While nuclear explosives based on mechanical technologies would typically require enough material to preclude handheld usage, the atomic detonator avoids this limitation through skilled application of Cosmokinesis
throughout the device carefully contains the material until activation, at which point a second set of runes ensures the chain reaction required for the desired explosion.
Variations and Effects
Atomic detonators come in a small variety of shapes and sizes, depending upon their intended usage.
The most common variant bears a resemblance to a standard grenade, with a pin to prevent activation during storage, and a striker lever to allow the bearer to choose when to set the explosion. Unlike a grenade, however, there is no chemical delay. The wielder cannot evacuate the range of the resultant crater, much less the radius of the explosion itself, and so it was determined that no delay was required – although in actuality the effects are most often delayed by a second or two as the Runework engages, directly dependant upon the skill of the enscribing Runemage
Larger variants stretch the description of "handheld," instead designed for use with portable launchers. Despite their projectile nature, the resultant explosion is capable of flattening a medium sized city, meaning the user remains within the weapon's deadly area of effect.
The Runework required to manufacture the devices remains delicate, requiring a steady hand and highly specialized skills in Cosmokinesis. Trained cosmokinesiologists also remain in high demand across many fields, further limiting the necessary resources to manufacture the detonators.
Available supplies are therefore carefully rationed across SAF fleets based upon their usual tasks, and the prestige of their admirals
, much to the relief of the rest of the universe.