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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Someone from Bane's sent me an email explaining how to fix the "bottom of long posts chopped off" bug, but I've already started posting this story in three parts, so I'm going to finish doing it this way. I'll try what he suggested later, because it'll prevent this from happening in the future, and I think it'll fix some things that have been bugging me in the archives.

I hate the way they just talk right past each other in this story, just like in every conversation I've ever had. Literature ought to be an improvement on real life in areas like that.

(Here's Part One and Part Two)


Ammon debated with Thoth until the phoenix returned to it's nest
for the long sidereal evening. Then it was decided that Thoth would decend
to the earth and impart his gift. Shortly he and Ammon (along with a third
of the celestial host) would be rotated onto the front lines of the Cosmic
War, to serve their next tour of duty fighting the Unutterable Enemy.
Before returning to mount Ohmjeguk, they would again be rotated to the
terrestrial rear guard. There they would meet with the lesser gods who
remained on Earth full time, monitoring Thoth's experiment while they
guarded the mortals from Enemy infiltrators. After being breifed by these
observers on Earth, Thoth would then decide whether his experiment was a
success, and if not, to take the appropriate action.

The campaign was brief. In Ammon and Thoth's unit, the only gods
killed were Thunderbird, Baldur, Tetuna, the Great Cave Bear, and several
minor Celtic water spirits. Despite the brievity, Thoth found time to work
on his plan for recinding the gift of literacy should Ammon's assesment
prove to be correct. So little resistence was encountered in the heavens
that leadership began to suspect that Enemy forces had deviously been
concentrated somewhere on Earth. Thus, the unit was moved back there early.
Thoth and Ammon stood upon the Earth either two months or 3,462 years
later, depending on whether one follows the straight arrow of thermodynamic
time, or the meandering curve of astral time (taking relativistic dialation
into account would complicate the story to an extent that would make it
unsuitable for mortal readers).

Instead of being met by Mercury, as planned, the duo (Thoth now in
the form of a large, anthropomorphic baboon, and Ammon an immense
translucent man of the same blue color as before) was greeted by the
elephant headed Ganesh.

"Outside of my principality, the Ganges Sector," Ganesh explained,
"very few gods remain alive on Earth."

The returning gods expressed emotions that men could never conceive
in ways that men could only have perceived as a chill in the surrounding
air and a slight numbness in their extremities. Implicit in this response
was a request for explanation, which Ganesh then embarked upon.

"Most of us have been starved to death. Others were merely weakend
by being deprived of the worship we earthbound deities have become
dependent on for our sustenance, then finished off by the Cults of the
Word, who smashed our effigies, burnt our temples, and razed our sacred

"Starting in the Mediteranean Sector shortly after your departure, the
Cults sprang up around certain bits of text that humans find persuasive."
Ganesh continued, "These texts have seduced many mortals into redirecting
their worship toward one another, themselves, the State, nothing at all, or
even the Unspeakable."
"My Self!", exclaimed Ammon, "I never imagined that such catastrophe could
happen so quickly!"

"The Ganges Sector divinities, and a few others, survived only by adapting
ourselves to the new, literate society. The Cults of the Word that started
in the Mediteranian Sector spawned technological nation states that spread
throught the earth, slaughtering Baal, Thor, Quetzocoatl ..." , Ganesh
continued his report in a telepathic form that allowed his guests to
converse with one another while listening to him subliminaly.

"What will you do now Thoth?" There was no question in the mind of Ammon,
or anyone else in telepathic rapport with Ganesh, that Thoth would be
allowed to proceed with his recall plan. Even though it was his meddling
that had precipitated the catastrophe to begin with, there was no one left
alive as resourcefull as Thoth who had devoted the past several millenia to
planning for such a contingency.

Thoth had remained silent all of this time, resembling a statue except for
the twiching of his prehensile tail.

"I'll fashion them a new divine image. A new set of symbols, more
persuasive and seductive even than the written word. This will take awhile,
you should go back to Mount Ohmjeguk and wait."

This Ammon did. Thoth would be too busy to explain thoroughly, and Ammon
had learned not to expect to understand what was to be done until after it
was done.

Thoth met him again, at the summit of Ohmjeguk, after a surprisingly short
interval, and in high spirits.

"To the viewing chamber friend!", he exclaimed, "I want you to see this
right away, before it is all over."

They proceeded to the immense jade oblisk that housed the crystal used to
view the mortal realm. There, Ammon's companion showed him the image of a
human family gathering around a peculiar fetish.

"It looks like the hearths used to house your first gift.", observed Ammon,
"Or like some sort of household altar."

"I drew upon both of those for inspiration.", explained Thoth, "I inspired
this invention in the minds of certain ones among the nations ruled by the
Cults of the Word. They're technologically advanced enough to mass produce
these, which will at first serve as altars in their households. Later, the
new Cult will spread further and faster than accursed literacy ever did."

"How will this fix our problem, exactly?" Ammon was beginning to become

"The device is a means of transmiting information, just like my last gift.
It is however, superior in many respects. It acts upon the users without
any effort on their part. It speaks direcly to them in the picture language
of their own minds without being translated into and out of some other
medium, rather like telepathy."

"You frighten me, Thoth."

"This will correct my mistake, Ammon. The new Cult will erase all traces of
the Cults of the Word. The humans will learn again to worship images. Our
children will again memorize simple rhyming chants, and learn to believe
what they chant. Worship will fill every hour not spent on essential work,
and will even be offered to us by those too sick to stir from their beds.
They themselves will invent new incarnations for us that we could never
have imagined!"

The eyes of Ammon were not upon Thoth. They were not upon the image of the
humans in the magic crystal. They were upon the image within the image that
the mortals themselves adored.

For within the altar was the image of a man. The image of a man with the
bulk of one of the Bulls of Apis, and the swift grace of a sparrow. A man
with a face like that of the moon. The man strutted and cavorted through
the steps of some exhausting war dance as if weighless, his moon-face
contorted in a rictus of inhumanly passionate rage. His face expanded
untill it was all that could be seen, and as it expanded, it was
transformed. The face melted into an image of greif, of remorse, then
adoration and gratefull joy. And the man spoke these words:

"Baby ... You're the greatest!"

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