Monday, March 24, 2008

A Biblical Hebrew In Genghis Khan's Court

Freak coincidence. The Hebrews - fleeing from the wrath of Pharoah, lost in the desert, holding their matzo high above the handlebars as they pedal across the sands. The Mongol Horde - whipped through time in a tachyon gust, momentarily whipped (bicycles and all) into Biblical times. They meet. Tensions are high: but one Hebrew steps forward and breaks bread with a Mongol outrider, and everyone sighs in relief. Moshe, wisest of the Hebrews, shakes hands with Genghis Khan, in a historical event tragically uncaptured by press photographers. The Khan, unaware of the temporal shift, welcomes the Hebrews into his growing empire. They send an emissary with him as an ambassador; he will return in one year's time. (They have high hopes of turning Genghis Khan from his heathen ways; his tolerance for all religions is easily observed.) Bread is broken, they set tents together for a night, and then the Mongols and Hebrews part ways, swearing to forever be brothers. The tachyon winds rise again; and as the Hebrew emissary eats the last of his matzo, crumbs falling to the sand beneath, he is invisibly transported from his own time alongside the Mongols, severed from everyone he knows and loves by four thousand years of ancient history.

When he figures out what happened, he's not too happy.

But Falolot Aaron Ben-Gurion, Hebrew ambassador, is perpetually troubled in his new role as:

A Biblical Hebrew in Genghis Khan's Court

(intro credits roll)

Falolot spends a year in Genghis Khan's court. It's a pretty interesting time, but he's really confused about the strange nationalities he meets. Eventually, he goes home. Oh no! No-one's there!

Eventually he figures it out. He's pretty upset, but he figures that if he goes back to Genghis Khan, maybe the Khan will be able to find him some way home. He doesn't really have any better ideas.

Falolot goes back to the Khan's court and petitions the Khan for help in traveling back four thousand years. The Khan says he'll think about it. Falolot spends his time for the next few years observing the strange cultures he passes through, trying to convert everyone he encounters (with decreasing enthusiasm), and maintaining his bike. It's really hard, all the parts are out of stock. (Because it's four thousand years old.) He gets to be very good friends with specialty bike part merchants all across the empire of the Khan.

Then the Khan goes to his deathbed! He whispers to Falolot, near the end, that he's figured out how to transport Falolot back to biblical times - he'll deal with it as soon as he regains his strength. Falolot leaves the tent. Moments later, everyone else runs out of the tent, shouting "The Khan is dead! The Khan is dead!"

Falolot pouts.

The empire falls into chaos.

Falolot decides to go traveling. He sees many strange lands and makes friends across the world. He even befriends a small monkey who converts to Judaism! Falolot, being filled with angst, and trauma, and unhappiness, and woe, and sadness (because he's not in his native time), dismisses the monkey's company. The monkey follows him anyway. Falolot's attempts at turning him into a burnt offering are unsuccessful.

Not everyone's happy with Falolot. Some don't like him because he's a Jew. Others don't like him because he's from the court of the Khan. And a few dislike him because he punches out monsters with his firm right Jew-hook!

Mostly that's the monsters, admittedly.

Eventually Falolot stops his wanderings. A century has passed, but he doesn't seem to have aged any. He figures it's the matzo he ate - very healthy, that stuff.

Anyway, he travels to the Sinai Desert, where his people wandered and where he entered the future. (Left the past. Something.) He bicycles up Mount Sinai itself and finds a hermit, who tells him of the legend of the Bicycle of the Khan: his great war bicycle, spiked and horned with the bone of the Khan's own kills, shattered and spread across the lands after his death, that if reassembled would resurrect Genghis Khan himself.

Falolot is transfixed. He must find this - then he can finally return home! He goes to all of his usual bike parts merchants. They don't know anything! Then he goes to one in Syria - and finds success. There's a rumour that a wheel of an ancient power-bicycle is in the possession of the Shah of Neo-Persia.

Falolot doesn't know, but he figures it's worth investigating. So he bikes off to Neo-Persia, filled with clanking automatons and mecha. In the Shah's floating palace, Falolot finds the rear wheel of the war-bicycle of the Khan. Falolot holds it in the air, feeling the power within it. Then guards arrive. Whoops! Falolot probably shouldn't have been poking around the Shah's treasure chamber.

Falolot makes a fighting retreat, punching out guards left and right, using their three-pointed hats as projectile weapons. On the balcony of the Shah's vast bedroom, Falolot confronts and fights the Shah himself, battling him mano-e-mano. Eventually he kicks the Shah over the railing and escapes, pursued by the wail of the Shah's son, who promptly swears vengeance upon Falolot.

Falolot, victorious, bicycles into the sunset. Holding the wheel into the air, he swears that this will be his new quest - he will not rest until he reassembles the Bicycle of the Khan, and finds his way home! Strapping the wheel onto his back, he poses dramatically before the sunset.

End credits roll!

1 comment:

King Kessler said...

I feel so much more cultured now!