Day Ten – Bromance of the Three Colonies

packrat

Alacamians are spider-like by our human standards. The alien race typically has a spherical central body with an apparently random number of appendages extended from it.

Ancient Alacamian culture once revered those of its ranks with the largest number of appendages, and shunned those with the fewest – though, that has changed in recent millennia. In ancient times, the Alacamians were not a space-faring species at all, and, by generalized comparison, had developed along similar evolutionary paths as the human race. As can be predicted, the Alacamians had their own version of our dark ages, during which those poor sods unlucky enough to have been born with less than five appendages were cast to the filth of the streets, or worse, simply killed at birth.

At some point during what Alacamian scholars describe as their age of enlightenment, an Alacamian male was born that had no appendages at all. In the recorded history of the Alacamian race, this had never happened, nor had any of their spoken history indicated such a thing happened. In fact, it was beyond the imaginative ability of the Alacamians to even conceive that such an anomaly among their kind might ever exist, for at that time, the prevailing religious dogma was built around the worship of a deity that had no appendages.

The Alacamians called this unusual member of their race “Ball”.

Ball, as is to be expected from an Alacamian with no appendages, was a useless mound of flesh. His existence, however, changed the fate of the Alacamian people forever. Ball, you see, not only had no appendages to speak of, he was also completely mute and devoid of the ability to think, reason, or take care of himself. A large cross-section of the Alacamian race declared that Ball should be executed immediately. They considered him a mutant – an aberration of disgusting proportions to be disposed of as quickly as possible. As it turned out, this cross-section of Alacamians happened to be comprised mostly of those Alacamians that had ten appendages or more. In opposition to this stance on Ball, as was also to be easily predicted, were those of the Alacamian race that had less than ten appendages. They revered Ball as a gift from the divines, or even, a god himself.

Ball did not have anything to say on the subject of either his stature as a possible deity, or as an abomination, for, as I recently explained, the thing was completely dim. That did not stop the lesser Alacamians from elevating him to the status of a divine. This greatly outraged the ruling class of Alacamians, who at the time were led by a particular Alacamian with fifty-seven appendages. Their leader, Urchin VII, had declared himself Supreme Emperor of the Alacamian people shortly before the birth of Ball, and it greatly irritated him that, to half of the people meant to be led by him, he was less important than a lumpy mound of flesh that drooled most of the time.

The civil war that erupted was long and bloody. Alacamians, having a life expectancy of several centuries, can hold grudges for twice that long. Ball was defended by no less than fifteen thousand of the strongest warriors of the Alacamian race. They surrounded the palace Ball’s worshippers had built for him, and nearly all of them had only two legs, the benefit of such being that they exercised those two legs continuously to the point that the warriors could kick another Alacamian to death, or stomp them, as it may have occurred on occasion. The Urchin loyalists, try though they might, could never breach this formidable wall of kickers over the entire campaign.

As you may well have already guessed, Urchin VII soon tired of the direct bloody war, and turned to espionage. Using his vast wealth, he slowly bribed several dozen of Ball’s supporters into carrying out subversive attacks on his enemies. Most had little success, but through persistence, Urchin was able to buy the loyalty of one of the kickers who guarded Ball.

And so it happened that during one of Ball’s occasional walks, whereby one of his guards would carry him out into the lovely garden and hold their beloved semi-deity while he himself merely drooled over the expensive tile, the traitorous kicker happened to be the guard chosen for the honor.

It was a bright and sunny day on Alacamia. The rains of the spring had subsided and the rutig bleets were callowing in the hidzber growths. Ball was drooling less than usual, and, after an unfortunate incident earlier in the week during which he had accidentally rolled over on to his face, most of the palace attendants agreed that he was looking forward to his walk that day.

The traitor picked Ball up from his pillow, walked him out to the garden, and abruptly punted him into space.

By random chance, several Alacamian astronomers, who had fortuitously just invented their version of the telescope, witnessed the event, and seeing Ball leave our atmosphere, collectively had a brilliant idea.

From that day forward, on the recommendation of the scientists who witnessed Ball’s passage from their planet and into space, the Alacamian race would focus on mass producing and marketing ridiculously expensive athletic apparel, because, obviously, if that kicker had been wearing the proper shoes, he would have kicked Ball a hell of a lot further than just into orbit.

The result was that only Alacamians with less than five appendages could actually afford the athletic apparel, and the class separation that had plagued the Alacamian race for millennia abruptly ended, equalizing the social status of all, thereby propelling the entire civilization into the exponential growth it still enjoys to this day.

And what of Ball, you ask?

A century later, after successfully perfecting kickrocket technology and becoming a space-faring race, a team of explorers discovered what they claimed to be the body of Ball. Though hotly debated, it is now the belief of the majority of the scientific community that Ball was simply a leaky hidzber fruit someone had drawn a face on.

The moral of the story is this, children:

Lies are nature’s walnuts. You don’t have to eat them, but you had best come to terms with the fact that someone somewhere will.

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