Bullion In Science Fiction

Lengthy research into ‘carrying cash’ for science fiction.

I was going to hand out gold coins and plutonium as treasure, but after several articles, I can see other forms of bullion being used. A substantial number of video games also provide larger, bulky items that are sort of ‘coin of the realm’. I think the word is ‘commoditization’ where its value scales depending on the economy. Like how oil can be worth more than you paid for it.

Chip brought a very nice couple of snippets of reference about Star Trek type money GPL and economies. Gold Pressed Latinum sounds like platinum and spends like gold. That’s a bunch of words for plotting a ‘gold’ story arc. I like it, but I’m a plain language guy.

So what ‘coin’ would work for buying and selling off-book? Especially when you’re leaving banking space? Gold, silver, something digital? Something radiant like polonium tubes? Something magic like warpcores?

Coins for a Digital Age:
#1 a CHIP with $1000 credits like a pre-paid ATM. Size of a quarter 28mm.
#2 a one ounce GOLD piece also worth 1000cr. 28mm.
#3 a one ounce SILVER piece worth 100cr. 20mm.
#4 a radioactive nuclear power-plant fuel ROD worth 10kcr. 10mm x 50mm
#5 a radioactive djinn-food ETHER worth 10kcr. The name is a WIP.

Three that handle easily, two that take handling care, but all can be easily swapped and stolen. It implies common-casing such as we find in fast food (all pizza bases are the same size, therefore the boxes are too) or in electricity (matching plugs, adapters, hertz). Denominations: 100 credits, 1000 credits, 10kcr.

This economy would be just a pinprick compared to cargo. Cargoes costs around 12Mcr. A company want to ship something. They could pay you to carry it 28k, they could pay expenses plus 28k, you can buy that same object, then sell it. This is: fill my hold and make 28,000/mo tops. This is designed as 56,000 divided between the upkeep and the crew.

Being a commodity, there would be simple radiation-proof bags and/or tech-tubes for toting around objects you would presumably buy and sell. But this is nowhere near the income from corporate shippers. To make a killing, find treasure to sell. Pirate booty wasn’t just some doubloons.

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