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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chapter 6: Promethetago

Guest narrator: James Earl Jones

OUR STORY THUS FAR: Tago is in possession of the most powerful tool the tribe has ever known, the bang bang bone. Since Tago hit Farta in the head and accidentally gave him a dent, Tago has only used the bang bang bone as a sculpting tool. When Farta left to move himself, his mate Balchane and their baby into a New England-style cave closer to the tribe, Tago attempted to sculpt the monolith to come to a greater understanding of its origin and the intentions of its creator or creators. His sculpture looked nothing like the monolith, but Farta and Tago found, when laid down, it made an excellent bench. The alpha male Bruto has rigged a debate to be re-elected leader - this time by the males, and not the females as was tradition before the monolith came. Bruto works closely with Dico, the alpha grunt-maker, who has invented pronouns and other new words. There are others in his inner circle, as well.


*hic* Good porn. *hic*

Tago? Tago?

Farta! Tago glad to see Farta.

Farta glad to see Tago. Farta learned something new.

What Farta learned?

Farta count to ten on fingers. Farta have ten fingers. But Farta have ten toes, too. Counting fingers and toes, Farta count... two tens!

Wow! Farta count higher than anybody ever. Farta is genius!

Farta know.

Wait. Tago have ten fingers, too. Maybe Tago have ten toes. Farta maybe can count Tago fingers and toes with Farta fingers and toes, count higher?

Tago have good idea. Hold on. Farta count. One. Two. Three. ... ... Ten. Ten and one. Ten and two. ... ... Two tens. Two tens and one. Two tens and two. ... ... Three tens. Three tens and one. Three tens and two. ... ... Four tens!

Wow! Now Farta really genius. Farta counted higher than anybody ever thinked could count. Farta counted higher than how many stars in sky or sands on ground!

Yes. But Farta not satisfied. Farta wish Farta could count even higher.

Hmm. Tago think of something else Farta can count on. Look like finger or toe.

What? ... Oh. Oh! Tago smart. Okay. Four tens... and one. Four tens and two. Four tens and two!

Four tens and two!

Together: Four tens and two! Four tens and two! Four tens and two! Four tens and two!

Farta really smart. Farta smartest in tribe, smartest in any tribe. Farta just like Furry Night Bird Far....





Tago struck the Cat with Big Tooths in the nose with the bang bang bone instinctively. The hapless Dinofelis, however, had only been looking for easy prey, and was not expecting such violent resistance from a crippled primate. Startled by the blow, the scimitar-toothed cat recoiled and ran off to find a pig or rabbit or similarly unarmed prey. Farta and Tago, meanwhile, were in shock, and completely unaware their actions had been witnessed by another member of the tribe, Sliver, who had been out pacing the mountainsides and wondering who sent the monolith. Sliver crept silently away, unnoticed by either Farta or Tago.

Ta... Ta... Ta...

Tago... okay?

Tago... need... grape juice.


And thus did our heroes get drunk and return to their favorite pastime of superhero comics, porn and booze. Several hours passed in this state.

*hic* So now Tago look. Furry Night Bird Farta count to four tens and two, and Flying Tago say... *hic* Flying Tago say, "This great way to catch Two-Faces." So Flying Tago fly over mountains, and Flying Tago see... *hic* see... *hic* see...

*hic* Uh, Farta not look now, but Tago and Farta have company.

No. *hic* That not what Flying Tago say.

No, no. *hic* That what Tago say.

What? Oh.

Indeed, it was true. Two of the tribe's largest males, Pound and Smash, had crept up on Farta and Tago where they sat. Pound and Smash were enormous - larger than almost any other males in the tribe. They were so strong, they could not walk on their hind legs, for they needed the support of their arms to hold their massive chests up. So they walked on all fours, the way Tago did, but without the limp. They stared at Farta and Tago with cold, black eyes.

Yous come with Is now.

Okay. Farta come.

Tago come, too.

Pound and Smash led Farta and Tago to the mountain known as Maw. It was here where Bruto, the alpha male of the tribe, and his inner circle had their cave. The front of the cave in Maw had a hole in the ceiling, from which the moonlight poured in and barely lit the cave. When Pound and Smash led Farta and Tago into the front of the cave, it was empty and eerily quiet. Farta and Tago huddled close to one another for protection. They had never been made to feel so in danger from other members of their tribe. Pound barked orders to them.

Yous call alpha males "thou," not "you," and "Thou Greatness." Yous say "aye," not "yes" to hes. Yous say "nay," not "no," to hes. Dico sayed so.

In a moment, Pound and Smash were gone, and the cave began to fill up with faces. They were horribly and ghastly lit in the sparse moonlight, and Farta and Tago could barely make out the glow of their black eyes. They stared at our heroes without expression, without sound, without bared teeth. They formed a semi-circle around the terrified Farta and Tago, and at the center of the semi-circle stood Bruto. He looked them up and down before speaking.

Yous are not strong.

Tago have bad leg. Farta have dent in head. Tago much stronger before bad leg. Farta much stronger before dent in head.


Farta and Tago recoiled at the shouts from the invisible faces in the semi-circle. They stared at their feet and waited for Bruto to break the silence.

Yet yous fighted off Cat with Big Tooths.

Aye. I fighted it off on accident, Bru... Thou Greatness.

How you do that?

With bang bang bone. Tago... I finded bang bang bone, Thou Greatness.

You let I see bang bang bone.

Here, Thou Greatness.

Hmmm. Bang bang bone stopped Cat with Big Tooths?

Aye, Thou Greatness.


I smacked Cat with Big Tooths in nose with bang bang bone. I hurted Cat with Big Tooths.

Where you finded bang bang bone?

I finded in remains of pig. All remains of pigs have bang bang bones.

Hm. Dico? "Bang bang bone" is silly word. Thou make new word for bang bang bone.

Aye, aye. Hm. Is very difficult. Maybe bang bang bone make sound? Hit bang bang bone on ground, Thou Greatness.


Bang bang bone now called, "weapon."

Hm. Yes. Good word. "Weapon." I need think on new weapon. Pound, Smash, take hes to holding cell. I keep weapon until I decide what I do.

Aye, Thou Greatness. Move, yous.

And so Farta and Tago were led to the deepest, darkest part of the cave. There was a recess in the caverns where no light came, and Pound and Smash left them there with nothing but a few leaves to eat and a shell full of water to drink. As Pound and Smash paced the opening from the recess, Farta and Tago grunted in whispers to each other.

Farta have question for Tago.

Farta shoot.

Why Tago no mention bang bang bone also maked dent in Farta head?

Tago not want to. When Tago hitted Farta with bang bang bone, Tago thinked Farta was gone gone bye-bye gone. Farta not gone gone bye-bye gone, but Tago think maybe someday someone become gone gone bye-bye gone from bang bang bone. Tago not trust Bruto since monolith come. Tago think maybe Bruto use bang bang bone to make someones gone gone bye-bye gone if Bruto know. Tago hope Bruto never know.

Farta understand. Since monolith come, Bruto not make sense.

Since monolith come, nothing make sense.

Tago right. Still, Bruto make less sense than other things. Bruto not like before. Bruto scary.

Tago agree. Tago wish Tago have grape juice. Tago really need grape juice right now.

Farta really need wheat water.

And so our heroes spent the night wishing for booze and worrying about the implications of what they had wrought. In the morning, Pound and Smash received a visit from two other guards of size nearly equal to themselves. Pound and Smash spent long moments grunting quietly to their visitors while casting furtive glances at Farta and Tago. At last, Pound and Smash entered the recess where Farta and Tago waited.

Yous come with Is now.

Farta come.

Tago come, too.

Pound and Smash led our heroes out of the Maw and into the courtyard in the center of the caves, where Farta and Tago were surprised to see most of the males, and quite a few females, of the tribe gathered. Farta searched the faces for a sign of his mate Balchane, but seeing she was not there, he decided she had stayed home to care for their baby. Tago just stared in awe. At last, Bruto stepped to the middle of the tribe, who were grunting to each other in low tones. As he raised his arms, one of which held a bang bang bone, the tribe fell silent.

Attention, yous! As yous alpha, I promised to keep yous safe from Cat with Big Tooths. I knowed many of yous not sure how I do this. Now today I show you. I keep you safe with this. It called "weapon." If yous smack Cat with Big Tooths on nose with weapon, Cat with Big Tooths run away.

A general murmur of grunting went up amongst the tribe. Bruto raised his arms again, and they fell silent.

But weapon have other uses. Weapon also feed tribe. Hunters, yous come!

At this command from Bruto, a dozen of the tribe's largest males walked into the circle. In one hand, they carried the bang bang bones. In the other, they carried freshly killed animals. Most carried two or three rabbits, their heads bashed in and blood pouring from their breathless noses and mouths. Two pairs struggled to carry a large pig, also beaten to death. The murmurs among the tribe became even louder as the hunters carried their kills to the center next to Bruto and laid them down. Farta and Tago still said nothing but merely stared. Once again, Bruto raised his arms, and the tribe fell silent.

Cat with Big Tooths eat pigs, eat rabbits. Cat with Big Tooths not better than tribe. Now, tribe eat pigs and rabbits, even elephants, too. If anyone kill Cat with Big Tooths, tribe eat this, too. Dico say dead pigs and rabbits and elephants and Cats with Big Tooths for eating now called "meat." Going to kill animals for eating now called "hunt." It responsibility of all males in tribe to go on hunt. All yous given weapon, all go on hunt. Now tribe never go hungry.

The tribe cheered. Bruto raised his arms again, and they fell silent.

Dico sayed having weapons and inventing weapons now called "defense." Agreement to do anything called "contract." First to contract is Tago. He deserve pay for being defense contractor. I say everyone count stones yous have. For every ten yous have, yous give one to he. If yous have less than ten, yous keep. Now yous give Tago stones.

Farta and Tago watched in amazement as everyone in the tribe, including the hunters, the elders and Bruto, ran back to their caves. Within moments, members of the tribe began showing up in front of Tago. The first few tribe members dropped a few shiny pebbles in front of him, no more than three or four. The pebbles made a small heap, but eventually, every member of the tribe contributed to the heap. Some left six or seven, but some had their hands full of pebbles. When all the members of the tribe had contributed, the heap was taller than the crippled Tago himself. Farta and Tago stared at the pile of pebbles, unsure of what to make of it.

What all this for?

Farta not sure.

How many shiny little rocks Farta see?

Farta not sure. Farta count to four tens and two, but then Farta stop counting.

Wait! How much you say?

Farta and Tago froze again as Bruto ran up to them. They stared at their feet and said nothing.

I hear you say how much. How much you say?

Farta... I say I count more than four tens and two shiny little rocks in pile, Thou Greatness.

I hear you say that. How you count that high?

Far... I show thou. I have ten fingers, but I also have ten toes. I count to two tens. But thou have ten fingers, also have ten toes. I count thou fingers and toes, too. Then I count this, and thou stand like this. Okay. Now, I count four tens and two.

Counting this high very helpful. Now tribe can count tribe, can count stones. You allow tribe to count to four tens and two?

I allow.

Yous here. Farta invent new number, four tens and two. This number good for defense. Farta now defense contractor, too. Every male in tribe, for every ten stones yous have, yous give Farta one, too.

Once again, the tribe returned to their caves, and once again, they returned to pile their pebbles in a heap in front of Farta. Pound and Smash gave Tago a look which suggested he, too, should measure his fortune and pay tribute to Farta. Although Tago was not sure what his pile of pebbles meant - or perhaps because he did not know its significance - he, too, counted out a tenth of his wealth, which he left in front of Farta. When the accounting was done, Farta had a pile of pebbles which reached to his head, one which stood much taller than that of the crippled Tago. Farta and Tago stared in bewilderment at the pile of useless stones before them. In the center of the tribe, Bruto raised his arms, and the crowd fell silent for the last time.

Defense contractors Farta and Tago now paid. Now forward, all yous males equally responsible for hunt. Now, yous all get weapons, yous all go on hunt. When yous not bring meat back on hunt, yous punched in baby maker. I grunted.

The tribe cheered again. At once, the hunters lined up to hand out weapons. Each male lined up to accept the bang bang bones. Farta and Tago did not join the queue but still stood off to the side. At last, Pound and Smash walked up to Farta and Tago and jerked their heads toward the queue. Taking the hint, Farta and Tago lined up and received bang bang bones, although Tago was disappointed to see his bang bang bone was not the same one he had once used. He could tell from scratches on the great trochanter, made from the impact with Farta's skull, that Bruto held that first bang bang bone. When all the males had their bang bang bones, they returned to the circle. Farta and Tago retreated to their piles of stones. One last time, Bruto raised his arms and spoke to the assembly.

Big Hunt begin now. All yous get meat. Yous return by time Big Light in Sky reach middle of sky in tomorrow-tomorrow. Yous go now.

Bruto waved his hands and wheeled around to return to the Maw. The males of the tribe shuffled out of formation and scattered throughout the plains surrounding the caves. Pound and Smash glared at Farta and Tago, who reluctantly shouldered their weapons and limped off into the plains. With two days to hunt and the plains teeming with animals, they knew they had plenty of time to be successful. So they stealthily crept back to the bench to retrieve their grape juice and wheat water, and thus spent the first night of the Big Hunt intoxicating themselves. Farta drew his superhero stories, and Tago his porn.

*hic* Female hindquarters too hairy? *hic*

*hic* *HIC* *hic* Little bit. Little bit.

Tago... *hic* Tago fix.

*scritch scratch scritch*

Farta have... *hic* question for Tago.

Farta ask.

Tago want hunt or eat meat?

Not really. Before monolith come, tribe eat wheat and grapes and beans. Tribe sometimes hungry, but tribe not gone gone bye-bye gone with no food. Now, tribe eat more, but now rabbits and pigs and elephants gone gone bye-bye gone. Tago think it not fair make even rabbits and pigs and elephants gone gone bye-bye gone. Tago not like Cat with Big Tooths, but now Tago think tribe no gooder than Cat with Big Tooths.


What Farta think?

Farta not like make meat gone gone bye-bye gone, but Farta have mate and baby. When tribe have not enough food, babies first to become gone gone bye-bye gone. Farta worry for baby. Farta think baby more important than rabbit.

Tago not understand.

When Tago make baby, Tago understand.

Tago guess. Anyway, Tago think not getting punch in baby-maker more important than rabbit, too. So Tago not like hunt, but Tago find meat for tribe.

Farta understand.

Flying Tago ever worry about punch to baby-maker?

Hm? Oh! No. Flying Tago never fear punch to baby-maker. Flying Tago baby-maker feel nothing. Here, Farta tell story....

And so the two spent the rest of the evening sharing superhero stories, porn and liquor. The next morning, they woke up hungover and hid under the shade of trees until their headaches had subsided. When they felt better, it was nearly nightfall again. As their vision was not as good at night, and as most animals slept at night, they decided to drink some more and hunt when the Big Light in Sky rose, which would still allow them several hours to fulfill their obligations. Thus, they spent the night with still more booze, porn and superheroes, until at last they fell asleep. When the Big Light in Sky again arose, Farta and Tago were hungover once more, but fearing for their sensitive crotches, they forced themselves to hunt in the few hours they had remaining. At last, they came across two rabbits in a glen, munching leaves and hopping about. Just as Farta was about to club them with the bang bang bone, Tago stopped him.

Wait. Tago not want make rabbits gone gone bye-bye gone.

*quack quack QUACK QUACK*

Farta and Tago need rabbit meat to feed tribe, not get punch in baby-makers.

Tago know. But rabbits look so cute, so harmless. Why Farta and Tago need make cute, harmless rabbits gone gone bye-bye gone?

Tago say this last night. Farta say baby more important than rabbits. Tago say baby-maker more important than rabbits.


Tago know, but Farta look at rabbits. What rabbits ever do to us? Rabbits like Imbecile. Rabbits good. Tago feel bad for rabbits.


Farta agree. But Farta need meat for tribe.

Tago wish...


Tago lose thought. Ducks really getting on Tago nerves.

Farta have idea.


What Farta idea? Tago forgetted in duck quack.

Farta think duck make meat, too. Duck not quack any more. Farta make duck gone gone bye-bye gone with hands, not with bang bang bone. Not use bang bang bone to hurt anything.

Tago like idea. Farta go first.


*QUACK QUACK* *skik*

Now Farta have meat for tribe. Tago have meat for tribe. Farta and Tago happy.

Tago still worry for rabbits. Maybe another one in tribe find rabbits in hunt. Then what?

Rabbits make gone gone bye-bye gone.

Yes. Farta right. Rabbits so cute. Tago not want rabbits be gone gone bye-bye gone.

Farta not sure what to do.

Tago have idea. Farta baby like rabbit?

Farta baby like.

Maybe Farta take one rabbit to cave. Tago take other rabbit to cave. Tago keep rabbit safe. Give rabbit food. Rabbit not gone gone bye-bye gone in hunt.

Farta agree. Baby like rabbit. Farta take rabbit to cave.

Show tribe duck. Not show rabbit. Rabbit safe. Tago name Tago rabbit "George."

"George." Is good name. Farta like.

What Farta name Farta rabbit?

Farta name rabbit "Lenny."

George and Lenny. Good names. Tago like. Farta come. Farta and Tago take meat of ducks to tribe.

OK. Farta come.

And so Farta and Tago averted the destructive power of the bang bang bones and discovered, through accident, the tastiness of poultry. They also invented pets, through their adoption of the rabbits. They would soon come to learn the benefits of having a pet, and their rabbits would one day prove their usefulness to Farta and Tago. In the meanwhile, their consciences in participating in the Big Hunt were assuaged, and their baby-makers were also protected. Thus, as Farta and Tago return to their tribe, disaster has been averted, and with that, I, your humble narrator, bid you, dear reader, adieu.

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