They had arrived back soaked and exhausted, having been absent for several days held back by their bad physical states and the weather. Nearly all the ants rejoiced when they saw them. There was only one exception; a slightly older almost white male with a scar on his left temple which looked somewhat like a lightning bolt rotated 90 degrees, his blue eyes flashing wildly looking towards Flik.
Before Flik and Atta knew what was happening, they had been lifted up by the other ants and were being paraded around the anthill!
Atta was worried that Flik should go to the infirmary to have his wounds tended to but Flik was having the time of his life!
'Wahoo!' he shouted. Atta couldn't help but laugh.
The noise of the procession alerted other ants, who hadn't heard the uproar of cheering on their arrival, hurried towards the clamor. The majority of these were children who had been in their chambers or in bed.
Whooping could be heard from the approaching Blueberry Scouts not much later followed by the circus bugs. The queen and Dot rushed into the large passage which Flik and Atta were presently being paraded down. Dot cheered loudly, flying into the air and doing a summersault.
'Oh, thank goodness.' Queen Amadala sighed.
'He did it! He did it! I knew he could do it! Yay! I always believed in him!'
'Dot, calm down.' Her mother said to her with a laugh.
'He's rad! He's awesome! He's my best friend! He's Flik!' Dot continued to shout out.
'Yeah, he's way cool!' Dot turned her head to see it was one of the boys from her class, Grub. Grub looked a little embarrassed.
Dot turned her attention back to Flik.
'Flik! Flik! Flik!' she cheered. Many of the other ants began to join in.
'Um, Princess Dot . . .' Grub began but quickly realized she was paying no attention to him whatsoever. He sighed, feeling rather disappointed. The queen noticed this and felt sorry for him and a little annoyed with her daughter.
'Dot! Grub was speaking to you!' Dot temporarily stopped her cheering.
'Would you . . .' the small boy began, 'that's if you want to . . .'
'Do you want Dot to have a play date with you?' the queen asked him kindly. Grub swallowed.
'Y-y-yes, Your Majesty . . .'
'Dot, would you like to?' she asked her, 'Dot?'
'Oh, um, yes, why not.' she replied, only half concentrating. Grub gave a smile of which Dot didn't see because she had looked away again and continued her cheering.
'When would you like it, Grub?' the queen asked, trying to make up for Dot's lack of attention to him, 'Tomorrow?'
'Whenever it's most convenient.'
'I don't think she's doing anything tomorrow. I'll ask her. Dot? Dot!' The parading was now near the end of the long passage way and Dot had flown after it. 'Oh, I'm sorry, Grub. She's not normally like this. She's just a little hyper at the moment.'
'I noticed.' He said to himself smiling.
Petal thought it was unfair that Flik was getting all the glory and Atta wasn't getting any. She obviously felt strongly about it and she was blinding her best friend, Kevin with the reasons why. This was only interrupted by the yelp of a small girl who had only noticed the oncoming parade just in time due to her small size and the excitement of the other ants.
'Close one there, Poppy!' Petal called. Poppy gave a shy smile. Poppy was the smallest ant in the colony, even smaller than Dot! (Not by much though) She was the youngest too which gave her some excuse.
It was unknown how it was possible but miraculously she had brown eyes. When Petal had first met her, she had said her brown eyes were as miraculous as the fact she hadn't been crushed yet!
The queen had at first thought Dot would get on with Poppy very well but she quickly realized it wouldn't work. Dot couldn't help feeling a little bitter that Poppy was younger than her yet she was almost as tall as she was.
Poppy was liked by everyone (well, almost) but didn't really have any real actual friends because she was very shy. Petal was the closest she had to a friend because she would include her in what she and Kevin were doing if she happened to be there. Petal had recently been trying to persuade her to join the Blueberry Scouts. This hadn't been as easy as Petal had thought it would be but then it wasn't really surprising since Petal's arguments for joining included hiding from the grasshoppers in the club house and flying the Bird until it was set on fire!
Zenna (the Blueberry Scouts leader) had left the Blueberry Scouts and had named Petal as leader.
Reed and Daisy were considering joining too. Reed secretly really wanted to be a Blueberry Scout but one of the girls, Mushroom, was evidently not very keen on her at all, which made Reed hesitate. Daisy, on the other hand, wasn't really sure she wanted to be a Blueberry Scout in the first place.
The procession was eventually stopped by Dr. Flora who insisted that Flik and the princess must come to the infirmary to rest and injuries looked at. Atta was quite relieved to be able to get down. Flik on the other hand, could've stayed up there for quite sometime. Dr. Flora managed to help them escape from the adoring crowd. Atta had very few injuries compared to Flik who was covered in them.
'You were lucky you've got no cracks in your exoskeleton,' Dr. Flora told him. Atta couldn't help feeling guilty. She wasn't sure why she did but she couldn't get rid of the feeling. 'All your injuries will heal but it will take some time for you to be completely fine again, probably all winter. You'll both need to be especially careful not to catch anything, particularly you, Flik. And with your injuries it will be very easy to get sick. The weather's not going to get any better,'
They both nodded solemnly and listened to the sound of rain outside which had become louder. 'Oh, one thing you mustn't do Flik, under any circumstances, is go outside. Until spring, I mean. When it stops raining it means they'll be more soon or snow is coming. It would be close to a miracle if you were completely fine. Of course Princess, you shouldn't go outside either and nor should anyone else but it could be fatal for Flik.' Atta nodded. 'Now I think you two need to get cleaned up and get some rest.'
They nodded and sat down on a leaf. The anthill was still abuzz with excitement and it seemed unlikely that many of the ants were going to get much sleep tonight.