by Max Barry

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The United Systems of
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

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Special materials

Type (liquid, ore, etc): Composite Metal
Color: blue steel grey to steel grey
Cerami-metal is a blue steel grey to steel grey, composite metal that is commonly used throughout the Republic in numerous civilian and military applications. It is widely known to be lightweight in nature, durability, high heat resistance and have a high tensile strength. But it is also known to be rather easy to manufacture and produce in large quantities, allowing places like start up colonies to produce this material for expansion of their colony. With each settlement fort having their own cerami-metal foundry(ies) to help rapidly build up their settlements. Cerami-metal is made up of an alloy of metals mixed with ceramic to create a composite alloy material.

There are also different grades of cerami-metal usually denoting their purpose and their strength. For instance, civilian grade cerami-metal is usually given a ‘C’ prefix, civilian grade tends to be cheaper and not as durable when compared to military grade ones. But there are some instances where in the civilian sector, military grade cerami-metal does get used, one of those industries is construction. Military grade cerami-metal is then given a military prefix, opposite of civilian grade cerami-metal it is more expensive and its durability has been enhanced. However, these prefixes are for manufacturers to separate the two types of cerami-metal from one another and to make sure that civilian grade does not get used in military applications.

For civilian applications, there isn't much that does not have cerami-metal in it, cars, bridges, houses, tvs, and so on; it is pretty much a universal material. Civilian grade cerami-metal tends to be not as strong as military grade, however there are some instances where military grade cerami-metal is used in civilian application. That use is in the form of construction, it is one of the materials that makes Republic concrete rather strong and long lasting, also the fact that it has been reinforced quite heavily with this stuff.

In military applications, it is regularly used in the manufacture of body armor, aircraft armor, tank armor and starship armor with the protection depending on what it is made for. Overall, the material is made to resist kinetic projectiles, however, it does have some protection against energy weapons even though it is quite limited. In the military application there are several different types of military cerami-metal: infantry, tank, aircraft and finally spaceship; with each grade having its own protection statuses. For example, infantry grade cerami-metal is designed to resist standard issue fen small arms ammo, but it only can take a few shots then being rendered useless. And any sort of heavier infantry plates would be more expensive and have increased weight, but provide increased protection.

Type (liquid, ore, etc): liquid, oily
Color: Oily black to oily dark grey
Viscosity: Medium

Fenvarium is a dark black, viscous, oily substance that is sought after for its incredible power and ease of transportation. This powerful fuel has rendered most other conventional fuel sources useless or used as secondary sources. It appears on numerous planets within the Fenvaria Republic, Commonwealth of Draco, and the Aptian Imperium. Leading all three of these nations to adopt this substance (with different names for it) as their primary fuel source for cars, trucks, and up to starships.

Fenvarium was first discovered in the Fenvaria Republic on the moon of Garion during the 21st Age 30th Year by a geologist named Jameson Kinsey, who aggressively studied the substance. It was not until the 21st Age, 50th Year that Kinsey met an industrialist and chemist named Delwiss Detwiller, who was very interested in the odd oil-like substance. The two of them eventually started working together. They soon discovered that this substance was extremely volatile and had potential as a fuel source. They also noted that in its raw form, the fuel was immensely powerful and could run a motor for some time. Eventually, the two started working on a process to refine the substance, but Kinsey died later on due to his excessive exposure to the fumes of the oil. But eventually, an operation to purify and harness the power of Fenvarium was achieved by Detwiller, two years after Kinsey’s death.

This process within the Republic is known as the Kinsey-Detwiller Process, and since then has seen jumps in understanding and refining the valuable fuel source. The oil is pumped out of the ground and sent to a nearby refinery. At the refinery, the oil is mixed with several highly corrosive stabilizing agents to help with refining. After it has stabilized, the oil is then pumped into a boiling tower where it boils and splits into several different layers of Fenvarium. These different layers of Fenvarium have specific applications, with the top layer of fuel being used in gasoline and the bottom layer of fuel being used in starships.

A significant downside to this so-called 'super fuel' is the highly toxic nature of Fenvarium. Unrefined Fenvarium fumes and prolonged exposure to these fumes are known to cause severe, life-threatening lung infections which, then will lead to death. These lung infections are known to be highly painful as the fumes are slowly eating away at the person's lungs before they finally explode internally, drowning the victim in their blood. Or send the victim into cardiac arrest from the high-intensity pain. These fumes become even more toxic during the refining process of the fuel due to added chemicals to stabilize the fuel and increase the power. Once in a fully refined state, these fumes do not pose that much of a threat, prolonged exposure to incredibly high levels of these fumes can cause some lung issues.

Within the Republic, this fuel source is used in pretty much everything from regular civilian cars to military starships. It has become the lifeblood of the Republic; it keeps vehicles moving, starships flying, and factories in production. Thus, there is a large mining sector for Fenvarium with the Republic sending out a large number of surveyor fleets to search planets for this resource. The Scar; an area of tomb worlds, dead systems, and derelicts that resides on the ‘northeastern’ Fenvaria border. This region was home to several Fenvarium rich planets and systems. But, the Scare was destroyed and somewhat lost in the 17 Year War becoming uninhabitable from the fighting and excessive use of WMDs. However, the massive reserves of Fenvarium still reside in the area and with the area under Republic control.

There are several uses that Fenvarium has but most of these uses are around fuel. Largely due to its rarity and its volatile nature when mined/refinement, this has created a safety concern for other uses like asphalt. Concerned with safety it was decided that Fenvarium would be used as a fuel source for factories, vehicles, ships, planes including weapons.

So, how can you tell the difference? Well, after refinement each type of fuel will give off a different color of flame when exposed to fire. For example, starship grade fuel will give off a cyan-blue like color, while a flamethrower fuel has a deep orange to it. The chart below has some of its uses and its colors.

Starship fuel: Cyan blue
Vehicle fuel: Blue
Aviation fuel: Light blue
Flamethrower fuel: Deep orange
Fuel bomb fuel: Deep red

There is one thing to note when Fenvarium is used in the fuel bomb role or flamethrower role, its fumes can eat through untreated gas masks and damage the victim’s lungs which eventually leads to death.

This discovery was not found out until the end of the 17 Years War when a medical professional discovered that flamethrower operators had a 60% increase in lung damage and lung failure. After more research, he found that this was caused by the fumes of flamethrower fuel, which was given certain chemicals that stabilized the fuel but made the fumes even more toxic. Wondering if there was a correlation, he also looked into fuel bomb victims and found the same thing. Approaching High Command with these results, High Command found that it needed to update the standard-issue gas masks and make them protected from the fumes of the flamethrowers and fuel bombs. But, to this day, the process of making fuel bomb fuel and flamethrower fuel has not changed.