Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Humans being humans - and other warlike sentient races, like the Skaald, being themselves - they can't seem to dissuade themselves of the necessity of being able to annihilate themselves fifty times over, even after going to the stars. If anything, going to the stars has only increased Man's desire for lots and lots of weapons of mass destruction (see also Human-Skaald War). Needless to say, there are many treaties and commitments against the use of these doomsday weapons… but in reality, the treaties are only worth as much as a given signatory feels like obeying.

Nuclear Weapons

The most frequently used (inasfar as these weapons go) device is the venerable fusion or fission device. Terrorist organizations covet them for their (relative) simplicity, portability and ease of construction and use. Asteroid belts infrequently produce saleable amounts of radioactive material, and on occasion it will slip the controls of federal and commercial interests and wind up in the wrong hands. Pocket nukes can be had, if one knows how to acquire one without bringing up red flags over CoreNet or local comm grids.

On the other end of the scale is the Spartan Hekatonkheires orbital bombardment MIRV, bearing a payload of one hundred independently-guided warheads capable of striking as many targets, anywhere on a planet, with a one-gigaton warhead. Many of these were used during the Human-Skaald War, often with cobalt jackets on each warhead, turning any world they were used on into a lifeless rock blown with endless, radioactive dust storms.

Mass Drivers

The most typical example of a mass driver WMD is a huge, space-station-sized framework of linear magnetic accelerators with a number of fusion plants and usually Jump Drives and Maneuver Drives attached. The ammunition for this space-catapult is typically ferromagnetic asteroids, but it can be anything from debris, a cluster of ore canisters (for authentic grapeshot effect), or even whole ship hulls.

Used occasionally by the Spartan Brigade, but associated more with the Penitent Brotherhood's Order Militant. Stoning becomes somewhat more threatening when the religious fanatics bring a mass driver array to do the job.

Skaald Tectonic Disruptors

The principle behind the now-extinct Skaald's planet-killers is poorly understood and based largely on conjecture, as no long-term studies can be conducted in Prometheus Sector. Essentially, it seems that the device worked in two phases - first, the projectile is fired from a high-energy accelerator, using kinetic penetration with some sort of energized tip to breach a planet's crust and mantle, and work its way to the core; second, and more dramatically, the planet's molten core seems to be forced out of the planet from under the tectonic plates at an incredible rate, with geysers of white-hot iron shooting into space and the planet frequently crumpling from within or breaking into pieces.

It's unknown how the projectile from the first phase can provide the effect of the second, as the only man who suitably understood the effect - Dr Tag Behrwell - gave his life to destroy the Skaald after reverse-engineering a planet-killer and turning its second-phase effect into the Candle Snuffer starkiller.

Biological Weapons

Varying wildly in design and intent from weapon to weapon, the intent of biological weapons is nonetheless uniform: promote maximum morbidity and contagion among the target group. The most famous recent example was the Skaald virus bomb, a biological agent engineered to infect and decay anything it came in contact with, especially objects or creatures of Terran origin. The horrifying result is a planet that rots, plant and animal life ceasing to function and decaying into a disgusting soup of purge fluid and methane (or silane, if the target organism is silicon-based).

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