Dr. Farthing's Fabulous Engine
Most steam engines require vast quantities of coal and water. Dr. Farthing's Fabulous Engine requires only the water that it will turn into steam, or so the good doctor says...
Frustrated with the high intake requirements of the other steam engines, Dr. Farthing went about looking for a replacement to burning coal for power. After many years searching, he settled on the single thing he could find that generated heat without burning - The ore pitchblende. With careful refinement and shaping, Dr. Farthing discovered that the metal yielded would create great amounts of heat, especially if the the floride gas was centrifuged, and then returned to the metal.
While the danger was great, and several of his apprentices died of peculiar illnesses during the creation of the first engine, still, it was completed, and proven to function.
Essentially a primitive fission reactor, Dr. Farthing's Fabulous Engine is basically a drop-in replacement for any other large steam generator. Rather than burning through vast supplies of coal and spewing out soot, however, it carries a supply of refined pitchblende that will generate steam for several years, at a certain cost: Although Dr. Farthing does not realize it, the steam that it generates is radioactive, and over time, this will take its own toll on the people exposed to it, a toll of strange sicknesses and odd cancers, and of children born with twisted and failing bodies...
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? Responses (9)
You, sir, are a genius.
Nuclear steampunk, for a better global future. Ha! This would probably work better in more modern steampunk worlds, but could definitely be adapted to just about any world.
Simple, sweet, and an excellent blending into steampunk. Right down to the radioactive steam that could be put to so many nasty uses in a darker version of the setting. A city filled with cancer-ridden, perpetually ill citizens, where no one knows why the strange plagues have begun. And yet there are those satisfied with the situation - the illness keeps the population from complaining too much, and these marvelous engines let most of the work be done without the wastrels at any rate.
Well, if you consider 40000 leagues under the sea steampunk - I think so - a nuclear powersource was suggested, so this fits in perfectly.
This is pretty damn cool. Radioactive steam!
I want pitchblende quests offered by big companies. I love it!
Like it: short and sweet and thinking outside the box.