Welcome to "The Diary of a Miner"; a blog detailing the adventures and mysteries that I, Syeonyx, embark upon in my quest to further my mining and survival skills! It'll be tough, there will be good times and bad times, but I'll always be alive to post my adventures... probably...

Prototype approval

     Picking up the rifle, OROTHO cocked the main slide of the rifle back until there was an audible CLICK, and then picked up the magazine. Holding the latch open, he slid the magazine into place, locking the latch down to hold it in. As OROTHO moved it into position, his finger already on the trigger, there was a slight grating noise, followed by a ping. We all jumped back, realising that one of the darts had already fired, as OROTHO was now holding a depressed trigger.

"Whoops... I think we'll need a safety for this..."

"I would have thought that would have been in the initial design..."

Readying the rifle again, this time waiting until it was against his shoulder before cocking it, he aimed at the wooden table across from him on the far side of the room. Moving his left hand up to slide the catch back, he then supported the main body of the rifle and looked down the optical sight. OROTHO sized up a target and slowly squeezed the trigger: the same slight grating sound, but this time there was no ping, only the sound of something hitting the table on the far side. Bringing the rifle away from this shoulder, OROTHO went over to the table, and began to laugh to himself.

"Perfect! The sight seems already well calibrated! It hit exactly where I was aiming for, look!"

We went over to the table where OROTHO was standing, and looked at the dart that was embedded into the side. The entire length of the iron tip was wedged into the wooden surface, and a small amount of fluid leaked from the hole it had made. Taking hold of the main body of the dart, I pulled, with a surprisingly large amount of force, and managed to remove it from the side. The dart had definitely worked as the sedative inside it was still leaking from the hole. At least the darts wouldn't be subject to fault because of the new system. If anything it should work better; the original system relied on the inertia of the dart to force the sedative into the bloodstream. This meant the effect of the dart was highly dependant on the force of the exhalation of air at the mouth end of the blowpipe. With the force the rifle had fired the dart, that should be considerably more effective, and would also guarantee a good range. Passing the dart to Amie to have a look, I took the rifle from OROTHO, and had a feel of the weapon.

"Well? Effective or not?"

"Very... Although... The tip is bent."

"And...? That's not surprising due to the force this thing fires them at."

"No, it wasn't a complaint. If anything it was a bit of a surprise. The slight curve of the tip might make it harder to pull out. Also the force of the blow is likely to induce the effect of the sedative faster, and cause a possible knock-back effect. This should be more effective than the blowpipes... By quite a mile..."

"Well at least we know the mechanism and the sight works excellently..."

"Not really. We know the sight works at short range. We'd need to know the effective range of this thing. If we did a few tests, we could measure its speed from the distance and time it takes to fire. From that, we could work out the effective range, and at what point air resistance starts to negatively effect the flight path of the dart."

Obviously after a safety catch was installed, I pointed out. OROTHO might not be trained to use such weapons - none of us were - but a safety catch would be a necessity. We couldn't have any of us accidentally shooting ourselves in the foot when trying to ready the rifle, especially when the current mechanism required the user to cock the weapon before loading in a magazine.

"What about refit and repair? We should test how easily it can be repaired."

OROTHO went over to the other side of the room where a whole series of springs were laid out, all different lengths. Picking up one, he came back over and asked me to hold out the weapon, left-side facing up. Flicking a small latch up, he prised open the wooden stock of the weapon, and swivelled a small cylinder out from the main section. Inside the cylinder was the spring, held in place by small pins on either end. Holding the spring down on one side, he teased it away from the pins and removed the spring, before sliding in the new one. Swivelling the cylinder back into place and locking the wooden stock lid behind it, he nodded, asking me to try it. Stepping back, I cocked the weapon, the barrel aimed at the floor, before moving it up to my right shoulder, fingers well away from the trigger. I aimed at the other table on the other side of the room, sighted it through the scope and squeezed the trigger. I was surprised by the slight kick it had, and after I had finished, I went over to check the table. Much like before, the dart was embedded all the way up to the main body, the tip not even visible. Pulling it out, it too was slightly bent at the end, and turning around the face OROTHO and Amie, I tossed the dart to him.

"So it works then? Brilliant! I think we should show this to COLUS and see what he thinks."

"After we put in a safety latch."

The safety latch wasn't going to be a major issue to attach as we only needed to have something that would prevent the trigger from working when it was locked in place. Luckily we had already shaped the top part of the trigger in such a fashion that we could block it off from releasing the spring latch by sliding a piece of metal into place. Now all we needed to do was show this to COLUS, ensure it's safe for use and then replicate it a few more times. We had more than enough materials to make it, especially as the tunnel construction had haltered, and the lab was full of iron ingots. Now all we needed was a lot more darts. With the upgrade of the main firing method, there would need to be a either more darts per magazine, or more magazines.


     COLUS loved the finished prototype, and has already asked us to begin work on making the final thing! We're hoping to make about three of them before SERVERE returns, so that way if we split into three main groups, each group has a rifle and a PDA. We'd have to sort out the groups later, but I could only assume they would have to be split logically, and not randomly. For example, both UOPETA and THEROS were good navigators, so putting them in the same group wouldn't be a good idea for the other two. Then again that would depend on how we split the groups. We might have equal groups to tackle each of the extensions individually, communicating with the others if and when the Ender Eyes were found. Alternatively, we may have groups for different tasks. For example, one group may be used to protect another whilst the others find the Ender Eyes, or act as distractions. It was all still needing to be planned, and we still had a bit of time left before that was necessary. On the upside, THEXIS had managed to find a way to allow the PDA's to communicate with each other on a separate channel to the ones used by HoN Co.! It was only in text format, much like a cellular mobile phone, but it was better than nothing, and communication was going to be one of the more important factors of this mission. Me and Amie continued to help OROTHO for the rest of the day, enjoying every moment of it. It was a bit difficult in parts, and some of the pieces either had to be refined or remade, but I was again having more fun than I should be having. Tomorrow, once we had another one built, we could do a direct comparison, and test them to see if there was anything that needed improving, although I was pretty sure we had hit the nail squarely on the head from the start.

Syeonyx signing off

No comments:

Post a Comment