Arcanum, also referred to as arc pellets or just plain "arc" are highly potent and efficient power source which powers the medical delivery drones. Survivors of the outbreak have also adapted to using arc pellets to generate electricity for personal needs through the use of a "standard converter". In addition to being used for electricity, arc pellets are also the highest form of currency. With Arc pellets the higher the percentage remaining the more valuable they are.
Clark Christian Cameron Callahan visited the South Deep gold mine in Westonaria, Gauteng Province, South Africa while working on his doctorate in energy resources engineering. He was researching the feasibility of using heat from beneath the Earth's crust as an alternate form of energy when he discovered Arcanum over 9000 feet (1.7 miles) below the surface. Arcanum was a byproduct of the pressures of deep mining and the artificial cooling process used to keep the mines at a workable temperature. After Callahan received his doctorate he focused all his attention on Arcanum but his research was never taken seriously as the material was regarded as nothing more than detritus from the mining process and had no value. After several unsuccessful presentations that resulted in ruined prototypes and much ridicule, Dr. Callahan's funding for the project was revoked.
Dr. Mitchell Scott, CEO of Sky Medix, however, saw the potential in Callahan's research, and tried to convince him to work at Sky Medix. Callahan initially refused, causing Dr. Scott to coordinate the removal and shipment of Arcanum to the United States without Callahan's knowledge. The mining company gladly gave Dr. Scott all the Arcanum he wanted, because it was seen as an item of cost and not profitable.
Dr. Scott soon had a small stockpile of Arcanum and a working lab fully devoted to the research and refinement of the material. Dr. Scott again contacted Callahan and arranged a meeting, though Dr. Scott didn't mention his work on Arcanum. The two met at Dr. Scott's Arcanum lab and after Dr. Scott showed Callahan what he was doing and the progress he was making with Callahan's initial research, Callahan finally gave in and agreed to work lead on the project. With Dr. Callahan's help it was quickly realized that Arcanum was a viable alternate form of energy. Research would have continued but the outbreak hit and the lab had to be shut down. The Arcanum power cells were only small working prototypes at the time.
Dr. Scott's medicine division was tasked with delivering the vaccine but he needed a longer term source of energy. With Dr. Callahan's help, the team was able to quickly adapt the Arcanum technology for the medical delivery drones and production on the downsized "prototype" Arcanum was quickly ramped up. After the outbreak Dr. Callahan started calling himself 4C in an attempt to hide from those who blamed Sky Medix for the outbreak while at the same time attempting to build a larger, full size, Arcanum cell which would use a few hundred Arc Pellets and power his portion of the grid keeping Sky Medix up and running.
Arc Pellets as Power Edit
Arcanum pellets are a hard, brittle alloy primarily used as a fuel in oscillating power cells (OPC) aka "arc cells". Arc pellets appear naturally in the standard size called type 0. There are also type 1 and type 2 arc pellets which were manufactured through a combining process, hence their geometric shape. The manufacturing process was very costly with a low success rate therefore very few type 1 or type 2 arc pellets were ever made. Typical weight of a type 0 arc pellet is between 98.648 and 98.649 grams. The power cell oscillates the arc pellets electrons, “borrowing” them back and forth. The fuel gets spent by the atoms breaking down into smaller elements after a certain amount of cycles. The spent material is considered a stable non radioactive substance. An oscillating power cell is needed to extract the energy and make it usable. Available energy from a standard type 0 pellet is 43200Ah (544320Wh) (1 959 552 000 joules) A spent arc pellet weighs roughly 1 gram less. The current technology is roughly 0.01% efficient. C rating is 0.0005C (~21A) Drawing more current depletes the pellet exponentially faster.
Depleted Arc Pellets: