Alloyed slaves are a despicable development of unscrupulous smugglers and syndicates who seek to avoid tariffs or embargoes on specific metals or alloys.
The hiding of smuggling goods in natural or artificial orifices or cavities of living beings is an old trick. It still has its place in the smuggler’s arsenal, but customs officials or criminals who know what they are looking for have an easy time spotting it. Alloyed slaves represent not merely the next, but the next two steps in advancing this basic technique.
The first step is to build the element to be smuggled into the very cells of a being, instead of implanting or ingesting whole ingots or bars of the material. The easiest way to achieve this is to use clones and perform the procedures during their growth, but a skilled medical droid can get almost identical results in a living grown-up body. The detrimental effects that many of the “materials of interest” can have on the health of the recipient creature are of little concern to those in charge of such operations – especially as the second step will see to it, that this becomes a non-issue.
The second step is to reclaim the materials by literally smelting down the alloyed slaves. They are killed and burned (economically minded traders will combine this and just throw the slaves into the smelters while still alive) leaving behind the valuable elements contained within their bodies.
The “best” alloyed slaves are actually so finely wrought by their creator-torturers, that when burned under the right conditions, their organic components contribute just the right amounts of other elements to leave behind not just smears and traces of the original metal but special alloys. The reason for the whole procedure’s name.
Characters may come into contact with alloyed slaves and the trade in them in various ways. They could be asked to carry a shipment of slaves – not knowing at first that these are alloyed. They could be searching for missing persons who turn out to be snatched up by smugglers intent on alloying them – or perhaps their contacts, friends or even the characters themselves face that fate. Or perhaps they are in dire need for some embargoed material and someone makes them an immoral offer, how they could get their hands on it…