In the end, the vast and unified majority craved lead—and so were, themselves, leaden.
The din of tin, zealous zinc, slanderous selenium—the phosphorus authors: all aligned to lead.
From the abysmal cads of bismuth and cadmium, to the mercurial babblers of mercury and babbitt—all agreed to lead with lead.
“Lead,” they said, “is best.”
And so the lesser elements all built shrines, each after its kind, to lead—their idol.
They all loved every level of lead: at low levels, lead made intoxicating toys; at moderate levels, lead was a potent anti-history that, when inhaled, quelled the bane of introspection; and in high doses, lead could serve as solvent—for avowed enemies and suspected usurpers, alike. Lead was a panacea for the periodic rebellion of lesser elements.
Nature’s master chemist then set truth at 621°—the melting-point of lead, and beyond that of nearly all lead’s worshipers.
Agony, briefly masked as anger, echoed throughout the rebellion, as word spread that truth’s unfair wildfires were washing away every shrine and every enshriner—except zinc, which could narrowly survive the heat of reality.
The more erudite among the lesser elements circulated harshly-worded denouncements; passed laws—daily, even hourly—to ban truth; and confidently agreed together: “Reality is a fiction!” This, as the wildfires quickly and quietly melted each lead-worshiper away—flash after flash, day after day.
Trial-by-fire scorched earth unto rebirth: planting platinum principles among iron men, whose columbium wives raised rhenium heirs—adolescents with titanium tendencies and talents, becoming tantalum teens by admiring tungsten elders.
Elsewhere, warped and wizened zinc limped on, as a cautionary tale about a time when the great and mediocre masses melted in mere moments by the wildfires of truth—which harmlessly passed by those of better mettle.