Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Important Fuel Sources of the Milky Way

Stupid as it may seem, just about every planet has a unique mineral which is both harder than diamond and excellent rocket fuel (since most of these civilizations still use primitive chemical-fueled spacecraft). Often, the mineral is also named after the planet it comes from. Is this a result of each civilization's ethnocentric worldview, or does it suggest a deeper meaning to the minerals, as sort of planetary personality expressed through geology? Yeah, I'm yanking your chain.


You can bet your last cred that the hunt for fuel will figure in plenty of plots on The Mutant Earth.

And here's why, thanks to Zack Handlen of the A.V. Club: Another planet, another scientific survey--this time, Spock, Kirk, and a few red-shirts are investigating Argus X's tritanium deposits. (Side note: it's generally used either as a MacGuffin or background detail, but I love the references to Starfleet's insatiable quest for minerals. It makes good sense; one of the reasons we're going to have to leave this planet eventually is that we're just going to run out of natural resources, no matter how politely we use them. Star ships must take an incredible amount of material to construct and fuel, not to mention colonizing new worlds, so it's a nice nod to realism that the Enterprise, in addition to its other duties, is always on the hunt for good rocks.)

Wikipedia's list is here.



Corodite

The Most Powerful Mineral in the Universe, so of course the home world of He-Man leaves it to be guarded by the Widgets, who are exactly what the stereotypes called to mind by their offensive name would suggest. Put 'em on the Race Master List.


Eternium
This is the mineral found in the Eternian crust, not the shards of Shazam's Rock of Eternity. I think a dopey-looking dragon in a helmet sits atop a great pile of it.

Feminum

Most common on planets whose cultures are undergoing civil rights movements and produce televised action/dramas about Lady Super-Men. Sometimes called Amazonium, but not by the Awesome.


Kerium

The sole reason the inhabitants of New Texas brave its harsh climate and infestation of evil sorcerers who smoke tobacco.

Solarbonite

Let's see if we can't get this one done somewhere in plans 1 through 8, this time m'kay?

Thundrillium
What else are you going to put in the fuel tank of the Thunder Tank after Panthro, in his spare minutes, converted it to underwater drivablitiy?


Tritanium

Everything is better when you triple it. Don't forget to Tri-cord it, Triplicate Girl.


Tylium

What is it with the BSG writers and using 'y' for a short vowel? Why try?

Ziff

I'm sure somebody makes holy symbols out of the stuff.

2 comments:

T. Smitty said...

The fuel used vs. the percieved method of travel never made sense to me. They use minerals, which I guess could be some sort of burnable fuel to propel space ships, but I never seem to see a sort of flame from the engines, just an energy glow.

Rather than be chemical in nature, I imagined these races had the ability to transfer matter directly into energy, and that these materials were so good because they somehow have a huge energy density...or something. And then they'd turn the raw energy into plasma (yeah, that sounds good plasma!) and hover or fly or warp or whatever they wanted to do with it.

But I would dig mineral aquisition being a driving force behind quests. Because that means there's a possibility I could be in the engine room, telling everyone that I'm giving her all she's got, but the tritanium's run dry. But maybe, if I tie in power from life support...

Aaron Nuttall said...

OH YEAH! You've got the spirit. We should play D&D sometime. . .