Spandore (Diaspora Margin): The formerly inhabitable planet of its system, Spandore was once home to a worldbound species that achieved a high-technology civilization with particular advancement in the fields of biochemistry and genetic engineering.
Unfortunately, several centuries to a millennium before contact (approximately), the planetary civilization wiped itself out in a global war, utilizing a large number of biological, ecological, mutagenic, and teratogenic weapons, along with a smaller number of “salting” nucleonic weapons. The ensuing apocalypse, bolstered by the synergetic effects of these weapons upon encountering each other, destroyed 90% of the planetary population and effectively transformed the descendants of the surviving remainder into monsters as twisted as the thousands of biological weapons systems, both microscopic and macroscopic, which continue to roam the planet today.
Due to the obvious risk potential of these weapons, Spandore is an interdicted planet, protected by an englobement grid. Unlike the majority of englobement grids operating under the aegis of the Conclave Commission on Latent Threats, however, that of Spandore is relatively easy to bypass – in the inward direction.
Since every known attempt to run the grid by those attempting to recover Spandorian biological weapons for their own purposes has resulted in a variety of horrifying deaths before any attempt to leave the planet could be made – the grid beacons monitor and record these events as well as they can from orbital overwatch, and append the resulting recordings to outgoing warning advisories – this author feels safe in ascribing this particular peculiarity to the Commission’s taste for irony.
– Leyness’s Worlds: Guide to the Ecumene
Depopulation Bomb: Two, in eldraeic pre-history: the asteroid impact preceding the Winter of Nightmares, which wiped out almost everyone, and the Gray Wasting, a Precursor bioweapon that got out of its bottle a couple of hundred thousand years later and only managed to kill one-half to two-thirds of everyone. There are also some ruined planets out there to remind everyone that this is not a local phenomenon, either.
In the modern era, this is why people are encouraged to be careful with their bio/nanoweapons, because it’s frighteningly easy to create one of these by accident.
So, um, first some words of apology for the last week’s silence (due to feeling sicker than a dog, mostly, along with various other impedimenta that made it hard to write), especially to those new patrons who must surely be wondering what they signed up in time for…
But anyway – I’m back on stream, and new content should be with you very shortly, starting with this!
Biological Weapons Solve Everything: Well, not everything, but they do solve certain highly specific problems – ironically enough, usually those scenarios in which the answer is not, in fact, killing everything.
But if you want to paralyze the enemy’s army by inducing several million cases of hemophilia, just to take the military option off the table for a while so that affairs can be resolved via some better method, or just slow things down generally with the highly contagious common cold from hell, or degrade infrastructure with a handy mycoid that feeds on asphalt, or target a virus against one highly specific genetically-identified individual or group…
Subtle, highly specific tools. That’s what bioweapons and their nanoweapon cousins are good for.
(You’ve got to be bloody sure about the anti-mutation and limited-propagation safeguards you build in, though.)
The Plague: In the ancient pre-Imperial past on Eliéra, the Gray Contagion, a wasting disease with the same sort of morbidity and mortality as the Black Death. It was responsible for one of the two great prehistoric population diebacks there (the one not caused by the astrobleme/ensuing Winter of Nightmares), and is thought to have originated as a leftover Precursor bioweapon.
Hate Plague: Variants on the theme have been invented several times, mostly for the use of particularly nihilistic terrorist groups and other people for whom atrocity value is more important than anything resembling military efficiency; also, given the usual response, for whom surviving the use of it isn’t all that important.