Nemesis Warheads, also known as Big Damage (Big Dam) warheads were programmable-yield weapons of mass destruction carried by Pathfinder Ships.
A standard Nemesis warhead carries 5,000 kilograms of deuterium. A quantum detonator is used to switch a programmable amount of that deuterium into anti-deuterium, resulting in a massive explosion that can devastate vast areas of a planet’s surface. The Quantum Switch is the key component of the warhead, enabling the immediate transformation of matter into anti-matter.
The most devastating use of a Nemesis warhead is when the Ice Nine Cascade effect is triggered by the warhead. When this is used, the anti-matter in the warhead reacts with matter in its vicinity effectively converting it to anti-matter. This effect can shattered an entire planet once unleashed.
The weapons were developed on a theoretical level in the 69th Century (Sapphirean Calendar) as the result of experiments in Quantum manipulation that, in another form, created Quantum Reactors and Q-Wave energy. Sapphire having no use for weapons of such destructive power, the designs were laid aside until the Pathfinder Project.
There was strong opposition to putting weapons of mass destruction on Pathfinder ships. They were eventually approved for two reasons:
· The failure of the Olympic mission demonstrated the possibility of major threats in the galaxy.
· The considered opinion of the Sumacian Warrior Priests on Sapphire that they would be needed.
Eventually, it was decided to put 144 Nemesis warheads on each Pathfinder Ship as an ultimate weapon for use against whatever might be discovered.
As part of the Peace Accords with Aurelia signed at the end of the First Aurelian War, Nemesis warheads were banned. In return, the Aurelians renounced the use of their Psion Lance weapon, a devastating weapon of mass destruction that directed a Gamma Ray burst at a planet, scorching and annihilating the entire surface.
Nemesis warheads are known to have been used fifteen times during Odyssey Project Missions,
Pathfinder 1 - Odyssey used a mess detonation of Nemesis warheads to escape Hyperspace during a drive-system malfunction.
Pathfinder 3 – Pegasus used 10 Nemesis warheads, reconfigured for Electro-Magnetic Pulse, to eradicate an alien artificial intelligence on the planet Meridian
Pathfinder 3 –Pegasus provided ten Nemesis warheads to the Resistance movement on the planet Bodicea to prevent the Aurelians from annihilating the human population. .
Pathfinder 3 - Pegasus used two Nemesis warheads to temporarily disrupt the geomagnetic field of the planet Yronwode in order to rescue crew trapped on its surface by the planet's Prisoner Containment System.
Pathfinder 3 –Pegasus used Nemesis warheads after the destruction of Gethsemane colony to close a transdimensional rift from which some kind of Big Scary monsters were supposedly emerging.
Pathfinder 3 –Pegasus used Nemesis warheads warheads in the Orion Quadrant for an incident in the Cotopaxi System for which only sketchy details are available from the ship’s logs.
Pathfinder 4 – Republic used four Nemesis warheads to eradicate an Aurelian pathogen that had destroyed the Ecosystem of Bertram IV.
Pathfinder 4 –Republic used a pair of Nemesis warheads to destroy an asteroid that was threatening Terpsichore colony.
Pathfinder 5 – Sapphire used a Nemesis warhead to “jump-start” the singularity that powered Chevron Starlock.
Pathfinder 5 – Sapphire used a Nemesis warhead to disperse a portion of a ring-system to locate a missing and disabled Aves, rescuing its crew.
Pathfinder 5 – Sapphire used a Nemesis warhead to enhance the failing electromagnetic field around the planet Hesiod.
Pathfinder 5 - Sapphire used a pair of Nemesis warheads to to clear a path through a debris field that had trapped the ship in a proto-solar Nebula.
Pathfinder 5 –Sapphire used a Nemesis warhead to destroy an ancient Commonwealth space-structure that was attempting to tear apart the ship apart for components to add to itself.
Pathfinder 6 –Lexington Keeler used a number of Nemesis missiles to ignite solar flares in the System 12 255 Crux, annihilating a fleet of what were later determined to be Lynx warships.
Pathfinder 7 – Ark Royal used two Nemesis warheads to destroy a giant, Crusades-Era Commonwealth Battleship that was threatening their ship.
Pathfinder 7 –Ark Royal launched a Nemesis warhead as a 'Warning Shot' to head off an Aurelian attack fleet.