Well folks, this is perhaps some of the most amazing news I’ve ever heard, I almost can’t believe it myself but the boffins tell me it’s true and it seems to match up with all those fancy charts of theirs.
It seems that the explosion at Research Station 2 was caused by a new form of crystal; these forms are the result of the gradual increase in trace amounts of exotic matter such as dark matter and expanse materials which have slowly been gathering in the sphere space lanes. For those unaware, crystals tend to be a by product that materialises from microscopic dust particles, often forming around small molten globules of rock that are by-product from the use of mining lasers.
These new crystals, while appearing physically similar to standard crystals, are actually… Alive. That’s right, you heard me folks, the crystals are alive, they possess all the basic natural functions of a living organism, though they are not intelligent and their closest comparison is that of plants.
These new crystals all have unique crystalline compositions, similar to standard organisms genetic structure, once formed they appear to be able to spread microscopic root like filaments into asteroids to absorb matter, they look a lot like fibre optic cables under the microscope. The main crystal sits on the outside of an asteroid and absorbs heat and light energy into its matrix essentially charging itself up. This is unfortunately what caused the disaster in Hexham; these crystals reproduce by detonating explosively and spreading their unique crystalline patterns in their dust to merge with that of other crystals in the formation of new ones, unfortunately as you’ve seen it can be quite catastrophic.
Due to their new explosive nature The Gal-Fed and the rest of the Coalition have hastily classified Crystals as a dangerous commodity and forbidden any further use of them in the crafting process, as it may trigger their explosive properties.
It does appear there may be an upside to this though; the Research Academy of sciences, an organisation of affiliated universities across known space has announced that they will be conducting a massive new study into the properties of these new Crystals, one which may have immediately beneficial results. They have found that similar to how Crystals bond with asteroids, they can coax them into becoming symbiotic with ship equipment and weaponry, merging with it and actually boosting its stats.
Now I’m a simple man folks, I’m not going to pretend I know all the details, but essentially these new crystals kind of bend some of the laws of physics, they’re what scientists call Entropo-Negative Organisms, or Enorgons. What this basically means is that they absorb what would usually be called waste energy, excess heat and such, and funnel it back into themselves, in this case they absorb it from ships equipment and channel it back inside to be used by the device, rather than detonating explosively.
The Research Academy has already opened affiliated offices to collect Crystals across the galaxies, known as the Crystal Exchange Program, as well as issuing standardised stasis containers to all captains to prevent Crystals they already have from exploding in their cargo holds, don’t worry, your AI will use these automatically.
They can then take their Crystals if they wish to a registered Crystal Exchange Program and trade them for what they are apparently calling Research Points, get enough points and you can spend them to have a certain amount of crystalline biomass fused with a select piece of equipment, larger and more complex equipment needs more biomass and therefore more points, also, due to the unpredictable nature of organic Crystals you cannot predict what stat will be improved and by how much.
It should be noted however that once merged with Crystals, you are prohibited from trading your equipment with other Captains or the market in general and only allowed to dispose of it safely at a registered Research Academy, which also doubles as a trade in service where it will be recycled and the crystalline matter separated safely from it, you will however receive a partial refund in Research points for your trouble.
Well folks, I think that’s everything, I still almost can’t believe it myself, for those of you wondering, its currently thought to be almost certain that crystals do not suffer from being merged with equipment, in fact it extends their lifespan and allows them, more time to spread their dust, I’m told that its already considered good luck to sprinkle the small amount of dust you may accumulate in your equipment room over the nearest asteroid belt, goodnight folks, stay safe, this is Gus Givens signing off.