Cult of Cod
«Series: Genefish

Genefish 4

Moses' relaxing vacation from humanity was cut short by a voice calling out over the water. Opening his eyes and squinting into the bright sunlight, Moses looked in disbelief at someone else's vessel floating over the water. Not just a small raft like his own, but a massive wooden ship that must have measured over a hundred cubits long on each side.
A cubit is an ancient unit of measurement, somewhere around 45-55cm depending on geographical location and time period. Turns out it's really hard to have a consistent unit of measure when everyone's eyeballing it for a couple thousand years.

One might even have reasonably called it an "ark".

As the ship pulled up alongside Moses' raft, he could hear sounds coming from within - bleats, squawks, and all manner of creature noises. Disbelief shook him that someone would have built such a large vessel and filled it with animals. Surely, no one would be that crazy.

As he pondered this turn of events, a voice echoed down from somewhere high above:

“Hello down there! Is everything alright? You seem to not have a lot of supplies with you.”

Looking up, Moses saw a figure waving down at him, followed shortly by a tossed rope. Begrudging the interruption, he climbed the rope and was greeted by a strange little man in a tweed jacket.

“Welcome to Tim's Floating Emporium and Menagerie. A little slice of paradise away from all the mess of the world below. Haven't gotten many visitors since it started raining, but Tim's never one to turn away someone in need, so what can I get for you stranger?”

Moses blinked further in confusion.

“Tim? What an odd name.”

Oot-nah-pish-tim ... I think.

“Well, my name is Utnapishtim. But that's quite a mouthful so my friends just call me Tim.”

“And what are you doing with such a large boat and so many animals? I thought Cod was going to flood the world and wipe out all life.”

“I don't know much about this "Cod" fellow you're talking about, but I've got this big ol' boat that I put together to hold my family and my animals when all this rain started. Figured I could also make a pretty penny selling some of my saved up supplies to survivors while I wait for the waters to recede.”

“Have there been many survivors?”

Tim shifted uncomfortably.

“Truth be told, I haven't found any except you. This is turning out to be quite a poor investment on my part. I don't know how I'm going to be able to pay my taxes this year with all the debt I've had to take on.”

“But ... if there aren't any survivors ... who do you owe money to?”

Tim thought about this for quite a while. So long that Moses went, made a sandwich, did a crossword puzzle, and then came back before the conversation carried on.

“Y'know, I'm not rightly sure. It doesn't seem right to be taking advantage of other people's misfortunes like that, but if all the people I borrowed money from are dead, then who do I make the cheque out to? And it was really quite a lot of money from quite a lot of people. I even mortgaged my house - which is now underwater - in order to pay for all of this. This boat is basically my only asset left.”

“Listen, if you're worried about this, have you considered having someone else take over all the debt for you?”

“Really? But who would do that?”

Moses cleared his throat.

“Well, I'd be willing to do you a solid by taking this mess off your hands. Transfer all these bad debts and assets to me to clear your record. You could get a clean start on a new life without collection agencies calling you up.”

Tim's eyes welled up.

“Would you really? Oh thank you - I was afraid I was going so deeply into debt trying to pay off this boat that I'd never be able to take the kids on another vacation again. You're a real life saver to do that for me.”

A few sheets of paper, some ink, and a handshake later sealed the deal. Moses even threw in the raft to make sure that Tim wouldn't be out a place to stay while the floodwaters receded. As Utnapishtim slowly floated away from the ark on his very affordable raft, Cod once again appeared before Moses.

« You're a real asshole, you know that Moses? »

“We'll just wait and see what the history books say.”

<>< Prophet