The girl arranged herself on her muther's skirts; the crinolines were just thick enough to provide cushioning from the metal flooring of their quonset hut. "Tell me about the Creator."Muther's left eye whirred as it focused on the child; the servo in her right one had given out and since all the Fysishans had been called off to help the war effort, she could not get it repaired. "You know this story; why do you want me to tell it again?""You tell it best!""Very well," Muther gave in; the girl was her first and only child, having been built and cultivated just before the war began. With her mate also off at the Front, she doubted there would be any others and so she easily gave in. "Long ago in the time known as the Was Will Be, our ancestors had been of two types: there were the Humuns and the Men of Metal. There was war then and the Men of Metal won, but there was One--all praise the Great Motherboard--who realized that they could not survive without the Humuns. The Humuns could repair the Men of Metal. But after the war, it became obvious that the Humuns were not going to willingly serve the Men of Metal. So their leader, the Great Motherboard, began a campaign to intermingle with the Humuns so that a new race was born.""That's us!" piped the child."Yes, that's right. Our pepul are the children of the Great Motherboard and the Humuns; now we can repair ourselves, we have natural lifespans, and we can mate. Before, our ancestors who were fully Metal could only build more Men and our Humun ancestors could only birth more Humuns. Now, thanks be to the Great Motherboard, we are able to reproduce through a combination of building and cultivation." Muther's CPU hummed sadly as she looked up to the stars. "I just hope the war will end soon and that there will be enough of us left to go on."The child's face grew dark with confusion. "Who are we fighting anyway?"Muther closed her good eye and consulted the images stored in her RAM; "Here, hold my hand." As she gripped the girl's hand, their hard drives united and the child saw images of a world of water and beings that were almost Humun but seemed to breathe the liquid. Reading her alarm, Muther replied, "Yes, they are called Mermen and they live on a world of water; despite this, there are some metals that are valuable to our Kind and now they have waged war against us for taking those metals." There was a boom and the sound of rain atop the quonset. "And I think they are winning."
I offer these 458 words for this episode of the Mythology Workshop from the good folks over at the 13th Floor Paradigm.So here's the background: I mashed up a few ideas from different places, like the movie Gandahar (the Men of Metal and the Was Will Be) and the story "With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama" by Richard Lupoff (from "Again Dangerous Visions"--the phonetic spellings).Imagine: once upon a time, mankind became more, um, connected to his technology. Men became machines, cyborgs or something, and they needed metals to maintain themselves and continue their kind; it would mean going to other worlds to find materials. And such creatures built other machines to do the hard work, such as excavating the precious and other metals from say, a water world. But the inhabitants of such a world would not take kindly to having their ecosystem destroyed. And so there is war between the Mermen and the descendants of the Men of Metal and Humuns. And soon the war will end with one obvious victor...The end! Be sure to pop over to the Paradigm and join in!