Big Bada Boom
The Mark V “Morningstar” grenade was a softball-sized sphere with odd spikes coming out of it. The prototype sat in a sealed room behind a thick piece of lead glass.
“It actually doesn’t give off that much radiation. The only active sources are the piezonuclear charges that pump the individual positron amplifiers. Wouldn’t be much good as a stealth weapon if neutron detectors could pick it up,” the military scientist explained.
The general had long since come up with a good heuristic for figuring out how far over-budget these ridiculous defense projects were; you take every big word used by the scientists and multiply that by a hundred million dollars.
“Then what?” he asked.
“Oh, the amplifiers fire the antimatter through a debroglie diffractor; it’s actually rather clever; it catalyzes fusion at every point of the surface of the lithium deuteride target at once.”
There’s another half a billion. “Alright, bottom line. What’s the yield.”
“Well, the models predict about 20 kilotons.”