The History of the Shoe:
“Quiet down now class, quiet down. We’re having a little treat today and we’re going to watch a wonderful documentary video, approved by the State of course, detailing our illustrious country’s birth and growth.”
*collective groan from assembled young folk*
“That’s enough of that now class. Now, take out your notepads, I want to see each and everyone one of you marking notes, there will be a test afterwards.”
*significantly louder collective groan with added “life is so unfair!” teenage angst*
Walking towards the wall with that confused “how in the hell do I use this remote again?” air about her, Miss Carmichael kills the lights, unlocks the mysterious of ancient technology and starts the film.
*The standard countdown flicks onto the screen and everyone relaxes as the movie begins.
The opening scene is in some sort of generi-lab, all white tiles and pristine glassware. Lab coats freshly pressed, lab assistants all of a particular age range and gender and not an experimental subject to be scene. Science, with all the censorship turned on and loaded down with PR and Marketing ploys like a Saturday morning cartoon. Standing alone in the foreground is what one would presume to be the narrator, only the sound isn’t perfect and the class misses about the first sentence…*
“…elcome one and all! My name is Dr. Drury and I’ve had the honor and privilege to work closely with some of our Great Nations best scientists and historians and we’ve put together what I truly believe will be the definitive documentary of our Nation! And now, on with the show!”
*Scene cuts to desert exterior, sun baked and dusty. Lots of red rocks, tall red cliffs and orange streaked skies.*
“Long ago,” continues the Dr.’s voice from off-camera, “our ancestors lived harsh lives, lives as unlike the pleasant tranquility of our Nation as you can imagine.”
*A creature walks into the scene from off camera, obviously computer generated. A short, round, armless body covered in long matted red hair with two powerful legs on top of two absolutely huge feet supporting the whole. The body is split by a feral grin and narrowed, predatory eyes that give the creature a sinister appearance.*
“Ahhh here he is now, Primus Magnus Pedem, or the First Big-Foot. Now, I know what you’re all thinking. How Dr. Drury could we possibly be related to such a big footed monster as this? Well know it’s really quite simple actually…we’re not! Not in anyway. Ya see, Primus Magnus Pedem, or Magnus as we in the science community like to call him, was just the first sort of intelligent life to evolve on our planet at around 50,000 years ago…and he certainly wasn’t the brightest bulb in the bunch. With limited intelligence or curiosity and a low birth-rate, Magnus and his people we hard pressed to compete with the native fauna for food and resources. Barely able to make the simplest of stone tools, Magnus was forced to gather or scavenge or settle for the smaller, more easily caught prey for most of his nourishment and as such, never developed strong family bonds as evidenced by the lack of groups of skeletons found together from this time period. Surely such simple creatures would die as an entire group if they were challenged by anything harsher than the norm, such things that our Glorious Peoples and her proud mother Nation would shrug off as inconsequential would surely be the death of dozens of these animals, should they have gathered in packs.
*As the Dr. has been narrating, the scene has evolved and progressed to show Magnus wandering the desert basin, scavenging food from vulture feeding frenzies and the like. Rude rutting occurs whenever two of the species come across one another, seemingly without concern for gender or familial relationships…or at least that’s what the images on the screen would have you believe. Interspersed with the CGI footage is actual video of archeologist uncovering Magnus bones and unspecified scientist types doing typical science things to the bones and fossils*
“Now, not too long after Magnus here showed up there comes along another, similar life form called Antiqua Parvipes or “Ancient Small-Foot”. Now this guy, he had some brains. Smaller than Magnus, Parvi was nonetheless the wiser. He figured out stone tools, hunting and gathering methods and group social structures within just a few thousand years.”
*The screen now shoes a similar creature on the screen. Shorter than the Magnus and narrower in form, the Parvi is still an armless ball of gray fur. Its mouth however, and its eyes, are far more pleasant to look at…far less feral in appearance, almost cartoon like in fact. Supporting the body are two legs, much like the Magnus, although the feet are considerably smaller and wrapped in touch animal hide.*
For about 30,000 years, from between 45,000 and 15,000 years ago, Magnus and Parvi lived relatively easily with one another, their territories rarely overlapping and their ways of life mutually alien. It wasn’t until the herds that the Parvi followed began to migrate into Magnus territory that the first real interactions took place. The Parvi, head down from the northern mountains, began to spread into unclaimed lands to the south in an attempt to continue their way of life and survive. Their shoes, originally developed to run in the rough and frigid north, gave them a decided advantage over the competition. The Magnus, unthinking brutes that they were, began to poach the grazing animals that kept the Parvi alive and in shoe leather. Some scientist believe that if this trend of poaching and encroachment into Parvi territory had been allowed to continue, the Parvi as a species would have been driven to extinction.
*The screen begins to play and an overhead view of a map of the ancient world. Large blue arrows begin to head from the top to the bottom, signifying the Parvi migration until they hit up against a wall of smaller, red arrows and the two begin to move further south, blue pushing red. After a short time the red arrows begin to slip past the blue and mingle while the blue arrows continue to drive south.*
“For about five thousand years the border was in flux. The Magnus raiders, scavenging from the fallen tools and weapons of Parvi hunters slain in raids, began to drive deeper and deeper into the Parvi migration, seeking to steal from the Parvi and raid their livestock. It took many thousands of years to clear out the Magnus raiders and force their chiefs and warriors to recognize Parvi land. Those Magnus who now resided withing the Parvi Nation were required to submit to various laws and containment measures for the benefit of the developing Nation.
*Imagines, paintings, sculptures and writings from the Ancient Parvi Nation begin to flicker across the screen, documenting the development, growth and strength of the first true empire on the planet. Faced with, the film would have you understand, almost daily aggression from the barbarian Magnus*
“It was during this renaissance era when the Great Prophet Nike came into the World and began to Preach the Ways of the Shod. How loyal and good Small-Feet should honor the ways of the past and the noble art of the cobbler and how the unshod hordes of barbarians howling at the southern boundaries could only be fought with the Soul. It was his guiding light that brought about the development of the Parvi Nation into what it is today. Today we call ourselves Primo Parva Pedem and consider ourselves the rulers of this world. It has been thousands of years but we are finally being able to communicate with the unshod packs and we are beginning to learn some fascinating things about them. Our missionaries are also making great strides in attempting to teach the Magnus peoples the glories of the Shoe and how it can ultimately lead to our salvation.”
*The screen fades to black, the lights flicker back on, and Miss Carmichael walks back to the front of the class.*