Stone Burner

Stone Burner
Name: Stone Burner
Function: Atomic Weapon
Affiliation: Many factions

Paul remained silent, thinking what this weapon implied. Too much fuel in it and it'd cut its way into the planet's core. Dune's molten level lay deep, but the more dangerous for that. Such pressures released and out of control might split a planet, scattering lifeless bits and pieces through space.

Technology Overview

Stone Burners were atomic weapons (therefore under the jurisdiction of the Great Convention) that generated powerful "J Radiation". As such, they were able to burn through rock to a preset distance. The Stone Burner came in various sizes and shapes, but most often resembled a cylindrical package that contained a conventional Atomic. The controls contained a delay timer (which could be set to a convenient time) to control activation of the device. There was also a "fuel consumption" setting that limited the extent of damage caused by the device. The device had to be armed or made ready in order to operate, after which the Stone Burner was capable of destroying the local area of a specified size or of tunneling to the core of a targetted planet, causing its destruction by way of core detonation.

Effects

Unlike conventional Atomics there was no detonation or explosion from the operation of the Stone Burner. Doubtless those who were in close proximity to the device when it began operation would suffer thermal burns or projectile damage from displaced rock as the device began its descent into the ground. Local effects included a rumbling sound that was transmitted through the ground and diminished as the device sank. A "flinty" odor could be detected during the early part of the operation. The J Radiation emitted during operation has a destructive effect upon the tissues of the human eye. Depending upon the distance that the sufferer is located from the device while it is in operation blindness may come quickly or a period of time may elapse before vision fades and then the eye tissue dies. Those further away will recuperate and suffer no long lasting effects. The greatest risk from the Stone Burner is its potential to damage the planet upon which it is activated.

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