image from Laurata


By Serena

The inhabitants of the ancient city of Laurata, built entirely of ivory, with its long hallways, tall columns, and winding spiral staircases, are known to be the wisest in the empire. No one has questioned their legendary knowledge and abilities in memorable times.

They have always been careful to insulate themselves from those who are less brilliant than they are. Thus, they have adopted their own arcane language and writing system, completely incomprehensible to outsiders. This is seen as further proof of their extraordinary intelligence and their obvious superiority to the common man.

The inhabitants of the city of Laurata are not only the most utterly clever, but also the most profoundly generous of all. They are extremely concerned with improving the squalid lives of people outside the city. Always tirelessly working for the benefit of mankind, they never find the time to leave Laurata. Within the walls of the city, solutions for all the plights of ordinary citizens are carefully designed, tested, and documented. Once complete, these solutions are circulated inside the city, and their architects praised for making the world a better place.

From time to time, a foreigner on his way through picks up on one of the groundbreaking ideas produced in Laurata and tailors it to the needs of the people in his home town. Soon, the novelty spreads from county to county and becomes a part of the everyday lives of many people. The Lauratans will nitpick the implementation and lament that it has not been adopted sooner.

This city reflects some of the detachment, presumption and seclusion I’ve encountered in the world of academia.