by Unspiek, Baron Bodissey
READ The following with care and reverent attention; it is a message from a lost World:
“Finally, I will recount the tale of Hannibal and his officer Gisgo in the opening stages of the battle of Cannae on August 3rd, 216 BCE [2216 BGE — Unspiek, Excellent Baron & ed]. Hannibal was with a group of his officers observing the advance of the biggest Roman army ever assembled up to that time, a force of sixteen legions along with cavalry and light troops, a mass of men probably numbering in excess of 80,000. Gisgo nervously made the comment that he’d never seen so many in an enemy army.
“Hannibal said: ‘…another thing that has escaped your notice, Gisgo, is even more amazing: among all those men there is not one named Gisgo.’
“Aug. 2009 [9 GE — UEB & ed]”
CAN There possibly be anything more poignant than this sole surviving fragment of yet another lost MS of Old Earth? In it, in all apparency, the writer who is evidently a long-dead colleague of mine own, to wit an historian of some evident parts and accomplishment, is recording with devoted fervour the desperate valour of two millenia before before his own time, alas, itself so largely now forgotten. Who was this unknown writer? And who, really, the mythical Hannibal? However did he come, approximately at the date of the above writing, to be memorialised in an ancient melodrama of that day as foul cannibal as well as victor in a yet more-archaic epoch of warfare?
And, whatever may have become of the hapless Gisgo? Did he by a further species of miracle survive the battle…?
Truly, Gaean Man has paid an immense profound price for His galactic diaspora.
[Bodissey, Excellent Baron all rights reserved 18 Umber 1430 BGE]