István’s Hand

István's Hand with Istvánkeze in runes underneath

István’s Hand can either refer to the actual diamond found on the beach the morning after István the First Skater died, or to the scale-replica necklaces worn as a mark of success and access control by any skater who has skater three thirty-minute skates on the Lake.

The diamond prospector and inventor Lakatos István, known universally as István, or István the First Skater, invented magnetic-field skating boots in collaboration with a contracted Finnish artificial over a seven-week period in 2509, not long after the tensions between the NovSlavs and the remaining inhabitants of Pest had come to an uneasy and fragile cease-fire. 

Few records exist about István’s life. The embargo and the conversion of the Pest economy to a mix of coin and diamonds led to a near-total loss of records and no reliable transaction logs–indeed, an avoidance of such. In intoxicated feed interviews after his second skate, he claimed he was a native of Budapest’s eastern districts, and before the One-Day War had worked in the city at a firm that inspected code for building-printers. There is no way to verify this.

What few records remain, mostly in the form of archived discussions from Eero908YT, the artificial collaborator István employed in Finland, make clear that István was an active contributor to the design.

István’s skates were printed by Szakály Lecso, known as Old Lecso, who also built the first launch platform on a last-minute inspiration, and accompanied István to all his skates. 

István skated three mornings in May of 2509, off the shore of the Lipotváros district (though not, as is often claimed, from Bucktooth Point). 

Other than skates he had none of the gear used by professional skaters–helmet, goggles, suit, glove and knee magneto-prods–nor any network of information. Of course, he skated alone for two of his three days, and had no need to track others. 

István’s lover, whose name has not survived, shot him at the end of his third skate, for reasons unknown. He fell in the Lake and died. 

The day after, on the Lipotváros beach where he and others had launched, a strange diamond was found in the morning’s deposit of carbon sand, not merely huge but strangely shaped, remarkably like a human hand. 

Though it would have fetched good coin in a simple weight assay, the beachcomber instead negotiated its sale to a group who had printed skates, and then to the defecting security workers who had taken the security recordings of István’s first skate and had leveraged that into investment into a satellite network. Finally the szálbots took charge of it until a shrine was built. The use of small pendant copies of the Hand as a mark of skating became codified as a mark of status and access control device.