Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Burning Hills

I did not end up sleeping very long, but it was restful anyway. I ate a stale piece of bread and some leftover fruit, it was sweeter than normal, having gone a little past its optimum ripeness, but I didn't care. I was watching the sun peak over the hills in the distance, that was the direction I would go. Hopefully the hills signified some richness to the area, they weren't green at least, so that must mean they were rocky and have at least some materials to work with. Once the sun had a chance to warm my face I stepped quietly back into the house, packed up a few supplies, locked up the house and left a note on the door letting any would-be-visitors know that I had gone out today to do some work. As I made my way towards the hills I could hear the sounds from the village, they were louder than usual but I figured I would learn why when I could finish the work I needed desperately to do to further my own abilities.

The walk was uneventful, a few tracks along the ground indicated that there were creatures that wandered in this area frequently, but I wasn't concerned. From all I had learned so far the day creatures were timid and the night ones were the terrors, so I just had to make sure I kept an eye on where the sun was and make it back before it got too dark. The hills quickly rose into the sky, they were a little further than I thought and quite a bit taller. I wondered if perhaps beyond the hills were some mountains, making these foothills, though I wouldn't venture very far in this time to prove my theory. As hoped the hills were rock, there wasn't any vegetation on them and it was soon apparent why. After getting my first bit of resources I started to feel the heat building on these rocks, I took some samples and ran some tests on them and found that they were very heat conductive, which meant that I needed some protection from the heat or I would have to leave much sooner than I had anticipated. It took only a handful of tries to get all the resources necessary to do the work I had been planning, but my thoughts had turned from the original goals and I was now determined to see if I could find a material that was the opposite of the rock that made up the face of this resource rich area. I was sure somewhere there would be a material that could stop the conduction, otherwise I would have imagined that this area would be molten by noon every day and quite flat from the constant changes.

With the sweat pouring down my face, despite the fact I had moved away from the hills quite a ways, I finished the design I had for a heat shield. It would be adequate enough to protect a device, but as for protecting me it wouldn't do much good. The materials I found didn't have much flexibility, they were hard to refine and so I couldn't make something that had a lot of movement to it and I didn't have quite enough of it to build a full suit of armor for myself. I could probably find a way to make a much more flexible alloy from it, but that would take time I didn't have. I hadn't realized it before, though I should have noticed the desert-like nature of the plants in the area as I approached the hills, but the rock ran deep and out a ways into the plains before it sunk deep enough to have less impact on the temperature of the area, but not before it made one last time to the surface, trapping me in a small area that was quickly turning in to the fastest cooking oven one could ever hope for. Weighing my options I realized I would likely need to just make two halves of a shell to put myself in to, it would at least prevent a lot of the heat from getting to me directly, but then I would need to find a way to cool down the inside of that shell as the air was already too hot to allow me to stay alive much longer. I hadn't made a device to cool something before, but I had to try anyway. I had enough of the conductive materials and some insulating materials, not quite as good as the one I would use for the shell, but good enough to prevent the conductive stone from absorbing more heat from the sunlight, all I would have to do then is create some thick, insulated wires to draw in the heat from the inside of the shell and store it further away. I knew it wouldn't be able to push it out of the wires as the outside was going to be much hotter than the inside, but at least it would drop the air temperature in my shell by a few degrees. With those pieces in place I felt a little relief from the unbearable furnace that I was sitting in, but it would not be enough, not by a long shot. I would still die here if I didn't improve my situation by a much greater factor. If I could move the shell I was sitting in it might be possible to escape from the heat, but I could no longer safely open it to do any more external modifications, anything I did now would have to be with what I had already constructed, but time was short and I had no immediate ideas.

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