The story of scrap
The lore bit.
The Council of the Six had no choice but to develop the Sustainable Commodity Recycling and Acquisition Program (SCRAP).
Scrap is both a currency (scrap / Š) and a representation of Serra’s advanced recycling efforts (SCRAP). It is made up of refined compound materials that can be used to trade or manufacture all manners of technical doodads. From industrious Cyborg scrapnics to Brr’tik tinkerers to the mighty Mech mega forges, all Serra's industry and society depend on SCRAP to function.
Rare elements and metal deposits are precious resources on Serra. The planet never had an abundance of them, to begin with. Even the most optimistic estimations predict deposits to be almost depleted planet-wide. Greedily ripped from Serra's crust by the Muted before the Schism, the remaining lodes can only be found in the deepest, most ancient tunnels where things other than shiny ores might lurk.
Further calculations taking tunnel sizes and volumes into account concluded that there should be much more raw material excavated and present on the surface. Where said materials might be located now remains a mystery, however.
In any case, Serrans are forced to recycle materials in order to build, invent and improve. Even the most mundane metal has immense value and is always reinjected into Serra’s recycling logistics as efficiently as possible.
Just a little scrap.
To facilitate the circular economy imposed on the Council of the Six, it built SCRAP Stations all over Serra many years ago and even continues adding them now. These recycling stations are commonplace in the big cities, existing on every other street corner of Serra’s sprawling metropolises. In more remote areas like the floating Ziggurats of the Dal’Ra or the deepest tree nurseries of the Aabuim, however, they are a bit harder to come by.
What your local Scrap Station looks like could be quite different too. Depending on its location and age, your local facility could be a simple kiosk, a marginally more roomy cabin, or one of the newer central outlets with multiple tellers to handle the higher urban footfall.
The tellers themselves are Council-appointed, specially adapted Mechs. These citizens are rare in that they are hybridized, so they are part Mech, part Virtual. This allows the tellers to speedily take any item apart by swarms of nano-bots and, being connected to the Cyberspace, to immediately update records and monitor the circulating supply of scrap as well.
Each teller is linked to their own processing unit. Upon receiving the waste item of exchange, the teller logs it and begins the analysis to establish its compound material and chemical makeup. The analysis only takes a few seconds, sometimes up to a minute, and will determine how much scrap the item can be exchanged for. The scrap amount is then either handed over physically to the customer or taken in by the teller and virtually added to the customer's deposit.
Very small items can be processed then and there in the SCRAP Station. However, most exchanged items are stored and then transferred in bulk to high-security processing centers. The transit plans for each batch of material are top secret and change with each transfer. There are even specially trained Serrans to guard each transporter on its journey to the processing centers.
Processing any Holographic Data Cards for scrap is done by the tellers at the time of the exchange. First, the Holographic Data Card is inserted into a dedicated reader. Its serial number is logged and verified as authentic. Next, the holographic display is disassembled, and the internal execution code is deleted. Following this, the serial number is updated in the Cyberspace as decommissioned. Now that only the frame remains, it can move to the processing unit and be translated into scrap.