Diamonds Are Forever

Guru Baba appeared in the 3D Unit. It seemed the retired holy man had manifested miraculously. He had in truth walked through the doorway, with Sami too busy to notice, tinkering with feedback loops causing unexpected effects.

“I hate to ask,” said Guru Baba, “but can you please help me with some admin? You know it’s not my strong suit.”

Sami had felt bad about leaving Guru Baba’s side but he’d had no choice. The Authority had repurposed him, changing him from the holy man’s personal assistant to manager of the Transfer Station’s 3D Unit.

His new job was enjoyable – prototyping designs, fabricating components, and creating unusual gifts – but he was aware that Guru Baba’s organization was in trouble. Its charitable projects were struggling, and recent events had been poorly attended. This was all due to a lack of organization, leading to a lack of funds.

Sami had to face the fact that he’d left his previous employer in the lurch. Widows, orphans, disabled people and disaster victims were suffering because of him.

“Guru Baba, I will come to your office after work. I’m sorry I can’t come right now as I have many orders to complete today. Shall we say 6.30pm?”

The sage nodded and left.

Sami’s first job today was fabricating a range of jewellery. It was amazing how things like this could now be designed and made locally. No India or China required.

He set the printer to multi-materials, loaded metal, glass and pigment powders, processed the design, set it to high definition, and pushed GO.

While the jewellery was fabricating, Sami thought about Guru Baba’s situation. How could he help his organization. What was…

A flash of white caught his eye, and then a blue flash, a red flash, and yellow, green and brown. He was dazzled by light. Diamonds! That was the answer, diamonds!

Guru Baba had often used a diamond metaphor for spiritual growth.

Its cut was how you caught and revealed the light that was given unto you.

Its carats revealed your spiritual weight, which was substantial yet also weightless.

Its colour was every colour possible, fused together and shining alone.

Its clarity was the vision that guided your life, making all things manifest.

Sami could make diamonds to fund Guru Baba’s charitable projects! Sure, they provided good abstract metaphors, but they were even better as material goods, and there wasn’t any law against fabricating diamonds, as there was against printing cash.

He knew that a diamond’s atoms form a rigid lattice, allowing very few impurities to enter. The ones that do enter may degrade, but can also improve, the diamond, like grit in an oyster forming a pearl. One impurity per million atoms is all it takes. Boron creates a blue diamond, nitrogen a yellow or red one, lattice defects make brown diamonds, and radiation exposure, green. Their desirability differs by culture. Green diamonds had once been the most precious in Europe, but now it was blue and red.

What didn’t change were superlative physical properties. Diamonds are incredibly hard and have remarkable optical dispersion, creating dazzling lusters. Guru Baba said they were the mineral equivalent of great souls. Like those of diamonds, the tints and taints of people were easily confused.

Sami could fabricate diamonds easily at the 3D Unit. They were allotropes of carbon arranged in variations of cubic crystal structures. He could build these lattices at the push of a button. GO.

What about the powerful natural forces required to make these wonders: high temperatures, hundreds of kilometres of depth, billions of years of time, and volcanic eruptions? In the modern age are these things inconsequential?

He produced a test diamond, and showed it to the rag-pickers working the trash after school. “You joker!” said Jamz. “Trying to trick us! That’s not a real diamond. It’s too perfect. It seems artificial.”

“Isn’t it good to be perfect?”

“Maybe it is, but it is better to be real.”

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