|Plastic Ants, which somehow seems appropriate. |
I swear the ones I saw were real.
I am examining the surface of the last table, the one closest to the windows. My vantage point is such that I could be kneeling on the table, or perhaps I am hanging from wires or supported by artificial gravity, I have no idea. In any case, I am examining the table's surface and I notice a trail of tiny ants crossing the table. There is a light stripe, maybe half an inch wide, in the varnish where they are walking. It occurs to me the ants have worn through the varnish there.
I scoot up the table about six feet and I find another, similar, trail of ants. This is weird. I scoot up a little more and I spot another trail in the making. This one only goes about half way across. It starts on my right, at the edge nearest the windows. It appears that the ants are digging their way through the varnish, not that the varnish is that thick. If is so thin as to be imperceptible to my big eyes and would not impede the ants if they chose to walk on it, so there much be some other factor at work.
Perhaps the varnish is sticky and by removing it there are making a more ant-friendly path. Or maybe they are eating it, or more likely, carrying it away to feed to something else.
My view zooms out a bit and I notice several more of these paths, both complete and in-progress. This is just too weird, I need to find some other people to witness this phenomena.
I go out in the hall (still much like a school) and wander down the hallway looking for co-workers who can spend a few minutes to look at my ants. Some people are intent on their work. One guy is staring into space, not sure he is rousable. I turn the corner and go a little further and eventually find a few people who I am able to tease into accompanying me back to see the ants.
We get back to the room and there are no ants. There are strips of paper lying where I could have sworn I saw these trails of ants. The strips of paper have little brass colored asterisks printed in row down the center, just about the size of the ants I saw. Where I saw a trail-in-progress, there is a strip of paper that ends halfway across the table, right at the same point that this ant trail had reached. I am non-plussed, to say the least.