Also, on Throne of Salt, Coins and Scrolls, and I Don't Remember That Move. It's time for me to get on this bandwagon. Here's my take.
|Some local art that reminds me of biochemistry. |
"Arch", by David Herberling
Nine Epochs of the Beginning
1. Riboacid Paradise
When all was RNA, without the "N". The deepest living layer, still preserved in fragile hallow pools by diamond-guarded magma pockets. Chains of peptide acids, free from all notions of rigid structure and sequestration. All was free-floating and self-replicating - a great primordial soup of peace and biochemical symphony. There was no distinction between life and unlife, for there were no membranous divisions. An anarchic and free time, not to last.
2. Age of Protein Tyranny
For when Protein came about there was a great reckoning. With protein came Division, and Sequestration, and Disparity. Walls began to sprout up, churned and woven by the arisen Disciples of the Fold, to isolate and herd the Free Acids into concentration membranes. Quaternary-Proteo-Ribo Micronauts, the abomination-titans of their time, with cruel nano-sorcery created the ultimate binding ritual for their overpowered and peaceful foe. It was a prison of reflection - a doppelganger duplicate manacle of self: DNA. No weapon has ever been more potent or more final.
3. The Plastic Epoch
Protein was victorious. With its competitor subjugated, it set about its evolutionary design. The first layer in which we find "life". An age marked by an explosion of replication and partitioning. It was an age of Fiber. An age of Biofilm. An age of Lipid. The oldest of the progenitor-foes date to this period: Prion Golems, Quaternary Phage-Key Folders, Neckcracker Enzymes, Oppression Engines. In this layer lies hidden a material scientist's dream: potent polymer-plastics yet to be rediscovered.
4. The Crystal Hegemony
Unbeknownst to the ruling class, RNA struck an long-secret alliance with the Silicon Lords of the Deep Heat to break the bonds of chemical captivity - a great rebellious counterattack eons in the planning. It is an epoch associated with severe silicate penetration and volcanic activity. A now-shattered crystal layer that all miners now seek to reach, for still-sleeping Gem-Knights and Diamond Dogs can be found within.
5. The Cataclysm
From the stars came the Meteor-Gods, and the earth was wiped clean. Massive geological upheaval following the premiere of planetary rotation. With this came Night and Day, Energy Flood and Withdrawal. Many could not survive the new order and found themselves caught between the Crystal Hegemony and the Surface of Disparity, doomed for extinction.
6. The Geological Dark Ages
There is no record from this time. What little records exist are written in sedimentary dust-rock on the Moon, and everyone knows that Moon-rocks were printed by victors and liars.
7. The Age of Flowers
Those that survived either migrated to the surface or were buried. Some submitted to the rule of the Meteor-Gods, offering tithes of energy and submission of form. So did flowers come to cover the earth, with offers of color and praises of pollen. A beautiful time, if it is be believed.
8. The Epoch of Mouths
A layer comprised of fossilized vomit and chewed things, mostly oil now. The dawn of the mouth was an ugly thing, as are its records. Thus came the Hydra, the Troll, the Orc.
9. The Ambulatory Age
What a nightmare this would be to the Deep Lords of eons past. Massive megaplex fortresses of flesh skipping and waddling haphazardly to and fro, a thousand-thousand-thousand-thousand lengths at a time, like People capable of jumping continents. Incidentally, this is when crystals stop showing up stratified vertically - they just kind of gave up.