The Architect

Ahhhh. Those were the days, my friend, those 
were the days. That was when I was great, oh 
so briefly, but it felt so good. I was working 
on a masterpiece. It would have been the centre
of learning, a gathering point, a rallying place 
for the whole world, maybe you've heard of it? 
We called it Babel - a huge tower, miles wide 
at the base. Well, no matter, perhaps you call 
it by another name.
Well, but isn't that the joke? I've still got my 
blueprints here, somewhere, yes, here they are. 
Look, you can see the magestic design, miles 
wide, miles high, you would have been able 
to see if from anywhere, the highest structure 
anywhere. Some called it conceit, but it wasn't,
not really. Jah gave me a skill, why shouldn't 
I use it? Hmmm? Well, no matter, perhaps you 
know him by a different name. But, see, here?
Two thousand men worked a month to build 
that foundation, two thousand under my command. 
We cut the stones up the Euphrates and floated them
down, four months just to get enough material 
for the foundations. 
You don't know the Euphrates? Surely you jest 
- it's a key waterway...
Well, no matter, perhaps you know it by a different 
name. Yes, four months, and we never stopped 
shipping, not until the last day.
No no, it was never finished. Do you think such 
a masterwork could be completed and you not 
know it? Huh. We were barely half done, we were 
strengthening the base for support, as per my plan, 
and we had the aid of a friendly dragon - no, not 
Hell's crew, nor Heaven's host, merely one of Jah's 
creations - he held the structure steady while we
It was so massive, the walls pressed out and 
would have collapsed it without aid.
My metalurgists were working on a bronze replica 
to take the dragon's place, had started placing 
the bottom tip of his tail, indeed. It would have been
a huge bronze band that would have held the tower 
together. His head would have served as an 
observatory, for the study of the sky.
By that time, I had four thousand men working 
the site, we had a city built just for the workmen. 
Day and night, working by torches.
Then, suddenly, chaos! The men wouldn't listen 
to my commands, as if they no longer understood me! 
There were fights, we lost three boats with stones, 
and seventy men. We worked for almost another week, 
pointing and yelling, until the dragon woke up, 
shook his scaly head and flew off. Even he had lost 
his language. 
Well, without him, you know what happened.
When the first walls started buckling, my workers 
ran away, they stole my boats, they took my animals 
and they scattered. I'll never be able to get enough 
workers to build it now.
So here I am, just a broken man cadging drinks 
in Mesopotamia.
Mesopotamia. That's here... Well, no matter, maybe 
you know it by a different name.

Mike Timonin Back to the Astrophysicist's Tango Partner Speaks