Episode 6: Meta Origins (World History)
After passing out the syllabus for the year and going over class expectations, the professor spent the remaining time going over the beginnings of human civilization, from the Neanderthals to ancient Mesopotamia. As it turned out, Professor Fisher’s class was a lot more interesting than Tristan had expected. The old man was extremely knowledgeable, and his passion for the subject he taught was downright infectious. While the information was a bit dry, his enthusiasm and vivid descriptions made the class go by a lot faster. He didn’t use any notes, reciting important dates and people off of the top of his head, and before long, Tristan’s wrist was beginning to hurt from trying to keep up.
Before the World History period came to an end, Will raised his hand, brow furrowed. The boy had been enraptured in the class thus far, especially whenever the discussion leaned towards the topic of language and symbols, but Tristan had noticed his partner deep in thought towards the end.
“Excuse me, Professor Fisher! I hope you don’t mind me asking, and please know that I’m not trying to be disrespectful: why are we learning this? For the most part, we’ve learned all this material back at our human schools. As this Academy is specialized towards metamorphs and designed to teach us about our species, why wouldn’t we just start at the time period in which metamorphs actually came about?” Will asked, prompting several nods of agreement from his classmates.
For a moment, Tristan was afraid that his new friend had managed to upset the old man. Instead, Professor Fisher’s eyes seemed to gleam at the question. “Mr. Conrad, who’s to say that we haven’t?” The tall teacher folded his arms behind his back and slowly began to pace around the room. “From what I have told you, what do you understand about Mesopotamia?”
Will thought for a moment before answering. “Well, sir, it was located in the present day Middle East. It’s the first known recorded major civilization and eventually fell to Alexander the Great before becoming part of the Greek Empire after his death. This empire helped inspire some of the greatest developments in human history, like the wheel, cursive, and math.”
Professor Fisher nodded towards the boy, pleased at his answer. “And what of their religion, Mr. Fisher? Do you recall whom they worshiped?” Will frowned deeply at this, trying his best to remember.
Mr. Fisher made his way towards the whiteboard and began to write out a series of symbols in marker. Tristan had no idea what the old man was doing and flipped through his notes to see if there was something he had missed. Comparing what Mr. Fisher was writing and his textbook, Tristan figured that the professor was writing in Sumerian, the language of the ancient society. After he had finished drawing out on the board, he capped his marker and looked at Will. “How about now, Mr. Conrad?”
Tristan witnessed Will slowly remove his glasses from his face, his eyes rolling back into his head. For a few seconds, his eyes remained fixed like this before rolling back, the boy appearing as if nothing unusual had happened. “According to what you wrote, they worshipped the god An and the goddess Ki, the creators of the universe. However, their son Enlil, god of the wind and earth, was the chief deity of the Sumerian pantheon and their worship was largely devoted towards him.”
Mr. Fisher folded his arms knowingly and said, “This ancient civilization, the first of its kind, believed that the two authors of the universe gave birth to a god among men, one who could claim the powers of both parents, controlling the very elements of air and earth combined. Congratulations, Mr. Conrad. While learning about ancient human civilization, you unknowingly just helped the class discover the first recorded metamorph!”
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash