It's way in the future. A very advanced superheavy, radioactive, superconducting element has been discovered, called "Clichebangium", or as the locals call it "Bang" (Chemical symbol: B!). We thought the periodic table only went to 100 something... Bang is more like in the lower 1000's. It's theoretically similar to the substance the universe sprang from during the Big Bang, thus the name.
It's only found in deep outer space, amongst the artifacts of an ancient mysterious alien civilization. These remnants are often discovered around supernovas, ejected from black holes, or other places that look totally freaking cool. Everyone wants Bang! because it does ridiculously awesome things so beyond our primitive minds, that there's no point in trying to describe them. Rest assured, this is some valuable stuff.
Since it's only found in extreme environments, only the most bad-ass space pilots, pirates, and mercs from all the known space-faring species are willing to risk everything acquiring it. Naturally they're all blowing the good gravy out of each other to get their piece of the pie.