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Thursday, May 29, 2008
Buck Godot Online Comics

THE HERODOTUS COMPLEX: NOTES BY P'OILGOF LIVY

Chapter 4; The Universal Ninja Puzzle:

On Old Earth, societies arose in which the ruling elite forbade their lower classes the right to carry weapons. Those that did not tended to acquire new rulers, usually from among the lower classes. As these lower classes often found themselves in situations where having a weapon would be A Good Thing, combat systems were developed that required either no weapons at all, or utilized “harmless” objects such as farming equipment. This worked surprisingly well. In addition, it was discovered that practitioners could develop an enhanced mental state which vastly increased the effectiveness of the fighter, as well as making him an over-all better person. (At least in his own mind.)

Perhaps the most versatile system on Old Earth was that of ninjustu, which was developed for military spies in feudal Japan and, aside from the more general lessons in archery, swordsmanship, unarmed combat, the use of artillery and firearms and swimming in armor, also included training in disguise, escape, concealment, geography, meteorology, medicine, explosives, and avoiding rust.

One of the more amazing discoveries made by galactic sociologists is that almost everyone has Ninja.

The Prime Movers have admitted that this is one subject that utterly baffles them, and as a result, they do not discuss it.

There are billions of different planets, some with hundreds of different sentient races engaged in almost a trillion different types of society, and almost all of them have produced a form of warrior that is easily recognized as one fitting the “Ninja Template.”

Many of these races cannot see eye to eye (literally) on the definition of such basic concepts as Food, Shelter, Sex and Memory, but they all have Ninja.

Sometimes they rule, sometimes they're slaves. Sometimes they're something rare and myth-like from the “Ancient Time of Really Good Breakfasts,” sometimes they have to be swept aside before you can get to your front door. Sometimes they save civilization, and sometimes they destroy it.

But there are things they all have in common:

They are usually very dangerous (at least to other members of their race. The most dangerous P'Thhard in the universe will still get stepped on by anything over one meter tall). They are very adept at concealment (It is now known than Ooonge “ninja” were responsible for the destruction of the first seventy five landing parties on their planet, who never realized that they were anything more than just another mountain range.) They possess abilities that are normally not associated with their races (Stlangworz “ninja” have been reported walking and chewing hebz roots at the same time) and they are utterly convinced that theirs is the only true way and that all other “ninja” are incompetent posers.

Because of this they all hate each other. This, galactic ecologists assure us, is what keeps their numbers down to acceptable levels.

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