A Sleeping Giant Awakens "Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world." ~Napoleon Bonaparte ---- Prologue Aeons ago, the universe was but a cold, indifferent void. A shapeless chaos - the absence of harmony or matter - was all that could have been said to exist. Gradually, for the sole purpose of moving the plot, this chaos amalgamated into a single egg. Sort of like this: Spoiler : Yet gradually, in spite of all impossibility or improbability, the egg, the organic vessel, the aggregate of all that we can conceive up, would prove to be crucial to the development of mankind. And like any other egg, this bastion housed life, both in an actual and metaphorical sense. A giant swam in its yolk, unconscious and in a deep, deep, sleep. This infant - the protagonist of all of mankind - rested surrounded by chaos. But the system gradually reached an equilibrium: a balance between harmony and chaos. Yin and yang. The moment of this incredible occurrence - after a 17,889 year, 9 month, 22 day, 18 hour, 3 minute, 47 second sleep - the giant opened his eyes. The giant tried to stretch his arms, but found the egg was too small and humble to allow for the full expansion of his body. His hands and feet scraped against the interior walls of the eggs, desperately clawing to escape. But the egg's structure was unavailing to contain this mighty giant and with a single flex of his tendons, he smashed his way free from the egg. The sleeping giant had awoken. His name was Pennington Gareth Cecil Achebe Xerxes Maimonides Hieronymus Xiaoping Schneider-Sabbagh III. But you may call him Pennington Gareth Cecil Gideon Xerxes Maimonides Hieronymus Xiaoping Schneider-Sabbagh or just "Pan Gu" or "Pangu"; whatever's easiest for you. The consequences of Pangu's actions were immediately lucid. The material once restrained by the egg was now spewed forth, the lighter, more glorious elements ascending to create the heavens above us, the heavier, more sordid elements remaining to create the earth below us. Pangu was apprehensive, though. What if the earth and heavens would once again mix? So he occupied the tremendous space between them. His feet pressed against the rock and soil of the earth beneath, his hands clutching the splendor and opulence of the heavens above. For another 18000 years, he ensured their continual segregation. Mind you, there was no Netflix at the time, so he really had nothing better to do. Worn out from the demands of his existence, Pangu died one day. But the giant proved to live on. His last breaths became the winds and clouds. One eye was transformed into the sun; the other, the moon. His veins became the mighty oceans and rivers which dot the earth. His teeth and bones became the minerals which encompass the rocks of the planet. And the grubby parasites which roamed his body became the predecessors of mankind. Many centuries later (time was yet to be invented, so really however long you want it to be.), a goddess slogged the earth alone. Her name was Nü Wa or Nuwa, and she naturally felt lonely as the only anthropomorphic being on the planet. One day, she gazed upon her reflection in a puddle for a prolonged period of time, and realized she needed to create her own companionship. She grabbed a clump of mud, shaped it into the anatomy of a human. When the sculpture was set upon the soil, it became invigorated with life; with the happiness and joy of humanity. The creature danced and frolicked, ever grateful for its opportunity to experience cognition and consciousness. Then, she abruptly stomped on the creation, returning it to the soil from once it came. Yeah, she really was kind of a callous, blithe monster. After a dozen more spontaneous creations of human life followed by heinous acts of violence, Nuwa finally allowed her organic mannequins to live for over five minutes and humanity at last sprung forth. She established genders and sexes and allowed for them to multiply. They did what humans did: fighting, loving, rationalizing, sensationalizing, and Nuwa finally felt a sadistic sense of togetherness and camaraderie. Deriving a little too much pleasure than what is healthy, she threw humans across the world so they populate all of the corners of the earth. One day, though, the heavens came to earth, and not in a romantic way. As Pangu feared, the purity of the heavens gradually seeped into the cess of the earth. Floods and fires broke loose; beasts emerged from once civilized woodlands; blight struck the crops of the planet. Nuwa fought back in defense of mankind, not out of passion or morality, but rather a "only-I-can-do-that" mentality. She put out fires, drained floods, roasted the fierce beasts, and introduced DDT to the lands. She fixed the heavens, proclaiming nothing can't be solved with duct tape and plywood. In a cruel twist of fate, she became over-exhausted saving the creatures she was so bittersweet too and died. She ascended into the heavens, now with beings of equal status to her: the gods. The humans were now alone, with no termagant to guide or confuse them. In this sense, they were free to follow their own whims. Not to say, however, that the gods would never interfere with humanity again, for better or for worse. Indeed, the first modern kings and chieftans were of divine descent - demigods. But gradually, the degenerate yet potent genes of humanity watered down the god genes. The first rulers of the most noble land, China, were of divine stock. The Three Sovereigns, Five Emperors, and One Poobah. Arguably the single most influential and significant figure of this agnatic line was the Yellow Emperor*, who taught the Chinese how to hunt, kindle fire, and most importantly, wipe properly. He is said to have died in the most epic way possible: wrestling twelve hybrid tiger-octopi mounted with laser cannons while atop a 10 kilometer great white shark suited with TNT. Before he discharged his last waking breath, he transformed into a phoenix and exploded for no good reason. His successors were naturally substantially less awesome and ceded their power to the nascent, purebred humans. Power was transferred hereditarily in the form of a dynastic monarchy. Twas a vicious cycle, the rule of incompetent leaders being perpetuated. On a humid day, a Thursday to be precise, Wu of the Shang Dynasty received a vision from the Yellow Emperor. The corrupt Shang were to be overthrown in accordance with the Mandate of Heaven. This concept preached that rulers should be appointed based on merit and intelligence, not genetic connection to the contemporary king, which is inherently nepotistic and unfair. Wu pondered for a moment. "Who is the smartest and most ept person I know? Wait - I am!" Following this epiphany, Wu knew what he had to do. Spoiler : Wu was noted for being chronically camera shy. Wu gathered an army of followers and crossed the Yellow River, famous stating "alea iacta est."** The old elite was overthrown and a new one was established. The treacherous Shang Dynasty was vanquished. This historical turning point is truly catalyzed the growth of China, governed by the dual human and divine law of the Mandate of Heaven. Truly as significant as the emergence of Pangu, this development represented the awaking of a sleeping giant. *Although, recent studies reveal he most likely apricot. **Commonly misattributed to Caesar. Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of Chinese or Asiatic languages should realize this when they see the dictum in its native Mandarin tongue.