Hammer of Aquarius
Hammer of Aquarius Weapons Platforms deployment began in 3527 A.D, at the hight of the Old Federation's power in the Aquarius Cluster. An Inter-linked network of 120, 5KM tall 'Super-class' Orbital Weapons platforms, each weighing nearly 100 Million Tons; locked in Geosynchronous orbit over distant planetoids or asteroids in the outer sectors, below the Great Crimson Barrier. Each Platform carried a compiliment of four 'ELR-Harbinger II' Inter-Sector Cruise Missiles, based on the HAMMER Project, the forebear of the UAS's SPARTAN Missile System. Each Warhead carried a solid-state Polaritic Impulse Charge with enough destructive potential to cause a main-sequence star to go Nova.
The most powerful weapons ever developed in the history of humanity in Aquarius, and potentially, beyond. The Final Answer to a threat that could erase human life entirely. On a fateful day in 4040 A.D, after years of bloody conflict with an Alien race known as the Radacri, the Old Federation deployed the Hammer of Aquarius, resulting in the collapse of civilisation in Aquarius. The destructive power of the Hammer was greater than any projections could have foretold, resulting in the erasure of an entire sector of space beyond the Tempest Ridge, Terran historians still argue whether the Aftershock that resulted, was a Radacri retaliation, or a Subspace wave of immense power released from a multi-supernova, star collapse event beyond known space. Recent theories support this outcome, as Polaritic Radiation was detected in the Subspace wave, leaving a faint background radiation across most of known Aquarian space.
Polaryte is an element discovered when humanity first arrived in Aquarius. It appears to be unique to the Aquarius Cluster, being fold in large deposits of Polaritic Crystals originating from the impregnable interior of the Angel Nebula. Scientific understanding of the origins of the element remains unclear. The universally agreed theory dating back to the first discovery of Polaritic Crystals is that an as-of-yet uknown stellar phenomena within the Angel Nebula is creating the element. At least one theory suggests Maikor involvement, as Polaryte has unusual properties that defy some established laws of physics, as is often the case with Maikor artefacts.
Polaritic Crystals are fundamentally unusable in crystal form, and must be refined into an unstable plasma by Fusion Superheating, whereby the crystals are fused together in extreme conditions within the core of a Polaritic Barycentric Fusion Refinery. This process was discovered soon after research yielded potential for a variety of uses for the refined Polaritic Plasma, which was used in essentially all advanced technologies of the UTN, from Jump Drives and Shield Modulators to weapons with more destructive potential than ever before wielded by humanity.
Polaritic Impulse Charge
The pinnacle of Polaryte weapons technology, the PIC relies on the fundamentally unstable nature of Polaritic Plasma. Once fused to this state, the plasma deteriorates rapidly, releasing highly energetic polaritic radiation, which is disperses quickly, relusting in a degenerative pseudo-crystal formation. In this form, the crystals are unusable but still highly dangerous due to their high polaritic radiation output.
Polaritic Plasma must be contained within an extremely powerful electromagnetic field at all times, otherwise it decays into pseudo-crystals and becomes unusable. As long as the EMF is sustained at all times, the plasma can be suspended in a usable state indefinitely. The weaponisation principle of the PIC is fairly simple: a core of fissle material is suspended within the Polaritic plasma with by powerful electromagnets, upon detonation, the magnetic field is disabled and a nuclear fission detonation is triggered within the core. The resultant fission process expands outwards and the surrounding Polaritic Plasma undergoes rapid fission, releasing extremely large amounts of energy. Essentially, the Polaryte acts as a catalyst and an accellerant to a standardised fission weapon. Released energy is several orders of magnitude greater than the sum of the fissile material alone, and discharged polaritic radiation with further damaging effects on a stellar scale.
Research into Polaritic radiation disperson through nuclear fission has yielded information that the energy waves can propagate through Subspace, hence new understanding of the cause of the Aftershock was gained. Further research into the process is, however, required before any concrete data is provided.
Of the 480 Harbinger Missiles carried by the Hammer Of Aquarius Network, only between 300 and 350 missiles launched towards their targets in two waves. Remaining weapons either failed to launch or were held back for a potential third wave. When the Aftershock came, almost all of the Hammer Platforms were disabled by the electromagnetic energy propagating through Subspace. A large number of unmanned Platforms lost power immediately, and backup generators failed to start. For a few platforms, reserve energy allowed them to function in emergency mode for a few more cycles at max.
Ultimately, all of the platforms lost energy by the turn of the 42nd century, resulting in a huge decay of Polaritic Radiation into space along the entire G-Northern border of Aquarius, under the shadow of the Crimson Barrier.
After the fall, entire outer sectors under the Crimson Barrier had become irradiated Dead Zones. After the formation of the TLA in 4042, just two cycles after the Aftershock, it was soon established that the decay of the Polaritic Warheads in the Hammer Platforms would create permanent no-go zones.
As of 4300 A.D, the United Aquarian Systems recognises at least 18 system-wide radiation fields spanning a network of outer system stars from the crest of the Angel Nebula to the Tempest Ridge. The decay of such immense amounts of weapons grade Polaryte into space has created million-klick wide fields of lethal Polaritic Radiation, capable of destroying a cruiser-sized starship in a matter of minutes. As such, the sectors are under the constant protection of the UAS Navy's Northern Outer Sector Fleet, and all civilian traffic is prohibited.
Scientists agree that the Polarite Pseudo-crystal fields will likely take hundreds of millions of years to decay into background radiation, and as such, the Dead Zones are now permanent features of the Crimson Barrier, a stark reminder of the dangers of these weapons.