The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 60: Silver and Gold
Teller suggests, "Everything has a Will. Everything has Chaos. The Islands
are falling because their Will is broken. I should speak to them."
"Ah, before you do that, why don't you just talk to this rock here," Mandorak offers him the rock sample from the wall. Teller accepts it, and begins contemplating the rock.
Using psi engineering, Mannie determines that there is no psi involved in the coupling between the electrum and the planar effect.
"Do you think you understand the physics of the problem here well enough to explain it to your experts? Or will you need the assistance of Tam'eh?"
"Indeed, we understand very little, and we will need someone knowledgable."
"I cannot leave. Can you take Tam'eh?"
"If we move the Lanthil water out of the fourth storeroom..." suggests the captain. The engineers agree that that can be done.
Teller complains that the electrum is mixed up. He asks for samples of the pure materials, and some of the plain rock matrix. After checking with Praeta, Mannie removed more tiny samples for the Marginalis. Teller then asks for samples of clouds, water, and dirt. The professor explains that we will have to return to the surface to obtain those materials.
Eric asks to makes one last experiment: dropping a rock into the water while observing psionically. He cannot seem to exert Vibes on the pebble in his hand, so Mannie does the experiment for him. The pool has definite lines of vibes, and throughout the rock, there are other, flattish areas of vibes, presumably pools. The rock drops unimpressively into the pool, disturbing the surface with its eerie reflection of the night sky. There is nothing special detected.
Teller asks if he can touch the pool of water, but Praeta is very discouraging. Teller asks Bavör to let him touch the vial of water. He does so. Teller detects a slight flavor of glamour, but no 'flavor' that he can recognize. "Hmmm, special water." Then he gets a vision of this pool of water, but surrounded only by the night sky, with no rock. Teller exclaims, "Ah! Held here by another place."
Eïr asks him several questions about his vision, but Teller can produce nothing of any significance.
Mandorak asks the professor, "Do you look for the water to find it or to avoid it?"
"We don't use the water in any way, but we do treat it with reverence. When we mine near it, we try to do so carefully, to do as little damage as possible."
"Well, if it's useful to you to know, there are pools of water there, there, there quite close by, and back there." The Hremish dwarf points in several directions. Praeta assures him that most of the pools he mentions are known.
We are finally through with our investigations down here, so we return to the surface. Once we have regained the surface, Praeta and Nestoris ask if there is anything else we need. Young Tam'eh asks, "How soon will you set sail?"
"Well, that's up to our captain and your port authorities," says Mannie. "I'm sure it will be a few days," says Finwë. "But plans do change."
"How much can I pack?" Mannie leads him below decks to look at the fourth storeroom.
Finwë natters to Nestoris about the possibilities of shore leave, especially for the passenger in traction, who has not seen the sun in quite a long time. Nestoris gently explains that the sun traces an arc that does not rise more than some twelve degrees above the horizon, and that each Island is frequently clad in clouds. He apologetically informs the elf that this island has only the one tavern, and no sources of entertainment, or even places to stay.
"Oh, then we will probably be ready to leave by tomorrow. If that's all right with you?"
"Oh, um, yes. I am sorry that we have so little to offer you. But, I think that there should be more than enough time for Tam'eh to bring his belongings and equipment on board."
"Oh yes," says Finwë. He thinks to the rest of us, "I wonder if he will be more of a spy or a hostage?"
Nestoris talks with Eïr about her patient, and his treatment by both Eïr and Grandfather Healer of Darkholme. Talk then drifts to dinner, and we agree upon a time (after the town bells ring) to meet for dinner.
While we're preparing our ship, Eric decides to dowse for the nearest piece of Chaos. It appears to be in the same rough direction as Lanthil, but not the exact same direction. It is definitely far away. Eric then goes to borrow Chekhov, and ask him the same question. He takes the bust away from the ship, and works out where Chekhov locates Chaos. (One is in the general direction of Lanthil, and another one is beyond Lanthil.)
As he brings the bust back on board, Mannie says to Eric, "Ah, there he is. Could I borrow him, please?" He takes the figure to Engineering and sets him up. "You mentioned earlier that we were crossing an interface. Are we about at that interface now?"
"Yes, we are just above that interface now."
The dwarf shows the bust the sample of electrum. "Is this electrum?"
"No. Is not. Electrum is a mixture of gold and silver."
"Oh? According to the locals, this stuff, this electrum, is attracted to the interface." Mannie steps out of Engineering, and manages to snag Teller. Reluctantly, Teller gives back the samples of sky-gold and sky-silver. Mannie waves the two lumps in front of the bust's sensors.
"Hypergravitic," diagnoses Chekhov.
"What? What do you mean?"
"Technically, if I were talking to an engineer, I would say these are para-metals, which are para-hypergravitic, because they are eleven-dimensional."
"So, you are using these para-metals to build controls panels for this ship for me to use?"
"Para-metals?" Mannie tries to grasp what the entity means.
"You are not knowing about para-metals?"
"No. Is this something you need to connect yourself to this ship?"
"Yes, they are used as a non-psionic means of navigating para-dimensionlly."
Mannie is pretty much at sea, but he pushes on. "Have you met the Lanthil water?"
"No, we are not acquainted. It would be good for ensuring that you return to Lanthil. It has hyper-dimensional affinities... Never mind. Someday, perhaps I explain to engineer."
Bay has a glimmer of understanding of what Chekhov is saying, but it is still obviously one or two paradigms beyond him. Mandorak gives a little sigh, picks up the bust, and takes it back to Eïr's room.
Eïr has a million questions for Chekhov. "What were you doing?"
"I was explaining to him about para-hypergravitics, and their use in para-metallic multi-dimensional housings."
"Who uses those?"
"Probably not," the bust adjudges.
"If these Islands were being messed with, could dragons have anything to do with it?"
"It is not likely. If the Islands are falling it should indicate that something is interfering with the interface."
"Who could do this interfering?"
"It is a theoreticallty difficult matter."
"Who could do this? Alvarin?"
"He could do this, in theory. But he is far from here, in Faerie. These Islands are far beyond his reach."
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.