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What's it like not having a soul, Penny? Do your insides clang around from all that empty space? My team and I were brought here with a purpose - clean the god-damned air YOU PEOPLE ruined. We SLAVED over this tech. Letting you light old, INCREDIBLY TOXIC mines on FIRE to fill the air with more shit you can harvest WAS NOT PART OF OUR DEAL. And you're not using our tech to do it.
I'd tell you to go to hell, Penelope, but your plan was to just bring it here.”— CSA representative Dominick Heyward's response to the ash forges
Ash forges were one of the most heinous inventions made by Hornwright Industrial Mining Company. Obsessed with efficiency and profits, Hornwright (both the company and the CEO) neglected the impact his work would have on the environment. The Rockhound installed atop Mount Blair has polluted the entire region of Appalachia, devastating the ecosystem and filling the air with soot and ash from the strip-mined mountaintop. As any recovery measures would cut into his bottom line, the CEO refused to entertain such measures. However, when the Clear Skies Alliance approached the company with a proposal for shared ownership of air scrubbers that would purify the air, the CEO was interested. Not because of genuine concern for the environment - the millions of dollars of development costs were too high a price to pay for breathable air - but because of the potential to repurpose the scrubbers to ionize particles and convert them into usable minerals. These secret "ash forges", as Hornwright marketing called them were set up in the Ash Heap to test them in practice and appease the Clear Skies Alliance.
To make things worse, in order to feed the ash forges with input, Hornwright deliberately ignited the old, toxic mines around Mount Blair to fill the air with mineral-rich soot. Even Hornwright's own scientists were horrified at such wanton disregard for the environment. One of them quit in disgust, locking his terminal with an uncrackable encryption to force Hornwright to the bargaining table and make them come to their senses.
The ash forges are not currently implemented in the game as a working feature: Players can access the terminals located at each of the Hornwright Air Purifier Sites across the Ash Heap, but they will remain inert. The original plan intended for players to crack the locked terminal at Hornwright Industrial Headquarters, gaining access to the ash forge system, and activating the Old Flames quest, during which they'd be required to activate the forge, deposit "precursors" at target burn sites, and then harvest the raw materials from the air. The quest was ultimately cut, but the forges were left in the game as one of several examples of Hornwright crimes against reason and the environment.
- Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals
- Hornwright Industrial Headquarters terminals: "TO: Hornwright, Penelope FROM: Heyward, Dominick SUBJ: You Fucking Thieves ____________________ What's it like not having a soul, Penny? Do your insides clang around from all that empty space? My team and I were brought here with a purpose - clean the god-damned air YOU PEOPLE ruined. We SLAVED over this tech. Letting you light old, INCREDIBLY TOXIC mines on FIRE to fill the air with more shit you can harvest WAS NOT PART OF OUR DEAL. And you're not using our tech to do it. I'd tell you to go to hell, Penelope, but your plan was to just bring it here."