A Weapons Mythology
is my world that you are destroying with weapons," says the child to the
rulers of society that is building for war. "Don't take my future away from
same should be said by the child today about the denial of the near Ice Age
challenge, for which no preparations are made to meet the challenge. "You are
are gambling with our life," the children of the world should say. And they
would be right in saying this, because the life of every child in today's
world is on the gambling table, with the odds standing strongly against all
children. Society has not yet come to recognize that in the real world.
In the dialog
the world is being destroyed with weapons. The weapons have the same effect
that an Ice Age would have in an unprepared world. However, in the dialog,
the voice of the child is heard and is upheld. This is easily done in fiction.
Some day this will happen in the real world too.
mythology story is divided into four, somewhat overlapping parts. The first
part presents a mythological weapons story. The second part counter-poses
the modern weapons-reality story that mirrors the mythology. The third part
deals with the question of a human future in the face of so many disabling
myths and traditions. The fourth part introduces a deep issues behind the
mythological scene, which is also real, that makes the first part appear
The dialog in
four parts comprises the chapter with the same title, of the novel, The Flat Earth Society, by Rolf Witzsche.
Coming home from Washington, from another meaningless emergency meeting, I found Sylvia waiting for me at the beach where the local Coast Guard patrol normally drops me off. There was no snow as yet that day, although snow was forecast. Still, the wind swept in cold from the North. It was nice to see Sylvia standing there. Naturally, we took some time out for a stroll along the beach before dinner.
In the olden days our evenings after dinner, and after cleaning up, would have been spend in front of the open fire at Ross' place. Sylvia had made an effort to revive the old custom, while I was gone, especially now at the Christmas season. At Ross' place the atmosphere had always been rather magical at times, especially when it became story-telling time after dinner. Ross' place had a much larger and more open fireplace than we had. Also, we had found that an evening of story telling was far more relaxing and exciting than all the entertainment that the TV networks had to offer that we were able to track down with our satellite receiver system.
The night of my return became such an occasion once again. Ross and Sylvia had arranged for us to share our dinnertime as in days past. Christmas was approaching and Tony had just returned from an assignment the day before. Meeting for dinner, of course, included sharing our problems and our wisdom afterwards. I must have talked for an hour about the problems we had discussed in Washington, and about the solutions we had worked out. This bored everybody. When Tony started to yawn he suggested that we have some hot chocolate, his favorite evening drink.
While the milk was being heated Heather told us that we had received our first response in connection with the beach project that we had told everybody about, that we had later shelved. The response was in the form of a pilot story. A writer had been looking for a forum of open-minded thinkers to discuss his idea for a book on weapons mythology that he was writing. Somehow he had found our address. Ross offered to read the story, just as he had always done in the past. He loved reading stories. He made himself cozy in front of the open fire, as we all did. I loved listening to him read.
"It's a cute story," he said. "It sounds like Greek Mythology. But don't expect the kind of quality of thinking that we had been looking for back in the olden days. Still, it's good enough for entertaining children when it's story telling time," he said and laughed. He said he had read the story when the manuscript arrived. Now he would read it to us.
He placed his feet up on the hassock, opened the binder into which the story was bound. He started to read.
On a planet a long time ago, in the third solar system beyond the North Star, two kingdoms developed a feud with each other. It happened one day during the time of the feud, as most people enjoyed the sunshine, cutting hay, washing their clothes, or sitting by the river catching fish, that his royal Lordship of the sovereign state of Greenfield sat in his exalted palace to which he had summoned all his lords and officers that they should give account of themselves. Over a hundred people had assembled for the occasion in the great reception hall near the bank of the river. His Lordship might not have seen the people by the water, excitedly catching fish. Or he might not have taken notice. On most occasions his thoughts were operating at much higher levels, so that he didn't see the ordinary things of his kingdom. When the time came for the court alchemist to give account of himself, his Lordship rose from his throne and shouted with a voice that echoed through the vast chamber; "What, no gold yet!!!"
The lad who kneeled before him, shaking at the bottom of the cascade of stairs leading up to the royal throne, bowed his head ever deeper to the floor without as much as uttering a whimper in reply.
"You are a scoundrel, a cheat, and a liar!" his royal Lordship bellowed. "You came to me boasting that you could produce gold if I gave you a laboratory. Well, I have given you all that you asked, and more. Where is my gold? Are you withholding it from me?"
The lad replied by shaking his head.
"Search the smithy," his Lordship commanded the guards.
"Nay Milord," the lad answered almost imperceptibly, his body trembling with fear, "there is no gold in the smithy." He raised his head shyly and looked up. "I have combined every substance on earth with every other, the formula for gold should have emerged, Milord. Maybe it can't be done."
"So, so, it can't be done?" his Lordship mocked him in front of the assembled court. "You, scoundrel, I wasted a fortune on your wild dream!" His Lordship called the guards back. "You pay for this!" he shouted to the lad. "Off with his head!"
His Lordship's voice still echoed through the room as the guards took hold of him.
"No, not so hasty, Milord. I have served you well," the lad cried and struggled against the guards. "I have done better than create gold. I have created steel, a metal tougher than any metal known. If you forge swords out of this steel you can conquer every kingdom near and far. Then, gold would be like sand in Milord's hands, and Milord will have power over the nations."
These words must have sounded like music in the ears of his Lordship, for the king stepped down from his royal throne and caused the guards to release the lad, while he personally lifted him up and praised, and rewarded him.
While he yet spoke, the court armorer stepped forth and confirmed that the plan was a good one.
"Every fighting man in my kingdom shall have a sword made of steel," the king proclaimed in a royal degree. And, within a moon's span it was done as he had spoken.
However, on the other side of the forest, far beyond the borders of Greenfield, in the great castle of Gourdland, three spies stood before their master with frightening tales of the new swords; "Our swords are like they were made out of firewood compared to those..."
Before they even finished, the chief sorcerer, Merdy was called.
The sorcerer bowed. The spies were ordered to repeat their story in his presence.
"Your highness, let not the swords worry you," the sorcerer answered the king. "Let your spies return and discover how this new metal is made. We'll simply duplicate the process. Except we won't just make swords out of this steel. I have seen in a night vision a sword fly through the air like a bird. I will interpret this dream into a weapon that shall make your armies infinitely greater than any army has ever been. I will fashion this steel into an armor-piercing spear that will enable your warriors to cut your enemy down from a save distance, so that their new swords won't be of any use to them."
Merdy was richly rewarded for his advice. Before the month was out a royal command was given to mass-produce the new weapon that Merdy had designed.
Now, in like fashion, long before two moons had passed, the royal spies of the land of Greenfield stood before their king and all the noble assembly that filled the reception hall. Everyone was speechless by what they told. They were gripped with fear as they listened to the spies' account of the new super weapon that penetrates armor from a distance. The king became wroth, and as it was tradition, he tore his own clothes in a violent rage of anger, so much so that his servants feared for his sanity and prevailed on him to have the lad Vico brought before him in that matter.
the political and religious science and
romantic fiction novel by Rolf A. F. Witzsche
The Flat Earth Society
Volume 4B of the 12-volume series, The Lodging for the Rose
Chapter 8 - A Weapons Mythology.