Abe’s wedding will start soon,” said Flik. “That’s all you’ve got to say?” said Mari. Flik chuckled, “What do ya want me to say?” “Nothing. Just carry me”. Flik carried Mari to her chambers. “Now hurry!” said Flik. Mari kissed his nose and got into her bridesmaid dress. They ran back out to witness Abe’s wedding.

Atta looked divine in her royal gown. Abe watched proudly as she came down the aisle. The priest gave another wedding service. Then Abe took Atta as his bride. They were proclaimed ant and wife. They kissed and walked up the aisle. The reception was lovely and memorable. The day was over too quickly.

Flik took Mari to her new home. They talked together for awhile, every minute Mari grew more uncomfortable. “I can’t believe he said awf…are you okay?” Flik asked his new wife, who was looking rather pale. She shook her head. Flik squeezed her hand, “Nervous?” he asked. Mari nodded. “You shouldn’t be you know,” he said. Mari trembling looked up at him. Flik changed the subject, seeing no hope in discussing the matter. It grew late and they grew drowsy. “I’m tired, I think we should go to bed,” yawned Flik. He saw her cringe, she was afraid of him! “Take good care of my baby,” echoed in Flik’s mind. He lifted her up and carried her to their new bedroom. He gently set her in bed and crawled in next to her. Flik kissed her forehead. Mari whined. “G’night,” whispered Flik into Mari’s antennae. “Let’s say our prayers first,” said Mari. So Flik prayed with her, then covered the mushroom lamp. Flik took Mari’s hand and they went to bed.

Mari woke up in the morning and looked at her husband as she did every morning since she was married. It had been about a year now. Flik was still curled up and asleep. Mari got out of bed and looked in the mirror. She stared at her large, round stomach and stroked it gently. She remembered when she first told Flik the news. Oh, how large his eyes got! Mari sighed and went to make breakfast as usual. Flik woke up shortly afterwards. He entered the kitchen chamber rubbing his eyes and yawning. “Good morning sleepy head!” said Mari cheerily. “G’morning,” said Flik drowsily. “Mari get off your feet, you shouldn’t be working so much!” Mari rolled her eyes, “I’m fine, really”. A sharp pang shot through her and she groaned. Flik made her sit down. “Maybe you should see Dr. Flora today,” said Flik. “No, I’m fine,” she persisted. Flik didn’t argue. “I finished the nursery yesterday!” he announced. “I’m sure it is wonderful,” said Mari. She rested her head on his chest and he kissed her.

Flik and Abe paced nervously in the waiting room. “They’ve been in there for hours!” groaned Flik. “How much longer will they be?” Abe didn’t answer. “Do want it to be a boy or a girl?” asked Flik. “A boy of course. And you?” “Son,” Flik answered. They were silent for a long time. Suddenly, Jessi rushed in. She glanced at both of them, confused for a moment, but then said, “Abe! It’s coming. Atta wants you!” Abe rushed to Atta, leaving Flik alone. It was ironic how Flik and Abe’s wedding were on the same day as well as the birth of their children. Flik was frightened. He waited, hoped and prayed. He wondered if Mari would make it. How could she? She was so tiny and delicate. “Flik! Come quick!” someone shouted. Flik didn’t think, he just ran. He found Mari gasping and sweating, ”Flik!” she managed to say. By instinct Flik grabbed her hand. “You’re gonna be okay, you’re doing great!” His vision blurred as she painfully squeezed his hand and screamed.

After hours and hours of struggling, Abe was a proud father. “It’s a BOY!” he cheered. Atta sighed with relief. “I hate you, Abe,” she teased. Abe playfully pinched her side. “What’s the baby’s name?” asked Jessi. “Frederick,” Abe said through sobs. “Frederick Douglass Ant, after my father”. The new baby squealed. Abe handed the baby to Atta. “You’ve made me the happiest ant alive,” he said. “I love you Atta”. He kissed his wife; the baby opened his eyes and cried some more.

“That’s it!” shouted the doctor. Mari gasped for air and loosened her grip on Flik’s hand. Flik stared at his crinkled hand. “Mari, it’s over. You did it!” said Flik. Dr. Flora and a nurse came back holding two babies. Flik stared dumbfounded. “It’s a boy,” said Dr. Flora. “It’s a girl,” said the nurse. Flik blinked. “You mean they’re …twins?” said Flik. They nodded. Flik stepped back and screamed, “TWINS! OMIGOSH TWINS! Mari did ya hear that? You had twins!” Tears ran down Flik’s cheeks. “Twins,” he said again. “You’re a daddy twice,” said Mari quietly. Flik took his children in his arms and handed the girl to Mari. “Look at them, they’re so beautiful,” said Flik. The girl opened one eye then the other. “She’s winking. Just like me,” said Mari smiling her squinty smile. “I love you so much,” said Flik. “I love you too,” said Mari. “What are their names?” asked the nurse. “The boy is David Frederick and the girl is Elliot Clare,” Flik announced. Both of the babies cried. “Would you do this again?” whispered Flik. Mari nodded sleepily. Flik kissed her and she fell asleep.

“Momma! Where’s daddy?” “He’s working, Dave” “Oh, I wanna play with daddy!” “Go play with your brother, Isaac”. “No! Daddy!” “I wanna see daddy too!” whined Ellie, the eldest of the 4 children. Mari and Flik had been married for about 6 years now. David and Ellie were 5 years old. A year after Mari had Dave and Ellie, she had another set of twins, Diana Frances and Isaac Abraham. “Can we please?” begged Dave. ‘Well, I’m sure that he won’t mind,” Mari finally gave in. “Get Isaac and Di, we’ll have to get Uncle Larry to hunt him down”. “Yah! Uncle Larry!” shouted Ellie. The Ant family went to Mari’s old chambers.

Mari knocked and Larry came out to see the little happy group. “What do you want?” said Larry gloomily. “Please Larry, I need you to find Flik,” said Mari. Larry grinned gleefully. “You look huge!” he commented. “Flik giving you a pain in the ab?” Mari giggled and nodded, “I’ll never learn”. “Well I’ll give him one! Hang on, I’ll go get my whip”. Larry disappeared into his chamber. “Is Uncle Larry gonna kill Dad?” asked Isaac still hiding behind his mother’s leg. “No dear, he’s only joking,” Mari comforted him. Larry returned in his Sargent’s uniform and with his whip. Abe, who had created a secret guard to protect his children, had made Sargent Larry. They left to find Flik.

“There he is! You guys stay here, I need to spank that guy,” said Larry. “Why ya spanking Daddy?” asked Diana. Larry didn’t answer, but left, quickly approaching Flik, who was busy harvesting. Larry cleared his throat to make his presence known. Flik turned around to see Larry. “Oh no!” he thought. “What do you want?” asked Flik. “I’ve heard you have caused my sister much pain,” said Larry. Flik looked at him in disbelief. Mari hadn’t said anything about him hurting her. “Well, I’m gonna give you some pain!” Before Flik could respond, he was on the ground being spanked by Larry. “Alright, that’s enough!” shouted Mari. “Aww! I was just having fun,” whined Larry. Mari apologized to Flik for disturbing him. Flik got up and rubbed his abdomen.

The children ran and knocked their father to the ground again. Flik laughed and played with them. “Daddy got a big Spank!” laughed Diana. “Bad Dad! He hurt mommy!” said Ellie. “Mommy’s not hurt,” explained Flik. “But she’s big like ball!” said David. “Mommy’s got a baby in her tummy. That is why she’s big like ball!” said Flik. He got back up and kissed his kids. “Go play with Uncle Larry for a minute. Mom and Dad have to talk alone,” said Flik. The children obeyed their father and Sgt. Larry walked away with them saying, "Oh yeah! I got him! It’s my birthday! Whoo-hoo!” “It’s your birfday?” asked Diana.

Flik glared at Mari. “Why’d ya do that?” he asked. Mari felt guilty. “Larry’s been upset lately. His job isn’t doing much and the kids love him. I was just trying to help. I didn’t think he’d go that far,” she apologized. Flik shook his head. “Don’t ever do that again. EVER!” he said sharply. He softened his tone when Mari started to cry. “Oh, there now, don’t cry. I forgive you,” he said kindly. “The kids just want to be with you,” Mari sobbed. “They are miserable at home”. Flik held Mari in a warm embrace. He kissed her and said, “I’ll try and get home earlier. But you should get on home; Abe and Atta are coming for dinner! He says he’s got something important to tell me”. Mari kissed Flik’s cheek and said, “I hope you can come soon, I am due really soon!” Flik leaned his head on her stomach. “I can feel them kicking!” he said. Mari nodded “This’ll be our 5th, only three more to go”. “Three! I think just one more. You said 6, and six it is! Besides you have four others waiting at home”. Mari smiled and went back home.

Meanwhile Abe stood aloft to oversee the harvest. He was anxious about something. Atta came out to join him, mostly because the kids wanted to see their father. “Don’t forget about dinner,” chimed Atta. “I haven’t,” said Abe. “What are you so worried about?” asked Atta. “Its not that rumor again, is it?” Abe nodded. Atta sighed, “my mother says not to fret about it”. Abe said nothing. “Come inside e now,” Atta urged her husband. “You’ve done all you can for now. The secret guard will watch out for us. And your kids miss you”. Abe looked at the two small ants, cringing behind their mother’s legs. “Hey kids,” Abe greeted. “What are you up to?” “Coming to drag your miserable hide home so…so…Mommy can rest. Did I say that right, mom?” said the little girl, Anna Marie. Atta nodded sheepishly, “Yep, that’s what I said, darling”. Anna tugged her father’s hand. “I wanna go home now,” she whined. Abe bent down and stroked her growing wings. Anna was a queen ant and he was afraid for her protection. Anna looked at her father sadly, “Why are you so scared? Is Uncle Flik inventing something again?” Abe chuckled, “Now where did she learn that?” “Mom!” answered Anna. Abe carried his daughter and started homeward. “Dad,” came a small voice. “Why are you so scared?” Abe turned to look at his son. Atta knelt down and explained, “There are some bad ants that want to do some bad things to mom and dad. But don’t worry, we are safe”. Frederick grabbed his father’s legs, “Don’t let ‘em get me!” he cried. Abe reassured his son, “No one will get you as long as I’m here! Besides I’m sure Mom will spank them if they tried”. Abe smiled and led his family to Flik’s home.

“Is that him?” “No, you doof! That’s his brother, Flik. He’s only got 2 kids remember?” “Oh yeah! So when will we get ‘em?” “Late tonight. Now come on, let’s get ready”. Two jet-black ants plotted in the clovers and hid there until darkness fell.

“But they’ve plotted against us for years!” said Abe. “Shh! You’ll scare the kids!” Flik said sharply. “Sorry, you’re right. But I’m scared they’re gonna…” “Honey dear!” Atta interrupted. Abe was silent. The evening dragged on and the adults discussed Abe’s fear while the kids played in the nursery. “What about that secret guard? Isn’t that enough?” asked Mari. Abe shook his head, “I just don’t have enough faith in them”. Flik looked at his brother with concern. “If you are really that scared, you can spend the night here,” Flik offered. Abe thanked his brother and agreed. “Okay then, if you stay… you do the dishes,” said Flik with a laugh. Abe groaned and left to do the dished. Atta glanced at Flik thankfully.

Late in the night, when everyone was asleep, the two jet-black ants began their mission. “There it is,” muttered Rocky, the larger of the two. “What of those guards?” asked Rocky’s partner, Shorty. Shorty was a small, thinly built ant; his figure complimented his profession. “I’ll distract them,” said Rocky. “But what if they’re not in there?” asked Shorty. Rocky thought for a minute. “We better be sure of their whereabouts. I’ll find ‘em”. Rocky found a young woman ant coming home from work. It was Jessi. Rocky pulled out a dagger and leapt in front of her. Jessi started to scream, but Rocky was swift to silence her. He knew his business well. “Where’s the king?” he growled ferociously. He held the dagger at her throat to encourage an answer. “I…I don’t know,” she whined terrified. Rocky dragged Jessi near Abe’s royal chambers. “Then go in and check if he’s home,” he demanded. Jessi obeyed. She easily walked by the guards, sleeping on the job. Abe was not there. She came back out and tried to run away, but Shorty prevented her escape. “Is he in there?” Shorty hissed. Jessi shook her head. “Aww! Where could they be?” whispered Shorty in frustration. Rocky squeeze Jessi’s shoulders firmly. “Do you know where he might be?” he coaxed. Jessi’s mind whirled with fear. “’Cuz if ya don’t tell…we’ll kill ya”. Jessi gasped as she heard the sound of Shorty’s knife being drawn out of its scabbard. She felt the cold metal press against her chest. “Try his brother’s home,” she squealed. She knew where Abe was the whole time. She had just come back from giving Mari some more medical attention. “Thank you dear,” said Rocky, kissing her cheek. She groaned in disgust. “Now you can come with us!” said Shorty. Before she could make a sound, she was out cold.

The black ants found Flik’s chambers. Shorty silently slipped inside. Moving like a shadow, he saw Abe and Atta sleeping peacefully in the main room. He smiled evilly. Frederick and Anna were sleeping in their father’s arms. Shorty took a drugged napkin and covered Anna’s mouth, and then he gently slipped her into his sack. Shorty did the same thing to Frederick. Before he left, Shorty stabbed a note next to Abe’s slumbering head. Shorty left and bowed mockingly. “I got ‘em! Let’s go!” said Shorty anxiously. “Are you sure it’s them?” asked Rocky just to be sure. “Found them sleeping in their daddy’s arms,” Shorty said with a grin. Rocky felt satisfied,” Then we must move quickly”. The kidnappers left Ant Island in haste with Jessi, Frederick and Anna.

Abe’s screaming awakened Flik and Mari. “Omigosh! They got them! They’re gone!” he yelled hysterically. Atta wailed in grief. Flik hurried to see what happened. The room was in fine order, save for the knife in the sofa. Abe ran and clutched his brother. “They took my kids!” he sobbed. Flik let Abe cry on his shoulder for awhile. Mari went to check her own children. They were all safe and sleeping in their beds. She returned to the scene. She saw Flik reading the ransom note that Shorty left behind. “What does it say?” asked Mari. Flik read aloud:
Ruler of Ant Island, If you want to see your precious kids again you must bow to the following demands; be subjects to our Queen Cecae and work as our slaves. We demand that you collect our harvest! If you do not come to us in 5 days, we will kill your children and your entire colony! ~The colony of the Black Ants. Abe and Atta cried and clutched each other. Flik looked at Mari. “What are we gonna do?” he asked. Mari shrugged, “Better hold council”.

The Council was gathered to discuss the matter. “We can’t fight them,” Thorny explained. “They are warriors and they outnumber us”. “I know what we CAN’T do, I want to know what we CAN do!” Abe said angrily. Flik spoke up, being ambassador of the Council, “Can’t we just steal your kids back?” Cornlius snapped, “What good’ll that do? All they have to do is attack us and POW! We’re history!” Winky, part of the secret guard present there, stepped forward. She said,” What of the Circus bugs? They can help”. “It wouldn’t be enough,” said Mr. Soil sadly. “Well, whadda ‘bout Molt? His grasshopper buddies can help,” she tried again. “Why would they help us?” said Thorny exasperated. “Molt’s my friend!” declared Winky. “And I’ve met some of his grasshopper friends. They’re all bored, lookin’ for action! There are enough of them willing to fight to the death!” The Council gasped. Ants being friends with a grasshopper was unheard of! Abe considered Winky’s suggestion. Finding no other solution he allowed Winky to make an alliance with the grasshoppers. “But I want my kids back!” whined Abe. “I’ll go get them back for you,” said Flik. Abe turned to his brother and said,” No, I can’t let you go risk your neck for my kids. I’ll go!” The Council tried to persuade Abe not to go, but he was stubborn.

Later, Abe and Flik planned their mission. “We must take Larry,” said Abe. “Larry!” Flik shouted in alarm. “Why?” “Because he’s the best ant I’ve got! We could use his skill”. Abe summoned Larry. He helped Abe perfect their plan. “My best ants will take Atta to the city, we need to protect her,” said Larry. “Take Mari too! I want her to be safe,” said Flik. Larry scoffed, “Fine”. “We better tell the girls,” said Abe. “I’ll get everything ready for tomorrow,” said Larry.

“I want to go with you,” begged Mari. “No! Mari! Definitely not! You are pregnant and have four children to take care of. You can’t come and that’s final!” Flik yelled. Diana poked in her parents’ room after overhearing her father’s yelling. “Daddy? Is Mom in trouble?” she asked in a small voice and her blue eyes filled with tears. “No dear,” said Flik softly. “Daddy has to go away and Mommy can not come”. Diana cried and held her father’s leg, “Daddy, don’t leave me! I’m scared”. Isaac, Dave, and Ellie came in too. They were all curious and so innocent. Diana was sobbing into Flik’s bosom. He held her close; she was his favorite child. The rest of the children also became upset when they found out that Flik was going away. Flik had his hands full, trying to comfort all of his children. Mari left to say good-bye to Larry.

Mari found her brother packing for his trip. “Why do ya wanna go?” he asked. “I want to stay with Flik and I hate the city. I don’t wanna go there!” said Mari stubbornly. “Picky, picky. It’s not a good idea for you to go. You are pregnant!” he said. Mari rolled her eyes. “I’m perfectly aware that I am pregnant!” she snapped. Larry snickered, “Flik said you couldn’t go, didn’t he?” Mari nodded. Larry sighed, “Can he really stop you?” Mari grinned and shook her head. “Then I’ll pack extra for you, but promise you won’t slow us down!” “I promise,” said Mari. “You are a stubborn fool. I’ll enjoy watching Flik’s reaction,” said Larry with a grin.

Early the next day, they prepared for their journeys. Winky was to take Atta to the city and find Molt. A few of Larry’s ants went with them. Winky’s grasshopper group was to meet them at ‘Look out rock’ near the enemy’s hill. The groups would not be together again until midnight. Mari carried her children in a carrier that Flik had made for her. She was livid. Flik faced her to say good-bye. “Make it snappy,” said Larry cracking Flik on the abdomen. Flik yelped. “Well, I have to be snappy… so bye!” he said quickly and turned away. “See you later,” Mari called after him. The groups split up and went on their separate ways.

Winky’s group made their way to the city. Mari waited patiently for her chance. “Excuse me,” she said. “I need to go. It’s an emergency”. They stopped to let Mari go, but she didn’t return. “Where is she?” asked Atta. Private Dusty answered, “She’s gone after Flik. She has out foxed us”. Atta groaned.

“Where are we going Mom?” asked Ellie. “Daddy,” Mari gasped. She ran as fast as she could to find Larry’s group. She slowed down to get her bearings straight. She was close, she could smell them. Mari followed the group at a distance. It was getting darker and easier to keep hidden. By nightfall, Larry’s group reached ‘Look out rock’. Mari could rest now. The children slept soundly after their travels.

Then Mari heard two unfamiliar voices. “There they are! This is really too easy,” one said. “No kidding,” said the other. Mari removed the carrier and strained to hear the voices. “Let’s get them now!” said the first voice. “In a minute,” said the other. “Let’s wait ‘til they’ve settled down”. “But that’s too easy!” “Shh! It’s safer. Patience”. Mari was astonished at what she just heard. They were planning to capture Larry’s group. They expected them! Mari listened for more voices. There was only the two. She had to distract them. Mari picked up a pebble and threw it towards the voices. It hit a soft surface. “What was that?” said one voice. “My head, someone knows we’re here!” the other responded. Mari frantically searched for a weapon. Finding none she hid her children and prepared to meet her enemy.

Mari tried to locate the whereabouts of her adversaries, but she could not. Suddenly she was grabbed from behind. A hand covered her mouth and prevented her from screaming. “Who is it?” said the dark, burly ant, which had a hold on her. “I dunno, I can’t see. Bring it into the light,” said the smaller ant. They dragged Mari close to the sleeping camp. “What the heck?” said the smaller ant. “A pregnant ant?” The burly ant chuckled sinisterly, “She may be useful”. Mari struggled to get free. She tried to inflict any pain she could on her captors, but they seemed immune. Finally, in a last ditch effort, Mari tickled the burly ant. He laughed louder and louder. He finally loosened his grip on her. Mari screamed, “FLIK!”

The camp arose and ran to Mari’s aid. The two black ants were successfully captured. Flik wiped the dust off his face and rubbed his sore arm. Mari fetched the kids from the hiding spot. He was very upset.

“I told you to stay home! You almost got killed, you almost got the kids killed!” Flik yelled boiling with anger and disappointment. “No, you almost got killed,” Mari snapped. “If it wasn’t for me, you’d be in the hands of the enemy by now”. “She’s right, you know,” said Larry. “You knew she was coming didn’t you?” said Flik, addressing Larry. Larry nodded. “Fine then,” said Flik unhappily. “Go ahead, stay. But, if you get sick don’t come whining to me. In fact, I don’t even want to talk to you. I don’t wanna see ya!” “But Flik, I…” “No ‘buts’,” said Flik angrily. “You’re not suppose to be here! I’m sick of you!” Flik stormed away. Mari watched him in amazement.

The grasshopper group arrived at the appointed time. “First, we negotiate,” said Abe. “Never! No compromise will be made!” shouted the burly ant. “Okay then, Plan B” said Abe. Larry discussed the plan with Flik and Abe. “What about Mari? It’s too dangerous for her to stay,” said Larry. Abe hummed and said, “She may be useful to us”. Flik immediately disagreed. “But Abe’s right. She could be our access to Abe’s kids,” said Larry. “But what if we are discovered?” asked Flik. Larry shrugged,” Then they win”. Flik reluctantly let Mari be part of the plan. “But I ain’t talkin’ to her!” Flik stated stubbornly. Larry rolled his eyes. Flik puffed up and stuck his nose in the air. “Jerk,” muttered Larry.

In the morning, Flik began to smother and smear the sticky black substance onto him. When he was done, he was all black like the enemy. Flik joined the group of soldiers who had also covered themselves with the black stuff. “Suit up!” commanded Sgt. Larry. The soldiers disguised themselves in the common armor of the enemy. “Ooo, hello you handsome stud!” said Mari to Flik. Flik turned sharply to face her. He looked at her darkly and said coldly, “Be careful, Mrs. Ant. The black ants are short tempered and will strike you regardless of your condition”. Mari giggled, “You are such a tease!” She leaned close to kiss him. Flik reared up and struck her across the face. She stepped back and stared at him with confusion. “I warned you woman, don’t come near me!” Flik said. “Private Flik that was unnecessary,” yelled Sgt. Larry. “Sorry,” said Flik sarcastically. Larry approached him and landed Flik a heavy one in the gut. Flik gasped, dropped to his knees, and rolled over moaning. “You don’t treat my sister or your wife like that!” said Larry. “Come on Mari, you can stay with Private Dusty until Flik learns his lesson”. Mari looked at Flik on the ground and nodded. Larry ordered Dusty to watch Mari and her children. “Alright, we’re set! Alpha group move out! Green group meet us at the rendezvous point,” called Abe. Flik got back up and walked on shaky legs. Diana cried, ”I want Daddy!” Flik cringed at the sound of his daughter’s request. He still felt to proud to be with Mari, but could he desert his kids like that? Flik approached to comfort his daughter, but Mari picked her up and handed her to Dusty. Flik looked on in disbelief. Mari must really be upset to do a thing like that. Flik continued to trudge on sadly, trying to hide his tears. Mari meanwhile felt guilty. She had proven she was useful, hadn’t she? But she had disobeyed her true love. “I should’ve stayed at home,” she said regretfully. “It’s too late now,” said Dusty. “Because we’re here!”

The enemy’s anthill was huge. Statues of great heroes were scattered here and there. It was impressive. The group staggered their ranks so not to be suspicious. Mari walked alongside Dusty as if he were the father of her children. It was too much for Flik. He snatched Diana and shoved Dusty away from his family. “I’m sorry I lost my temper,” he apologized. “I was upset with you for disobeying me”. “I know. I probably deserved that,” said Mari softly. “No,” said Flik. “You did not deserve to be hit like that!” David stamped on Flik’s foot. “Don’t hit Mommy!” he demanded. “Ow! Don’t worry I won’t ever again,” said Flik dodging Ellie’s punches. “Children stop it! I forgive Daddy. And apologize for…” “That’s enough,” Flik interrupted. “We havfta focus on the mission now”.

The group entered the hill and were amazed by the highways of twigs, tunnels and chambers. Larry ordered the group to stay put while he found out where Abe’s kids were. He stopped a random soldier and talked to him casually. “Hey buddy, got anything to chew on?” Larry asked. “Nah, sorry man,” answered the soldier. “Shucks! Say ya hear ‘bout the ransom? Sweet huh?” said Larry. “Yeah, now we don’t hafta waste time harvesting. What losers!” said the soldier. Larry laughed loudly, “No kidding, Say what’s your name friend?” “Pugnax,” answered the soldier. “But everyone calls me Falcon. See!” Falcon revealed his thorax. A huge, scraggled scar ran down it. “A bird did that to me. But I killed it before it could kill me!” he boasted. Larry nodded impressed. “Don’t laugh but my name’s Larry,” said Larry. Falcon unsuccessfully tries to suppress his laughter. “So who’s the sucker watching the kids?” asked Larry angrily. Falcon recovered and answered, “The queen’s had trouble finding someone”. “Why?” “’Cuz all our girls wanna fight!” “Is she accepting anyone?” “Just about why do you ask?” “My sister might be perfect for the job. She kinda passive, shameful to the family’s reputation really. But she’s pregnant now, so I’ll let that explain itself!” said Larry. “Where does she sign in?” asked Larry. “Gotta go to the queen herself,” said Falcon. “She is desperate for a guard for the kids”. “Thanks Falc, you da ant! Check ya later. Gotta tell my sis the news”. Falcon slapped his back, “See ya Larry!” Larry sneered and went away.

“Brilliant Larry, brilliant!” said Abe when he heard the news. Larry grinned maliciously at Flik; “Told ya we’d need her”. Flik sighed in defeat. Larry announced, “I’ll take Mari to Cecae. She’ll get the job and smuggle the kids out tonight!” “Maybe I should go with her,” suggested Flik. Larry started to disagree. Flik sighed, “Do you really want me to stay with you?” Larry grumbled, “No! Fine, but be careful and let me do all the talking. The rest of you chill out here”. Flik winked at Mari.

“Who goes there!” demanded the guard at the entrance. Larry opened his mouth to say something, but the queen herself burst by the guard. “Are you the ‘Deliverers’?” she asked. She was tall and well-built, power and beauty in perfect harmony. However her pleasing looks hid a killers spirit. Larry’s jaw dropped. He shook his head and regained his composer. “Uh…No, I’m not a ‘Deliverer’,” said Larry. Cecae eyed Mari suspiciously, “Well maybe you are in one sense”. Larry snickered coolly. He had recovered and eased into job mode. “What do you want?” she asked in a loud voice. “I’ve been informed that you’re looking for say…a nurse of some sorts. To guard the kiddies,” said Larry. “I was told to come to you for the position”. Cecae raised an eye ridge in interest. “A warrior like you wants to waste time baby-sitting? I’m surprised!” she said. Larry puffed up and arched his neck. “I’m not gonna sit, this’ll be my finest hour! My sister will watch those kids”. Cecae looked at Mari covered with children. “Save your ambition young soldier. You’ll need it for the actual battle,” advised the queen. Then she glared at Flik. “What’s he doing here?” she demanded. Larry leaned and whispered to the queen, “He’s an outcast. Fool of a sister married the loser. Shame really not a lick of fight in him. Soft as a pussy willow. He wants to watch the enemy’s kids!” The queen groaned in disgust, “You’re kidding?” Larry shook his head. “What’s your name?” asked the queen. “Larry,” he responded. Cecae smiled but said nothing. She led them to where Abe’s kids were kept. “You’ll have your hands full,” warned the queen. Mari nodded and set her own children down to play. The queen left with Larry.

Larry bid farewell and good luck to the queen. Then he caught up with the rest of the group. “The chicken is in the pot, and there are two rolls on the side,” said Larry. “Huh?” said Abe. Larry groaned, “Kids are fine, you incompetent fool! Now let’s skidaddle”. The group left the hill with a few stolen goods. Then, Larry saw a horrible sight. The burly ant and his partner whom they captured last night had escaped. They were carrying the bodies of two of his ants. Dead or alive, he could not tell. Larry crossed himself and prayed that they wouldn’t be revealed too soon.

“We’ll need a diversion. Then we need to capture the queen and other ants in power,” Larry explained. “We can easily cause a diversion,” a grasshopper said coolly. “No,” said Winky. “We need your help with getting the queen, that’s the hard part!” “Well the best thing to do now is to lay low, until some of their army goes to the Island,” said Larry. No one had any plans or ideas.

Meanwhile, Mari started to settle down in her new surroundings. Flik played noisily with the children. Mari smiled at their playing. “He’s such a child at heart!” she thought. Then, Mari heard the sound of someone softly crying. She went to explore the noise that came from the next chamber. Mari poked in and gasped, “Jessi!” It was Jessi. The nurse was alarmed at Mari at first, but Mari quickly told her everything. Flik was overjoyed at the discovery of Jessi. Then Jessi told them what she had overheard.

“Rumor has it that there’s a huge battle looming in the near future. The plan is to capture the Island, kill Abe and Atta, and then enslave the rest of us! I hear that the queen is sending out the first few squadrons tonight,” Jessi took a deep breath and continued. “We’ve got to do something! It’s a hopeless battle, we could never win!” Jessi started to cry. Flik began to comfort her as the queen barged in. “What are you doing out of your cell!” Cecae bellowed at Jessi. Jessi cringed. Flik explained, “This ant is a nurse and my darling feather-blossom is not feeling well”. Cecae laughed and spat at him, “What a good, caring husband. HA! I bet you’re a good daddy too!” Cecae snatched poor Isaac who squealed in terror. “Come on big daddy! Gimme your best shot! Go ahead, hit me! Get your precious son!” said Cecae as she struck Isaac and laughed maniacally. Flik tried to save Isaac by trying to grab Cecae’s throat. She scoffed, “Is that all you got?” Cecae grabbed Flik with her free hand and threw him across the room. Flik lay unconscious on the floor. Little David bit Cecae’s leg. She merely shook him off and laughed, “He’s got more fight than Daddy!” Mari suddenly felt her motherly instincts kick in. She lunged at Cecae and temporarily caused the queen to lose her balance. Cecae dropped Isaac, who was rescued by his sister Diana. Mari wrestled with Cecae but Cecae was at a great advantage. It seemed that Mari would lose. But she wouldn’t give up, not for her love’s sake. She tried her classic defense, tickling.

It worked. Cecae was at Mari’s mercy. “Jessi! Quick! Tie her down!” Mari called. With a jump rope and much effort, Mari and Jessi captured the queen. They hid her in the toy chest and piled large objects on top of it.

“Wow, Mom!” exclaimed Dave. “Flik!” Mari called out, seeing him lying on the floor. “Flik, speak to me! Oh!” Jessi carefully looked Flik over. “He’s alright,” she reassured Mari. “Go get some water”. Mari did. Jessi splashed it on Flik’s face. He sputtered and coughed. “Oh my baby!” Mari cried embracing him on the floor. “I’m okay! It’s all right. I’m going to…owww!” Flik rubbed his throbbing head. Mari asked, “Where does it hurt?” Flik pointed to his head. Mari kissed the spot he pointed to. “Any where else?” she whispered tenderly. Flik pointed to his mouth. Mari kissed him. “I love you,” he whispered. “Daddy! Don’t do that! That’s gross!” whined Ellie. Flik chuckled, “One day you’ll like it”. Ellie made a face. “Diana! Isaac! Are you all right?” called Mari. “We’re right here!” said Diana. Mari found Isaac shuddering from his experience. “You’re okay now,” said Mari softly. “The mean lady is gone”. Isaac looked to make sure, then cried in his mother’s arms.

“We should tell Larry we captured Cecae!” said Flik excitedly. Mari agreed, “Yes, but how are we gonna get out without losing her. These are extraordinary ants!” Flik schemed for a minute. Then he got an idea. “Jessi,” he said. “You go with Mari to Larry and tell him. Tell him I have a great idea! I’ll tell it to him”. “And you’ll stay here?” asked Mari. Flik nodded. “Then be careful, “ Mari warned. “She is dangerous.” Mari sighed, “Ya know, what you lack in strength you make up in bright ideas!” Flik kissed her again and sent them away. Then Flik turned to distract the children.

“Mari! What are you doing? You’re supposed to save Abe’s kids! Jessi?” exclaimed Larry when they arrived. “Shh!” hissed Mari as she caught her breath. Jessi told Larry what Flik said and about the capture of Cecae. “She must have been suspicious when Jessi was not in her chamber,” said Mari. Larry nodded impressed. “First Jessi should disguise herself!” said Larry. Jessi rolled in the black stuff. Then Larry went with the two women-ants.

The threesome met up with Flik in the nursery. “Where’s the queen?” asked Larry. Flik pointed to the toy chest. “How’d ya do it?” ”No time to explain,” said Flik. “I’ve got to tell you my plan”. Larry rolled his eyes, “Spare me!” Flik told Larry the idea. “One of the girls can impersonate the queen and therefor gain control of this colony’s army. That way we can thin out the army and beat them at our leisure”. Larry hummed. “Excellent!” he said at last. “It the best plan we’ve got! Jessi! You’ll hafta be the queen”. “Me?” said Jessi in surprise. “What do I do? What do I say?” “Calm down and listen to me,” said Larry. “You should appoint me general so I can help you. Then call a meeting of generals to ‘review the battle plan’”. Jessi nodded. “You should send some of their army to the desert,” said Flik. “Why?” asked Larry. “Well, if some of the army was gone on a useless mission, then we’d have less to deal with in the battle,” Flik said waving his arms in emphasis. Larry nodded and wrote something on a leaf. “Deliver this to Abe,” Larry ordered Flik. Flik ran to do his errand, while Larry helped Jessi.

Larry taught Jessi how to play her part. Flik returned with Dusty. “They’re on their way!” Dusty announced. “Good ant!” said Larry. “All you guys stay put while Jessi and I are gone”. Larry left with Jessi to Cecae’s royal chambers.

Larry and Jessi explored Cecae’s chamber to learn more about her. They learn about her proud military history, battles she had won, and relationships that she had. “That’s pathetic,” said Larry after reading a diary entry. He flipped to a recent entry. He blinked in disbelief. “Yo, Jessi! Look at this,” he hissed. Jessi read it and laughed,” She’s gotta crush on Flik!” “That may be the reason she’s attacking Ant Island. Let’s hurry up and call that meeting before it’s too late”.

So Jessi called together all the generals. Jessi recited her part well. “Generals!” she boomed. “I’ve called this meeting for two reasons. One, we have a new general. I appointed him secretly. He’s the leader of my secret squad”. She introduced Larry. The generals murmured among themselves. “2nd! He has reported that the enemy has a secret army, which is camped out in the desert. They plan to catch us off guard. We must send 2 corps”. “Two Corps! That’s too much! Our army is only five corps, your highness, we can’t afford to use that many,” exclaimed a general. Jessi rose higher,” I will not lose this war! I said we needed two corps for the army in the desert is made up of grasshoppers”. “Begging your majesty’s pardon, but I think waging war for this one guy is insane. Hostile grasshoppers are a huge threat. It’s too risky and we’d suffer great losses,” said a young general. Jessi strode up to him threatenly. She said, ”Are you saying that’s the reason for this war? Are you questioning my supremacy? Are you not a patron to your colony?” The young general cringed and gulped. “This war is not just about getting me what I want!” Jessi proclaimed. “It’s about the better of this colony. More food for our strong boys! More time to train harder. More women willing to have children and make this colony flourish! That’s why we are fighting. For the future of this grand colony”. Larry clapped at Jessi’s speech and the rest of the generals soon joined him. Jessi grinned maliciously. Then, the burly ant, Rocky, burst in carrying a blue ant. “Your majesty, watch out!” he said. “They’re here your highness, here in the hill”. “Release my ant!” ordered Larry. Rocky looked confused. “He’s my spy from Ant Island, he betrayed his own people. Release him I said!” Larry yelled. Rocky obeyed but looked at Larry suspiciously. Then his eyes widened. “Your highness, he’s one of them. He’s in disguise!” Rocky shouted. “Silence!” screamed Jessi. “I’ll hear none of it. Be gone, knave!” Two generals threw Rocky out. Rocky left to see what was really going on. The generals obeyed Jessi’s orders.

Meanwhile Flik, Mari, and Dusty remained in the nursery. They entertained the children until dark. After the children were sleeping, the adults talked about the plan. “So, can I see the queen?” asked Dusty curiously. “NO! It’s too dangerous. We can’t let her escape,” Flik said immediately. Mari moaned. “Are you okay?” Flik asked. Mari shook her head. “I think the baby’s coming soon,” she groaned. Flik took her hand and told her to take deep breaths. Then, Flik took Mari to bed and went to sleep leaving Dusty alone with Cecae. His curiosity was running wild. He had to see what the queen looked like. Dusty got a club and cracked open the chest. It was too dark so he opened it a little wider. Finally he saw her. Cecae shot up and struggled to get free. Dusty was able to tighten her bonds and gently told her to calm down. “I can’t believe how much trouble I’m going through to get this guy!” she said. “Huh? What guy?” asked Dusty. “Flik,” she confessed. “That’s why we’re attacking your poor excuse for a colony”. Dusty blinked, “Flik? Why?” The queen glared at him, but being his prisoner answered, “Because, he’s a great warrior. I wanted an ant with that courage. I bet his bod is…ohhh!” she sighed. Dusty raised an eye ridge and laughed heartily. “Flik’s no warrior! Why he’s…he’s…ha haha hah ha!” “What!” demanded Cecae. “He’s the guy with the pregnant ant. You know the skinny, little…ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, sorry your highness, he’s taken,” answered Dusty wiping his eyes. Cecae’s jaw dropped. She shook her head in disappointment. Dusty snorted and stopped laughing. Cecae cried, “Is there no one for me! I’ll never find a mate! It’s hopeless”. She hid her face, her shoulders shook from sobbing. Dusty put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “It’s not hopeless, your highness, you just haven’t found ‘Mr. Right’ yet,” he said. She turned to face him. Her eyes danced with a fiery passion. Cecae bared her teeth, “He must die!” “Why?” “Because he hurt me so!” she hissed. “That’s dishonorable and stupid. No offense, your highness, but what good will that do? Think, Cecae, think;” he said. Cecae looked at him again and groaned in frustration. Dusty sat and talked with Cecae all night.

When Flik woke up, he found Cecae sleeping on Dusty’s shoulder. “Ack! What did you do?” he yelled. Dusty yawned, “She’s not that bad”. “But…but…she’s the trying to kill me!” “No she’s not! Just give her a chance,” said Dusty in Cecae’s defense. “Give her a chance? Give her a chance? What do you mean? Are you insane!” Flik screamed. Dusty started to tell Flik why Cecae wanted to attack, but he was interrupted by Mari’s scream, “Flik! It’s coming!” Flik gasped and panicked, “Oh-no! Not here! Not now! Dusty, watch the kids and keep them out!” Then he went to help Mari. Cecae heard him call, “I dunno what I’m suppose to do”. Cecae herself went to help.

After hours and hours, Cecae helped Mari deliver another set of twins. “My stars!” exclaimed Cecae wiping the sweat from her forehead. “Okay, Flik, there’s the 6th child I promised,” Mari gasped. Flik laughed, “Oh Mari! You crazy American! I love you”. He kissed her, then faced Cecae. “Thank you, for helping my wife. I’m sorry I judged you so, but you were the enemy”. “You’re welcome, you incompetent idiot! I’m sorry for…uh-oh!” “What?” asked Mari, holding her two babies. “The attack! They’ve left to attack your hill. I could’ve stopped them, but I got distracted”. “Don’t worry,” said Mari calmly. “Larry has got it covered”. She winked. “Okay Dusty, they can come in now!” Flik called. Dusty brought in the rest of Flik’s brood. “Mommy! There’s two?” said Ellie, surprised. “Yep, a boy and a girl,” said Mari. “What are we gonna call ‘em?” asked Diana, crawling up to see her new siblings. “Flik Edwards Jr. and Mari Frances ll,” Flik announced. Flik held his new son and beamed at the blue-eyed wonder staring up at him. Jr. grabbed Flik’s antennae, inspected it curiously, then bit it. Flik laughed, “You are just like me! I did the same thing when I was your age”. Dusty grinned and looked at Cecae with a wink. Cecae smiled back. “Just hope Larry pulls through,” said Flik. “I’ll make certain he does,” said the queen. “Daddy! Stop kissing Mom. It’s sick and gross and Ewwww!” whined David. “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy! That guy’s kissing the mean lady! Make ‘em stop please. I’m…I’m gonna flow up!” moaned Ellie. “Just close your eyes, Ellie,” said Flik. Isaac cried, “I wanna go home”. “We will soon, now run off and play,” said Mari. All of the kids, except for Diana, went back into the nursery.

The army of Black ants moved with alarming speed. Young, warrior ants focused on their target. There wasn’t a coward among them and Ant Island was in their sight. Then, the army suddenly stopped. The soldiers quivered anxiously, they were ready to fight. Larry watched them and inspected his surroundings. “This is good ground,” he thought. Rocky and Shorty came up to the general. Larry could barely make out what they said. “We are the ‘Deliverers’,” said Shorty. “What news do you bring?” asked the general. Larry only caught pieces of what they said. “Ant Island…corrupted our queen…secret squad…risky…” was all that Larry could hear. Winky came to Larry’s side, “We’re in position,” she said. “Good, just wait for my signal,” said Larry. “There’s only 3 corps, only three. Is Abe ready?” Winky shook her head. Larry grunted in frustration, “He has to move faster”. Abe finally arrived, “All set!” he said. “Alright, Abe, you go lead Alpha group. Winky lead blue group and tell Molt to lead green group, and I’ll lead Raven group. No one moves until they hear their signal from me. Now go, go, go, go!” Larry commanded. The secret meeting broke up and left to do their duty.

The Black ant army moved steadily once again. Larry hastily connected the last stretch of wire. He had constructed a machine to create a loud, shouting noise to signal the groups and confuse the enemy. The perimeter was set. Larry flipped the first switch and the machine wailed. The Black army soldiers properly positioned themselves for an attack on the left flank. However, the attack did not come from the left, Abe’s group charged from behind. The 1st Corp was the first to act. The two groups clashed in a fury of madness.

Before the other corps could assist, Larry set off the second signal. This averted the attention of the 3rd Corp. Into the left flank charged Winky’s group of volunteers and archers. Her group sent a storm of arrows into the enemy’s lines. Then Larry the last signal to call in the grasshoppers, who just surged into the Black ants.

Larry ran to the head of his group. “Ready ants?” he called. “Ready!” replied the soldiers. “Then jump!” commanded Larry. The ‘Raven’ group jumped onto leaves and floated down to the battlefield. From their leaves, Larry’s ants threw darts at the enemy, which struck many down to the ground.

The battle raged on in fiery fury. Although the enemy’s lines had thinned, they still fought on with insane ferocity. The Black general ordered his troops wisely and skillfully. Many Ant Islanders fell and the casualties rose. Larry watched the horror of it all. He’d always hoped he’d see a real battle, but now he wondered why he did. He saw terrible scenes of ants gored through the thorax and hoisted high in the air. The twisted expressions on their faces. The screams of the wounded and dying, calling for help but in vain. Young ants whose lives were still yet to be lived had their breath sucked from their proud bosoms. But Larry could not pay attention to these sights and sounds now. He had to do his duty, lead his ants, and urge them on. He had to display true courage.

“By order of the Queen Cecae, cease fire, cease fire!” boomed an amplified voice, sending echoes all over the battlefield. The battle froze and faced in the direction of the voice. There, standing tall and proud, was Cecae in her battle uniform with Flik’s megaphone in one hand. “This must stop!” she bellowed through the megaphone. “The Black ants are now at peace with Ant Island. We’ve come to a compromise!” The soldiers murmured disappointedly with each other. The general called back his troops. “I must speak to the leader of Ant Island, to discuss the terms of the treaty,” Cecae said. “Don’t listen to her,” shouted Rocky. “That’s not Cecae. That’s an Ant Islander in disguise. Kill her!” “No!” shouted a voice from behind Cecae. “I am the Ant Islander in disguise,” said Jessi appearing behind Cecae. Jessi was followed by Flik and Dusty. Rocky, enraged, shouted, “She’s been influenced. She is Weak! We don’t want a weak leader!” “Silence ant! I’ve found my prize, we have no reason to fight,” said Cecae. Rocky, now insane with anger, drew out his dagger and charged toward Cecae, screaming, “Die!” Dusty ran to oppose Rocky and protect his Cecae, but Rocky plowed past him. When Rocky drew close to the top where Cecae stood, Flik lunged into Rocky and toppled down the slope. At the base of the slope, they wrestled for a few moments then Rocky had Flik down. Rocky held up his dagger to stab Flik to death. But suddenly, a point came out of Rocky’s thorax. Winky had shot him with a lethal aim. While Rocky was in shock, Larry gored him the stomach, which caused Rocky to fall to the ground still as a statue.

Larry helped Flik back to his feet. “Good work private,” he said, helping Flik brush off dust. “Maybe you’re not such a loser after all!” “Really? Thanks Larry!” said Flik. “What? You thought I was serious? Oh please, you’re always gonna be a loser to me, “ laughed Larry. Flik rolled his eyes, “Some thing will never change,” he sighed. Cecae helped Dusty back up. “You tried to save me?” asked Cecae. “Of course, “ said Dusty happily. “I didn’t want…well, I guess ‘cuz…umm…uh…” Cecae kissed him and thanked him tenderly. Dusty sat there in a daze. Abe came and interrupted the love fest. “We need to discuss the treaty,” he said. The queen and Abe went off to talk about the treaty. The dispute was at an end.

The two colonies now lived in peace. Ant Island would provide the Black ants with Flik’s Harvester machine to speed up their harvest. The Black ants promised to be allies of Ant Island. Several months later, Queen Cecae married Dusty, which the colonies agreed would seal the treaty. Finally, Cecae’s dreams came true. Larry and Winky’s dreams were fulfilled too. Larry was promoted to the Council as high general. Winky was made the relation to the grasshoppers. They both were proclaimed heroes and their story was etched onto the spiral root. Mari was also declared a heroine too, For saving Abe’s kids and bravery in duty. Flik was also praised for his quick thinking and brilliant plan. But he was happier at home; he was through with battles and adventure. He wanted to see his children grow and make their home a safe place, like any good father does.

Flik’s children did grow up well. They went on to do great things, which brought great honor to the family. Now Flik was sure that when his children’s children walked down the street, people would point and say, “Look! There goes the spawn of Flik our great hero”. Except Larry’s descendants who would point and say, “Loser!” Some things will never change.

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