Dateline: Palos de la Frontera, present day:
In a news conference today, King Ferdinand announced his new plans to explore the newly discovered “New World.” Speculation was running rampant that expenses would have to be cut and jobs could be lost resulting in further economic problems.
Chris Columbus and Murray Netman (the second man to reach the New World), differed in opinions on how the plans should be fulfilled.
Chris wanted to continue to explore the New World but that would entail using the same ships already in use. Although another type of ship was in the works, the Ministry of Sea Travel decided it would be too expensive to continue and possibly not return enough of the country’s investments.
Murray held that new, larger ships were needed to carry the heavier traffic across this vast new frontier especially with so many people interested in seeing this brave new world for themselves.
Which will win out? At the podium now is the King with his announcement. Let’s listen:
King Ferdinand: “ My fellow countrymen. We stand on the shores of a new frontier, one that will open vast new stores of knowledge for our people and the other peoples of the world. Exploration has always been in our blood. But we must weigh that inquisitiveness against practicality. We’ve just endured a number of conflicts that burdened our treasury and need to think of the future of our current citizens.
Considering all aspects is difficult. What riches lay across that uncharted gulf we don’t know. We do know we must provide for our people and businesses.
Our old world is being depleted of resources resulting in loss of employment, higher taxes and in some towns, religious and political strife. To this end, your Queen and I have decided to do the following:
First. For this endeavor we will construct a base of operations here. We will send several unmanned smaller ships to drift across the wide expanse to this New World where homing pigeons will return with scraps of earth, flora and anything else they may pick up during their stay. This data will be carefully analyzed and recommendations made.
Secondly. A small contingent of highly trained mariners will bravely try to repeat the voyage Chris made with his crew. New jobs will be created; old occupations revamped with newly retrained workers. We will have the best available minds to help prevent any difficulties that may arise.
Third. Today I have instructed the ship-builder trades to begin construction of a new fleet of ultra modern vessels to provide a safe haven for those exploring the furthest reaches of this new frontier. With these new vessels, the brave souls will know they can return to a safe, floating harbor to be reached in the event of unforeseen problems. Large, specially equipped vessels will provide a temporary floating depot by constantly sailing around the islands and even many miles out into the sea itself. They will be re-supplied at regular intervals with food, water, equipment and new crew to assist or, if required, replace any explorers should the need arise.
Lastly. Once a new base has been established on these new lands, we will need even larger vessels for more technicians, equipment and transportation to continue the exploration. The vessels may even find new ways to alleviate the tediousness of the return voyages. Quick, inventive minds will accompany these explorers, ones who will strive to understand the unfathomable knowledge yet to be gleaned.
But I must tell you this won’t be cheap. Much sacrifice will be made by our people here in the homeland. This could mean an increased tax burden for all. But we will feel the fruits of this in new jobs and the progress will be well worth any cost.
There are still those among us who would rather we stay quiet and intellectually dormant here; continue in our old ways. They will claim the cost prohibitive; that monies could be better spent on some pet project of theirs. They will claim more jobs may be lost to other countries. Business will be asked for certain sacrifices they may rail against. But it’s a necessary endeavor asked of all.
I assure you, all these things are necessary for our country, for our world to move forward. For if we do nothing, we will surely suffer the fate of the Greeks and Romans. Or some other country with less reputable ideals may beat us to this New Frontier in a race we can not lose thereby gaining what could have been ours. Let us move forward, not out of fear, but out of hope. A time of change has come. A change we can believe in.
Dios bendice España!”