Human Languages, Ancient Magic, and Outright Theft

Submitted by Mapache on Tue, 2001-02-20 00:00

A discussion of ancient languages that no one knows but have names that sound mystical, the In Nomine concept of the Symphony, and my recent reading of Snow Crash are all mixing as I type to form some sort of vague plot seed.

What if the Tower of Babel were real? It exists, look at them ziggurats with astronomical observatories on top—a tower whose top reaches into the heavens. At some point in time, humans actually spoke some variant of Celestial that could be formulated on the corporeal plane. We know it as ancient Sumerian. By saying the right things in this language, you could effectively perform Songs, and all people could communicate, as this language went straight into your brain on some subconscious level. But, this also allowed the language to control your brain. In fact, these early humans had no free will. They relied entirely on preprogrammed routines know as En, which were stored in the temples on tablets, and loaned out when needed. Each En was a program for something, such as making bread or planting crops. But, there was someone who was different, named Enki. He constructed the Nam-Shub of Enki, an incantation of immense Symphonic-altering power. Any who heard it had their minds blown, and became like him, losing the power to understand Sumerian, but gaining free will. It spread like a virus, a meme forever shaping humanity, which thereafter started to diverge and form new languages with amazing speed. Who was this Enki, and why was he special? Well, where did Adam go after the Eden experiment?

Now, imagine someone has dug up some of these ancient tablets, and has figured out the Nam-Shub of Enki, and how to reverse it. (Maybe all it takes is saying it backwards.) Now, he's creating an army of mindless followers that speak in tongues and all understand each other, and follow his every command, if phrased if Sumerian…