Sahara Light: a Novel. Part I. Chapter IX.

3 Mar

Echo decided to accompany Hermes to the kiniton garage down on the ground.

They descended in a compartment of a vertical mover. Unexpectedly, she made an inquiry about the nature of his research work.

“I am experimenting with questions of color generation, although our Director sees little utility in this. It is a continual battle to keep my program going.I have to argue to get equipment and material for testing. I am always in need of devices. Obtaining necessary equipment is always a major difficulty in the work I carry out.”

“What sort of devices do you use, Hermes?” she asked him.

He proceeded to name some: the quasiparticle impulser, the refractor, the exitronic retroflexer, and the polaritron retroverter.

“The instrument that I have been constructing on my own for color experiments is the last one that I just mentioned. A retroverter that can send out polaritron plasma in the state that we physicists call the excited one is what I hope to have available to myself soon. I won’t have to borrow time from devices in other sections of our Institute the way that I am forced to do at the present time.

“The bulk of our important research has to do with stimulating faster and larger crop yields. But photosynthesis still contains complex puzzles. I am looking at the effect of color frequencies on the rates of plant growth. That is the factor that I believe holds a great, unexplored promise of progress.”

“It sounds highly complicated to me,” said Echo. “But there may be great benefits some day from the research you are involved with. That could be of great benefit to our desert agriculture.”

Hermes went on in an abstracted tone and mood. “Just as sounds can have their frequencies and timbers changed, light can be fundamentally altered in its basic characteristics. Bombardment with quasiparticles in varied combinations may be the key to the harnessing of light colors for specific purposes. That is what I am seeking to establish with my work.”

“You explain things clearly and understandably,” she told him as their compartment came to a stop on the ground level of the city tower.

All the passengers of the mover exited, Hermes and Echo the last to get out. He led the way to where his little kiniton was parked.

Standing beside the vehicle, the two exchanged good-byes.

All at once, he reached out with his two arms and embraced Echo.

One kiss on the lips, and then he told her farewell once more.

They stared at each other till both of them grew embarrassed and uneasy.

Then he unlocked the door of his kiniton, climbed in, and drove off.

His return trip into the hot desert was dominated by thoughts of the new interest he had found for himself in Gamara, namely Echo Syrinx.

A good night of sleep and he would be ready for strenuous lab work at the Light Institute, the scientist told himself with a smile.

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