Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Microstory 1777: Cosmic Sextant

The Cosmic Sextant, like many other special temporal objects in the universe, was not made, but born. It’s possible to create a piece of technology that exhibits reality-bending properties. You can engineer a spaceship that is capable of traveling faster than light. You can make a pair of binoculars that shows you what the area you’re in will look like at some given point in the future. Many of these technologies were created by a particular person, and her alternates. Her name is Holly Blue, but in some realities, she goes by the nickname The Weaver. Her time power is to make objects with their own time powers. It’s easier for her to do if she’s seen the power in action, and even easier if she has long-term access to the subject for study, but she’s been known to intuit her inventions on occasion. She’s not the only temporal engineer in the timeline, but she’s perhaps most famous for it, at least across multiple circles. Holly Blue did not invent the Cosmic Sextant, nor did anyone else. It didn’t happen for no reason at all, but it wasn’t done by anyone’s intentions either. These special special objects are rare, and demand a particular set of circumstances to coincide. It’s not always obvious which is which, but there is a way to make a good guess. Typically, the simpler an object, the more likely it is that it was imbued with its power, and not an invention. You don’t design a stone that can send people back to the moment they first experienced time travel. Such a form would be too capricious. Instead, what most likely occurred was that a person with the ability to return others to the beginning of their respective temporal journeys was holding a rock while they were in the middle of working, and enough temporal energy flowed into it, and stuck. Home stones are very old, so no one knows who this person could be, but it’s probable that a time travel event erased them from the future, but left the stones they once created intact. Again, no one knows.

Maqsud Al-Amin is a choosing one with the ability to transport himself, and others, across the largest distance ever covered by a teleporter. He can make the trip to the nearest galaxies in a matter of seconds. Anyone with access to Shimmer, which is channeled by The Great Pyramid of Giza, can do the same, but not as quickly, and not as far. Maqsud is an explorer, who enjoys going to other worlds, and learning about new cultures. When he was first starting out, he did so before a telescope with sufficient range was invented, so it was actually better for him to use a sextant, and measure his destination manually. He happened to do this in what would come to be known as Bryce Canyon, in what would come to be known as Utah. The temporal energy from him passed through the sextant, and flew off to collide with one of the hoodoos, where it bounced off, and collided with another. This energy just kept bouncing all around the geological formation, until it all landed back into the sextant, where it remained for future use. Maqsud was long gone by then, having dropped the sextant in the initial energy release, and ending up in the wrong star system, where he would have to make his way back on his own. He didn’t find out what the sextant could do until later, and felt no ownership over it, so it began to trade hands from there. For whatever reason, travelers can’t take it with them when they use it, so they always have to find some other means of departing from the destination planet, if they so wish. This has necessarily limited its use. It’s powerful, but risky, because it was not made on purpose.

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