Often simplified as ‘A Large, Scary Flamethrower’, the Lithis Disruptor System is perhaps one of the most poorly understood weapons platforms in existence. Projecting a swirling helix of aerosolized hydrazine compound up to eighty meters, it’s easy to mistake the Disruptor for little more than an expensive way to previously un-ignited things significantly more on fire. However, the torrent of flame spouting from the Disruptor is in essence a secondary effect; a propulsion method and detonation system for its primary ordnance.
Mixed in with the Disruptor’s gale of fire are thousands of magnetized, adhesive micro-pellets. These pellets are coated in ablative layers of fireproofing that ensure they survive long enough for the pressure of the Disruptor’s stream to lodge them in every crevice, joint, aperture, and seam of a target. Once there, they will smolder quietly until finally detonating in miniscule, intense blasts, producing temperatures well over 5500 degrees Centigrade. In addition to causing catastrophic damage to the inherently weakest structures on a given target (weapons mounts, plating seams, protruding equipment), the magnetic particles and gout of heat that contains them have a profoundly disruptive (hence the name) effect on most sensory systems. A single strafing run from a low-flying Avenger might have negligible effects on an armored warship, but could leave its defensive systems helpless against a subsequent torpedo or missile volley.
And while designed for a different purpose altogether, the Disruptor remains profoundly, alarmingly effective against personnel. Scenes of Serican servicepeople burning alive on the decks of targeted ships helped rouse the public to action, the horrifying after-effects of the weapon easily feeding into the image of the Hierarchy as a flat-out villainous affront to human civilization. That it was a clever, cheap solution to their enemy’s superlative electronics warfare and frontline combat capabilities was a point largely forgotten by the media.
A hand-held single-use version of the weapon was developed, but ultimately employed only a handful of times. It is believed there are more of these weapons in Serican and Unity armories than ever found their way to Hierarchy forces during the war, where they remain a proven and valued anti-materiel weapon in the terrifying event of another full-scale conflict.
Interestingly, the misunderstood nature of the Disruptor has led to a number of gaffes and grievous tactical errors on the part of home-grown weapons manufacturers, mercenaries, and others. Many Avenger VTOLs produced after the War feature simple high-volume flamethrowers in place of true Disruptors, their creators failing to understand the nuances of the weapon system and releasing an ultimately ineffective product as a result. The ‘Lithis’ (actually produced by, and only by, Edgeworks) ‘mini-flamer’ is another bastardization, a failed translation of the single-use infantry-borne Disruptor into a rail-mounted single-use flamethrower of dubious combat utility (though it remains a powerful psychological effect).