Monday, December 6, 2010

Ice Over Fire

There's a long cable over here.  As a matter of fact, it's longer than most. Sometimes it's neatly coiled and others it's strewn all about. Temperature is to blame for this. As with most things, this cable expands and contracts with changes in temperature. When it contracts, it's more often than not at a highly accelerated rate. On the other hand, expansion is a much more stubborn process. It should also be noted that the cable tends to defy the laws of physics in that it contracts in the heat and expands in the cold.

Typically, the weather is rather chilly. Every once in a while there are sudden heat waves. Because it rapidly contracts in the sweltering air, it can become dangerously short. It often becomes so hot in so short a period of time that the end of the cable ignites (nearby flash fires can also be a cause for ignition). The combination of the burning end and general diminishing of length from heat can in some instances cause the cable to nearly disappear entirely. Fortunately as long as there isn't a continuous flow of oxygen, within hours the hellish climate wanes. Over night the icy winds will blow in and give the cable a light dusting of snow, restoring a thin layer of frost to the surface as it expands.

Does the cable ever expand so much that it makes up for the length that's been reduced to ashes? Perhaps and perhaps not. It's difficult to tell. What is also a curious matter is what lies at the other end of the cable. The end itself is covered in a thick fog. Anyone who dares to see beyond the shrouding tendrils inevitably fails, a snippet of their own cable clipped off as well. The haze conceals one of two things. The first, a device that triggers an infinitely vehement and devastating depth charge. The second, the complete absence of any substance. No matter how much the cable and the black powder it conceals is analyzed, it is impossible to tell what waits within the murky nebula or whether it will ever be uncovered. Let's just hope that the cable remains neatly coiled for longer than it is strewn about.

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