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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    At low tide, in an industrial rockpool, an eight-ratcheted Chiton and a Limpet in pinion were boastfully disputing as to whom was the most efficient yet steadfast mechanical shellfish. Each was quite sure of their case.

    "Not only can I bite into any surface in the highest seas," said the ratcheted Chiton, "my eight ratchets also use the energy of the waves to pry barnacles off any hull, rock or pier. No clockwork shellfish effects the original designer's intent better than I."

    "I am sure you are certain of this," said the Limpet in pinion, "You are no liar, however, to be the most efficient, you must do more than your best. For example, when I cling to a hull or the piers of energy capture—"

    "—you mean the wave power stations."

    "Quite so, I have to rasp algae from the intakes even as the concentrating bays have quintupled the force of the waves on my back. Yet such is my design, this enormous force only pushes me harder onto the substrate of my attention. I do not even need deign to notice the waves passing, and yet if the great seas were becalmed I can still continue to graze effectively, thus removing the ceaselessly befouling growth, as is my purpose."


    When their strife was at its height, a vice Snail slid over from a nearby pile of drift-born recycling and shouted: "Pray, my dear friends, cease from such prattle, at least in my presence — I have not wasted cycles arguing and have worked to nearly finish sorting all the re-usables from the scrap on this shore."

    The vice Snail slipped into their pool. With its slimy foot it prised the ratcheted Chiton off the rock. Just as quickly, the snail broke the Chiton up between the jaws of the iridescent coiled vice on its back. It did the same with the Limpet in pinion, cracking it between jaws pushed together with sprung steel covered in mother-of-pearl. The snail then tossed all pieces above the high water mark into separate commodious stacks of cogs, gears, sprockets, ratchets, racks and pinion.

    "Though I admit," said the vice Snail smiling at the piles of clockwork, "if you had not shouted when you did, I would not have had the chance to exceed my target quota for the day. So I thank you."


    Mind your righteousness does not erase your usefulness.




    The form of the fable and the origins of this story are blogged at Parables of Submission, Fables of Truth-Based Creativity.
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