Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I Wipe Out the Island

Written 12 December, 2006

My Volcano

XI. I Wipe Out the Island

We all have commitments in the first world, and Patrice was no exception. She worked diligently, but there were times when I was alone on the island.

When I’m alone, I tend to get into mischief.

And of course I did.

I wiped out the island.

I didn’t really wipe it out, of course. I merely screwed it up.

I was working on the shoreline, lowering the seabed so there would be room to swim around the perimeter of the property. It was working well, too; I was learning how to work the terraforming tools—or so I thought:


Select Land: Defines the part of the land that is to be altered, which is shown as a yellow rectangle. (If one doesn’t select, one can work locally, on small areas under the mouse arrow).

Raise Land: Should be obvious.

Lower Land: Duh.

Flatten Land: Moves the land within the selection box toward the mean height of all the land in the box (or so I think).

Smooth Land: Grades land within the selection box so the terrain changes levels in gentle curves.

Roughen Land: Unsmooths land.

Revert Land: Don't even think about it!


I was having a grand time, lowering the sea bottom, then flattening it, then smoothing it so the sand sloped gently down as one waded out from the beach. I even dug out the covered-up lava flow a bit.

I was still congratulating myself when I realized the top of the mountain was now below the level of the lava. I had somehow shortened the mountain by ten meters! And not only that, the beaches were all underwater!

Talk about freaking!

OMG, OMG! And the terraformers were due back at any minute! They would kill me when they saw what I had done!

Of course, that’s when the IMs and teleport assists began to roll in.

“You have to see this!” Aaron IMed.

“Can’t. I’ve managed to destroy my island, trying to terraform!” I closed his teleport assist.

“TP me over. Let me help.”

I ignored him and began to raise the mountain.

I’m not sure how I managed it, but an hour later the volcano was restored to its former splendor and the beaches were above water level again. Crisis averted.

How did I, with no experience at earthmoving, reconfigure the land? I’m not sure, but I like to think Pele stepped in to save the day.

Pele is the Polynesian volcano goddess.

And she’s my friend.


Photo: Pele

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