Data Crystals are, as one might expect, a data storage system. They are the ubiquitous data storage device in the known galaxy. If you have a palm device or wrist unit, you're bound to have at least one data crystal on you. Whether they're full of embarrassing picture vids, as yet unpublished manuscripts, all the mopey self-absorbed poetry from your schooling years, or any other of the myriad of life pieces we are all wont to be rid of, everyone seems to have a data crystal with such things on it. Of course, data crystals are used for more functional, and even illicit, uses. Star charts, research documents, business agreements, interstellar negotiation deals, hostile takeover combat plans, all can be found on various data crystals, and often encrypted. No matter if one works with the angels, struggles with the devils, or simply cogs along in their workaday life, they all deal with data crystals nigh on daily. Data Crystals use quantum computing to store upwards of a petabyte of information in their tuned graphene matrix structures. The information stored in the data crystals is accessed through a nano-squid scanning device contained in all stationary computing stations, and most palm and wrist units. Data crystals are about the size of a persons thumb, and usually clear or slightly milky but still transparent. The contact point with the scanner is the only necessary conformity of design, so the shape of the crystal is often made in visually appealing formations. Some chic designer products will artificially tint the crystals, and even sculpt the crystals into miniature works of art, but this is usually at a cost to maximum storage capacity. Black Data Crystals, on the other hand, are not usually embellished in any way. Their opaque black coloring defines their purpose. These specialized data crystals have highly effective security subroutines directly embedded in the graphene matrix structure. These crystals are used for transporting the most secret of secrets throughout the galaxy. A labyrinthine maze of encryption are typically used to safeguard the data on these crystals. They are nearly impossible to crack outside of their intended destinations. The cautious will note that nearly impossible is not fully impossible in the vastness of our galaxy. Credit Sticks are a similar technology. But they are a much smaller crystal encased in a secure stick device that regulates access and is often bio-metrically locked. These are used in all financial transactions. Sticks without bio-metric security, sometimes referred to as "Free-Credits", are often used by those engaging in extra-legal activities.
The origins of this data storage system go back to the Golden Age of Lost Terra. But the details are lost to the ravages of the Long Dark. Many different developers have improved the technology over the centuries. Traditionally the Mergen Corporation has led the field in data crystal production and development. The Minerva Institute is rumored to have some new technology in the works regarding Data Crystals, but no announcements are forthcoming.
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