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Sunday, November 6, 2016
The Sometimes Dubious Bounty of the Vats
In the Age of Space Exploration, nourishment for space voyages is provided by application of scientific principles. As the natural process of putrefaction on the Earth and the other worlds leads to the spontaneous generation of vermin, the alchemist may utilize this same process to create more pleasing and usual forms of life in the generation vats of a vessel.
The vital energies of the sun are capture and channeled to the vats where they inseminate the matrix of ship wastes and alchemical mucilage--often informally called slime. By calibration of temperature, matrix composition, and other factures, any natural animal may be grown. Food generation must be started weeks before it is needed, else only the lowliest sorts of creatures may be generated. Some researchers have experimented with various means to speed up the process, but this increases the rate of errors, discussed below. A similar process can be used to grow Homonculi for menial tasks, though only the largest of ships would carry enough matrix to do so, or to feed the extra mouths created afterward. The Turk do not create Homonculi at all, citing some pious objection, but exclusively employ automata.
Improperly prepared mucilage or exposure to some stray cosmic influence or energy, sometime creates dangerous, ill-formed masses or cancers: slimes, puddings, and oozes, are they variously named based on the identifiable properties. For example, the Black, Gray, or Leaden Pudding shows Saturnine influence and character.