At first they were a scientific curiosity, fractions of quarks with a half life too short to be useful.
They cause the nucleons that make up the core of atoms to disintegrate, either by canceling part of a quark that composes them or by adding to a quark which makes it unstable.
This instability of the nucleon causes it to disintegrate into other halfquarks and energy.
These halfquarks could create a chain reaction if their lifespan was not so short and their manufacture difficult.
But technical advances have made it possible to create at will light regular flows of halfquarks.
Finally practical applications could be invented but especially in nuclear decontamination or halfquarks could disintegrate neutrons in a nucleus and make radioactive elements stable.
The production of energy or heat by the halfquarks was not profitable because the energy expenditure exceeded the production.
A common use was the decontamination of the hulls of spacecraft.
But a localized application too long could pierce the hardest shell.
The military wanted to make a weapon but to break through the armor but the short range of the weapon was disappointing.
They wanted to make them disintegrating bombs but they could only induce a chain reaction in very dense, non-liquid or gaseous materials.
However, this reaction could be slowed down by density or crystallization transitions in the material.
Multilayer shields containing bubbles and mixed crystallization were developed for the benefit of this weakness.
The creation of a gun with dense flux of anti-protons and protoquarks turning into halfquarks only by contact with dense matter.
This allowed the manufacture of heavy disintegrator gun with a flux-supported chain reaction.
As long as the disintegrant stream was maintained the reaction continued.
It was even theorized that if such a sufficiently dense, powerful and maintained flux hit the nucleus of a planet it could induce in its center a chain reaction so strong that the planet would explode.
But this theory was quickly ridiculed because to do so it would have been necessary to combine the fluxes of at least 5 or 6 of the most powerful guns ever made and that to feed them would require a generator of at least the size of a large asteroid or a little moon.
Even if it were possible nobody in the galaxy would have the means to unite all these elements together.
End of the ridiculous idea of a Star of Death or a planet destroyer.????