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When subjected to an electrical current, the rare material dubbed element zero, or "eezo", emits a dark energy field that raises or lowers the mass of all objects within it. This "mass effect" is used in countless ways, from generating artificial gravity to manufacturing high-strength construction materials. It is most prominently used to enable faster-than-light space travel.
Eezo is generated when solid matter, such as a planet, is affected by the energy of a star going supernova. The material is common in the asteroid debris that orbits neutron stars and pulsars. These are dangerous places to mine, requiring extensive use of robotics, telepresence, and shielding to survive the incredible radiation from the dead star. Only a few major corporations can afford the set-up costs required to work these primary sources.
Mass Effect FieldsEdit
Element zero can increase or decrease the mass of a volume of space-time when subjected to an electrical current. With a positive current, mass is increased. With a negative current, mass is decreased. The stronger the current, the greater the magnitude of the dark energy mass effect.
In space, low-mass fields allow FTL travel and inexpensive surface-to-orbit transit. High-mass fields create artificial gravity and push space debris away from vessels. In manufacturing, low-mass fields permit the creation of evenly blended alloys, while high mass compaction creates dense, sturdy construction materials.
The military makes extensive use of mobility enhancing technologies, with mass effect utilizing fighting vehicles standard front-line issue in most military forces. Mass effect fields are also essential in the creation of kinetic barriers or shields to protect against enemy fire.
Biotics is the ability of rare individuals to manipulate dark energy and create mass effect fields through the use of electrical impulses from the brain. Intense training and surgically implanted amplifiers are necessary for a biotic to produce mass effect fields powerful enough for practical use. The relative strength of biotic abilities varies greatly among species and with each individual.
There are three branches of biotics. Telekinesis uses mass-lowering fields to levitate or impel objects. Mass-raising Kinetic Fields are used to block or pin objects. Distortion uses rapidly shifting mass fields to shred objects.
Most organic species are capable of developing biotic abilities, though there are risks involved. Biotics are the result of in-utero exposure to element zero. This usually causes fatal cancers in the victim, but in rare cases it coalesces into nodules within the fetus's developing nervous system.