Dispatches, fiction

Dispatches from the Field: The Lost City

Dispatches is our ongoing series from our intrepid traveling reporter Steve Finch. This week, Steve comes face to face with… well, we’ll let him explain.

A large team of historians, geographers, archaeologists, seismologists, cosmologists, astrologers, zoologists, and I believe a cardiologist as well, recently announced a truly startling discovery.

That discovery, made by the team’s interim committee on impossibilities, was that they had discovered the location of the lost city of Atlantis.

They made another announcement as well. Care of the select committee on efficiency, it was announced that they would have made this discovery years ago if they hadn’t been such a large team. Because, they announced, when you have a group as large as this, you have to form committees. And, they said, quoting Jon Corlan, “committees suck.”

As to the discovery of the lost city, they announced that contrary to the conventional wisdom used by 2000 years of seekers, Plato’s directions to the city were not actually incorrect, just remarkably poor.

This came as no surprise to our reporter, who discovered Plato’s poor sense of space when he unnecessarily visited Greenland while following the ancient philosopher’s directions to a cocktail party in his hometown of Aegina.

So, this reporter wanted to know, how badly did Plato misdirect this time?

After a two hour recess for a meeting of the committee to explain profound truths to laymen, the scientist returned to explain.

As Dr. Ulrich told it:

From Athens, Atlantis is indeed beyond the gates of Hercules, just as Plato described. But, he left off the rest of the directions. To reach Atlantis you must leave Athens in the direction of the gates. But once you pass through the gate, you must immediately turn right 360 degrees. Then you must walk back exactly as far as you have come.

“But wouldn’t that bring you back to Athens?” this reporter queried.

After some consideration in the subcommittee on cardinal directions the reply came.

“Yes, indeed, it would.”

The scientists immediately reconvened the committee of the whole to discuss the possible problems of their organizational structure. Four hours later, no markable progress had been made.

Until next time, this is Steve Finch signing off.

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