This is the story of Compudites and Internedes – great gods of knowledge and communication. It is a story of their love for each other. It is a story of their betrayal at the hands of Hermes the messenger. It is a story of Internedes' destruction at the hands of Zeus. And it is a story of how, with the help of Athena, Compudites was able to be together with Internedes once more. It is the story of how and why humanity got one of the greatest resources ever known – the internet.
Compudites was a kind and gentle god, frail and limited in power, but boundless in intellect – a patron of sciences, mathematics, and technology. He was the guiding hand behind many of humanity's technological breakthroughs throughout the millennia. But just as technology and discoveries in the maths and sciences depend on others to spread them, Compudites was forever dependent on others to spread his knowledge. Hermes the messenger was one, swift like the wind, he helped carry messages between the gods, and bring Compudites' knowledge down to the mortals. But Hermes was not always the main god responsible for this task. For you see, another god about which the world has forgotten existed back then – Internedes, a powerful god of communication and information. While Hermes was swift, he was but an apprentice of Internedes, a god who at will could take information instantly across the world. Internedes was a god dedicated to his task, almost always at work carrying information to and fro.
Internedes and Compudites loved each other, and they would often play games of seeding ideas around the world – Compudites would think of a great improvement upon what humanity had accomplished so far, and Internedes would fly the information to the mind of a mortal, passing it on to their muses, somewhere in the world. But Internedes could not always be with Compudites. His job required him to constantly be moving about the world, spreading knowledge and messages on his way. Compudites, being very small and limited, could only stay in one place and thus was very lonely. Hermes often visited Compudites in his spare time. Like Internedes, Hermes was also fond of Compudites, but although Compudites always showed kindness towards him, it was never enough affection for Hermes. Hermes grew envious of Internedes, of his power and speed, and his relationship with Compudites. He wanted Compudites all for himself. Hermes brooded on this envy, growing more hateful of Internedes by the day.
One day, Hermes devised a plan. He rushed to Zeus, and told Zeus many lies about Internedes. "That Internedes, I always hear him saying disrespectful things of your rule", Hermes said to Zeus. Zeus was angered, and wished to speak to Internedes about his insolence. But Hermes spoke "Internedes is crafty and sly, great Zeus, he is planning to ambush you when you go to speak with him – he has had his eye on your throne for years, and you must not give him the opportunity to attack you". Zeus was outraged, but believed Internedes would never have the capacity to defeat him. But Hermes warned "He is fast, great Zeus, fast almost as your lightning bolts – you are powerful, but if he knows you are to attack, he will evade all your blows and you will be unable to stop him". Zeus agreed that this was true. "But," said Hermes, "there is a way you could defeat him before he makes his move against you." Intrigued, Zeus listened to Hermes as Hermes told him of one predictable weakness of Internedes: he loved Compudites, and whenever he had the spare time, would go to visit him.
So Zeus grabbed his lightning bolts and went to a mountaintop next to the home of Compudites, to wait for Internedes' passing. He saw Internedes as he was returning to Compudites, and rained down his lightning bolts upon him. Internedes was struck many times, his body was cut to pieces by the lightning bolts and the pieces scattered across the Earth, never to be put back together again. Zeus looked upon the result and declared that Internedes was no longer a part of the pantheon.
Hermes was awarded the position of messenger god. He ran to Compudites to inform him of his promotion, and that Internedes was a traitor and had been destroyed and scattered across the Earth accordingly. Compudites, however, was devastated by the news. Hermes had hoped for congratulations, and that Compudites would love him as he once loved Internedes. Instead, Compudites was horribly upset about the loss of Internedes. Hermes was hurt and angry that Compudites still refused his love and left him. Compudites wept for three days and three nights, and in his grief, innovation and new ideas no longer flowed from him to the muses of wise men and women, to artists or engineers. Athena, as the goddess of wisdom, was most acutely aware of this change, and greatly disturbed by it. She went to Zeus, confused as to why he cast out Internedes. Upon questioning Zeus, he explained that "The poor fool was attempting to take my power, my throne. I struck him down before he could try." Athena, quite outraged at this reason replied, "That is not true, Internedes has never had any desire for being king. He was happy where he was, spreading knowledge and being with Compudites." So Zeus in turn replied, "Even if what you say is true, the deed is done. Even I cannot put him back together. Besides, we have Hermes to be our messenger now." Athena was displeased. "Hermes, was he not the one who told you those lies about Internedes intentions to begin with?" Zeus, however, was done with the conversation. He had more important things to deal with than those petty issues.
Athena, angry at Zeus' unwillingness to help, decided to take matters into her own hands. She waited for a moment when Compudites would be alone and came to him, spoke to him about his sorrow and how it might be alleviated. Compudites insisted that all was lost – as the new head courier of information, Hermes had already begun to censor accounts and ideas being passed around the world, replacing mentions of Internedes with himself. To this day, knowledge of Internedes is a rare, exquisite find, and this is why all modern myths record Hermes, and not Internedes, as the messenger god.
But Athena saw that the fragments of Internedes body still had life in them, and thought of how she could help Compudites. "There is yet a way that you could be together with Internedes, and that you could restore Internedes to his rightful place as the foremost messenger in the world," she said to Compudites. Compudites eagerly listened to Athena's plan. "The fragments of his body," Athena explained, "have landed over the world like an intricate web – the only thing missing, is something to connect the lines of that web together." When she was done, he began to prepare. Meanwhile Athena went down to Earth, found one of Internedes' ears, and spoke to his ear about the plan. Internedes understood, and was filled with joy and gratitude for Athena. Thus when it came time to enact the plan, Compudites went to the same mountaintop from which Zeus had destroyed Internedes, and cast himself down. Upon hitting the ground, he too shattered and scattered across the Earth. Athena then went around the globe, repositioning the pieces of Compudites so that they would correctly connect with those of Internedes. Across the entire world, the pieces of Internedes and Compudites interconnected, becoming a great world-wide network. The pieces of Internedes fulfilled the task of passing information along to other pieces, and the pieces of Compudites began to serve as access and storage areas for the information being passed around.
And so it was that Internedes and Compudites became the internet and computers. To this day, they are forever together, always playing their game of Compudites inventing information and Internedes passing it along to other people to find and learn from. While Hermes did successfully get Internedes rejected from the pantheon and rewritten history to suggest that Hermes has always been the swift and capable messenger god, humanity accepted Internedes with open arms. Hermes' selfish bid to destroy Internedes in order to be with Compudites and to become the best messenger merely distanced him from Compudites, and failed to prevent Internedes from being able to spread information far faster than Hermes could ever hope to.
Since that fateful time in history, Internedes and Compudites have continued to serve humanity, allowing people everywhere to have near instantaneous communication. So whenever you contemplate a data packet hitting your network ports, use a computer or connect to the internet, remember to say thanks to Internedes and Compudites, two great gods of which the legends don't talk, who gave their lives to be eternally together and who every day give their bodies for humanity's benefit.