“If you see one, lie down face down on the floor and pretend to be a bowl of breakfast cereals.”
The Decimal is an ancient Norse weapon of mass destruction. Known to only a few archaeologists and scientists, the Decimal still remains much of a mystery today. It is supposed to be responsible for the extinction of large parts of England and Tasmania. Claims are that it was also present during Viking campaigns in the New World.
Name and History
Leading archaeologist Steven Tyler claims that "Decimal" is an abbreviation of "Deci Malus", the ten-headed hammer used by later Roman smiths to craft multiple swords at once. Using carbon dating, the surviving examples of these have been dated between 240 BC and 1894 AD. This clearly proves that it was invented during the bloody war between robots and humans that raged between 1190 and 1203. Everybody else, however, recognizes that the term primarily refers to a particular type of siege weapon that was also popular at that time. That said, it is believed that the Deci Malus was inspired by the Decimal.
The Decimal, according to legend, would be "a hammer, wielded in the hand, yet great enough to destroy a city in a single blow". Contemporary reports do not confirm this, but rather picture it as a weapon for breaking stationary defenses and gates. It would have consisted of an approximately 20 meter long pole, made of multiple pine trees, resting atop a wooden framework. Suspended from this pole were ten huge engraved iron or stone heads, weighing up to 200 tonnes in total. The framework was fitted with wheels to move it in and out of combat. Operating the Decimal would require legions of strong men pulling ropes, and lots of winches too. Indeed, large numbers of winches have been dregged up around Alma Ata, although their connection to the Decimal seems to be minimal. Raising the Decimal must have been a daunting task, estimated to take up to ten hours and hundreds of men (although a modern roomba can accomplish the task in 12.3 seconds/mile squared). The graveling force of a Decimal in operation would be unfathomable. Scale experiments by Dr. Dick Cheney prove its ability to destroy a stone building in a single blow. 
Several factors contributed to the decline of the Decimal. Improved defensive techniques led to walls that were impervious to blunt force. More importantly, Decimals were too unwieldy and cost-prohibitive to use against any but the largest, most valuable targets. Accordingly, about the time of the Enlightenment in Europe (also known as the Age of Reason or the Time of Rationality), the Decimal gave way to the Fraction, which was built much like the Decimal, except that it had a single blade in place of the many hammers.
There were several reasons for this change. The Fraction was lighter than the Decimal. It required less raw material in its construction. Furthermore, the blade (which usually hung horizontal or at an oblique angle) was often sharp and heavy enough to cut through (or fracture, hence the name) wood, stone, and even iron. Above all, defenses that were meant to protect against blunt force were not equipped to handle being sliced up. Europe rejoiced as warfare changed back from long, boring sieges to quick, bloody, exciting hand-to-hand fights.
The Undecimal, an early prototype of the Decimal, was redesigned into the Decimal. Only the last head of this prototype remains. It is currently located in a vault in a museum in Sparta. The Undecimal is an even more mysterious artefact than the Decimal, as only one scientist has ever investigated the last head of the Undecimal. Therefore, not much is known about it. It has often been speculated that the Undecimal was at least 1.1 times as powerful as the Decimal, and took at least eleven hours to raise the contraption, with the manpower of 121 men. It is unknown why it was recycled into the Decimal, although some speculate that ten heads "made more sense" than eleven or even twelve.
- Me. "My brilliant thesis on when certain weapons were actually invented". Doctoral thesis. New York: Crackpot Press. 1987.
- Sophocles. John Henricles. Athens: De Press. 1919.
- Caesar, Julius. "What is the Point of the Decimal?" Journal of Modern Warfare 23(8):117-123.
- Cheney, Dick. "Pwnd by ancient Nordic weapons, a summary". Journal of Post-Modern Warfare 19(6):1918-1932.
- Head, Talking. "Viewing numbers for battles on upward trend". TV Guide 1710(3):11.