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"Sandkings": A sadistic pet owner looking for an exotic new pet finds a shop selling insect-like creatures called sandkings. The sandkings consist of a queen referred to as a 'maw' which is fed by her soldiers called 'mobiles'. The mobiles do not consume food directly, but are dependent upon the
Appearing in "Sandkings"
Synopsis for "Sandkings"
A sadistic pet owner looking for an exotic new pet finds a shop selling insect-like creatures called sandkings. The sandkings consist of a queen referred to as a 'maw' which is fed by her soldiers called 'mobiles'. The mobiles do not consume food directly, but are dependent upon their maw to regurgitate some of what they feed her with for their needs. The creatures become larger the more resources they can acquire. The maws are psionic and can attain sentience if they grow large enough. The man buys four maws to watch them grow their castles in his large sand tank and battle amongst themselves. He is frustrated as he feeds them regularly that they do not make war, so he starves them into battling each other. This effects their perception of him and they alter their effigies to their 'god' accordingly. This infuriates the man who feels he is being mocked so he smashes the tank and the mobiles relocate the maws into the landscape surrounding his house. He tries and fails to exterminate them himself and when he calls in outsiders, the mobiles overpower them and feed them to the maws. He tries to flee on foot, but only encounters the castle built by the fourth maw whose mobiles all possess an idiot version of his face as they feed him to their queen.
- Adapted from a novelette by George R. R. Martin.
- No trivia.
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