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Space Dust

Space dust (ṣúlê, a portmanteau of the words for "outer space" and "matter") is a hard-to-observe material found in the vacuum of space. The Stenza have studied it extensively for almost two millennia but have been unable to determine more than how to efficiently use it to propel their ships. (Ironically, by use of space-dust-powered craft, they know more about black holes and exotic types of stars than they do about the stuff that gets them place to place. This fact is not lost on them.) While this means that they know more about its properties than other civilizations, some items are still lost on them, such as:  
  1. Where does it come from?
  2. Why is it here?
  3. How do basic principles like gravity interact with it?
  4. How can we observe it better?
  5. Why do we struggle so hard with question 4?
And so on.   The seemingly esoteric design of the standard Stenza engine is built around the optimal use of space dust for power, but this does not preclude pup interference of varying degrees of severity. All repairs must be made by hand, however, and if the issue is too small or remote to get to ordinarily, the craft must shut down so the engine can be disassembled safely. While better engine designs are still being worked on and field-tested in the vast network of Stenza space stations, this is currently the best known method for engine repair.

History & Usage

Everyday use

Space dust powers every Stenza-constructed ship, and many constructed by other species, within the The Nine Systems and beyond.

Distribution

Storage

Space dust can be stored in specially designed barrels, designed to open into the engine of a ship preparing for takeoff. This property was not discovered until just before it was time to launch the stone menace into orbit in the Artificial Moon, which was very much a hit-or-miss endeavor that would never have happened without space dust.
Type
Elemental / Molecular

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Comments

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3 Aug, 2020 11:58

Really interesting. I really like how it has proved so hard to study.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
4 Aug, 2020 02:16

This one I lifted a bit of inspiration from dark matter, which is also hard to study and observe. We think it's there because of quirks in gravity and other measurements, but we can't tell for sure.