Year 3 Day 195

Emlyn Addison photo from MorguefileI think I’ve solved the light problem. I’ve been fusing the local soil for the main structure, and have gotten pretty good at it. It takes a lot of energy, and while I can get some of that energy from the waterfall, I am still limited to a small amount of building in a given day.

In a way this has been an advantage. Since I can do only a small amount a day, I’ve noticed that different soils give different colors to the fabric of the structure, and started searching for different raw materials, just out of curiosity. And I’ve found a pale sand that is translucent when fused. In fact, today I tried really increasing the fusion temperature, and found that if I heat it until it is all liquid and then cool it rapidly, it is transparent enough to see through. I can use it at strategic points to have a view of the lake and the mountains when I am indoors!

According to the computer, this fusing followed by transparency is due in part to the fact that the liquid does not crystallize, but cools to a glassy, very viscous liquid state. I may have to reshape it periodically, but I will be able to see out. I may use it in other directions than toward the lake, as it will allow me to view the local wildlife from a place of safety.

Of course that only allows for light during the daytime. The solar panels and the lights from the emergency capsule will have to do at night, but since this shelter is to be larger than my old one, and much larger than the original capsule, I have lights and panels enough for only a single room. I may have to be content with firelight, as I am going to need the input from the solar panels for the computer.

I’m also rebuilding the calendar. This place is a good deal nearer the equator than my old one, though still in the southern hemisphere. But I can tell that today is the day of the southward equinox. I wonder—do the People wander back and forth, or in a circle that touches here only once a year?

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