A Slightly Inconvenient Truth
«Those repulsory celestial objects are only half the story,» wrote Roroku, some years later (and well after the book otherwise ends).
«Or a third, or a quarter! What have you learned now?»
«Things that radiate repulsion are one pole of two. The other poles radiate heat, or light. Those twinkling levity pods are one instance of this. The repulsors are another. Their other poles are very hot things on the far side of the world, under the Boiling Ocean. Indeed, they are why the Boiling Ocean is boiling!» Roroku lectured.
«How did you find this out?»
«Hah, that? I peered through the clouds of steam, and noticed that the Boiling Ocean was boiling from three spots. Three spots, three repulsors — is it a mystic number? And then a globe revealed that the three spots were precisely opposite the three repulsors. The hot-spots move slowly, the repulsors move slowly the other way, and they are always polar opposites in pairs.»
«I am sure your kysps are grateful for you telling them such useful and important things.»
«Happens this one is useful and important! Do you remember that Ko-Go-Nwa preached that the gods are cooking the world for its sins?» Roroku asked.
I had to look in my notes, but yes, Ko-Go-Nwa had preached that. «Right, of course. Usually the “sins” that a small-people world of technology gets cooked for, are the small people doing something massive and unintentional with chemistry of physics, like building more and more powerful heat-generating reactors than the world can cool off.»
«The kysps are not so good with technology as to do that, though I daresay they’ll get there soon. But it is getting hotter here. One of the hot-spots is right on the edge of the Boiling Ocean, so there’s less insulation between us and its heat. So: hotter.»
«Are you, as the representative of the putative gods, going to do anything about it? If so, what?» I asked.
«I am going to wait another moderate while, as the hot-spot’s path takes it back down under the ocean. That hot-spot has an orbit, of sorts — we can tell, the outside of the universe is worn smooth along its orbit. For twenty-eight years out of every two hundred twenty-seven, it is not quite under the Boiling Ocean. Those are hotter years. No sin and no technology is involved. This time it’s a natural cycle.»
«Well, make sure your kysps don’t build massive levity engines and shove their hot-spots into different and worse orbits,» I said, because I read Hoven science fiction, where such things happen.
«That is a good point. We should figure out how big a levity engine is safe,» wrote Roroku.
I don’t mind if she takes me seriously once in a while.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.