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Genesis device schematics

Schematics for the Genesis Device

"What exactly is Genesis? Well, put simply, Genesis is life from lifelessness."
"That thing is too dangerous for anyone."

The Genesis Device or Genesis torpedo was a sophisticated technological innovation designed to alleviate sociological problems such as overpopulation and limited food supplies. Its development was completed by a team of scientists led by Carol Marcus and her son, David Marcus, in 2285 on the Spacelab Regula I in the Mutara sector. Despite being intended to create life, the creation unintentionally doubled as a doomsday machine, as it would convert any matter, including an already-inhabited planet or any other environment containing existing life, to a fresh class M planet. Fortunately, the indiscriminate nature of the conversion allowed anyone who seized the device from a bad actor to remove the threat by using it in a nebula or an ion storm.


Original device[]

The device, which was launched in the form of a torpedo, initiated a process of rapid terraforming, by which previously uninhabitable planets could be turned into class M worlds ready for colonization. This was accomplished by launching the Genesis Device, a torpedo-shaped projectile, into a lifeless planet. Upon impact, the device caused a massive explosion, reducing the entire area to the subatomic level. A preprogrammed matrix then reassembled these subatomic particles into the desired configuration, creating an atmosphere and environment habitable for Humans within a matter of hours, regardless of the test area's original composition.

Genesis effect

A computer simulation of the Genesis effect

Development and testing of the Genesis Device took place during a year-long period on a space station orbiting Regula, a class D planetoid. Tests were carried out by Dr. Carol Marcus and her team in three stages, the first of which involved experiments conducted in a laboratory on the space station. In the second stage, the device was deployed within a lifeless underground cavern deep inside the Regula planetoid. The intention of the third stage of testing was to introduce the device to a lifeless space body, such as a moon or barren planet.

Genesis detonation

The Enterprise narrowly escapes the detonation of the Genesis Device

Unfortunately, if the device was detonated where life already existed, it could prove to be a very powerful doomsday weapon, destroying all life in favor of its new matrix. Although speculated by David Marcus, this possibility seemed to catch its creators off guard, and they were unprepared for the consequences when Khan Noonien Singh stole the device and detonated it aboard the USS Reliant inside the Mutara Nebula. The resulting cataclysmic explosion reorganized the matter that constituted the nebula and the ship itself and formed that matter into a new planet, Genesis. The ship USS Enterprise was almost destroyed by the shock wave that resulted from the explosion before Spock sacrificed himself to repair its power system and the ship went to high warp just before the Reliant exploded. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Genesis device transporting

The Genesis Device in Reliant's transporter room, moments before detonation

Within an extremely short time, fully developed plant life emerged, but this seemingly tranquil planet had a highly unstable core caused by David Marcus' inclusion of protomatter in its Genesis matrix; this resulted in its aging rapidly. The planet suffered from windstorms, fires, and earthquakes that became more and more violent, until it literally tore itself apart in an explosion almost as tremendous as the one that had created it, destroying the life that had so recently been spawned. Hence, the Genesis Device turned out to be a grand experiment which, due to the use of protomatter in its matrix, ultimately failed. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Later devices[]

In 2381, Nick Locarno obtained a functional Ferengi-made Genesis Device from mutinying Ferengi lower deckers, and used it to threaten anyone who approached the Detrion system not intending to join Nova Fleet. The Ferengi design was greatly compact compared to the original, and could easily be carried by one person. Already outraged at and baffled by Locarno's plans and now aware of just how dangerous he had become, Lieutenant Beckett Mariner stole the device, hijacked the USS Passaro, and fled Nova Fleet. To alleviate the stress of being alone behind enemy lines, she anthropomorphized the device, nicknaming it "G.D.", assigning it the role of first officer, and generally addressing it as if it were sentient while she was in command of the Passaro. Knowing she had to prevent Locarno from reclaiming "G.D." and unable to leave the system due to the trynar shield surrounding it, she attempted to reach the lifeless Detrion 9 to detonate it there, but was unable to reach the planet and ultimately forced to flee into an ion storm.

Locarno recklessly entered the ion storm to recapture Mariner and managed to disable the Passaro, forcing her to activate "G.D."'s countdown to prevent it from falling back into his hands. Locarno confronted her and came close to killing her, but at the last second, she was unexpectedly beamed onto the USS Cerritos' captain's yacht, which had broken into the system during the pursuit. Locarno prevented himself from being rescued and successfully cracked the deactivation code, only to find that, due to it being a Ferengi design, actually deactivating the device was locked behind a two-latinum-bar paywall; Locarno was killed as the explosion consumed the ion storm and everything within. The explosion created a new planet that Starfleet named Locarno, with possible future plans of using it as a safe haven for refugees if it proved to be stable in the long term. (LD: "Parth Ferengi's Heart Place", "Old Friends, New Planets")

As of 2401, another Genesis Device of the same design as the original was stored in Daystrom Station. (PIC: "The Bounty")


While enforcing the Omega Directive in 2374, Captain Kathryn Janeway noted in her log feeling an apprehension that must have been similar to that of Marcus over her Genesis Device, when the scientist "watched helplessly as science took a destructive course." (VOY: "The Omega Directive")


Background information[]

According to Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Gideon Seyetik's terraforming technology in DS9: "Second Sight" was based upon the Genesis Device; "It was established Federation terraforming technology. Of course, the Genesis device didn't work, but obviously Seyetik's work is built upon the research of previous scientists. And it was a nice way to reference the movie." An early story idea was to have Genesis technology rejuvenate a part of Bajor. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 103)


The novels Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock indicated that the Genesis wave absorbed Reliant, along with all the gas and dust of the Mutara Nebula, which was used as raw material to create the Genesis planet. They also state the Genesis Device was programmed to make use of as much matter as was available, even creating entire star systems if there was sufficient mass.

In the Myriad Universes story The Chimes at Midnight, in an alternate timeline wherein both Kirk and Spock are dead, the Whale Probe (as seen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) decimates Earth, leading Carol Marcus to attempt to use the Genesis Device to fix its biosphere.

In The Genesis Wave series, Carol Marcus, alive but kept in a secret location due to her valuable knowledge, is abducted by a race of mysterious moss-based creatures that generate elaborate illusions to convince her to build a new version of Genesis. This version generates the Genesis Wave, a powerful wave of energy that traverses a significant portion of the Alpha Quadrant, terraforming all planets in its path to transform them into worlds suitable for the moss creatures to inhabit, as well as creating new waves of the creatures. During this series, it is revealed that most information about the Genesis Device has been highly classified, to the point that Captain Jean-Luc Picard has only heard rumors and vague details about the project before this crisis. However, the files regarding Genesis speculate that the problem with the Genesis Planet was that it was created from the excess mass of the nebula, and that the Genesis effect would have been perfectly stable if it had been used on an actual planet, as it was intended.

The video game Star Trek: Conquest utilizes the Genesis Device as one of its playable "special weapons". Upon an enemy-held star system being targeted with the device, it only leaves "ships and structures devastated", but appears to have no effect on planets, nor is it said to rebuild the objects it destroys.

In the video game Star Trek Online, the Genesis Device referenced in various ways. The first version was a gift for players who created a mission for the Foundry which was spotlighted when the option was sunset. This ground device created a terraformed piece of land with Spock's soft-landed torpedo casing as a part of it. A second version was released as part of the "New Genesis Bundle", which did the same thing but left out Spock's casket. Both devices held no in-game benefits and the terraforming is undone after a few seconds. The starship Clarke Multi-Mission Command Cruiser, based off of the Miranda class, came with the device "Genesis Seed", which functioned as a high-speed version of the Genesis Device, creating a tiny planet and drawing in enemies before the planet explodes, catching them in its radius.

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