Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dragons, dinosaurs, and giant monsters

I just had a very weird conversation. Someone I thought was an otherwise ordinary independent super presented me with some very interesting evidence, and said the following:
I've found your supervillain guide interesting. While I don't personally promote villainy, if one must be a villian, I prefer that they emulate your example.
Your series included speculation on ghosts, werewolves, and other creatures of myth. I want to add some observations of my own.
Animal mastery powers, such as those held by Beast Boss, Sea-czar, and the Scarab Guardian, are nothing new. In the time of Aharu, now called Horus, the animals served the god-kings of the old dynasty. They knew the rules of power inheritance even then and they married and bred accordingly, to conserve the power of their blood. Their servants were the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky, the meaner creatures of the street. Cats were not gods - they were the eyes and ears of the gods.
Familiarity breeds contempt. As the generations passed, mundanes learned our tricks. So we forced our powers to grow, using what we thought were rites of supplication to the greater gods. Today we know it as the Hashmal process. It was torture, plain and simple, but we did it to preserve our dynasty. We even tortured our children, locking them in their youth forever to create envy and amazement from the people.
It wasn't enough. We needed more. We took the lizard, the crocodile, the bird, and we stretched our power to the utmost. We made monsters. Do you think that Stage 2 is the most that an animal master can endow? We learned better.
Our creations struck fear into the hearts of the unbelievers. Our authority waxed again. None dared challenge us.
Well, there was one threat which we still faced - each other. The human heart hasn't changed that much. Jealousy, mistrust, fear. We felt these things. We set our monsters upon each other, and upon our rivals. The common folk thought of it as war in Heaven. Our priests knew better, but dared not question us.
We had long since melded human and animal bodies, created giants of our pets, and even recreated living corpses from dead flesh. We committed the final blasphemy. One of our sand-shifters found ancient bones. The creatures they represented would be monsters in our age, but utterly ordinary in theirs. You know them as dinosaurs. And we resurrected them - and made them more, and mightier, than anything that walked the earth before or since.
If you have been to Egypt, you have seen the Great Sphinx. Think of that as... a pet. A toy. We created dragons that darkened the skies.
I would like to end this tale by saying that the greater gods punished us for our blasphemy. The truth is far more prosaic. We destroyed each other, for the meanest of motives, for the pettiest of reasons. Greatness was in our grasp and we were simply.... too human to use it properly.
If you must be a villain, be a superior one. If you must live in your own way, don't be a slave to your baser nature. If the world's ways do not satisfy you, create a better world and challenge your fellow man by your example.
So... yeah. I know most of you are thinking "by Odin, Stage 2 dinosaurs". I can't fault you, because I thought that myself. But, I also want to say that I approve of the rest of the message. We villains have a unique chance to be better than our corrupt society. We don't have to do what they say, as long as we're true to our own code.