Previously: How to Kill Mosquitoes
That was fun.
Sometimes, though, I wondered if it might have contributed in at least some part to a dreadful consequence.
Not long ago, a friend of mine hypothesised that the mosquitoes in our town might be ahead in the evolution line. In Cheras, which was like 45 minutes of driving from my place, the mosquitoes are big and slow. In Ampang, which was also around 45 minutes away, the mosquitoes fly right into your face. I don’t like it, because they made my eyes cross and although I’m myopic, I wore corrective glasses, so I still couldn’t see them. But they are still obvious, big, and slow. And they still fly around you even after they had a close call. The ones in my former university are slightly more crafty, but none are as devious as the ones in my town.
I agreed with her.
The ones in my town, their size are generally smaller. They zip around very quickly, and their proboscis are sharper than my mum’s butcher knife (although there wasn’t much to compete on, the state of the butcher knife was in). It was able to penetrate clothing. They can hide, and wait, and take the opportunity when a human brain was distracted. Their mode of operation was nearly AI-like: bite, take a small sip, fly away and rest in the dark, and come back out when the air movement has more or less went back to normal. That’s when they know I’ve stopped fidgeting about. And as demonstrated in my previous encounter, they know how to choose a camouflage location, and spend some time savouring the blood before taking more.
But a few years back, I realised the huge mosquitoes in Ampang are very resistant to insect sprays. I sprayed the mosquito at point blank range, and what monstrosity! It was still flying, albeit a bit wobbly. That was in my earlier hunting days, so I R1-spammed until I managed to smash it.
So at least the mosquitoes in Ampang had a different edge. Possibly from all those years of intense fumigation.
It’s easier to hunt a mosquito that was big, fat, and slow, so maybe all those years of hunting had weeded out alleles containing those characteristics. I’m the only one in my house to hunt mosquitoes, but at least there was someone. In Ampang, in my relatives’ house, they wave away mosquitoes. My mum do that too. She’s a devout Taoist-Buddhist and follower of Guan Yin, and believes that Thou Shalt Not Kill. Nah, I’m not that holy. My cousin collects a range of red bumps on his legs and doesn’t even question what happened (although maybe 50% of them might have been eczema). Sometimes, they don’t even know they were bitten, so it’s kind of funny that I get even more worked out than they do themselves.
The point is, mosquitoes are like vampires, except they are tiny, and therefore harder to kill. When I asked my friend why weren’t there mosquito-like-enemies in Dark Souls 3, he said Bloodborne had exactly that kind of enemy. Everyone hated it. So maybe FromSoftware and Miyazaki decided that it’s not a good idea after all.
(Dark Souls 3 is a game I played that is super-challenging kind of difficult, and the only reward you get out of this game is the satisfaction for finally killing the boss than you died 20+ times to. Bloodborne has a similar concept. FromSoftware is the company, and Miyazaki is the developer head or so.)
You see, in my imagination, if a Soulsborne-like game has an enemy on the par of blood-sucking mosquitoes, they would be bosses. They would have three boss rooms across the whole map, and they may be in any of the three boss rooms at any single time. Once you miss/hit them a certain times, they will escape to any of the other two boss rooms, and you will have to check them out one by one. They might also return back to the previous boss room you fought them in. They can fly, they suck your HP, and once they suck enough of your blood and spend some time of resting, they will grow in numbers. Their larvae will attack you, first off. Then if you didn’t kill them in time, they will become a swarm of mosquito boss, and you’ll die. Again and again. And you shall despair and curse the game forever.
That wasn’t a very good idea. Imagine fighting that kind of boss. Gosh. That’s why Dark Souls 3 enemies are all bigger than a pile of rotten flesh and their carnivorous flies are the size of a lawn-mover.
What was worse, mosquitoes are vectors for a myriad of diseases. Dengue is the famous one in my tropical countries like mine. You have the West Nile something that I know nothing of. I saw it from the notice boards scattered across a park in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA, but it was winter when I went there so the mosquitoes were hibernating in their eggs or something. You have Malaria, which wasn’t quite as famous as Dengue in my country. And within Dengue, there are like four or five different strains of virus, and according to someone I know, who had Dengue last year, the doctor said that once you have Dengue, it’s easier to have it again. Because once you have a strain of virus antibody, your body thinks it has antibody for other strains of the Dengue virus, or something of that sort, so your immune system doesn’t make new antibodies to match the different strains of virus.
You’ll have to Google search yourself to know for sure what was the real deal. I’m a Mosquito-hunting wizard. I don’t have the credibility to talk about mortal virology. Consult a qualified physician.
I wished there was a big red button that will exterminate all mosquitoes, but alas, doesn’t that remind you of something? The Daleks. Alloran the Andalite. World War Two. And a-certain-someone-who-must-not-be-named.
(References in order: Doctor Who, Animorphs, History, Present Time)
That remained as a wishful thinking. After all, I’m still a human. Butcher/Dresden has stated how murderous we are as a race, so much that it doesn’t take more than four of us to commit a fratricide. But while I can dream of looking at the extinction of all blood-sucking mosquitoes, that doesn’t mean it has to happen. The ecosystem balances the scales of the world, and to me it works as it should be. Well, sometimes the re-balancing effect may be slow, but when you are a big, big world, the inertia is there. What’s my right to exterminate all of them, when they are only trying to breed? If I decide a genocide is right on mosquitoes, what about other people who are metaphorically vampires? Other people who I don’t like, who have a whole different opinion and views than I do, who I can’t see eye to eye with, who I get angry at?
There were a couple of lines between two characters in Cold Case, by Jim Butcher in Shadowed Souls Anthology, and it goes like this:
Molly: Maybe if someone had offered a hand to the monsters, they wouldn’t have become monsters in the first place. You know?
Ramirez: I don’t. Maybe I’ve seen too many monsters. Or too many victims. I don’t know.
Or maybe something like that above would happen, and I’ll be mowing down the mosquito population with a pair of pliers and take their wings as trophies (which wasn’t very effective, as a method for killing mosquitoes, but you should get the idea).
That was the question I’d always wondered. How far is too far, and how much is too much? When things become too much too handle, and wrongs become too far to forgive?
You know what actually sounds like a good idea? One day, if mosquitoes gain the ability to speak and be reasoned with, there will be a treaty or something, so they will be able to obtain their supply of blood to ensure their species reproduction in a very safe and hygienic way: without transmitting any virus or diseases, and without biting me and causing the mast cells to burst, releasing the histamines that would make me itch like hell.
Yeah, maybe we might be able to speak to mosquitoes. One day.
P/S: I got lazy and decided to trace-draw over a photo of Aedes mosquito. But if I had to be honest to myself, I’m not very good at drawing realistic mosquitoes.