“Please,” Mr. Kaneko said quickly.
“The queerats…or exospecies…what sort of bond holds these colonies together? Aren’t most groups monolithic in nature?”
“The Giant Hornet faction can be thought of as a feudal society. Each colony in the faction serves its own queen, and is pledged to the Giant Hornet colony. If one colony is attacked, it is viewed as an attack on the entire faction. Virile males are moved around the colonies, and a new queen is chosen from a different colony each time the current one becomes too old to bear offspring. In this way, blood ties are strengthened and treason is highly unlikely to occur.”
Shisei Kaburagi nodded.
“The other group is the Robber Fly faction. The Robber Flies have around 55 thousand warriors. When you include the Deerfly, Pyraloid Moth, Garden Tiger Moth, Armyworm, Blue Centipede, Orb Spider, Tachina Fly, and Leaf Hopper colonies, they are 250 to 300 thousand strong. They are also extremely loyal to humans, and have suggested for some time that they be allowed to share the work given solely to the Giant Hornets. …to answer your previous question, the integration of these colonies is far more complicated. Many colonies have changed their names to those of fortresses or military divisions.”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“For starters, all the colonies have overthrown their queens by means of revolution. All decisions in a colony are made by elected representatives, and representatives from each colony convene to make decisions for the entire faction. The queen’s sole duty is reproduction.”
The muttering started again. Most people knew as much about changes in queerat society as they did about the movement of tectonic plates. They had no idea that these colonies were treating the queen like livestock.
“Almost all colonies have gravitated to one of the two groups, leaving almost no independent ones. The only one with any sort of power is probably the Millepede colony, which came from the mainland and has since been naturalized.”