THE BUSINESS OF BORDERTOWN IS BUSINESS (PART II)
“RUB, A-DUB, DUB! THREE MEN IN A COMMERCIAL HUB!”
Greetings, most honored reader!
If you were like me, you might have felt your ears redden at the irony of the situation in today’s transmission. The Iron Dragon is complaining about the destabilizing effects of criminal gangs in his city. Yet did he worry about this thirty-five years earlier when he was the outlaw launching his own criminal forays against the former governor-general and citizens of the Borderlands region, as seen HERE? One wonders if the irony escapes him. What would he have thought had someone suggested that the shoe might someday be on the other foot?
What would he have thought could he have foreseen that his daughter would be as worried about her standing among the jet set circles of Bordertown and far-off Khapitalium as any of the most pampered nobles? That his son would rest assured that he would inherit his father’s assets, the assets of a governmental bureaucrat-cum dictator?
Lastly, what of these three mysterious wise men (from who knows where?), bringing the miracle of smooth paved roads and stone and mortar products? Over 99% of the roads on the Wyrld are dirt: dry and dusty in the summer, almost impassable mud in the spring and fall, and iced over in the winter. The remaining ones (a small 1%) are cobblestone. If you have ever traveled either, you know that neither are kind to wheeled vehicles (or un-wheeled, for that matter), and travel is often rough, uncomfortable, and slow. But with this new miracle material, “asphalt?” With that, wagons, chariots, and horses will fly like the wind, facilitating trade, travel, and communication around the heretofore backward Borderlands province. New way stations, roadside inns, forts, and even towns will soon spring up like mushrooms after a rainy summer day. However, what else are smooth hard roads useful for, honored reader? Yes, indeed—you guessed correctly—waging war!
Leaders on your planet have been aware of this for millennia, have they not? From your ancient Romans who paved the Appian Way, Via Domitiana, and Fosse Way to your leaders of your 20th century (Autobahn, Interstate Highway System, etc.). But of course, the Iron Dragon could know nothing of this, could he? But what of the mysterious Grublegrab? Did Grublegrab teach him this? And if so, how did he know? And how did he—perhaps alone among all those of the Wyrld!—come up with the idea of “asphalt?”
A mysterious question about a mysterious individual for a mysterious future, dear reader. Until next time, we can ponder this,
With Cognescentii blessings!