…I have never…
…by such a grinding rattle of snoring in all my lives!
I open my sleepy eyes to the coarse hair of a head that belongs on a caveman!
Why is there a caveman in my bed?
And why is the bed made of straw?
I bolt up and startle the caveman awake. I’m suddenly aware that voices are yelling outside my – hut?
Jumping out of “bed” I dash to the door flap and peer outside. The people are staring at my hut. They aren’t cave people, amen.
“What are you gonna bring home next?” an angry man wants to know. “A giant so’s you can crawl up inside her?”
The crowd around him laughs cruelly.
“Nah,” yells another, “that one’s more suited for a dwarf!” More uproar ensues. As I’m being mocked, I go back inside my dwelling. But there’s a caveman in my…
“Hey,” says the caveman, standing in the bedroom door in a robe. “More hard times for being in a mixed couple?”
What? Oh my god.
“Sorry I got home so late, work was awful,” says the caveman, strutting over and laying a wet kiss on my cheek. The robe swings open and I see boobs. Boobs? It’s a cave woman. That doesn’t make me feel better. She’s hideous. I draw back involuntarily before
My wife, the Neanderthal?
She eyeballs me suspiciously. “Uh huh. I know what they’re saying. They say my people just want to mix with yours so we can survive what’s coming. You don’t believe that, do you? You don’t believe I’m only using you for survival do you?”
I look around. The “technology” I see seems primitive. There is some form of energy use similar to electricity, but the “batteries” are made of materials I’m unfamiliar with. The larger rooms are lined with strips that glow providing light.
Conversation leads me to surmise that we clever but unethical Homo sapiens suppressed and exploited a full six other hominid groups until chaos erupted.
Our people – Homo sapiens – are engaged in a battle for survival against six other realms inhabited by other species of humans. Despite ages-old attempts at reconciliation, ancient blood wars have convinced most Homo sapiens that only one species of humanity will be able to exist in peace on this Earth.
Pretty sure they’ve got that wrong.
A great debate is taking place in the “town square” I suppose you’d call it. I leave the hut and my repulsive mate to attend.
“Getting rid of the inferior species will make us stronger, not weaker!” argues one of the leaders. “Their contributions to civilization were completed long ago. We have all we need, and now their presence and gross animalism is a burden and a drain on our resources. In my opinion, some of them aren’t really human. I promised our people what I would do and I am going to get it done.”
“Yes, and we will win,” says a military leader, “if by winning it’s desirable to wipe out every other human species at the cost of civilization. As victors we’ll have the distinction of surviving as cave dwellers and starting from scratch. It will be over ten thousand years before our descendants will again accelerate toward technology. I correct myself; there will be no ‘victors.’ Only survivors.”
“So now you’re a sage,” the first leader growls, “seeing into the future?”
“The 4th Compendium was founded by seven co-existing human species,” the High Priest adds cautiously, backing up the General. “Though always tenuous, the interactive bonds of the seven houses have held long enough to create long-lasting magical advancements.”
I call them Homo sapiens because they look like me. But are they truly the predecessors of the civilization I was born into? If so, this entire struggle is about my ancestors wiping out six other species of hominids before becoming predecessors to the ancient empire of prehistoric Egypt.
I return home to my Neanderthal woman after the decision to wipe out the others has been decided. I figure out what her name is: Buzët e Forta.
In the night Buzët tells me her truth and I become aware of a full genocidal campaign being waged by Homo sapiens against other hominids. It seems that I am on her side against my own species of Homo sapiens. I’m a damned prehistoric Benedict Arnold?
Buzët doesn’t let me go to sleep. She tells me that we have to get out of the area at once. She says we’ll have to keep moving through the night and that she’ll explain along the way.
Ever argue with a determined Neanderthal woman? They’re very strong. In this relationship, the male is not physically dominant.
Buzët drags me through the midnight forest until we reach desert sands. On the other side of a great moonlit dune two people are waiting. Either one is very big or one is very small…or…?
Both! A very big woman and a very small man are waiting for us. Buzët introduces me to them, informing me that the last great stand against us Proto-Mesopotamian Homo sapiens might never be made if not for the unlikely romance between a Veawrd geneticist named Beag and a Nigat military officer named Stor. Stor, a giant Nigat, fights beside Beag, a dwarf Veawrd, against Homo sapiens.
Both once locked up at the Homo sapiens’ notorious Humanum Prison, Stor and Beag met, managed to communicate and organized an escape involving a dozen prisoners from
each side of the prison, female and male. Their legendary feat inspires uprisings across the realm as the oppressed remnants of the once-mighty giants and what is left of the industriously inventive dwarfs see blood on the face of the oppressor.
Not that differences in the two factions’ belief systems can be reconciled seamlessly. Such an alliance will be no easy task. No two factions bear more enmity to each other than the largest of all giant Nigats and the smallest of all people, the Veawrds.
Once I’ve been vetted by Beag and Stor, the four of us proceed further into the desert where a camp of dwarfs and giants has been established in preparation for an all-out assault on the compound I just left.
As breakfast is distributed I have an opportunity to assess the alliance of giants and dwarfs.
I hear many opinions and points of view looking ahead to this fateful day.
The Veawrds are foragers, farmers, botanists and geneticists, the best of any by far and so exploited by we overbearing Homo sapiens who turn the Veawrds’ small size to their disadvantage. Slow to anger, Veawrds can turn deadly in cunning ways, killing their victims before the enemies sense danger.
The Nigats are hunters, never satisfied that they’ve stalked and conquered beasts or enemies of a great enough challenge. As a whole Nigats are bullies, and have irked all others with disrespect when dominating any territory. Strangely when forced together for mutual survival, proximity has a civilizing effect on both Veawrds and Nigats.
At this point in the years of the receding ice it’s become obvious to these desperate allies that Homo sapiens are going to take over everything unless the overwhelmed forces now confined to reservations can find a way to allay grievances among themselves and unite against the common foe.
…Like they never managed to an other Earth.