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When the galaxy and its civilizations were much younger, Spaceships were inefficient machines powered by a plasma-based fuel. This method worked for centuries when the universe was a vast, resource-rich environment. Plasma was abundant. Entire planets were drained to power fleets of ships.
After The Burn arrived in Olaxis the nature of ships changed. Plasma was far too valuable a resource for providing power on planets. Large-scale mining operations fell apart due to the chaotic nature of The Burn destroying system after system. Adding to this shortage, mass migrations of Species resulted in the rapid expansion of fleets and expenditure of fuel. The galaxy was quickly starved of plasma, a resource people needed to flee The Burn.
As plasma dried up, the number of operational Spaceships dwindled. There was no need to keep around large hunks of metal. Many old ships were torn apart for scrap on whatever system they were stranded. Only a handful of these ships, called boomers for the sound they make during takeoff, remain operational.
There is a market for boomers as collector’s items, toys for the super rich to show off their wealth. Most working boomers are already in the hands of private collectors, but every now and then a new ship is discovered. Anyone who can bring a boomer to the right market makes a good payday.