The title flashed once before the screen blacked out. It was soon replaced by a shot of a wide expanse of land. A group of figures was moving across the plain. A small subtitle read, ‘Thrae – 10,000,000 years ago’. The centaur squeaked out, “That’s our planet?” The piecemeal raptor, both halves now united, replied, “Yes, many many years ago. I believe the only race in existence then was the…” “The Datumi.” The Angel confirmed the raptor’s suspicion. Sure enough, within a few minutes, a group of bipedal organisms shuffled across the television screen. They were pale and thin. The centaur leaned in to take a closer look, and the screen, as if responding, zoomed in. The view was now squarely on one of these creatures. The Angel quickly noted the characteristics that verified his belief that the creatures were Datumi. They only had one finger on each hand, which explained why thir race had been the inventors of binary; they could only count in base two. Their hair was sparse, and their throbbing brains were just about visible through their pallid skin, pulsating against their large skulls. On their chest, most of them bore some form of buttons or lights.
The Angel spoke again, “Those are definitely the Datumi.” The raptor looked up at the Angel, then said, “That is precisely what I was aiming to clarify. Indeed, they seem…” He stopped and scratched his scaly head. “Who are you again?”
“I am the Angel of…” The Angel sighed and pointed towards the upward pointing gash at the hem of his pristine white gown. The raptor gasped. “The Angel of Torn Skirts? But I thought that position was a myth.” The Angel gritted his teeth before replying, “It is now.”
“Shhhhh, the movie’s getting to the interesting part.” The mermaid seemed to be spellbound by the figures on the screen, which had now seemed to have reached a large wall. Inset in the wall, was a large set of iron gates, decorated with with strange quadrangular curlicues and the characters ‘M’ and ‘F’ vaguely wrought into it.
“The Gates.” This time the raptor beat the Angel to it. “So this is the entrance to the temple of the first Datumi god, Mico Frost.”
“First?” The mermaid questioned, and almost simultaneously, the centaur said, “Mico Frost?” The Angel merely looked at the raptor, and they exchanged smiles. The Angel spoke, “Mico Frost, the first god of the Datumi, who was eventually undeified and replaced by a more popular god, while Mico’s name was lost in the annals of time, known to very few. The second god you might have heard of. His name was Golego.”
“Golego?!” The centaur sounded incredulous. “The God of Knowledge?”
The raptor replied, “Indeed. The One Who Knows It All.”
The centaur continued in his unconvinced tone, “You’re telling me, Golego was actually the second god of the Datumi? Well, I don’t know much of history, but I thought the Datumi have always worshipped the Know-It-All.”
A rumbling electronic voice answered, “Count Vladislau Rokkhans, th…there is much about the D…D…Datumi, that history and Golego have b…b…both omitted.”
There was a gentle murmur as the rest of them realized that Carbon Sykes had indeed been speaking to the centaur. The raptor finally spoke, his tone reverent, “Count Rokkhans? As in, owner of half of Rushya, Count Rokkhans?” The centaur shifted uneasily, his hooves clicking on the stone floor.
“It was more like 1/16th of the land, and anyways, a lot of it is subsidized or sold off now. Please, just call me Vlad.”
The raptor replied, “I am Michael Craw, piecemeal raptor of the Crawsblood clan, at your service. Didn’t know you were still alive.”
The Angel spoke, “It seemed like you just dropped off the radar. Last thing I heard about you was something in the papers a few years ago, a real humdinger of a story. I can’t remember exactly what it was about.”
The centaur seemed to grow progressively redder, and was thankfully rescued by the mermaid, who was dragging their attention back to the screen, where the Datumi had finally crossed the gates and were collecting printed slips from the other side.
“Bills. Mico Frost always made it a point to bill the Datumi for all his divine services. That’s why the entrance was called the Gates of Bill.” Michael Craw was back to his encyclopaedic self.
The Datumi had made it to a large concrete building in the middle of the enclosure. Right outside the building, a seven foot tall version of the Datumi was waiting for them. He was clad in a cloak of four colours; red, green, blue and yellow; resplendent in all his shining glory, his cloak billowing in the evening wind.
“That’s Mico Frost, isn’t it?” The mermaid asked eagerly. Michael and the Angel nodded in agreement.
From one of his large one-fingered hands, Mico Frost had hung what looked like a large window pane. As the Datumi approached him, he raised it in between him and them. One of the Datumi began to speak, “10100101000010001111001010010010010010010010010001001”
A subtitle appeared which read, “Hey.”
Mico replied in an even larger string of ones and zeros. The subtitles read, “Yes. What?”
The single Datume spoke again. The subtitles showed, “We need to troubleshoot our primordial soup.”
As soon as he spoke, the glass on the pane shimmered, and finally the answer to his question presented itself on the glass. The Datumi cheered and thanked Mico Frost. Mico merely said something, in binary, which translated to, “Your question was very important to me. Do not violate the Error Codes. Remember to collect your bill on your way out.”
The screen then faded to black. A few words scrolled up the screen. Michael decided to read them out for everyone’s comfort.
“Such was the relation between the Datumi and Mico Frost, and it would have remained so, had it not been for a few Datumi who thought things could be better. And along came a new god, a better god, to answer their questions. And his name was Golego, the Know-It-All. He was a faster god, a friendlier god, and he had many more cloaks than Mico Frost. All of them had atleast five colours, and he never billed the Datumi for anything. He had no laws, no Error Codes, just one rule: Don’t be bad. Of course, the Datumi were a race that was easily impressed, and they wasted no time in undeifying Mico Frost. Golego took his place, and answered all their questions with a simple flourish. The Datumi made a wallpaper of him on one of their hallowed laptops and placed it on a small cairn of stones, their place of worship. All the while, an ex-god by the name of Mico Frost sulked away somewhere in the background, unnoticed and uncared for.”
The screen went black again, before a small message proclaimed, “End of Disc 1”