Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Microstory 597: Last Giant Dies

The shortest-living intelligent species in the world was the giant, and the ultimate consequence of this fact was realized yesterday when the last giant died following a life of heart disease, along with other health complications. Wizards first drew up the plans for giant humans centuries ago, though never actually created them, likely due to the problems they eventually endured. Unfortunately, the fairies ended up getting their hands on this information, and had no problems acting on it. The average human is about 7.5 sheam in height, with the upper limit sitting right around 10 sheam. Species that are related to humans, like elves and veratope, tend to fall within the same range. Meanwhile, werewolves and dwarves are generally shorter. Giants, on the other hand, average twice the size of the standard human, towering over the ground at 20 sheam. Prehistoric avians, of course, could get much larger than that, but they evolved with certain biological characteristics that prevented them from experiencing the same issues as giants did. The first thing to understand is that scaling up a creature does not require a linear formula. Though giants were twice the size of us, they were eight times our mass, which meant that they weighed upwards of two shemratra, which is equal to 2,080 sheamtra. This made them the heaviest beings living on land at the time. Cetaceans only survive as heavy as they are by benefiting from weightlessness perception in the ocean. This is what causes beached whales to die; their organs can’t withstand the weight of each other. Land animals do not possess this advantage, which means that giants were literally unable to move.
Giants were discovered in the Bogs of Linctavia decades ago, having apparently been left there by the fairies, which are notorious for abandoning their experiments and creations. The water and mud of the bog allowed some movement, but not an adequate amount. The giants had somehow managed to develop some kind of symbiotic relationship with the marble fintys in the area. Marble fintys are known for their evolutionary quirk wherein they never learned what their bodies were capable of consuming, which means they eat just about everything, and regurgitate anything that their digestive system can’t handle. These strange birds figured out that they could do this near the giants, and that not only would the giants not harm them, but other predators would avoid the area for fear of them. Sadly, not even this was enough to keep giants alive as their numbers experienced diminishing returns over a few short generations. The last giant was named Kirabo Endison, and his last words were, “take care of my [pet marble finty] Faven.” He was seven years old, and is survived by all of us.

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