Biometal (originally termed bio-metal and previously known as gelstone, though now more commonly known by its newer name) is the basis upon which the Battlezone universe is based. Its unique chemical properties, malleability and versatility render it a kind of super-material capable of being used in a variety of roles, particularly warfare.
The origins of biometal are unknown. Jon Beardsly, the man who initially discovered the material, had assumed it was of natural occurrence but was proved wrong once the NSDF discovered a Cthonian relic on Mars. This, coupled with the discovery of the Lemnos biometal production facility, led to the assumption that the Cthonians had created biometal; this in turn was cast into doubt by the discovery of the Dark Planet and the presence of biometal in the Core System, where evidence of Cthonian presence was restricted to graffiti.
The physical properties of biometal are highly unusual; it has demonstrated the ability to maintain a state of matter in extreme opposition to its surroundings, cooling to a solid solid in even the scalding temperatures and high pressure of Venus despite being able to maintain a liquid state in the icy environment of Bane. Its density - which can only be approximated - is greater than most naturally-occurring metals at around 9,600kg/m³, despite which it can be made to defy gravity when engineered correctly.
Biometal exhibits a material memory that allows it to reshape itself into its previous form upon application of the correct stimuli, though this characteristic is not used in construction by the NSDF, CCA or CRA.
Equal Damage DistributionEdit
- Main article: Equal Damage Distribution
One of the most unique behaviours of biometal is its ability to self-heal, spreading the effects any damage done to the material across its entire structure. This increases the longevity and reliability of biometal constructs as no one part will ever fail alone, but means that this damage will eventually cause catastrophic damage to the object's composition and cause it to collapse.
Some samples of biometal - particularly those of Strain III - have displayed parasitic tendencies, with the Fury craft being constructed from it being described in survivors' accounts of "eating" their pilots. This may be indicative of some innate hunger in the material, or the manner in which it gains the energy requires to heal itself.
Many of the properties displayed by biometal, including its ability to self-heal and its inherent memory, suggest that it may be a form of inorganic life. If this is the case then the base metal of its composition could be any one of a number of metals, or a combination thereof. Metallic biochemical systems at their most extreme could contain a huge variety of components toxic to organic life, such as arsenic structures or ammonia, hydrogen fluoride or hydrocarbons as a solvent. If biometal were indeed a form of metallic life then the incompatible biochemical systems could go some way to explaining the poisoning experienced by the Scions.
The characteristics of biometal shown in the anastomotic behaviours of geysers and pools, the self-healing capacity of EDD shielding, and the parasitic behaviours exhibited by Strain III are commonly seen in fungal organisms.
Strain III biometal was created from the merging of other forms of biometal with the DNA of fallen Ancient Greek warriors by the Hadean Crown in order to create the Furies. The presence of this additional biological component grants biometal a life of its own, producing a feral viciousness akin to that of a rabid animal. Strain III was also produced by the CCA during the latter parts of the Biometal War, presumably having obtained the necessary DNA from either American prisoners of war or Russian volunteers.
Little is known about Strain V other than that Lemnos was the sole production facility for the material and that it was used in the creation of vehicles and weapons for the Hercules Brigade and Olympian Armada, possibly as early as 3245 NR. While the properties of Strain V and its relation to Strain III can only be guessed at, its use by the Olympians can be assumed to predate the creation of Strain III despite its name suggesting the contrary.
When a biometal construction is damaged sufficiently it suffers a catastrophic structural failure, collapsing into pieces that offer no indication of what they once were. This biometal can be recovered and used again through scavenging, the process through which most biometal is typically obtained.
Biometal is also seen present in pools, the tips of veins presenting an effectively unlimited resource mine. Biometal pools remain liquid even in the most extreme of conditions (such as the snow and ice of Bane) without displaying any effect on its surroundings, and it has no effect on solid biometal nearby (such as the components of an Extractor).