Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Fall.

The legends had always been.  OooOeeon, like pretty much everyone, knew The History.  Life on Earth arose when aquatic animals left the water and began to adapt to life out of the water.  He wasn't sure what had happened next - there was a period of millenia where things moved very slowly, then humans had arisen and become a species, then a society, then a mighty flock of locusts that devoured all in their path - and then, nothing.  There was talk of some God that visited wrath or some such.  This God apparently could speak to all creatures, but no-one took the time to listen or talk.  This God took away all that Life.

OooOeeon didn't know all the details.  He was still quite teenage in his attitudes and things that didn't fit, fell out, as his mother was wont to say.  His father was long gone, hauled off someplace, his mother had mentioned a spearing or something.  OooOeeon didn't even know what a spear was, he had a vague idea of something pointy and sharp like the rock he'd once run into and which had given him a nasty cut, but there was no concept of a thing like a weapon in his experience.  This was what the older folk called the New World, and many things no longer existed.

By contrast, some things were so far in advance, that the ancient Babylonians with their clever and very advanced science and technology would fear it as sheer black magic.  (And yes, OooOeeon knew how the downfall happened back before the Recording Of Things and how dangerous some technology was.  But he also knew that now, only good technology and science survived.  The population had even conquered the depths of the ocean, for Sky's sake.)

Anyway - this was The Pageant.  Everyone went to The Pageant, because it was one of the high points of life and only happened every few decades.  OooOeeon was lucky that he was to go to A Pageant at his early age, and he was quite excited.  At The Pageant, the older folks would recreate the beginnings of Life, and start a new cycle.  It was the technology and science that they lived by, that made their lives on Earth possible since - whatever it was that had happened.  That was in the History he'd been taught, too.

OooOeeon listened to everyone singing as they made their way to the shore. They were singing some kind of religious songs, hymns they were called, and the hymns spoke of the birth of Life from the seas, the lofty apsirations of that Life and then the (so difficult to understand! what was the cataclysm that cost the lives of so many?) disaster, ending, apocalypse.  He wished he knew more, that so much of that past wasn't shrouded in mystery.  OooOeeon put the thought aside as he reached the shore.  It was time.

He sensed rather than heard the disturbance, the sense of something going horribly wrong.  OoooOeeeeoon, one of the Elders, was making distressed sounds, muffled by being in an unfamiliar medium.  There were alien creatures on the other side of that shore, but this shouldn't be!  The Apocalypse had destroyed Babylon and all the arrogant beings!  OooOeeon felt himself pushed gently but firmly back into the sea, made his way to the depths.  Once back in the water he could much better hear what OoooOeeeoon was still bellowing at the top of his voice.

"No!  Turn back!" he was bellowing, "remember that we need to become the new life on Earth!  Back to the shore! Back to the shore!"  OooOeeon was confused and instead slid into the deeper water with a couple of other calves.  He wasn't sure what OoooOeeeoon was bellowing at the strange creatures on the shore, creatures that according to the History should have all perished in the Fall of Babylon.  It sounded strange, in a language strange to OooOeeon.

One of the rescuers on the beach turned to his teammate and took a moment to look puzzled.  "Did you hear that?" he asked, "I swear this whale was trying to form words just then."

"Nah, just tiredness talking mate.  Why, what did you reckon it was saying?  Give it a miss and go home for a beer?"

"No, I swear this one was trying to talk.  But I don't have a clue what mene mene tekel upharshin would mean..."

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