Fabrication: History #4

This week we’ll be looking at albate, the white biocrystal.

A reminder that I switched the white and black functions in the last post, so all the discussion that applied to albate now applies to melanite, and now albate has the role that melanite previously had.

Albate, then, is the biocrystal of appearance. It would probably form itself into the most complex and interesting shapes, and take on a variety of colors even while it keeps a white rim. Certainly the first use of this would be to make art out of it, multicolored sculptures. And with that people would learn how to create different colors on command, so that either the hues and shades become more particular, and combinations with other biocrystals are discovered.

The primary combination on my mind is one with albate (and cerulite). Using this, observing the color and texture of the surrounding environments, it would be possible to make albate that automatically camoflagued. Perhaps this would even occur in nature, making it possible to make armor out of biocrystal creatures directly rather than needing to develop sufficient knowledge and technology for it.

Furthermore, possibly this could be used to create an invisibility effect, though this would be a real-life invisibility, which has severe drawbacks that camoflague doesn’t possess.

It occurs to me that albate and melanite are more similar than I initially assumed, with the primary difference that the former distinguishes itself by what it reflects and the latter is distinguished by what it absorbs. Albate, like melanite, could potentially absorb more than just light, but also sound or vibration or other kinds of energy, or rather repel these kinds of energies, so that other uses might be things like soundproofing or particularly effective armor, but I’m not quite sure about this point.

But as the integumentary system, upon which this is based, not only covers the appearance of a creature, but also the first line of defense, it may be reasonable to expand albate’s functions from just light to other forms of energy. Though it would require particular programming to specify what kind of energy a piece of albate is coded to repel, and it would absorb others (such as heat, for example) in order to give it the power to resist and repel energies, especially in times of high stress.

Certainly albate armor would be good against melee weapons, but I’m less sure about missiles, especially firearms, which would probably have too great a velocity for albate armor to significantly stop. But, then again, this armor would ideally be better than steel, perhaps in good hands as good as kevlar or better.

Do you have any thoughts on the matter?


2 thoughts on “Fabrication: History #4

  1. What distinction are you using between active camouflage and “real-life invisibility”? Is it that the one looks like the stuff around it, and the other is actually impossible to look at, or something else? I feel like completely disabling perception of a thing is kind of a stretch, even when it’s magic.

    • As I understand it, “real-life invisibility” involves preventing light waves from interacting with an object, whereas camoflague is coloring an object so that, at a glance, its indistinguishable from its surroundings. The former is one much more realistic, in this world and for the system I’ve been building.

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