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Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Ptah, part 1

Untold generations ago, the Great Beings thrived in their desert oasis on Spherus Magnus.  In vast, sprawling laboratory complexes, they experimented -- no, played -- with life itself.  Played with it like children do simple toys.  Their imaginations ran wild as they sought out new ways to use their powers of creation, and simultaneously learned of new powers that they possessed. Most of their experiments were what you and I would call, simply, "failures."  In this age of wonder and possibilities, the Great Beings showed no remorse for the disfigured creatures and faulty digital intelligences they spawned.  All that they made, could simply be unmade and converted back into raw materials.  For that which could not so easily be recycled, a new creation could be formed to do the task.

After countless years this "playing," the Great Beings found themselves surrounded by life.  Their backyard was all of Spherus Magnus and about it roamed hundreds of thousands of robotic and organic things -- things that had escaped being recycled after millions of individual experiments.  Among these things, was a species of small, semi-robotic, scorpion-like creatures called simply, "Sa."

Legend has it, this name is nothing more than a sound uttered by a Great Being upon first seeing the creature completed.  The Sa were scavengers, much like what you would know as "ants," and they generally helped keep the planet clean by collecting and devouring waste and scraps and shavings of unused materials cast out from the Great Beings' labs.  The one problem with the Sa, was that they were able to multiply quite readily.  Upon collecting sufficient raw material, a Sa would simply spawn a clone of itself.  Soon, they were everywhere.  They were not harmful, but nor were they shy.  They knew no fear, and would never scatter and flee, not even when a Great Being approached.  As such, they became quite a physical nuisance, as they would always get in the way.

A few of the Great Beings decided that to counter this nuisance, rather than developing a natural predator (that would be too simple, and sensible), they would attempt to evolve the Sa population into something more intelligent and deliberate, a species that would, perhaps, form social groups, and well-defined dwellings, instead of randomly roaming everywhere with little purpose other than to feed and multiply.  A treatment was devised that could be delivered through electromagnetic pulses to the Sa.  It would slowly alter their metabolism and cause them to evolve over time into higher-level beings that could think for themselves, communicate, and eventually form societies.  The creatures they would become, would be known as the Ptah.

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