Day 124: A Prayer for Circuitry

This entry relates to previous material tagged as solex.

Gane placed three fresh saffron leaves in a small clay mortar and added a pinch of pure silica sand. He muddled the mixture. Before the aroma and scant juice could soak into the clay he sprinkled the mixture onto the circuit board. Gane injected a brief thanks-prayer that the herbs spread evenly over the surface. Even a veteran monk could botch an install with clumps. He attached the leads and dialed up a test current.

He placed that board aside and repeated the maneuvers for five more boards. The utility room warmed with the gentle aroma of saffron honey and circuitry.

Next, Gane collected the seven hexagonal solex panels from the balcony–two were hot from exposure to the sun, the other five cool. He put one of the hot ones on the floor at his feet and attached the mahogany spacers at each of the six corners. Kneeling with a cool one in his lap, he mounted it to the first, quickly added a joiner to the one in his lap, and mounted a third to the first two. He rotated the group one panel clockwise and added a fourth. In this manner he joined six panels to the first to form something of a strange bowl.

The spacers acted as jumpers between the panels so he could now pass a current through all seven. He did this.

Gane checked his watch. Ten or so more minutes to steep the boards in saffron.

Rather than taking a moment to eat, Gane strengthened this minor hres with prayer.

I should probably define hres somewhere–since I haven’t.

Word count: 280

Day 88: Some Drive Time Thoughts on Solex Panels

Since I had previously announced today would be a planned outage so that I could haul the girls to Houston for Thanksgiving week I suppose I can write anything I want and it will be better than taking a pass. I cant say I am excited that in addition to finishing potty training on the first two that I still have two more behind them.

I did try to resolve some of my hang-ups with the Shanty thread that’s developing. Mostly tried to work out a few details regarding solex panels and what they exactly do. I didn’t get as much done as I normally do on a drive of this length since no one saw fit to sleep. I’ll list them below and see if I can expand textually.

Solex panels dissolve into each other when arranged in a grid. This feature highlights the animate nature of the panels and aids in characterizing the magiciness of something that would otherwise seem to be technological. I suppose the visual gag would lend itself well to film. But there might be something in there that could be exploited for the plot. Maybe a virus or an evil spell blocks panels from rejoining or being separated?

Solex panels are used to not only collect solar energy, but also magic energy from the sun(?). This energy can be used for whatever (poorly defined) but so far it came to mind that maybe this would be a resource from being able to communicate with the tech it powers. So you have a solar powered toaster the toasts the bread with the electrical energy converted, but uses the magic energy to determine things like when the toast should be made, how toasty, and other personalized toast needs. So far this thinking is lame, but maybe it pans out in other ways. Maybe the magic just goes into a pool resource that the user can access?

Ah ha. Solex panels are only able to collect minute amounts of magic and then only the crudest quality. Thus this is more of a rainwater in a barrel or recycled paper sort of thing. A way for the common person to do some little magics?

Solex sounds like solace not rhymes with Rolex. Inspired by random pronunciation quirk.

In addition to the three above rock solid worldbuilding bits, I also decided that the balloons on Johnka’s sledge would be on really long cables. I think this will give the sledge greater stability since the pendulum is longer–have to look up. And might allow it to more easily navigate through narrow passages since the cables would be much thinner than the balloons.

Then those driving range nets for villages to curb overhead flits, hangers, and sticks came to mind.

Word count: 471

Day 84: Breaking The Fixer

Not that I have invited many folks over to this site that have then actually come, but I’ve noticed a sharp drop off in my readership stats.  It’s unclear why anyone was reading in the first place, but it makes me a little sad that the numbers are trending downward.  Ah well, it’s really not about you after all.

Gane knelt in front of the solex controller panel, hands comfortably on his thighs.  The acrid incense of silicon and chalpu root stains the sensors orange then ruddy brown.  So far the chanting hres is running without error.

This prayer/code thing is just hanging me up.  I keep choking on the terminology.  Maybe something else instead…

Two rounds vep and spack near Susan’s feet.  At least that’s the sounds she imagines they’d make if only she could hear as fast as the bullets travel.  Vep through the air; spack on the rock.

She chose this vantage, so technically she’s not pinned down.  In fact, their gunfire is a reminder of what she’s doing: waiting.  Waiting these men out.  Ever since Susan’s paid attention she’s noticed that men can’t abide a lack of change.  In fact, in lieu of continual status to remind them that nothing has changed, they’ll assume that it has.  Every time it works against them.

She and Karen were tomboys in grade school surprisingly Karen more than Susan.  The week of the Fourth between 6th and 7th grade they’d been lighting fire crackers and bottle rockets with Mark and Teeter.  More than once a dud would surface.  Initially every one gave them respect and distance, but three or four in that was gone, for the boys.  Mark burnt his hand and numbed his fingers on the last fire cracker he ever touched.  Teeter fell down laughing, Karen cried, and Susan sunk his hand into a cup of iced-tea.  They never could stay patient.

Susan’s last college boyfriend pulled the same thing in their junior year after a big fight.  He’d gotten drunk and danced too close and too long with another girl.  Susan knew it was a stupid fight at the time but couldn’t back down.  Eventually after a week of silent treatment she was ready to get back with him.  When she met with him the next Saturday, he’d already decided she’d broken up with him and more or less moved on.  Nothing had really changed.  She loved him, but since she wasn’t there all week to tell him and sleep with him, he’d gone an decided it was over.

Every time nothing changes, men assume it does.  So Susan lay here in this depression behind a recently fallen tree listening to them call out orders and occasionally vep and spack rounds a few inches above her well camouflaged feet.

Remarkably, beyond that and her general eagerness for them to lose their patience, all she could think of was how enjoyable it was to be hacking out another job here in the jungle.  The terrain was always soft and springy.

Word count: 495