PLAMPT (Premiere Landscaping and Manure Processing Technologies) is a waste treatment and disposal corporation headquartered in Morgan Bay, Helios. Originally centered on the landscaping market, the fledgling PLAMPT quickly realized that the enormous demand for high quality fertilizer both planet-side and in space hydroponics presented golden opportunities in the waste extraction, processing, compaction and storage markets. In 451 PLAMPT introduced the COMMANDER series of self-contained bacteria-powered commodes and urinals, available in zero-gravity and gravity-assisted variants.
Four things set the COMMANDER apart from the competition – first, the bacteria-powered containment and compression system was a true breakthrough in septic technology. The PLAMPT COMMANDER was self-contained, requiring no external power or plumbing. Second, the COMMANDER was sold as a single module, easily installed or relocated without additional support materials or infrastructure (sold separately for those who wanted to move or maintain their COMMANDER without voiding the warranty) – effectively, any compartment on a space station or ship could be instantly converted into a restroom – just add PLAMPT! Third, the revolutionary bacteria powerplant (or power-PLAMPT, according to the sales literature) ensured the COMMANDER would remain operational as long as it was “utilized” at least once a week. The COMMANDER compression reserves were capable of feeding back into the reactor chamber, thus enabling a moderately used COMMANDER to withstand long periods of neglect while remaining fully useable. The fourth point is how the COMMANDER came to be the de-facto standard for space toilets – vertical integration.
The PLAMPT COMMANDER compression reservoir produced incredibly dense bricks of what the sales literature refers to as “rich matter,” with all water filtered into a separate containment tank. The water tank could be used as a feed source for a PLAMPT sink or fed to a water main, while the “rich matter” could be fed to a plasma torch, rehydrated (in a PLAMPT centrifuge) and used as incredibly rich fertilizer, or stored and returned to a PLAMPT office for a deduction from the lease price or carried over as a credit against maintenance and future upgrades.
This vertical integration – the bolt-on sink (and later, shower) the “rich matter” buyback and the “rich matter” products PLAMPT offered for hydroponics and agriculture – made the COMMANDER an instant hit and an overnight industry standard.
Despite being an overnight success that quickly propelled PLAMPT into the corporate stratosphere, the COMMANDER was far from perfect. Within a matter of months, a number of issues emerged, with three major points threatening PLAMPT’s continued success.
First, the bacteria reactor was prone to competition. While somewhat maintenance intensive to begin with (requiring weekly monitoring and possible monthly “refueling” from freeze-dried stock, sold separately), the custom-built PLAMPT bacteria was unable to cope with what the company came to call an “aggressive” environment- the PLAMPT bacteria was easy prey for dysentery, malaria, and other microorganisms. Worse, the bacteria culture was prone to a variety of viruses – in deep space this was a non-issue, but in orbital space and planet-side, a COMMANDER could be disabled by a single bowel movement.
Second, it was realized in short order that due to the design of the bacteria reactor, the COMMANDER could not cope with high volume use. While originally designed to meet the rigid constraints of space station and spaceship toilets, the planet-side variant of the COMMANDER (which used the same reactor and processing equipment, without the microgravity clamp and pre-compressor) failed spectacularly in its first stadium deployment- the hardware simply couldn’t handle the volume of effluent in a timely fashion.
Third, a unique design flaw in the COMMANDER was realized on the first surface-to-space shuttle equipped with a PLAMPT COMMANDER. The Electromagnetic energy spike of a catapult launch caused a sympathetic vibration in several components of the COMMANDER hardware, giving rise to what the shuttle pilot (who’d used the COMMANDER prior to launch) dryly described as “unfortunate circumstances.” The “geyser effect” was observed in every PLAMPT toilet deployed within what eventually came to be called “spit range” of EM generating hardware, notably launch catapults and railguns.
While these early ordeals relegated the COMMANDER to deep-space and pre-screened station spaces, the initial failures – and successes – served to strengthen PLAMPTs resolve. With stocks slumping, the company went back to work, relying on landscaping revenue to finance the development of further vertically-integrated improvements to the COMMANDER line.
First came the ULTRA, a refinement on the bacterial culture. After several revisions and numerous innovations elsewhere, PLAMPT eventually acquired sole rights to a form of limited nanotechnology. Modern PLAMPT ULTRAs are no longer bacteria-based – the unique PLAMPT nano-culture targets “complex microbiology” and breaks it down into constituent proteins.
The ULTRA II line integrated composite lead shielding into the basic COMMANDER design, hardening PLAMPT COMMANDERS to the point that they could be used during launch, assuming the supplicant could hang on. PLAMPT introduced a “special forces” line of COMMANDERs with the ULTRA II, equipped with a variety of hand-guards and gas-operated “inflational compensators,” ensuring those afflicted with a need for immediate relief would be able to find it under the most turbulent of circumstances.
All modern PLAMPT space-rated hardware is based on the ULTRA II design.
The TURBO series is designed for high-yield environments. Stadiums, bars, public transit. TURBO units can handle immense abuse, are capable of fitting failover reservoirs (sold separately), and, with the SPECIAL EDITION nanoculture, can handle high yield high volume use for up to 138 hours if coupled to a PLAMPT FROMP (Field Release Or Megasaturation Pod).
With these design revisions, the PLAMPT ULTRA II has become the de-facto space toilet standard, with the PLAMPT ULTRA II TURBO replacing stadium, marathon and construction site bathrooms across human space.
10:24 <xeno> now there’s a commercial.
10:25 <xeno> Introducing… the new Super PLAMPT! Custom II Turbo! (PLAMPT!) Waste Recycling? No problem! Home Fusion? NO PROBLEM! (PLAMPT!) And now, it’s PORTABLE! That’s right, now we go… whereever you go!
10:25 <xeno> the (PLAMPT!) parts are sung a la the girls in the Shaft theme
10:26 <xeno> of course the other parts are Crazy Announcer Guy