events.critelli.technology / Opus Magnum Weeklies 2022 /

Week 14 Dehydrated Water

event ended on september 16, 2022 at 23:59 UTC

DEHYDRATED WATER

by madmaster

METRICS
Cycles > Product (Cost×Area)
(Cost + Area + Instructions) > Cycles

REAGENTS
Elemental Water
Elemental Iron

PRODUCTS
Dehydrated Water

From the great minds at Helicoida Alchemical Solutions comes another miracle of modern alchemy—Dehydrated Water! Just add water! Add a splash of water to a pinch of Dehydrated Water and be amazed as the unique reaction fills your cup with pure, refreshing drinking water in seconds. Dehydrated Water is lighter, safer, and stores for longer than traditional liquid water. Dehydrated water—rehydrates with just a drop!


Main Body

I willed my weakened body to keep shambling forward. Deep red cracks spread across the soles of my feet, my lips were shriveled and leathery. My body had so little fluid left it couldn't even spare any to bleed. The desert has taken almost everything. But the desert didn’t know I had hidden one thing away from its grasp. The secret slosh of no more than a mouthful of water inside the canteen on my back tempted me with every step I took.

"The station will provide relief. The station will provide relief."

My voice long gone, I whispered this mantra into my head, hoping to keep my willpower alive as long as I could. Succumbing to my basal desire to drink the remaining water would ease my pain but it would also seal my fate.

I crested a hill and spied a rundown shack ahead, the last supply station along the desert passage. The emergency supplies I knew to be in there would be my salvation.

I fell against the door, spilling into the single dusty room. My skin was too burnt and blistered now to feel any relief from the shade. There was a table against one wall with a crude clay bowl on top. Against the other wall was my savior, a large wooden crate filled with emergency supplies. I pried off the lid. I spotted sealed packages of dehydrated biscuits and pemmican, medical supplies, desert robes, even a few books. Those would help me later. In a large sack beside them was the most important thing, a full sack of Helicoida's dehydrated water. This sack contained enough granules of Helicoida's dehydrated to fill a bathtub ten times over. I would have enough food and water to stay here for weeks. Long enough to repair my battered body and prepare for the last few days of my journey out of the desert.

My feeling of relief was brushed aside by my more basic, more powerful urge to drink. Too weak to lift the entire bag, I cut a slit in the top and scooped some out with the clay bowl. I set it down on the table. Shakily I pulled the canteen off my back and unscrewed the tight lid. I clenched at it, despite the weakness in my hands, unscrewing it slowly with all the care I could muster. Failing to get the lid off or spilling the canteen meant certain death.

I removed the lid carefully and gurgled out some of the water into the bowl. It had been a lifetime since I heard that sound. I stuck my finger in the bowl to stir the mixture enjoying the wetness on my skin, my whole body now seconds away from feeling the same.

I looked in the bowl. My finger, wet at first, was now completely dry. I grabbed my canteen, splashing the last of my water into the bowl. The granules of dehydrated water seemed to soak it up. The heap in the bottom of the bowl was a little larger but just as dry as before.

My canteen hovered over the bowl in my shaky hand. A single drop stuck to the lip of the spout unwilling to fall off on its own. I touched it down to the top of the heap of dehydrated water granules. My hope contained within that little droplet, I stared eagle eyed at the bowl.

At the moment of contact, the droplet seemed to solidify and condense, pulling in on itself, forming a few shimmery granules identical to those in the rest of the bowl. The tiny grains tumbled down the heap, now indistinguishable from the rest of the Helicoida's Dehydrated Water in the bottom of the bowl. In an instant, the last speck of moisture for miles around ceased to be. The desert had taken everything.

Epilogue

Thanks to customer feedback, we at Helicoida Alchemical Solutions have learned that in rare circumstances under extremely arid conditions, our regular Dehydrated Water will run the rehydration reaction in reverse when water is introduced. In response to this discovery we are proud to offer our latest product—Dehydrated Water, Intrepid Edition. This improvement to our classic Dehydrated Water has been proven in our lab to rehydrate even under the toughest conditions. You'll thank yourself later when you get yours today.

download: OM2022Weeklies_DehydratedWater.puzzle (where do i put this?)

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