Self-Propelled Inventory Transfer
Self-Propelled Inventory Transfer (S.P.I.T.) is a dwarven technology developed during the Second Interregnum to make the dream of overnight shipping across Eden a reality. By utilizing artificial intelligence, navigational data culled from the The Journals of Lüe, and retro-fitted drop ships which survived the most recent Calamity, the dwarves of The Reek were able to solve a problem which had plagued this purgatorial paradise since its creation 125 years before.
Retail locations exist in most major Edenian cities and drop-off boxes are quite ubiquitous everywhere else. Shipping costs are kept low to make the service affordable for all but the most destitute citizens. And improvements to the tech are near-constant, with smaller and more nimble “shipping sleds” making it possible to access even the most remote settlements with ease.
Following the Calamity which brought the second iteration of reality to its end, dwarven refugees who found themselves in Eden also found that a half-dozen of the drop ships they used to carry troops around their galaxy had also survived the apocalypse.
By retro-fitting these ships, reprogramming their military A.I., and working with the halfling natives to secure the rights to the maps and journals of fabled explorer Lüe the Mapmaker, the dwarves were able to do what the halflings and the refugees of the First Interregnum had never been able to do: create a worldwide parcel service—and truly unite the far-flung nations of Eden in the process.
For better or worse.
Aside from making it possible to transport physical goods across the vast landscape of Eden, the dwarves’ agreement with the halflings made accurate and up-to-date maps of the world accessible to all citizens for the first time. The shipping sleds mapped the surfaces they flew over and reported that data back to servers in The Garden in real-time via the EdenNet.
These maps and the ability to get “real” items from one corner of Eden to the next made the place feel smaller, which in turn led to a push toward globalization (an odd term for a flat-world, but hey, whatchagonnado?). Sadly, this push toward globalization led to greater and more frequent conflicts between the frightened peoples of Eden, many of whom were just waiting around waiting for the gods to reboot reality and send them back to their homes out in the wider universe.
But though the halflings, custodians of Eden and the place’s only permanent residents, often thought about dismantling the S.P.I.T. technology during the “Wander Years” when they were alone in the world, they never did. They liked the ability to get last-minute tchotchkes out to Aunt Phyllis for her birthday just as much as the next person.
Fun! I LOLed at the bit about globalizing a flat world!
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E. Christopher Clark
Hehehe. I'm throwing in so many li'l jokes these days that I didn't even remember that one until just now.