The Chessmen of Mars

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 47

and brain. If
he is hurt, I would suffer if I remained connected with him; but the
instant one of them is injured or becomes sick we desert it for
another. As we would suffer the pains of their physical injuries,
similarly do we enjoy the physical pleasures of the rykors. When your
body becomes fatigued you are comparatively useless; it is sick, you
are sick; if it is killed, you die. You are the slave of a mass of
stupid flesh and bone and blood. There is nothing more wonderful about
your carcass than there is about the carcass of a banth. It is only
your brain that makes you superior to the banth, but your brain is
bound by the limitations of your body. Not so, ours. With us brain is
everything. Ninety per centum of our volume is brain. We have only the
simplest of vital organs and they are very small for they do not have
to assist in the support of a complicated system of nerves, muscles,
flesh and bone. We have no lungs, for we do not require air. Far below
the levels to which we can take the rykors is a vast network of burrows
where the real life of the kaldane is lived. There the air-breathing
rykor would perish as you would perish. There we have stored vast
quantities of food in hermetically sealed chambers. It will last
forever. Far beneath the surface is water that will flow for countless
ages after the surface water is exhausted. We are preparing for the
time we know must come--the time when the last vestige of the
Barsoomian atmosphere is spent--when the waters and the food are gone.
For this purpose were we created, that there might not perish from the
planet Nature's divinest creation--the perfect brain."

"But what purpose can you serve when that time comes?" asked the girl.

"You do not understand," he said. "It is too big for you to grasp, but
I will try to explain it. Barsoom, the moons, the sun, the stars, were
created for a single purpose. From the beginning of time Nature has
labored arduously toward the consummation of this purpose. At the very
beginning things existed with life, but with no brain. Gradually
rudimentary nervous systems and minute brains evolved. Evolution
proceeded. The brains became larger and more powerful. In us you see
the highest development; but there are those of us who believe that
there is yet another step--that some time in the far future our race
shall develop into the super-thing--just brain. The incubus of legs and
chelae and vital

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