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The Oppression of the Ziggernauts
by Zach Smith

They say that all peoples must go through some hard times. What’s strange about the Ziggernauts is that their oppression didn’t really begin until humanity had reached a general (if not universal) respect for and tolerance of each other. In other words, their oppression began when oppression in general was ebbing.

Most people know who the Ziggernauts are, but in case you don’t, here is a brief history:

They first appeared sometime in the mid to late 17th century. There is a tale that the first Ziggernaut to find himself in the presence of European royalty was bathed in beer upon his arrival, and eventually lost his head as well, but for different reasons. In Asia they were not allowed to own land. It was a rocky start, but things would get better.

Within a hundred years or so, the Ziggernauts were present in large numbers in all five continents, assimilating themselves into just about every culture imaginable. At the height of their culture, they made up some 70% of the total world population.

In the United States the Ziggernauts suffered some oppression, coming under scrutiny during the prohibition era. The same went for those living in Nazi Germany, but then again who wasn’t oppressed by the Nazis? In both cases the oppression ceased abruptly and they went on as before, unmolested.

In the late 20th century there came a theory, backed by the “scientific” data at the time, that the Ziggernauts as a people were harmful. Research continued on the culture, and each new study confirmed this theory and the oppression of the Ziggernauts began. This is always how oppression starts, group A is made to feel threatened by group B, so group A preemptively strikes.

The oppression came slowly, piecemeal. Television spots that celebrate the Ziggernauts were banned, replaced with commercials that rallied the masses against them. They were banned from getting life insurance or teaching in public schools. Office buildings designed special rooms for them that went under the auspicious name of “lounge.” Restaurants and public transportation segregated them from the non-Ziggernauts.

Harsher and harsher laws were passed. They endured special taxations, piled on year after year. Restaurants were required to outright deny service to the Ziggernauts. They were forced outside of most buildings. They had to stand ten, twenty, fifty feet from the buildings, because the anti-Ziggernaut factions, couldn’t stand to walk past them

Celebrities revealed to be Ziggernauts were heavily ridiculed by the media, but only during slow news cycles. TV show that casually featured Ziggernauts had to be censored, because just their image could “corrupt the children.”

Eventually all these practices were made redundant, by one final law. The Ziggernauts themselves were made illegal. Homes and building were searched, if Ziggernauts were discovered, they were arrested. Today the population has shrunk to an almost insignificant fraction of what it once was, a percent of a percent by some estimates.

But they still exist.

On a camping trip somewhere in the woods, during the fall, some boys sitting around a camp fire might pull out a white paper tube (called a Ziggarette), light it, breathe in the smoke, pass it around for the others, and another Ziggernaut is born.