Hidden lab below Questworks Engineering, Ltd, New York City’s Manhattan Valley district, Saturday, 5 PM
Donata stopped at the workbench nearest the elevator to frown at an open crate. Packing material stuck up haphazardly like a badly formed nest or a failed attempt at postal themed modern art. Cradled inside were three bronze-amber ingots. Each was stamped with the Brice Corp logo. But that wasn’t the interesting part.
It was the soft blue-white glow around each ingot that got her attention. Donata pursed her lips, twitching her whiskers. Once she considered the glowing metal for a second, Donata folded her arms over her chest and glanced to the other end of the workbench.
“John, why do we have glowing metal ingots?” She asked warily.
At the far end of the workbench, John Perkins, otherwise known as the hero Tesla Coil, peered over the top of a triple monitor display attached to a fabricator.
“The covatrinium? Research,” he replied. “It was part of a smuggling operation AIM was running with some odd ties back to Oscorp Industries. Knight Thrasher and the Harlequin* busted it up and found those three bars in the mess. I was nearby, and pitched in with an ionic blast or two, so they asked if I could look and see what makes those three special.”
Donata nodded at the mention of the famous New York hero Knight Thrasher and his partner, the Harlequin. A little of the tension bled out of her shoulders, even so, there was still three ingots of glowing metal in front of her. That wasn’t a good sign.
“So, special besides the glow?”
“No, because of the glow.” He pointed at the ingots with a pen. “Turns out, if you hit covatrinium with certain electromagnetic frequencies, they absorb it.”
Donata took a step back from the ingots.
“Like a battery?”
John nodded, then ran a hand through his short, russet hair. “A crude one, but just like.”
She left the crate to walk to the end of the workbench where John was camped behind data-filled monitors and a fabricator busily assembling parts.
“So you charged them up?”
John shook his head while he resumed configuring an analyzer.
“No. They were that way when Thrasher and Harlequin found them.”
“So, give. What did AIM charge it with?”
John shrugged then sighed.
“The AIM smugglers swear they found them that way when the shipment arrived from Vibora Bay.”
Donata frowned at the screens, then scowled at the glowing metal. Slowly, she curled her mouse tail around behind her.
“Vibora Bay. Well, that explains a lot right there.”
Knight Thrasher and the Harlequin? That would be back over in Oscorp Catch-Field Disk!
The mysterious metal of covatrinium may not be as well known as titanium, carbon fiber, or promethium, but ounce for ounce, it can hold its own. Covatrinium is a rare metal that, like titanium, possesses both high strength and durability to stress. Near indestructible, the metal has been used as a second choice in place of titanium for many objects and situations.
But because of its additional properties, like absorbing energy like a battery, covatrinium sits between the world of ‘near indestructible metal’ and a candidate for a ‘near room temperature superconductor’. For some inventors and material scientists, this places covatrinium in a class all its own.
In the wild, covatrinium ore is found only in aquatic-based environments, such as the San Sebastian Swamp outside of Vibora Bay. Buried below the swamp lies the remains of a prehistoric, potassium-rich, saltwater marsh. Studies by the Infinity Foundation, Brice Corp, and others discovered that the unique primeval chemical combination was key for the metal’s development.
At first glance, the raw ore looks nothing like the typical metal ore found elsewhere in nature. Unrefined covatrinium ore appears as veins of semi-transparent copper clouded, bright amber resin running through a rock. In this form, it’s often mistaken for bits of raw amber at first glance. The difference becomes apparent as raw covatrinium, when exposed to artificial light, will glow with a faint green-gold aura.
This type of material state for covatrinium is called ‘metal glass’ and is unique to only a few metals, like covatrinium. Rumors exist of gold and other semi-precious metals also existing in this ‘glass’ state and considered the origin of the ‘mana’ myth of ancient times. To date, only covatrinium ore exhibits this smooth gold-glass texture and semi-transparent state.
Physical & Chemical Properties
Covatrinium has a glassy metallic luster, moderate ductility, with a natural ability to store certain wavelengths of energy.
Its honeycomb internal structure, which is the source of its durable strength, hampers the metal’s ability to be drawn into wires. But it’s the high mechanical strength and simple processing that makes it an attractive alternative to titanium, promethium, or carbon steel.
Those same properties make it an attractive substance for items like air or space craft. But covatrinium isotopes allow the material to absorb certain frequencies of sonic, electromagnetic, and certain radiation energies. At best, that absorption interferes with electronic systems inside devices build with pure covatrinium. At worst? Internal energy discharge.
When covatrinium discharges, the stored energy arcs internally as plasma and light energy. This ruptures the material, exploding outwards. Post explosion, in a few seconds, the material will reshape into its previous form because of the material’s ability to ‘remember’ its last processed shape.
This is called the metal’s ‘healing factor’. While impressive, this ability for covatrinium to reshape itself isn’t perfect and with each ‘reforming’, flaws are introduced. These flaws can be mitigated by introducing gamma charged carbon fibers during the initial processing of raw, covatrinium ore.
Covatrinium energy discharge happens when covatrinium isotope vibrations harmonize to generate a resonance frequency that destabilizes the base material. These isotope vibrations increase with each amount of absorbed energy. This absorption increases the base material strength to the point the metal becomes effectively invulnerable.
But the point of invulnerability is also a warning sign, as that is close to the energy storage limit. Interestingly, there is a method of discharging this energy from the isotopes to prevent an explosive discharge. This method is a kinetic energy discharge.
Once charged, covatrinium can be struck, or struck against, a metal or stone substance to trigger the release of stored energy. This modest impact causes a kinetic energy vibration wave through the material’s isotopes. The isotopes attempt to absorb the energy, but the attempt causes the isotope harmonics to realign back to their original state. Often the covatrinium will produce a mild glow as a side effect. But the overall process reduces the risk of an explosive resonance plasma discharge.
Geology & Geography
Covatrinium is found in only one place on Earth? Well, Earth is a pretty big place...
The largest and only known deposit of covatrinium lies in the northern stretch of the San Sebastian Swamp outside Vibora Bay*. This region, at last measurement, covers an area of 6 miles long by 2 miles wide and follows the swamp’s main waterway north of Vibora. Companies, such as Brice Corp, Oscorp, and others, have mineral processing factories along the edge of the deposit.
Many companies over the years have tried to claim true ownership of the land, and therefore the exclusive mineral rights to the covatrinium. To date, no claim case has succeeded as the Vibora Bay city government considers the land a protected resource. The mineral rights? They belong to a mysterious person by the name of Jacquine Trémaux, supposedly of the same family line as the legendary San Sebastian Swamp ghost pirate, Xavier Thibaut Trémaux.* Editor’s Note!
Don’t believe everything you read, True Believers!
Vibora Bay's covatrinium deposit is large, but it’s not the only one around. There are variants found on other parts of Earth like Matumaini, Atlantis, and the Shadow Lands just to name three!
Scientific NameCovalent Tri-titanium
Melting / Freezing Point
Melting Point of 3795 K (3521 °C, 6371 °F)
4.806 (g cm−3)
solid as a metallic glass ore, often in veins found in prehistoric, potassium-rich, saltwater swamp or marshes
Where on the Periodic Table?
Covatrinium is not found on the periodic table, and is not an actual element as such. The individual properties of covatrinium don’t allow it to fill any gaps in the Periodic Table of Elements, and it lacks an atomic weight higher than any of the known elements.
A Delicate Process
Covatrinium cannot be smelted in the typical fashion as any other metal ore. This material requires special preparation and an external catalyst to allow processing.
If the ore is super-heated until liquid, it can be shaped and fashioned, as would be the case in metal processing. But, once covatrinium cools, it will partially liquify to reshape itself back to its previous composition and shape. This is part of its ‘memory metal’ ability.
To avoid this, the ore must be placed in a sulfuric acid bath, then heated with a wide angle blue laser until the ore liquifies. This combination of energy wavelength with the sulfuric environment ‘resets’ the metal’s ‘memory’, allowing it to remember the next shape as its ‘primary’ shape.