Saved by a crystal – A short story
Our protagonist finds themselves in what looks to be an endless desert lacking even proper clothing. The sun burns down, there's no water in sight far and wide. Not to speak of anything to eat. The situation looks utterly grim and hopeless.
But then suddenly a twinkling reflection of light flashes up not too far away. Curious our protagonist approaches. It's some kind of chip barely dug into the ground not much bigger than a key-fob. Surprisingly this thing is quite interactive and self-explanatory.
After a while our protagonist regains some hope, survival may be possible after all.
Following instructions our protagonist first pulls out two arms length of some super thin black foil from the side of the chip then placing the chip with pulled out stripe flat on the ground into the morning sun. The stripe is so eerily black that one might question that it is from this world. The size of this eery super thin stripe quickly begins to grow in width becoming a wider sheet. It grows faster and faster with every second. After a while the whole thing has an impressive size of a few dozen square meters.
Then from the chip itself something is coming out. Something that seems to be a bigger chip rolled up to a scroll. After our protagonist unrolls it and connects everything according to the excellent instructions the bigger chip starts working. A part of that bigger chip seems to suck through air with scary intensity.
First thing coming out of the big chip is an incredibly light skin-suit with patches colored in silver white and this eery black. Gloves, shoes, hood and pockets all included. Our protagonist puts it on as hastily as still capable. The suits insides are incredible. Despite the severe sunburn getting in is not too painful. In contrary once inside the pain actually recedes. Is this suit medically treating wounds? Wait there's more! It gets cooler, much cooler. Cooler than the blistering 37°C it has here already this early. Really nice.
The Second thing coming out of the big chip a bottle filled with water and a few cubes of sugar. You can imagine our protagonists joy.
All this took much less than two hours.
Since our protagonist is now chilled and fed there would be no need to wait for the next cool night to continue the search for civilization. But an immense tiredness is welling up. There was an option for making a really big inflatable tent, but before starting that our protagonist cannot help but falling into a deep sleep of exhaustion lying just there on the ground under the brutal midday sun in cenith.
But you know what? It doesn't matter. The suit is just as good as this tent would have been. Ok, maybe a mattress would have been nice.
While our protagonist sleeps through the rest of the day, all this miraculous stuff is making and filling up batteries. (Speeding up with the sun rising higher). Just such that there's energy in case something will be of urgent need at night.
There's no real need for wasting that energy for heating in the freezingly cold night though, since the thermal isolation of that suit is on par with a thermos bottle (if adjusted such).
The next night when our protagonist wakes and feels like born anew there are given many options including motorized vehicles (among them even airborne ones!). The device suggests quickly finding a location that can provide biologically grown food (or at least a location with a wider range of raw materials) to prevent deficiency symptoms from a unhealthy diet of a few artificial hydrocarbons.
Thats the end of the story. Or better the start. Our protagonist lived happily ever after. Or so it goes.
(wiki-TODO: maybe make some comic-strip out of this desert scenario)
What where those things?
- The chip that our protagonist found was a civilization re-spawn seed that is a pants-pockets gemstone-gum factory specialized for emergency situations just like the one described.
- The pullable stripe was a diamondoid solar cell in form of a flexible gem-gum metamaterial
- The air sucking part was a medium mover to draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as a resource (and water)
- The suit was a gem gum suit.
- The suit has excellent and widely adjustable thermal isolation
- The batteries are made from energy storage cells
- The motorized vehicles would likely use shearing drives (and the aforementioned medium movers if airborne).
- The devices are bound to the difficulties of synthesis of food.
Also many chemical elements that are essential for long term survival are not present in the air (and also barely present in some desert soils – which would be much harder to process than air).