Eevi Does Things For Fun Sometimes
Calculated Results; or, why it’s a bad idea to leave raw azothite just laying around, Dan.
You know what you did.
Modern alchemy employs three forms of azothite in all common experiments and technology:
Raw – pure, freshly-mined minerals and chunks of space rocks.
Refined – carefully purified ingots, slivers, or heated and liquefied streams.
Catalyzed – liquefied and electrified at different currents for specific results. Technically, there are multiple types of catalyzed azothite in that regard; however, the effect is usually the same–just to differing degrees and strengths.
Each form has specific uses, qualities, and drawbacks that are taken into account when designing a formulae. Proper alchemists meticulously plan every introduction of azothite to ensure they have the correct mix. As long as you stick to known variables, the risk of unwanted side-effects or disastrous results is negligible. If the formulae is the same, the end-result should always be the same. Hence, random experimentation is highly discouraged, particularly on the battlefield.
There are other forms of azothite, of course, but these are the primary, acceptable forms. The Qhurothi have perfected a method of plasma-distilled azothite that allows them to ingest the element directly, using their own body as part of the formulae. The Aidleans are rumored to use “hardened” azothite as part of their mechanical designs. At least one Otakke is rumored to have used a crystalline form of the element to awesome effect when cornered by authorities–but this is unsubstantiated. These forms, and others, are heavily regulated by Terran governmental powers and are restricted to experimental, lab-controlled uses.
By far the most commonly used, the introduction of specific electrical currents to liquefied azothite allows alchemists the most control over its interactions with base metals.
Low-currents are the most “explosive”–fast, often violent reactions. Most weaponry and heavy machinery relies on these reactions for power, propellant, and so on. This is the best way to permanently alter something’s state as well, as long as you don’t care what it looks like (you aren’t going to win an art contest [unless they REALLY like paintings by Dali], but sometimes the fastest way is the best way).
Solidifying a liquid with iron or potassium (when you don’t care how it fragments or forms), bursting through a solid with lead or platinum (mining or demolition), purifying food and drink with silver (if you don’t mind it being well-done), or creating bursts of electricity with copper and zinc; these are the most common, non-weaponized uses for low-currents. Typically, this form of catalyzed azothite is introduced to a base-metal in the form of small, charged “pellets” stored in heated injection systems.
Mid-currents are the least impactful, thereby making them the most commonly-used in general experimentation. The changes and reactions they impart don’t tend to be permanent, allowing them to be used in relation to living beings with a measure of safety. Of course, soft metals (antimony and arsenic in particular) have been known to leave trace elements behind in the blood, resulting in alchemical poisoning–which, well, you’ll see in today’s short story what that can do to you.
By and large, mid-currents can act like lessened versions of their lower and higher counter parts–as with all things, however, proper experimentation safety techniques should always been employed when using a new formulae.
High-currents act slowly–and it isn’t always obviously clear what has “happened.” If you want to completely change a stream of water to a stream of liquid ammonia, for example (which would make you a jerk, by the way), you’d use azothite catalyzed with the highest current levels possible, introduced in a steady flow with a pump of some sort to a combination of arsenic, lead, and potassium. The higher the current, the longer the change will take, but the more wide-spread and permanent the change would be. ACS’s use high-current azothite to power their engines and strengthen shields. Most alchemical “powers” used in combat also rely on high-currents to create the reaction, and low-currents to deliver it.
Oddly enough, by purifying the element, it becomes much less useful.
Primarily used as incredibly efficient starship fuel, refined azothite carries a hefty price tag nonetheless. In terms of alchemical experiments, combat powers, or technological uses, the element is far too unstable to be used reliably. Sure, if you have enough of the stuff piled up, you could probably accomplish anything–it just wouldn’t likely be what you intended, you see. All known methods of predicting outcomes and reactions breakdown when 100% pure azothite enters the equation.
That doesn’t stop people from trying, however.
There are sections of the Australian continent that are now entirely inhospitable to intelligent life due to a certain alchemist’s tinkering with potassium and gold with a large pile of pure azothite he stole from the N.E.E. No one knows what he was trying to do, unfortunately; so, we have no way of knowing if he was ultimately successful.
You can ask him yourself, if you can find him.
In its raw form, azothite is much like any other metallic element.
It’s usually found in large pockets, surrounded by non-reactive minerals, and, as far as any of the current galactic powers have determined, only forms in space–and only relatively recently. For you space nerds, this means that, as a heavy metal, only the most recent generations of extremely large stars have produced the element when they’ve ‘died.’ As such, planets current capable of supporting life would not have it naturally as part of their make-up except in very small quantities. Alchemists are quite lucky that it takes very little of the metal to produce fantastic results.
Another peculiarity of the raw metal–and one that allows for the creation of the ‘space lanes’ used by most commercial travel–seems to be a propensity to want to come together. It has no “power” to do so on its own, of course; but, if you know how, a small amount of ore can lead you to more, and more, and more…
We have a short story for you today, introducing the first Lieutenant of the Blood of Croatoa–a company sponsored by the North American Alliance (which includes the First Nations and the descendants of early European colonists on the eastern-side of the Appalachians).
As always, hit us up on our Facebook page with feedback, comments, and hype! And, be on the lookout throughout November for more information on the upcoming closed beta of STARFALL: Age of Mercenaries.
Written by: Eevi
A deep breath before the plunge–his spear struck true and pierced deeply, aided by the distance of his plummet. The suffering animal roared, sickly foam spewing from its mouth in great globs of bile and blood. It thrashed about, dislodging both hunter and weapon with wild abandon, toppling trees and foliage all around.
He slammed into a tree behind the mooncursed monstrosity, the Windspeaker’s Lance tumbling into the forest out of sight. An electric pain ripped through his left arm and shoulder–dislocated, at best. A whiteness filled his vision, straining his view of the animal as it rampaged away deeper into the woods.
Meallan, as he had been called by the Radcliffes, steeled his beating heart. He felt the wind, the earth, the sky, just as his people had taught him. The pain remained, but it was joined by a welling of strength from his very core. Alone, the hunter had failed; but, perhaps, the speaker would aid him–perhaps he would slay the beast yet.
The passage of time was unclear–several minutes, at least. He rose, only just able to hear the screaming-throes of the mooncursed’s anguish to the north. Its wake of destruction and poisoned bile made for easy tracking–now, if only he could keep apace. The light was fading quickly, and he wasn’t so foolish as to fight the wounded monster in the dark.
Distracted by his own throbbing arm, Meallan blundered into a large clearing, coming face-to-face with the animal. Fear clawed its way up his spine as he reached erringly for his spear–it laid on the forest floor far back where he came. There was nothing for it now; the alchemically cursed monster rose to its feet and lumbered towards him with hungry eyes, fury building with the rising moon. Each step shook the air, claws rent the earth, and soon the large form of what was once a bear would fill Meallan’s sky for the last time.
A fire burned in his core as he activated his suit, the dark forest around him suddenly aglow with alchemical energy. The pain was excruciating, but he focused upon his mother’s spirit within him, unleashing her emphatic voice that could halt an army. The zinc-alloys in his left arm flared to life, bursting forth as a wave of energy. The monster stumbled, one leg collapsing beneath its shifting weight, its pace slightly deterred.
Seizing his chance, Meallan charged, leaping over a wildly-swung claw, then another. The hunter climbed the monster’s back, his grandfather’s wild spirit filling his right arm. The bloodrage that lead warriors against the invaders’ descendants burned a battle-lust into his eyes as the antimony-laced musculature flared to life. He ripped at the monster’s back with bare first and tooth, but to no avail.
As the monster recovered and began its thrashing anew to shake off its would-be slayer, the futility of his situation ate away at his focus. If the moon broke the canopy and shown over this clearing, all hope of victory would be lost. He was but one man, and he would fail to fulfill his promise to bring this murderous beast down. How many more orphans would its hungry jaws create? His heart wept at the thought.
Once again, his mother’s calming spirit filled him, joined by his grandfather’s warrior-flame. Letting their strength guide him, Meallan kicked off of the animal straight up. With his left hand, he called for the earth, wind, and sky to part for him, returning his spear in a bolt of light. With his right, he struck the beast’s open wound once more.
He was Meallan, the Lightningrider, who was of two spirits, and together, he struck twice and fulfilled his promise.