In days gone by, the world was a wilderness. Humankind had yet to emerge as the dominant species, and creatures of every kind roamed the earth, blissfully unaware of the massive changes we would inflict upon the planet. Sounds like paradise, right?
In this time, before any kind of recorded history, things were much different than we imagine them to be. We weren’t the first intelligent species to develop here – in eons past, every animal had the smarts to rival our brightest minds, from the smallest gnat to the mightiest dinosaur. With this consciousness, unfortunately, came the same pitfalls we’ve dealt with in our brief history, including the biggest of them all – war.
That’s right, the creatures of the distant past waged wars just like we do today, but on a much grander scale. The conflict was split between the forces of Chaos and Structure, and every species found itself on one side or the other. For millennia, the conflicts raged on and on, wreaking havoc across the globe, until one fateful day. Both factions’ leaders had come together in a parley and decided to settle things once and for all. They elected their best champions to represent their cause in one last battle, winners take all. The time and place were set, preparations were made, and the world waited with bated breath until the momentous occasion arrived.
On the morning of the Final Battle, the world gathered around the chosen battlefield – the Linnaeus Plateau. The eastern and southern edges bordered the sea to allow the planet’s aquatic denizens to bear witness as well. The challengers lined up along the other two sides of the battlefield – there was such a variety, it was hard to force them into any kind of specific taxonomy. The forces of Chaos took their places on the northern boundary –they gnashed their teeth and roared their battle cries. Led by a mighty black rhinoceros and his second-in-command, an swarm of Africanized honey bees, the rest fell in next to them: a leopard, a timber wolf, all dwarfed by a woolly mammoth. The western side was populated with the champions of Structure: First a mighty silverback gorilla, then a freshwater crocodile, one of the longest green anacondas you’ve ever seen, and a peregrine falcon soaring high overhead. The last three fighters in line were a bit..odd: a yellow steppe lemming, a large granite boulder (yes, a boulder), and a mangrove horseshoe crab. I know, right? Anyway, the forces of Structure concentrated on making sure their armor was properly secured and steeled themselves for the impending conflict.
As the hour drew nigh, the assembled crowd, composed of every genus on the planet, grew more and more quiet, until not a sound could be heard. The gathering of billions of creatures all remained as silent as a tomb. The battle was about to begin. Who would emerge victorious?
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