With a Wave and a By Your Leave
(Written by Griever; posted January 15, 2007)
September 13th, 2006
Not more than five days into being home from the U, and I need a new pair of pants. Seriously, it's just my luck to try and hike my way into the city through a few clicks worth of forest and end up nearly cracking my head after tripping on a novelty paperweight. What the hell it was doing out here, I have no idea.
My first impression was that someone had dumped one hell of weird special edition Gamecubes - mostly because it was about that size - but as much as it was a cube, it was also smooth-walled and ...
... I was likely seeing things, but the first time I looked at it, there was some sort of circuitry design on it. Then it was just a plain, flat black.
The corners weren't smoothed either - one of them caught on my pants and now they were sporting a tear from the knee down. I just figured I was lucky enough that it didn't mess my leg up in the process. That would have sucked.
I decided to pick the thing up and haul it back home - it was surprisingly heavy for its size. Maybe some sort of rock? Unlikely. Still, it looks nifty, and doesn't seem to be leaking anything - perfectly solid if you ask me - or to be anything but smooth and dry. Nifty.
If nothing else, I thought it'd make a good conversation piece.
September 20th, 2006
Amusing note - whatever the paperweight's made of, the cat likes it. Just about as close to being a seal of approval as possible, I think. Also, it seems to be a great coaster ...
September 23rd, 2006
I forgot I'd left a half-full mug of coffee on the paperweight for the last two days. Picked it up today.
It was still warm. Not 'lukewarm', not 'room temperature', but 'just got done with being too warm, good to drink now'.
This requires further study.
October 1st, 2006
I'm keeping this thing, whatever the hell it is. Apparently, my laptop's battery is shot. I found out when I carried it out of the room and it suddenly stopped working. I carried it back and it suddenly had power again.
It didn't take me too long to come up with a working theory of 'the Cube did it'.
Testing with my console, a TV set, and various electrical appliances proved ... interesting.
October 5th, 2006
A few hours before I was set to go back over the border and to the U, Pops brought back the electricity bills.
It was a busy few hours.
October 18th, 2006
In other news, I'm trying to get into the daily grind of lectures and labs again.
Also, I'm pretty sure that whatever the hell my new paperweight it is, it's related to what's filtering onto the various forums online ... miracle goop? Chemical X? Yeah. That stuff that got yanked off the web a few days after it was first put up. That was a few weeks ago, actually. Nowadays, there's a few sites about it, but nothing quite as detailed as that initial posting, wherever it came from.
I tried sympathy and contagion out two days ago, set my PS2 on it. Results less than promising.
November 21st, 2006
Spoke too soon. Woke up to see the Cube glowing. Also, with a chunk of my manga collection now labeled 'Missing Presumed'.
Admittedly, this is more than just mildly concerning.
The upside being, my PS2 is now a universal media player when confronted with exposure to Sisters of Mercy music.
Have acquired headphones and Jade Empire for ... further testing.
December 1st, 2006
I checked and checked again ... the Cube is bigger. It's also glimmering pretty much steadily as well as running my refrigerator ...
December 24th, 2006
Back home for the holidays and a funeral. Don't want to talk about it.
The Cube's back to its original size since two days ago, when the surface cracked and fell off. The shell looks vaguely crystalline, and I kept most of it for further study. A chunk doesn't seem to do anything by itself, other than act as a relay for the primary unit, which could be very useful in the future.
Also, caught cat licking Cube yesterday.
December 25th, 2006
At midnight, I had a very interesting conversation.
With my cat.
In the morning, I found out it wasn't just a dream. Mom just about freaked when she demanded salmon and went on a tirade about how little she appreciated getting spayed a few years back.
I think I'll sit this one out.
At this point, I'm pretty damn sure it's that stuff. Current term seems to be Handwavium. Catchy. Bets on whoever came up with that name being inspired by Keiyurium?
January 13th, 2007
Bleah. Dear flu virus, fuck you. Sincerely, me.
I was down for around a week, interesting fever dreams though.
Anything that leads you to cobbling together the bits and pieces of Solid, as I'm calling it now, into something that floats in the middle of your dorm room isn't necessarily a bad thing, even if it does suck at the time.
The weird thing is ... I'm getting ideas all of the sudden. I don't know why, but they seem to be working, too. More often than not. I've never been much good at hardware, but somehow I pried apart and then put together a sort of universal remote out of a broken piece of the Cube's shell, an old and defunct mouse, and my spare console controller.
February 17th, 2007
You know, I've never wanted to own an automobile before. Didn't really have a reason to.
Sitting in a hoverchair I'd gotten to work last night, watching Youtube clips of jets and choppers, I think I've found one.
Then I hit the space-shuttle launch clips ...
March 2nd, 2007
Home again, and lugging excessive amounts of baggage ... pretty much every bit of functional and non-functional kipple I've managed to put together over the last few months.
Also, one backpack's worth of Cube shell.
I think ... no, I'm pretty sure that I have an idea that's going to work ...
Now all I need is a framework.
I'm cutting the hedge when my uncle's pocket cruiser catches my eye standing on top of its trailer in the back of his property.
In my mind, I'm already working on a sales-pitch.
May 10th, 2007
This is it. I can feel it in my bones as I breathe in the salty air of the seaside.
It didn't take more than two weeks to get everything aligned and ready. I was even pretty sure the boat wouldn't fall apart - the Cube had been working on overtime. Apparently, the cat could convince it to grow and shed, given salmon bribes aplenty - since hovering seemed to work alright.
The week before I got started on that I sold one of my initial projects through a security consulting company. Wonder how far they'll get on reverse engineering that kinetic shield before they come to 'and here, magic happens' on their charts.
Well, I'd always been a bit of a Herbert fan. Since I'm dealing with force-fields mostly, putting one of those together had seemed an appropriate test.
The money got me the boat.
My Cube's sheddings gave me the means. Placed throughout the boat, acting as relays and projectors.
Common sense made me take a long drive with it for this final test.
Two laptops, one of them a truly ancient Toshiba with a P75 processor, an LCD display on the forward bulkhead. A couple of webcams on rotating mounts up on deck. My universal remote, two trackballs, a stack of maps. What passes for working controls.
The first field snaps into shape, tying the whole array of Solids together and, incidentally, making sure the boat stays in one piece. The second one just humms, making the air feel charged for a moment before it fades out into background buzz. I can hear it, though. It's still there. We have containment.
Third field. For a moment, it's like somebody poured ice-water down my back, the boat lurches ...
... and everything is still.
Slowly, giving the altimeter I'd scrounged up at an army surplus store a look, I roll one trackball back ...
... I don't feel anything.
The camera, though, is now showing sky.
Inertia control? Didn't expect that. I'm keeping the safety harness on for now, though.
My other hand reaches for the second trackball. I roll it forward.
And, in a moment, my uncertainty is gone.
I'm well and truly flying.