Author Topic: Part 20: Motion  (Read 6966 times)

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Offline Daen

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Part 20: Motion
« on: September 24, 2022, 02:59:49 AM »
The time had come: Moss' cart was ready. Several times now, it had carried loads of metal equivalent to the weight of an adult treqar. Coincidentally, Aysa's grasper arm was ready too, and they'd built three of them. The trick was to see if they could use said graspers to build another grasper, without any assistance from qars at all.

It was only the first stage, he realized. To make this a reality they'd need to use graspers and carts to do all the tasks that qars currently handled, including the mining, refining, and shaping of metals. Shaping rubber tubes for fluid transfer especially promised to be a nightmarish experience. Still, this was proof-of-concept. In fact two higher-ups from grove Heirach had tapped into their private network, and were observing the grasper test. They reported directly to the Chancellor, and Moss sent out a prayer for his friends not to mess it up.

Meanwhile he could do as he wished, and did so. Using Aysa's superior weight as a counterbalance, Grace and Fortitude directed the controlled uprooting.

Once again, Moss found himself horizontal, only this time it was a series of gears and ropes and not an army of qars which had done it! He was resting on the bed of his cart. The controls were to the left of his root system, which he had once again disconnected and left in the ground. Not nearly as much this time, thankfully.

Aysa had insisted on that for all of them, in fact. Their work was sensitive and valuable. No doubt the trejuns were looking for them by now, and it might make evacuation necessary. She was too old to move by far, but made sure that everyone else was able to leave in a few hours' notice. That had been before Moss' invention. Now they might be able to leave in a few minutes!

Because they were all prohibited from growing extensive roots and branches, all four of them were stunted and undergrown. The twins were also a special case, weighing half again as much as any of them. If the enemy came here, the twins would stay behind as well.

One of Char's qars used a mirror to send a ready signal, and Moss responded in kind. There was no way to power a full-sized radio using a mobile rig like this, so they'd have to use lights to communicate. Or no way yet, at least. Aysa had introduced them all to something she called an accumulator. Apparently it had been developed last year in the capital, and was capable of storing electricity in small amounts. Not enough to maintain a full radio conversation yet, but enough to send and receive simple signals. The idea had seemed like fantasy to some of them, but Moss had reminded them that treqars did the very same thing with the light from the Core: storing resources during the year, and using them during the winter when they couldn't keep leaves out.

Abruptly the cart jerked into motion, with Moss reveling in the sensation! There were no qars on board other than his own, and they were all sitting on his body! He was being moved around, this way and that, with the grooved metal rod and gear turning him as he moved. Char was controlling the cart using her own radio setup, and doing a superb job from the feel of it. One person—one individual—was moving another! For the first time in history!

Just as terrain expanded beneath him, and smaller bushes were either avoided or crushed by the wheels, Moss felt his own mind expanding with the possibilities. All they needed to do was to get some mobile accumulators, and treqars would be able to move themselves! Only the light, young ones at first, but it was still a start.

She drove him in a wide circle around the Arbormass, clearly enjoying the control as much as he liked the trip. Moss had an image in his mind of how qars would sometimes force each other up and down passageways when the other was feeling reluctant. In a sense this was the same concept, only he was quite willing to move.

Suddenly the cart jerked to the left and came to a stop, making Moss roll a bit. Grace and the others scurried inside to grip on the walls of the knothole again.

It took him a moment to sense the problem. Part of the ground was softer here, and he wasn't exactly feather-light. The weight had driven the wheel into the ground, and it was spinning uselessly. Moss felt a moment of panic. Was he stuck here? It would take a massive amount of effort by thousands of qars to get him back to the Arbormass from here, and it would definitely cast a pall on the impression Aysa and the others were trying to make with their own demonstration.

There was a jerk of motion forward, as Char apparently directed the gas to burn hotter, and the cart lurched forward again. She wasn't taking chances this time apparently, and directed it straight back to his original hole in the ground. He had never left her line of sight, naturally. There weren't any treqars out in the nearby wilderness to spot for her. Theoretically though, between the lightning-fast new roots and a radio signal used as a relay, a treqar in the capital could control a cart like this on the other side of the country!

Getting him back into the ground required qar labor of course. They weren't that far advanced yet. Still, he happily added a complete report of his groundbreaking trip to the official record.