Contest: LNHY: High Concept Challenge #3: The Birds And The Bees

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at
Wed Sep 30 02:45:12 PDT 2009

[Contest][LNHY] High Concept Challenge #3:  The Birds And The Bees
High Concept Challenge #3:  The Birds And The Bees 
A Legion of Net.Heroes Y [LNHY] vignette
Written by and copyright 2009 Saxon Brenton
     So.  There had been a fight against some demons.  It hadn't been  
some great battle.  Instead it looked to MegaMetal BlastLord that it had  
been simply a random attack.  Was it planned at all, some type of ambush  
or assassination attempt? he wondered.
     "Could be," said Brion, who leaned against the fence and tried to  
rub some of the mud off his face, but only succeeded in spreading the  
mess.  "On the other hand, sometimes the base types of demons are simply  
driven wild by the mere presence of the holy. It might have just been a
     MegaMetal BlastLord glanced at the muddy Brother in blue jeans.   
"You know, despite all the powers to the contrary, sometimes I don't feel  
particularly holy."  For emphasis he willed away his metal bioarmour,  
turning back into plain old Martin.
     Brion laughed.  "Despite *my* St. Francis of Assisi shtick, sometimes  
I don't either."  And as if on cue, Sparrow returned.  "Well, hello.   
Thank you for the warning back there."  The bird cheeped and took a  
proffered bread crumb.
     "Give him my thanks as well."
     Brion nodded and said a few more words to the bird.
     Curiously Martin asked, "You can understand him.  Can he actually  
understand you?"
     "In general terms, yes.  But, you know, he's an animal with a  
comparatively small brain.  He can understand danger, and has enough of a  
sense of family that he'll give a warning to a friend he really likes  
before running away.  But for a sophisticated conversation I'd have to go  
talk to something like a squid.  For a sophisticated conversation that I  
wouldn't run too much of a risk of being confused by, I'd go and talk with  
a land based mammal who was an omnivore.  Probably one of the great apes."   
He stroked Sparrow's head and brought out a second crumb.
     Martin chuckled.  "So no Disney movie style mice in waistcoats, huh?"
     Brion looked at him archly.  "Well, mice in waistcoats really exist,  
just like most comic book superhero weird sh!t really exists somewhere.   
And they're every bit as annoying as you'd expect.  But, really, by the  
time you get to anthropomorphic animals with opposable thumbs who wear  
clothes, you've passed through the grey area between 'animals' and 'people'."
     Sparrow cheeped and flew off on whatever task he considered important.
     Brion wiped his still muddy hands.  "Come on.  Let's get back and  
tell the others what happened and get cleaned up."
Author's notes:
     Written for the notion of the third High Concept challenge: someone  
who can communicate with animals.  Also written very quickly now that  
I've finished the August 2009 _End Of Month Reviews_.  You'll notice that  
the concept isn't part of the story, it's presented in an info dump in  
the midst of a completely different story.
     This was tangetially inspired by Tom's story.  It suddenly occurred  
to me that how (and how sophisticated) an animal's point of view was  
formed would depend on all sorts of actors, ranging from brain size and  
how the neurons were hooked up, all the way through habitat and means  
of feeding.
Saxon Brenton   University of Technology, city library, Sydney Australia
     saxon.brenton at     saxonbrenton at
"These 'no-nonsense' solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex 
world of jet-powered apes and time-travel." - Superman, JLA Classified #3

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