Challenge #02510-F320: Fractal Flaws
it just basically just captured lighting -- Anon Guest
Humans can freeze lightning. That was the original claim. On the edge territories, blocks of acrylic plastic or panes of glass are sold with 'frozen lightning' patterns etched impossibly into the inside of the structure. Some carry them in their vehicles as protection against plasma storms in Hyperspace. Nobody's certain if they work, but belief in sympathetic magic is a powerful thing.
The actual trick of it got out eventually. Of course it did. One can't have a technology as cool as one that can 'freeze lightning' and not have it get out into the greater collection of knowledge in the known universe. It involved electrostatic charges and an igniting incident to induce a destabilising cascade in the crystalline structure of the medium.
Watching it happen was fairly awesome, too. It really did look like the person making them was capturing lightning in a solid medium. So instead of the phenomenon dying out as the knowledge spread, the Frozen Lightning Stall became a semi-scientific mainstay in stations and stops all over Galactic space.
"Made ye some lightning," grinned Shayde, handing over a rather large cylinder of 'frozen lightning'. It had a ribbon around its middle that was tied in a bow. "Generated the electric charge meself an' all."
This meant that, not only had she found a Frozen Lightning Stall, but she had found one with DIY generators. Which meant that she had expended precious calories for what amounted to an elaborate paperweight. He couldn't really tell her that he had no use for useless things. He didn't value tchotchkes and keepsakes like most cogniscent species did. He couldn't say that, but he did say, "I don't know what to do with this."
"Ye can put a light under it and use it like a lamp. Like a decorative lamp. Ee, get one o' those colour-changin' ones an' have yerself a bit o' rainbow lightning. That's what I'm doin' wi' mine." She lifted an elbow, where a string bag dangled with the weight of one rather large cylinder. "Or if ye like storms, ye can get a flickering light and make a sense box wi' it. I can help wi' that."
Sense box... sounded almost exactly like a hippie-raised Human would make. No doubt, she had ideas for a storm-cloud tank and white noise speakers to fit inside it, all to make a miniature storm-scape. Which, though it sounded kind of interesting to construct as an intellectual exercise, would only result in a larger object of uselessness in his living space.
"I'll investigate all possibilities," he allowed, diplomatically.
"Or ye could turn it upside-down an' it looks a wee bit like a tree," she said. "Ye could do sommat wi' that fer sure."
Rael had little enough interest in owning a piece of 'frozen lightning', he had none in turning one into a tree for whatever sense-scape Shayde had had in mind. He managed a vague thanks and wondered if there was an acceptable time window for turning an unwanted gift into mass/chemical credit at the nearest recycling centre.
He took it to his home and absently placed it in the artificial window, where the 'lightning' caught the blue-tinted lights of the frame. Frozen lightning. Every electron generated by a living being, with the goal of gifting it to him. Every one was unique because no stream of electrons chose the same path through the medium it created flaws within. He tried turning it upside-down to create a 'ghost tree' out of it. He liked it better as lightning.
Three days later, he was investigating how to turn it into a Storm Box. Interestingly, the instructional video was made by Shayde.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / steffo27]
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