The destruction of Vulcan took place on stardate 2258.42 after the Romulan Nero drilled to the planet's core where he detonated red matter, causing the planet to implode. A Starfleet task force attempted to stop the attack, but were no match for Nero's starship the Narada.
129 years in the future, a supernova had completely destroyed the Romulan homeworld, Romulus, despite the best efforts of Federation ambassador Spock to prevent it. A full-scale Federation rescue effort had been planned but was politically controversial even before the rescue armada was lost in the Attack on Mars, at which point the effort was abandoned. (PIC: "Remembrance", "Maps and Legends") Spock was able to collapse the supernova into a singularity using a red matter device, before any other worlds could fall victim, but an enraged Romulan captain named Nero intercepted Spock's ship and threatened to destroy him.
Before he could do so, however, the singularity's gravity well dragged both ships inside, with Nero's vessel, the Narada being thrown back to the year 2233, while Spock's craft, the Jellyfish was pulled in a few seconds later and arrived in the year 2258. The Narada had again intercepted the Jellyfish however, having waited twenty-five years to do so. Nero then captured Spock and marooned him on the nearby planet Delta Vega, so that he would be forced to witness Nero's revenge for the destruction of his homeworld. (Star Trek)
Afterward, the Narada arrived at Vulcan and deployed a high-powered plasma drill in Vulcan's upper atmosphere to drill a huge shaft to the core of Vulcan. The Vulcan High Command sent out a distress call which led to a Federation task force to pursue and the assess the situation. With much of Starfleet's resources occupied in the Laurentian system, many ships were partially-manned by Starfleet Academy cadets. The Narada initially detected seven starships approaching, though it is known that ten Federation ships were launched.
When they arrived, however, the ships proved no match for the advanced weaponry of the Romulan ship, and the fleet was destroyed in short order. One starship, the newly-launched USS Enterprise, had arrived later than the others (owing to a minor mistake by its rookie helmsman) and nearly collided with the debris field made up of wreckage from the other starships.
Nero witnessed the arrival of the new starship and was prepared to destroy the Enterprise, when he realized just which ship it was, and that this reality's Spock would be on the vessel. He ordered the captain of the Enterprise, Christopher Pike, to surrender himself and come on board the Narada, which he agreed to do. Before he went to the Narada however, Pike dropped an assault team comprised of James T. Kirk, Sulu and Chief Engineer Olson onto the Narada's drill platform (interference from the drill made beaming impossible).
In an effort to achieve total surprise over the Romulans, Olson delayed in deploying his parachute until the last possible instant. Unfortunately, Olson badly miscalculated as he crashed into the platform, fell off the side and was incinerated by the drill's energy discharge. Kirk and Sulu were suddenly left at a disadvantage since Olson had been carrying the explosive charges with which they intended to destroy the platform.
Two Romulan crewmembers emerged from the drill and a hand-to-hand fight began between them and the Starfleet officers, which eventually ended when one of them was burned to death by flames from an exhaust outlet, while the other was impaled and thrown off the side of the platform. Using captured disruptor rifles, Kirk and Sulu shot at the mining platform's machinery until it ceased functioning.
Unfortunately, their efforts came too late; the Narada had already reached the planet core. Nero then ordered a bomb made up of red matter from the Jellyfish to be fired into the planet's core, and when it detonated it created an artificial singularity within the planet. Upon hearing of this, and that the entire planet would be obliterated within a matter of minutes, acting captain Spock sent a largely futile evacuation order to the planet and beamed himself down to retrieve the Vulcan elders (including his parents) who were tasked with preserving Vulcan's cultural heritage and wisdom. Since the elders convened inside the katric ark, direct communication and transporter functions were impossible.
Not all of the elders escaped as the surface began to collapse and among the casualties was Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson. Seconds later the planet completely imploded into the singularity, leaving no trace of its existence or that of its six billion inhabitants. (Star Trek)
- "Acting Captain's Log, stardate 2258.42. We have had no word from Captain Pike. I therefore classified him as a hostage of the war criminal known as Nero. Nero, who has destroyed my home planet and most of its six billion inhabitants. While the essence of our culture has been saved in the elders who now reside upon this ship, I estimate that no more than ten thousand have survived. I am now a member of an endangered species."
The battle concluded with the destruction of the planet and the death of its six billion Vulcan inhabitants. The Narada had suffered only minor damage and the loss of two crewmen. Nero was also able to detain Captain Pike as a prisoner and information source. Through the use of a Centaurian slug, Nero gained pertinent knowledge of Federation defenses from Pike that would later be utilized in his follow-up attack against Earth.
The deep emotional effects Spock suffered as a result of the destruction of Vulcan were later used to justify relinquishing his command of the Enterprise to its temporarily promoted first officer, Jim Kirk.
In the wake of the devastation, Ambassador Spock was able to locate a suitable planet to establish a colony and assist the estimated 10,000 remaining Vulcans in restoring their way of life. The colony was simply named New Vulcan. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness)
The destruction of Vulcan resulted in Section 31 taking a much more active role in defending the Federation. They began to aggressively explore uncharted regions of the galaxy. Along the way, they recovered the SS Botany Bay carrying 85 genetically augmented humans in cryosleep. Admiral Alexander Marcus then awakened their leader, Khan Noonien Singh believing his superior intelligence would aid them. Marcus threatened to kill Khan's 72 surviving crew members, blackmailing him into helping Section 31 design advanced weapons and warships, among them the Dreadnought-class USS Vengeance. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
|The Flight of the Narada|
|Attack on the USS Kelvin (2233) • Destruction of Vulcan (2258) • Battle of Earth (2258)|