In the Cathedral of Saint Decius there are many religious texts, but none so interesting as this. The Verses of Papyrus are much rarer than any Qu’ran or Bible or other book of religion in this vast, complex world we live in, but the words within are cherished by the sort of elite priests who like to keep to themselves in the far reaches of distant monasteries. It cannot be said whether these texts are mere fairy tales or some permutation of the true history of humanity, but this didn’t matter, for the only copy the heroes of our story would have encountered had been dropped out of Carla’s pocket onto the forest floor outside and lost. If you were to find this book, the open pages would have given you the following lost legends:
to which the LORD said: Now that We have buried all these fossils, let’s try it with mammals?
Chapter 3: The Ascent of Man
So God took the clever ape, and, stripping him of his thick hair and heavy brow, set him upright upon two legs. Man was sent into a lush garden, that called Eden, and told to care for it and all the world.
“But above all,” said the LORD, “you must respect each other, for the life I have given you is sacred.” And the LORD set a Tree in the middle of Eden, blessed with Gifted Fruit, saying “I have given you the Gift of Souls so that you may know Us and yourselves, but if you choose to eat the fruit bearing the Gift of Knowledge, that day a cloud shall come across your vision, and you will surely know death.”
So the first men, led by Father Adam and Mother Eve, took their children and lived peacefully in Eden, but presently there came a dispute. Father Adam was content with the Gifts he had been given, but Mother Eve craved more. “For why would the LORD give us this Fruit, if not to eat of it? And what evil can befall us from accepting another Gift?”
Eve came upon the Tree, and took of the fruit, for as our Mother she possessed the same hunger for knowledge as all mankind. She ate of the Fruit of Knowledge, and instantly her eyes were opened. Eve lost the innocence which protects lowly beasts and realized that, just as all living things are bound by mortality, so too must humans all die in time.
And Eve gazed upon herself, and upon the Garden, and she felt shame, for she knew she was the only person outside of God’s Realm with this knowledge. She saw Good and Evil and Life and Death and knew that, from this point on, any children she bore would feel that same curse, for with knowledge comes uncertainty.
Eve covered herself with grass and fur, for she knew she must adapt and invent and think in order to survive in a world where Death is inevitable.
In time the LORD came down to Eden, and saw that Eve had adopted clothing, and that she was lying in fear of Death. “Eve,” They said, “You have taken my greatest and most terrible gift, but you need not live in sadness.
“For even the dumb beast will die, and all creatures of your world will eventually be gone, and even the ape from which I have made you has perished, but you have the foresight to see Death. So pass down your knowledge to your children, and build your legacy, and you shall live forever.”
So Eve passed on to her children the Gift of Knowledge.
But Father Adam did not accept the Gift.
“Foolish woman! You have been warned of the dangers of eating the Fruit our LORD forbade and still insisted on defying Them. Let you and our children see Death, but I will never seek your foul Gift.”
So Adam lived his life, and died. But he never saw his future, and when Death came, he ran, and he met his end alone and afraid, for he never knew what his wife had sought to teach him.
Chapter 4: Man Grows Proud
So Adam lived his life a blind man, but Eve and her children grew knowledgeable. And the heads of humanity grew with their intellect.
“See now,” warned the LORD, “as your heads have swelled with knowledge, so you must bear the consequences. Even your babes shall bear this Gift, and their heads shall push against you, and all the women of the world shall feel pain in childbirth.”
“And you must feed your brain’s hunger, and till the land to grow your food, and the men of the world shall feel the toil of work, and the men and women of the world shall be divided.”
So the next generation of mankind populated the Earth, and worked and felt pain, until the eldest son, Cain, beseeched the LORD:
“Oh LORD my God, you have given our parents great Gifts of Knowledge, but here we children must pay for their indiscretions.”
“Give us a new Gift, oh LORD, so that we too may feel Your power.”
So the LORD gave Cain the power to control the crops he grew, and raise upon the world great feats of agriculture, for all the trees and grasses felt Cain’s influence.
And to Cain’s younger brother, Abel, the LORD gave the power over beasts, so that he could rear dogs and oxen and horses, and corral the flocks of the world.
So it is said that from Cain descended the plant-men, who live along the Middle Sea, from the land of dark-skinned men to the pale barbarians of the North. And from Abel descended the beast-men, the centaurs and minos found in every corner of the world.
And Abel displayed his power proudly, so that his older brother became jealous. “All I can do is control the slow and tiresome plants, even though I was the one who asked for this Gift in the first place!” said Cain. So he grew more and more hateful, until he began to wish Death upon his brother.
So Cain wrapped sharp stones in the vines of the field. One day, when Abel was sleeping peacefully among his flock, Cain commanded the vines growing on the cliffs above to drop the stones, and he murdered his brother.
The spirit of the LORD touched Cain as he was tending grass upon his brother’s grave. And he knew that he was a murderer, and that the Gift he had been given had been squandered, so Cain took his family and set out to the wilderness to seek penance.
And the LORD made a pact from that day that mankind should be cut off from Their presence, and that the world of the living and the world of Gods should be forever separate.
So it is that the LORD seldom intervenes in our world and we seldom see beyond.