When a modified fungus, specifically designed to infect and destroy all other living organisms is accidently set loose upon a Utah city, It's up to three roomates to escape from the city before they all become mindless monsters too.
"Greetings ladies and gentlemen," said Dr.Fleor. The young man stood at the front of a large, circular table in a lightly lit room. All around the table, men and women sat in military uniforms, waiting to see what the young doctor had dragged them all down to the Utah Valley to see. "Thank you for donating your time to me today. I can assure you that not a second of it will be wasted."
Dr.Fleor, clearly nervous, quickly wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead, his strawberry blonde hair flashing in the dim lighting. "Thanks to the US military's generous funding, my team and I have created the newest biological weapon that will change modern warfare as we know it."
When no response came from his audience, Dr.Fleor continued. "You see, for years, my collegues and myself have pondered over a very specific survival mechanism in a very specific organism in the animal kingdom. I am, of course, talking about the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis fungus."
There was silence for a few moments before one of the men sitting at the table leaned foward. "And what exactly is this fungus, doctor?" His slightly scarred face hid all emotion, and his southern accented voice was as cold as ice.
"Ah, well you see General Anderson, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a fungus that mainly lives in tropical rainforest environments. The thing that makes this fungus so amazing though, is its survival technique."
"Which is?" Anderson asked.
Dr.Fleor's smile widened. "This fungus needs to live in a specific temperature and height to survive. When it finds itself in conditions where it cannot survive, it will shoot out spores that will infect an ant that lives in the surrounding area."
General Anderson leaned foward slightly more, while the other men and women followed his lead. Noticing this, Dr.Fleor continued. "The fungus essentially 'hijacks' the ants body, controlling it at will. The ant no longer has control over the body, and the fungus will move it to a position that allows itself to survive. Ants that have been infected have been recorded climbing on to leaves approximitaly 25 centimeters above ground, and then bite into the leaf so that the ant will hang over the edge. The ant then dies."
Dr.Fleor looked to see any reactions, but all the faces were masks. General Anderson nodded at the doctor to continue.
Dr.Fleor nodded back. "When I first learned of this creatures ability, I wondered if we could use it in any way. Then I had an idea: why not alter this ability to use against our enemies? And now, I am pround to say that we have done just that!" Dr.Fleor then walked towards a small table behind him covered by a white sheet of cloth. There seemed to be a small box under the cloth as well. Dr.Fleor grabbed the cloth and uncovered the box.
Their faces no longer masks, the military men and woman stared curiously as the box before them. Even general Anderson had a cautious look on his face. In front of them was a plexiglass box with what seemed to be a few sticks and a layer of some bizzare white substance inside. "What exactly are we looking at here?" Anderson asked.
"Inside this box," Dr.Fleor exclaimed excitedly, "Is a single army ant, infected with the new fungus spore that my team and I have created from the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis."
"What does this new fungus do exactly?" asked one of the women. Dr.Fleor nodded to the woman respectivaly. "This new fungus, Sergeant Calen, is very much like the original fungus, but with a few tweaks. Before, the fungus only infected ants in order to move to survivable conditions, while this fungus can infect any mammal, with the sole purpose of spreading its spores and ingesting all other organisms it comes across. Imagine dropping this fungus behind enemy lines. All opposition would be obliterated within weeks."
The surrouding men and women began to mutter to eachother. After minutes of intense discussion, Anderson finally faced Dr.Fleor. "If you don't mind us asking doctor, how can you stop the infection and the fungus after it has done its job?"
"Well General, this fungus, unlike most other fungi, can survive moderate temperatures of cold, as well as heat. But we made it so that any extreme temperatures of either will kill it. Then, it will just be a matter of isolating the infection area and exterminating all that carry the spores."
"I see. I think we have all heard enough. We shall make our report to the Whitehouse. With our reccomendations. But first, can we see the ant? It's hard to tell if there really is an ant in there from this distance."
"Of course," Dr.Fleor said, beaming happily. He gently picked up the plexiglass box and set it down on the table. He then lifted a finger to point out the location of the ant, and stopped. Dr.Fleor began to scan the box more thouroghly now, his smile dissapearing every second.
"Where are you?" he muttered to himself. He froze dead when he saw the small hole
near the bottom edge of the box.
"Well? Is something wrong?" Sergeant Calen asked urgently, noticing the doctors shocked face.
"I...," the doctor wispered. His face ashen, he looked up at the others surrounding him. "It's gone."
Many miles away, a small army ant crawled its way across forest and stone. Finally it had made its way into the Utah city of Provo.