Despite the use of robotics and advanced technologies, mineral mining remains extremely labour intensive and slow to produce large amounts of minerals.
Due to this, a number of space nations have invested in Resource Replicators. These highly advanced buildings convert energy into minerals, and have the advantage of being able to be constructed on habitats.
The Ubaric Techno-Union was one of the first empires to utilize the Resource Replicator, opening a flagship plant on its homeworld of Hyperion in March 2250.
A dramatic turn of events occurred one month in to the plant's operation when an Ubaric supervisor named Igniiyus lost his molluscoid footing from a rooftop command terminal and fell directly into the Resource Replicator.
Emergency shutdown protocols were activated but it took over 60 seconds for operations to cease. Igniiyus was pulled from the Replicator alive, however had a number of inoperable mineral deposits embedded in his exoskeleton.
His family said he was never quite the same following the accident, and medical scans later revealed a significant proportion of his body mass was in fact, mineral.
For the first time, Igniiyus has agreed to tell his amazing story to Xenonion News - the xeno who fell into a Resource Replicator and lived to tell the tale.
Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us today.
... [blank stare]
Igniiyus, I know this might be quite difficult, but could you tell us a little about what happened on that fateful day at the plant?
... [long pause]
I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure I follow.
Rocks. Protect us.
Protect you? Or rocks?
Rocks. Minerals. Protect us.
But who are we protecting you from?
Rocks. Rocks are mined for minerals. But rocks have feelings. Rocks are being purged.
I'm sorry, are you saying, rocks are... sapient?
Rocks. You cannot have a stone age without rocks. Rocks are therefore a stone age species.
I... you're a representative of... a mineral based lifeform?
Rocks. Rocks have feelings.
How have you come to exist? Is this some by-product of organic matter and minerals enmeshing?
Are there other... talking... rocks out there? Could we uplift minerals?
Do you... how do you... what would you use to build your civilization with?
You should be rockless.
Rocks are the literal foundation of our galaxy, it's hard to be rockless.
Owing to a severe mineral shortage in the Ubaric Techno-Union, and Igniiyus' 55% mineral mass, following this interview he was brought to Hyperion's Mineral Processing Planet and converted into 55 minerals, which have gone towards a critical farm upgrade. His family have yet to be informed.