Sorry I haven’t been posting much. Time to change that, so here’s something I’ve had for awhile, but never put out in public before. It’s a short story, but it’s a LONG short story, so I’ll split it into maybe four parts. Also, it’s superhero fiction, but not your typical superhero, or your typical superhero problem. Okay, it’s about an engineer, or maybe an artist. There’s no fighting. None.
But I’m pretty sure it’s still good.
This first part is an excerpt from an academic book in her universe that talks about people with the power she has, known as “crafters”. I’ll post the first part of the narrative tomorrow. Enjoy.
Of all the powers so far catalogued, the most fundamentally influential is matter transformation, whether considered from an economic, technological, legal, military, artistic, or societal viewpoint.
Commonly known as ‘crafting’, this power allows the bearer to alter the form and structure of any non-living material they touch. Those who possess this power account for an estimated 10.3% of powered individuals, putting the number of crafters worldwide at around 1.8 million (Reuters 2008).
To put this into an economic perspective, consider that over 60% of these individuals are capable of transforming carbon scavenged from a nonliving source, such as coal or wood, into diamond. This fact alone has greatly damaged the economies of several small nations around the world that depended on gem mining for a significant portion of their economy, especially considering that many crafters can make gems that are indistinguishable from those formed by geothermal processes.
From a technological perspective, consider that some 23% of crafters are capable of forming common elements into molecularly-complex materials that the best laboratories on the planet cannot reproduce as yet, materials such as interwoven carbon nanotubules, or fullerene, which possess hardness, tensile strength and temperature resistance far in excess of what their low mass would suggest.
From a legal perspective, consider that some 54% of crafters, given a set of schematics and a pair of precision calipers, can fashion a functioning semi-automatic pistol from a block of mild steel. Furthermore, some crafters can do the same task from memory in under two minutes and can also create a handful of ammunition with elements scavenged from their immediate environment.
From a military perspective, take all of the above considerations and add in the fact that only crafters are capable of forming the exotic elements (kartium, ludium, alium, vivium and spectrium) into their most complex and durable forms, such as the nearly indestructible 102070 eternite steel alloy used in the armor of elite military personnel and vehicles around the world.
From an artistic perspective, consider that all crafters are capable of shaping any material they can affect into almost any form they can conceive of. Thus, those who choose to be sculptors are effectively unbound by technical restrictions both when choosing their medium and when shaping it. Consequently, many of these artists have produced works that would be impossible to create with any existing tool.
From a social perspective, consider that each of these individuals possesses an ability with all of the previous implications, an ability which cannot be taught, which effectively makes them uncontainable with conventional restraints, which commands a premium payrate anywhere in the world, which guarantees citizenship in almost any nation and which, conservatively, modern industrialized nations could not function without.
Finally, from a human perspective, consider that each of these individuals, despite possessing an ability that almost every other individual on the planet covets, is almost entirely indistinguishable from any other human, especially in the realm of psychology.”
-Excerpt taken from Talents and the Modern World by Lewis Harper, Carla Tanner and Tian Lanpo, Stanford University Press, 2012
“There’s one person on the team you never tick off and that’s your crafter tech. I don’t care if your skin can take an anti-tank round without a scrape. An angry crafter will find a way to make your armor hurt you, guaranteed.”
-Honeybadger, interview with Biography Channel, 2017