Tiberium

From Academic Kids

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Tiber.jpg
Tiberium.

In the computer game series Command and Conquer, Tiberium is the name given to an outcropping of (typically) green crystals, named because of its appearance on the Tiber River in Italy in 1995, though according to some sources it was originally named after the Roman Emperor Tiberius (whose name derived from the Tiber River). It leeches metals out of the soil, concentrating them in (commonly) green crystals which can easily be collected and processed. The leeching process leaves the landscape depleted, however, leaving the ground underneath effectively useless for agriculture.

In-game, it is treated as a valuable resource.

Contents

Tiberium Growth

Tiberium first appears as manhole-sized lumps of rock or soil. As these lumps expand, the top of the lump pulls away, to reveal immature crystal formations. As the patch of Tiberium grows, both the lump of rock and crystal grow rapidly. The typical Tiberium crystal is roughly 1 to 2 meters tall.

The color of the Tiberium crystals is dependant on the amount and concentration of minerals that the plant has leeched from the soil.

Tiberium Proliferation

Tiberium can spread almost anywhere, with the rate of spread being influenced by soil density and ambient temperature. Only the polar caps show low levels of Tiberium infestation. Tiberium spreads through a variety of methods, depending on the local environment.

No matter how small, an isolated patch of Tiberium can spread to cover acres. The process is not entirely understood, but it is believed that underneath the surface, the rock lump shoots out tendrils in all directions, which grow into new rock lumps.

A more disturbing method of Tiberium growth is witnessed when the area Tiberium is in has any sort of foliage, such as trees or bushes. Through an unknown evolutionary process, Tiberium mutates these trees into "Blossom Trees". These 'trees' are fleshy stalks with a large bulb at the top. The bulb regularly contracts and relaxes, releasing microscopic Tiberium crystals into the atmosphere. As long as there is a Blossom Tree in an area, Tiberium will constantly regrow around the tree. Most attempts at injuring or removing Blossum trees have been ineffective.

Tiberium Vinifera, the volatile blue-colored Tiberium variant, has its own specific form of spread. If a large enough patch of Vinifera grows to maturity, the rockish lumps surrounding the crystals will fall away, and the crystals will meld together into a massive blue crystal, roughly 10 meters high. These large Vinifera masses will inexplicably grow new Vinifera outcroppings, although much slower than a Blossom Tree.

Destroying a massive Vinifera outcropping is not recommended, as the destruction of the large crystal will simply cause it to shatter explosively. This explosive aspect will throw Vinifera deposits over the area.

Health Risks of Tiberium exposure

Outcroppings of Tiberium release odorless gasses as soon as they appear. While originally considered harmless (if not beautiful in its shimmering sparkles), these fumes will poison any human that venture through it.

Tiberium as a terraforming agent

The most common belief currently on the nature of Tiberium is that the crystal is a terraforming agent of the alien race known as the Scrin. All evidence of the Scrin show that they are a Tiberium-based lifeform, with the ability to control Tiberium Mutations. Most obvious of these abilities is the Tacitus, a computer-like Scrin device that can control Tiberium mutation.

Because of this information, this is the assumed goals of Tiberium, from the Scrin point of view:

  • Deposition - The Scrin seed the intended world with Tiberium.
  • Exploration - Beings on the intended world discover Tiberium. Because of its innocuous nature, these beings begin to use Tiberium a great deal, increasing the spread of Tiberium.
  • Conflict - Being valuable, beings on the planet begin to fight over the mysterious crystals. This further spreads Tiberium growth, as Tiberium-fueled products will be deposited in areas Tiberium has not had a chance to expand to.
  • Mutation - Tiberium forcefully mutates planetary flora and fauna, changing the environment into something more hospitable to Scrin colonization.
  • Clean Up - Scrin invade after the intended planet is sufficiently mutated. Scrin now have the upper hand in defeating any resistance, as the Scrin hold greater knowledge of Tiberium.

Tiberium's chemical composition

Crystal

Harmful Gases

Varieties of Tiberium

  • Tiberium Riparius - Color: Green. Considered 'immature' Tiberium, this variant of Tiberium has a lower level of leeched minerals.
  • Tiberium Vinifera - Color: Blue. This is the more potent and highly explosive variant of Tiberium. "Blue Tiberium" leeches minerals from the soil extremely quickly, making it far more potent—and therefore valuable. Vinifera crystals are much more dangerous than Riparius, and large beds of Vinifera are known to explode if struck by lightning or by explosive ordinance.
  • Tiberium Spore (also known as Blossom) Tree - A mutated tree that puffs out spores that make new green or blue Tiberium. There are two varieties that are named after the associated Tiberium color that they produce.
  • Tiberium Cruentus - A massive blue crystal form of Tiberium that functions like a spore tree but rather than spreading Tiberium Riparius, it spreads Tiberium Vinifera. It spreads slower than a spore tree and is highly volatile.
  • Unknown Strain - This new strain of Tiberium appears similar to Cruentus, but it has yet to spread any type of Tiberium. It is believed that this variation may spread a red form of Tiberium in the future.
  • Tiberium Veins - A mouth in a hole marks the heart of this creature. It grows veins outward, which hold the precursor to Tiberium Gas. When attacked, the monster releases the gas, poisoning its assailants. The veins also attack anything larger than a human that treads upon them.
  • Tiberium Algae - Tiberium colonies that extended from either Riparius or Vinfera on the seafloor to the surface by strands. The Tiberium poisons and clogs waterways. By the time of the second Tiberian War, most of the oceans have been covered by this unhelpful variant of Tiberium which makes sea travel by ship impossible. Unlike land-based types, this form of Tiberium does not leech any units.
  • Tiberium Fauna - The function of this form of Tiberium is unknown, but they appear to be the Tiberium equivilant of terran trees. The Fauna is known to release toxic Tiberium fumes into the atmosphere.
  • Tiberium Flora - Like the Tiberium Fauna, the function of this form is unknown. It also releases toxic fumes into the atmosphere.
  • Tiberium "Creep" - A sludge/moss form of Tiberium in blue and green variations which slow down travel. Tiberium Fauna always grow on the green variation and Tiberium Flora has been seen growing on the blue variation and terran soil.
  • Tiberium Gas - This is a dangerous form of Tiberium which forms toxic clouds. Often observed being emitted by 'Veinhole Monsters' and Tiberium Floaters. Extremely poisonous and can damage vehicles and structures after prolonged exposure. Kills infantry, mutants and most cyborgs almost instantly.

Tiberian Mutations

  • Viceroid - Originally discovered during the first Tiberian War, Viceroids were originally reddish-purple spheres of flesh, which defended itself by shooting out sprays of Tiberium gas. Currently, most viceroids are pinkish-colored wads of flesh, which strike at enemies with psuedopodia. Viceroids are 'created' when Tiberium concentration has reached saturation in an organic body. The change is nearly instantaneous. Immature viceroids are smaller and tend to be non-hostile. When two or more of these viceroids merge together, however, they are extremely dangerous. It is believed that in the new Tiberian Ecology, these life forms are the White Blood Cells.
  • Mutant Humans - As Tiberium spread closer and closer to populated areas, many people began suffering from varying degrees of Tiberium mutation. Many of these unfortunate people have Tiberium crystals in their flesh, and will some day no longer be human. Most of these Mutants consider themselves "The Forgotten", as many civilians were ignored by GDI (and studied by Nod) during the first Tiberian War.
  • Cyborg Humans - Nod's experiments into human-Tiberium mutation has yielded a variety of mutant cyborg soldiers. These special troops can pass through Tiberium fields with impunity, and will actually recover from prolonged exposure to the crystals.
  • Tiberian Fiend - The 'fiend' is a horse-sized animal, resembling a terran dog. The flesh is blackish or red, and the back is covered with Tiberium Crystals. Fiends can fling these crystals at enemies, causing both damage as well as Tiberium poisoning.
  • Tiberian Floater - Looks like a big jellyfish. Can build up an electric charge in its tentacles and can release Tiberium gas to propel itself.
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