Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Discovery of Refining

Morning just never seems to come early enough, sleep wasn't something I had a lot of during the night but when the sun came up and I heard movement I quickly emerged from my room and partook of breakfast. Once again I surprised my hosts in showing up so soon, and I also missed most of those that would have come to visit me. In fact, as the first of the elders started to arrive I was just finishing up and packing some food for later, I had no plan to return quickly once I made it out into the country side in my search for materials and understanding. As I started to make my way towards the door a few of them started walking with me, inquiring as to where I was going, to which I replied that I had started learning about the tools I had and needed to get outside of the village in order to continue my research, but that I would return before the evening meal and at that time I would be more willing to have further discussions with them. The look on their faces as I said this told me they were amused at my enthusiasm and they didn't delay me further from my mission for the day.

Once outside the village I wasted little time moving out of sight, I didn't want any of them following me if I could help it as I needed to be able to focus on the task and work on understanding on a deeper level how this technology worked. In a nearby woods I found a clearing and started gathering up some bits and pieces of wood, I wasn't sure if I would need bigger pieces or not, but I figured I'd see if it could handle scraps first. Once I had what I figured would be enough to make a small roofed structure I pressed the button that pulled in all the materials. Then, using the interface, I began manipulating what I had to work with into a shape that I desired, unfortunately as I finished the design I started seeing some messages that indicated that this structure couldn't be completed. My attempt to force it didn't work and eventually I found a menu that indicated that I was missing some materials necessary in the construction, it didn't give me anything specific but rather informed me that I needed something a bit harder to go with the scrap I had gathered in order to make the structure stable. With that I found a large rock to see if that would be acceptable and once it was scanned in the error went away and a confirmation screen came up. Before hitting the construct button I once again went to the menu and found a section that would give me some details regarding this structure. I was surprised to find the amount of information available, such as how well the structure would hold up in different conditions and how much force it would take to destroy it. Going deeper into the various pieces of it I could find the weak points and strong points of my design, which made me realize where I could improve it. I continued gathering different resources and trying different combinations to improve the design until eventually I had something that I thought would hold up pretty well. Unfortunately when I had this design I realized I had wandered quite a bit from my spot and the resources I had gathered were making the device quite heavy. I decided to leave some of the materials behind and take what I could handle back to the site, then come back for what I had to leave. It ended up taking a few trips to get it all there comfortably and when I had finished it looked to be just a little past noon and so I took a break to eat before I continued.

While I ate what I had brought I picked up a small stone with the device and with one hand I kept playing with the options until, to my surprise, I found an option to refine the material. Looking at the information regarding the starting material and the end result showed me that it would get rid of the garbage parts of the material, leaving me with a stronger substance to work with and also making it much lighter. I confirmed the process and a very tiny brick of the material appeared before me. Checking it against the other rocks in the area it was clearly superior in quality for a building material and I wondered if I needed to once again redesign the pavilion I was working on. I decided it wouldn't hurt to try and gathered up my materials again, though the option to refine was not there. Perplexed a bit about it I emptied it again and scanned in just a single object. To my delight the option was once again there, but if it could only refine one object at a time I would have a long day ahead of me. As I pondered this idea I heard a noise behind me and turned around to see one of the villagers coming into the clearing. He seemed equally shocked when he saw me, clearly he hadn't been looking for me and never expected to encounter anyone out here in the woods. After a moment we made introductions to one another and he asked what I was doing with the pile of junk I had in front of me. He listened intently until I finished and once my story was finished he asked one simple question that I was surprised I hadn't though of. He asked if the device could only handle one type of material at a time when it was improving it. I wasted no time in answering and quickly scanned in a whole pile of rocks that I had planned to use, sure enough the refine option was still there. He just smiled at my delight in the discovery and quietly excused himself to return to the task he had.

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