Since the invention of hard-light (a technology for creating temporary or permanent objects of out light that is of any durability and phase of matter), it has worked itself into nearly every aspect of life. Drawing nearly boundless light from the Sun and radiation from the universe, hard light has become the go-to material for nearly any substance made in modern times. Although a lot of architecture and material goods are still made of concrete, wood, and plastic, these are holdovers from the time before hard-light’s invention.
As hard-light can be temporary constructs, specialized pre-programmed shaping generators exist to craft durable hard-light objects in the field. These are used for volumetric projection displays, in addition to the fashioning of other things that are only designed to last for less than a day. A single palm-sized object can hold a half-dozen forms, create the finished product within moments, and usually are restricted to objects less massive than a person and less complicated than most machines with moving parts.
Naturally armor and weapons can be made from hard-light. As the durability of hard-light can be preset in construction, this allows for body armor that can withstand bullets, swords that hold an extraordinarily sharp edge, and shields that can stop tank rounds. While bullets and artillery can be made into hard-light, sudden acceleration of hard-light objects causes them to break down back into a flash of light, making them unusable – this drawback has resulted in a resurgence of melee combat on the battlefield.
From an aesthetic point of view hard light has a unique attribute: it can be made to exhibit disconnected attachment. Common examples are seen in some robots, ornate clothing accessories, and equipped items stored on a person’s back or shoulders. A piece of hard-light can be anchored to stay positioned nearby, but not touching, another piece of hard-light, even in midair – and if its anchor moves, it also moves with a slight inertia delay, like a levitating magnet. This means that one hard-light object can be anchored to stay a set distance from another hard-light object, even in defiance of gravity and regardless of weight or if turned upside-down.
(I do not own the images in the above collage, and all copyrights belong to their respective owners.)
Go to another world …