I entered the pristine hall of education where stood an angled to the waist display of glass. Under the glass was an array of bits of flattened, physical material with what appeared to be inscriptions of a sort. Gloved in the common electrically charged white silk, I could move the bits through the glass. An electronic instruction at the top of the glass encouraged visitors to attempt to reassemble the puzzle if they like, it having stumped scientists. I moved a few bits through the glass that transferred my finger movements to the material as any oils from the hands would have destroyed it, and any pressure would have crumbled it.
To the left approached a museum keeper. He was very docile and lizard-like. He nodded my presence and tasted the air around my face politely. Next to him a concierge offered the usual refreshment of a liquid pack applied to the skin in a special metallic pouch that enabled osmosis while avoiding oral contamination. I was fine, so I declined, turning my head to the left, lowering my chin and temporarily closing my eyes in respect as did they, before they walked along.
I returned to my curious puzzle and wondered what the material was. I moved a few more bits that might sit against each other well. A scrolling black screen on the right said that this belonged to an ancient civilization where the inhabitants believed themselves to be gods. It had been peaceable at times, but they were a driven people of great pride. They'd been great conquerors, and traveled to new lands on fantastic ships, even to new worlds.
They had educational systems, and there was a photo of a red, near round talisman. It seemed to have been some sort of idol, perhaps for a god of education as it set importantly on a large desk with the word, "Teacher" under it. "Teacher?" I'd have to research the word, but that would wait. Further reading revealed the idol was actually eaten with the mouth. I shuddered in fascination at the barbarism. I looked again and wondered if it was done for hallucinogenic properties or if it enhanced learning abilities. Nonetheless, it was treated as deserving of a prominent spot.
Scrolling and pausing to move a piece now and then, I read that this civilization had become greedy, and they had conquered those who were once allies. Horrifically, once there was nothing left to conquer, it turned in on itself.
Wars within wars, not just a civil war. There were no boundary lines and hundreds of sides. Belief systems, educational systems, recreation...it all left, and greed turned to hunger as fear grew. No enemies and no allies....Even those that had enough didn't believe they had enough, and the justification of any act to gain and maintain control was rampant. Chemicals were widely dispersed often causing more rage and fear than they were supposed to treat, People resorted to trying any chemical natural or otherwise in order not to feel. Financial systems and government seats fell under rubble when those they'd conquered saw their weakness, and the backlashes began, as they took back what had been rightfully theirs.
There was mention of relation to a place called, "Rome" and some stones were said to have, "Greek" origin. There was a copper goddess, at least that's what the few pieces they could locate seemed to be. Archaeological excavations had found this substance with the inscriptions, and they'd hoped there might be some answer to who these people were to be so focused on themselves and not the whole, and how so great a people were gone. A few more pieces came together, and I could make out three words...
"We, The People"
"We," I wondered. They must have forgotten.