“It must be spoken, of the ignorance of previous peoples, that they truly believed the world had no giant letters denoting the names of countries, there on the ground,” Patri MacPherson Gyre paced the hallowed space, carefully landing the balls of his feet on the edges of the mosaic tiles, so that each foot eclipsed the entire cylindrical pattern with a step.
“I ask you,” he said, wheeling on his kneeling students and directing his fierce gaze at their heads – “What fools that they did not see – no, they could not see.” With but a word and glance, the students all pattered after him to the holy temple’s square launchpad/balcony, whereupon they strapped on each his own jetpack (“The girls will meet us in orbit”) and blasted off on negative energy, going a thousand miles an hour with the ease of a joystick. With careful calibration of their navigation systems to his own, he was assured that the students’ flight paths never deviated by a significant degree from his. His old pack rapidly approached the stratospheric edge, at which the ion-pads already thrown up around each young learner was also infused with a ready supply of oxygen and injected with gamma radiation-screening “smoke” particles that offered their universal view just a tint of sunglass.
“Look below.” Their radio link allowed them to gaze down as one, whereupon they saw, scrawled across the earth, in neat Tahoma, Kanjyuku Gothic, Preethi and multitudinous scripts, the letterings of the nations, naming each and every one of them, in symbols miles-wide, a sight only visible to the incredibly distant. “It is your legacy, my children,” said the teacher, jetting before them, “to safeguard these sacred fonts from desecration. Now let us return.”
The students floated down like bees and feathers from the sky, with the image of the vanishing letters, grown too large for sight, etched in their memory. Geography was a piece of cake.
Thought it was time to add something, even if I feel a bit tired. Enjoy!
(I was inspired by an image like this one, and the question: What if the world really had giant letters on it?)