Mythril is a substance used as a power source, most notably in pre-3103 FTL jumpdrive cores, due to its unique properties. As a result of its valuable status as a fuel source for FTL travel in space-faring nations, it was a highly prized commodity from which several high profile conflicts were fought over to control. Mythril fell out of favor as a fuel source in the early 32nd century with the development of synthetic jump drive technology and Eluril.
Physical Description and PropertiesEdit
Mythril is a mineral that forms crystals in veins deep inside a planet's crust. It ranges in color from deep blue to a dull white, depending on the charge sustained. Its most notable feature is that it can absorb an incredible amount of charge, its crystalline structure acting as a natural battery. Mythril is also highly radioactive, requiring serious shielding to protect from it. Prolonged exposure, even when shielded, can cause Mythril Sickness .
The extraction of Mythril is highly dangerous, as heavy impacts or vibrations can sometimes cause parts or even the entire vein to discharge its valuable power supply. Mining it requires delicate care and sensitive instruments.
Mythril generators are specialized containment structures that allow technology to make use of Mythril's extraordinary electrical power without causing a total discharge or leak. The mythril within is liquefied and cycled through tubes in the generator, allowing for heavy currents electricity to be released steadily. The generators themselves are circular, with tubes encircling and inside it filled with the liquefied Mythril.
Mythril's most notable use was as the energy source for use in Einstein-Rosen Bridge Drives, more commonly known as Mythril Drives. These drives warp space around the ship, locally bending the universe to allow it to quickly move to another location. Of course, such 'bending' would require either a long time- The old method used a gate at either end to quicken the bending with an extremely powerful mythril source. With Mythril Drives, travel between neighboring stars took as little as four days' time. It was determined that traveling 10 lightyears took a little under a week and a half.
When collected in large quantities, superheated, compressed, and run through several kilometers of piping as part of a slurry, reactions similar to the electrically-induced FTL properties of mythril can be sustained with stops in stars to reheat the solution.
Decline of UseEdit
In 3101, the United Stars achieved a breakthrough in FTL technology. The new jump drives replicated the properties that allowed mythril to manipulate space, but instead of bending existing space, the jump drives burrowed through it, jumping into an extradimensional space through which travel time was shortened considerably. Early jump drives had ranges only marginally better than their mythril counterparts, and were more expensive to produce. Their superiority became apparent however, in the Far Space War, when the United Stars outfitted their warships with the new technology, enabling them to reinforce their fleet much faster than the Knotarians. Moreover, jump drives did not risk mythril sickness, eliminating a constant source of trouble in interstellar travel. Within the next several decades all interstellar powers had converted to jump drives.
Prolonged exposure to Mythril Generators and Drives could cause various symptoms that were known colloquially as 'Mythril Sickness'. It was mostly identical to minor radiation poisoning. Fatigue, weakness, nausea and rashes are the usual symptoms. Treatment was identical to treating radiation poisoning, although keeping the afflicted away from the ship's Mythril reactors was imperative. It was not usually fatal, but ship crew or passengers who came down with the sickness could be put out of commission for weeks if not properly and immediately treated.
Due to the ability of their Arks to mine enormous quantities of the substance in international territory, the Kuhneebo Conglomerate manipulated the Mythril market during the material's heyday, especially before the Galactic Dark Age. By alternating between flooding the market or purchasing and hoarding large reserves, Mythril was subject to large price fluctuations. Though still used in a variety of modern technologies, its obsolescence as a jumpdrive fuel source eliminated its ability to singularly create and destroy markets. As a result, no single commodity after the introduction of the modern jump drive was capable of affecting the galactic market to the same effect as Mythril.