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n the opening gambit, Mac dresses down to a bath-towel to blend in with a Basque extremist group which holds captive a female scientist in the Pyrenees, then makes blow up their open air-shower as a diversion before they flee over a wild mountain stream. In the main story, Mac visits a biologist in Brazilian Amazonia, where an unknown phenomenon causes all kinds of animals to flee massively. Joining the head-strong plantation founder Lucien Trumbo, who employs whole villages of native Indians and created his own self-sufficient little world carved out of the huge forest, they soon find the natural force at work is the unexplained rare awakening of the marabunta, massed colonies of billions of soldier ants who form armies miles wide and long, unstoppable and capable of devouring anything, devastating the whole landscape from grass and grasshoppers to cattle and towering trees. Trumbo, his loyal local lieutenant Luis and Mac try every defense he can think up, from flooding irrigation ditches to a ring of fire; their last hope is fabricating explosive to spring the dam which caught the biologist's worried attention in the first place, it takes a triggered pseudo-natural disaster to counter a real one...

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