26 January, 2014

The Papyretans

The Papyretans were not a compassionate people. They were in fact, a race obsessed with systems, reports, forms and paper. In short, they were a people so passionate about paperwork that they had paper wars to prove who was the better administrator. Of course, the side with the largest amount of paperwork to show how diligent they were won. These wars often occurred between cities and could last years, or in some cases, centuries. The most recent two decade war of Papier and Mâché resulted in both cities becoming so inundated with paper particles that they had to call a cease-fire citing health and safety concerns involving asthma, fire hazards and visibility. People and traffic were unable to move freely without battery powered paper shredders and those with shares in battery power companies made millions before the excess paper was cleared. The profit made from these shares were then, of course, re-routed into renewing the war between these rival cities.

The average Papyretan's life was lived out behind small desks - often composed of completed paperwork that did not fit in the filing cabinets; and houses were multi-storey blocks of concrete apartments which were relics of a long forgotten industrial age. Along every street, were piles and piles of long lost correspondence, normally known as 'mislaid letters, reports, statistics, miscellaneous sheets and other papers'. These paper piles were preferred over trees or other natural flora as paper 'was more refined, did not need to be cared for and generally did its own thing'. Consequently, 'dirty' trees and other vegetation not 'naturally occurring' like mildew, mould and fungi were systematically eradicated as weeds within the cities.

Paper furniture was all the rage, despite its tendency to fall apart, but the Papyretans felt this to be excellent object lessons for their children to learn filing efficiency and proper respect for the papers. The cheapest and most proper food for children was paper porridge (made from the finest redundant forms), as it was nutritious (when laced with multi-vitamins and minerals) and was considered to help teach the children their 'letters, grammar and literacy essentials'. As a result, paper porridge unsurprisingly is the number one most hated food on the planet, far surpassing green vegetables, skinny shakes and mouldy bread. When the adults weren't looking, the children were quick to pour their unflavoured bowls of porridge out the windows upon the pre-existing paper piles to 'feed the mould'. It is said that the micro-organisms on the planet are amongst the most literate in the universe.

Due to the desk based nature of the Papyretans, the planet itself gave off a general odour of stale donuts and coffee, as well as something burnt, wet and rotting. Or to be more precise, singed paper (from the multiple fires that often threatened to engulf entire continents) that had been eaten by large silverfish (also known as Lepisma saccharina or fishmoths), spat out mid-chew, left to grow mould, chewed, spat out again and then left to rot in one of the paper bogs (made of shredded, saliva slimed paper bits) where the bored, overfed silverfish tended to wallow in their own filth whilst reading 'dear John' or 'dear Jane' letters that writers had either forgotten or avoided posting. Subsequently, the silverfish were cynical, extra hard shelled insects with a skewed sense of romanticism, who had no understanding of the words 'friendship' or 'intimacy'. If finding a mate in order to dump them straight away was not romantic, they didn't know what was. Considering the number of 'dear John' or 'dear Jane' letter bogs there were on the planet, it was a wonder how the silverfish or even Papyretans even survived to populate the planet.

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