Chapter Ten – Gilgamesh
“As for man, his days are numbered, whatever he might do, it is but wind.”
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Part I – The Great Gods
“Maybe there isn't a God after all, maybe there's only a universe rotating by itself like a millstone.”
GAO XINGJIAN, The Other Shore
“This is no ordinary story,” 6985 told him.
“Of course, I know that,” the boy answered.
“And you know the sacred data text from where this comes. The account of times past that was discovered by accident, corrupted, but readable.”
“I am human,” alpha 8u protested. “We all know this ancient history, but it is the first time I have seen the images and heard the text.”
“Then let’s deal with the gods and the flood,” 6985 smiled.
“Has the text reached an end, because there is no resolution. What happens next?” Alpha 8u was puzzled, he had read a lot of books, you could label him a ‘book worm,’ it was his passion. He had never before read a book that had no ending.
“With the last memory transfer the gods were created, but knowing what happened after was lost.”
6985 was sympathetic to the predicament of the boy. Perhaps sympathetic was too human an emotion, he could understand the dilemma.
“Anu, Enlil, Ninurta, Ennugi, and Ea were born, the beings who up to this point have been known in their human form as Grif, Joel, Jack, Steve and Mark.”
6985 studied and registered alpha 8u's reactions. Even the minute details of how his body reacted did not escape analysis by the robo.
That was how they were known by the humans, the robos, the numbers, or more derogatory, the bots. Actually, sometimes bots was a term of endearment, a term used when a human boy had his first relationship, a bot and a boy, it was a classic. Every human was partnered with a robot, often with two, that was not unusual. The only relationship on Gilgamesh that was rare, were two human boys together, but it did happen.
Gilgamesh, that was the name of the planet they had colonised, the one they had found to be the most hospitable environment. You might wonder why it was not called New Earth, and that explanation brings us neatly back to the history about to be told.
“Ennugi was the hero of the pristine mountain, the handiwork of the gods. Remember how you just read that Ennugi (Steve) had tried to rescue Anu (Grif) who was unable to move. It was Lugalbanda (Henry), the ruler of the mountain who saved the gods and survived the flood, but this is legend.”
“Legend?” The young alpha 8u questioned.
“Yes, legend. Think about it.”
Alpha 8u could not help saying to himself, but I am thinking about it. He managed to keep that thought to himself, which was just as well, because expressing it aloud would have earned him a reprimand. Even the bot, 6895, who was his partner and looked after him, could still punish him. It had only ever happened to him once, a punishment, but he remembered it, oh yes, he certainly remembered it.
He had been misbehaving, a lot, it was six years ago now, he was ten years old. Anyway, the short story was that 6895 had lost patience with him. Robos didn’t really lose patience, that’s a human interpretation, but he hit him. What I mean is he punished him by smacking his bottom, which was both embarrassing and a shock. Like I said, it only ever happened once, 6895, must have calculated that it was the right thing to do. It certainly changed things for him.
“The legend can be interpreted as saying: ‘when everything was finished, or at an end, when no more possibilities existed, no more choices. After having done the things that had been demanded, or instructed, having killed. Which should be understood as having accomplished, not literally killed someone. He set up everything for the future. That part is interesting, because it might directly refer to the final memory transfer, the last two gods were created, and dispatched. The next words are more open and less clear, having founded... you reached. If taken literally it refers to establishing the gods and the course for the future, our future, but you reached, means what? What did he reach?”
Alpha 8u shifted nervously as if he was being tested.
“I’m being rhetorical, it isn't a question for you to answer,” 6895 smiled.
“We don't know what was reached, as I told you the story ends with the last memory transfer, and this corrupted data text.”
6895 walked a few paces, turned and continued. “The section finishes by stating that having brought down the old, which we can take to be whoever had control over Lugalbanda (Henry) on Earth. Carried out correctly, meaning things went as planned, the flood. Well that we all know about, it's in the story, a tremendous storm and a flood was coming. The settlements of the Land, is a bit more obscure, perhaps the flood destroyed the cities, if you want to be positive, it refers to new settlements, after the flood, that people survived.
Alpha 8u was always impressed at 6895, well any robo, they were able to analyse as easily as he walked and breathed, it was so simple, and for him it was always a struggle, but rewarding when he ‘got it.’ This session with 6895 was easier though, all he needed to do was concentrate and follow what was being said.
“There is a lot more to get through,” 6895 told him.
Alpha 8u nodded, “I know.”
“Shall we continue?”
The boy liked the way he said we when it was all the robo. It was one of the personality traits he loved about 6895, he always made it seem like he was an intrinsic part of everything. He never questioned how 6895 achieved this, he was a robo, that was it. When they were in bed together 6895 was fantastic, as a lover he was perfect. Even if alpha 8u had nothing to compare their love making with, he couldn't imagine that it could be any better.
6895 could bring alpha 8u right to the peak and do some tiny thing that would make him lose control and explode in a way that travelled through his entire body. One time he particularly remembered, just the thought made him hard, when their love making had been all him. He was pushing, do this and that, everything that sent those good feelings through his body. He was not even thinking about 6895, only about his rapidly building climax. Then, in an instant, 6895 changed it all, flipped him over like a rag doll, at the moment he thought he was losing it. He had no control, but 6895 did. In one smooth motion he was on top of him, spread his legs and entered him. He felt 6895 pulsing inside him as he climaxed. That was the best, although there have been plenty of other occasions, that one was special.
The only thing stopping him from concentrating was the same thing as always – thinking about sex.
“The next part is also difficult. You need to pay close attention,” 6895 told him.
“Yes okay,” he replied, and tried to focus on what he was saying, and not on his cock, it was real hard (both, paying attention and his cock).
“It says, the son of Utu will provide light in the nether world, in the place of darkness. Utu is an Akkadian form of Sumerian and means Sun, in ancient Earth mythology Utu is the Sun God. Then the data text continues talking about a statue being made to honour a person being buried, for a funeral. That whoever that person is, sometime in the future mighty youths will form a semicircle, performing wrestling and feats of strength. All this will happen at the festival of the ghost, in the month of Nenegar, and there will be no light without Gilgamesh.”
Alpha 8u was really lost now, he was wondering how they suddenly got so deep into mythology, and what was it all about?
6895 knew the boy was struggling, he knew absolutely everything about alpha 8u.
“I'll sum it up for you,” he stated, much to alpha 8u's relief.
“It's all a sort of veiled prophecy about where we are now. Honouring the past where we came from, on a new planet where the unknown founder of our future is paid tribute to by a mono-polar civilisation, an existence which consists of a single male sex. That our planet is named Gilgamesh is due to the text, no other reason.”
“Now the text continues, Oh Gilgamesh! Enlil, the Great Mountain, the father of gods, has made kingship your destiny, but not eternal life. Enlil is the god of gods, father of the gods, and through him the band, the group is formed. As it says that is their destiny, but not immortality, which we take as meaning the boys you read about will die, but all humans die. The rest of the section simply states the same.”
“life should not make you feel sad, should not make you despair, should not make you feel depressed. You must have been told that this is what the bane of being human involves. You must have been told that this is what the cutting of your umbilical cord involved. The darkest day of humans awaits you now. The solitary place of humans awaits you now. The unstoppable flood-wave awaits you now. The unavoidable battle awaits you now. The unequal struggle awaits you now. The skirmish from which there is no escape awaits you now. But you should not go to the underworld with heart knotted in anger.”
“What does all that mean?” 6895 smiled.
For an instant the boy panicked, he thought he knew, but was not absolutely sure he was right.
6895 continued, not waiting for an answer. “Essentially, they were human and being human means you do not live forever, that is the human condition. The darkest day, the solitary place, the unstoppable flood, the battle, none of that needs an explanation. Even the unequal struggle is obviously the fight against the forces of nature. The intriguing part is at the end, the skirmish from which there is no escape, we have no idea what is referred to there. You should not go to the underworld, you should not die, with heart knotted in anger, angry. This intimates that there is cause to be angry but that they should not be, it either does them no good or it is something they have no control over, and so was unavoidable. But what? That we do not know.”
“Now a lot of text is missing, until a fragmented section which begins by mentioning Enkidu, Enkidu, your young comrade. Only a few words, parts of sentences are legible, is lying alone ...... will come to you ...... In ancient Earth mythology Enkidu is the companion of Gilgamesh and some scholars interpret this that he represents everything this planet is, but that does not make complete sense. Why? Because he is the opposite of Gilgamesh, he is from nature, not a civilised city dweller, he becomes humanised through his contact with Gilgamesh. It could mean he is not human. In the end he dies from an illness. That fact indicates that if Enkidu is not human, neither is he a robot, we don't die from illness.”
“Again text is absent in large part:
they answered him. …… he weeps. Why is …… made ……? ……Nintur has not given birth yet.
2 lines fragmentary
1 line unclear
"The birds of the sky …… cannot escape. The fish of the deep water cannot see ……. Having spread his net, the young fisherman will catch you. Who has ever seen anyone who could ascend …… from the …… of the nether world? No king has ever been destined a fate like yours. Who …… anyone among mankind, whoever they may be, …… like you? …… the governorship of the nether world. You …… your ghost …… pass judgments ……."
“The missing words, lines and sections of text make interpretation subjective to some extent. Nintur is the goddess of birth, the mother goddess. This may refer to the establishment of civilisation here on Gilgamesh. Then it talks about nothing escaping the nets of the young fisherman. Who are those young fishermen, they may be you.”
6895 rested his gaze on alpha 8u. “And perhaps one among the humans will overcome death, ascend from the nether world, because no king has ever been destined for a fate like yours. The destiny of humanity? It is your human race or someone among you who might rule over death, but...”
He paused as if contemplating, but this was for effect, the bots never paused to reflect, they could calculate millions of times faster than humans could put thoughts together.
“It says, your ghost, which many take to mean a robot. The memory transfer has often been described as ghosting. Creating a duplicate with all your memories, but it is not exactly you – a ghost! Whoever is referred to, human or robot, they pass judgements.”
“I don't know what to answer, what to say,” alpha 8u was overwhelmed by all these revelations and what they meant.
“There is nothing to answer. It is the legend. It explains and at the same time it doesn't. It at once provides a structure only to pose questions, to intrigue, but not to resolve.”
Alpha 8u suddenly felt tired and exhausted.
Reading the situation 6895 said, “Lets sleep.” He smiled, taking the boy's hand and leading him to their bedroom.