The Babylon Project

"A Death Cloud is similar to a mass driver, in the way that an adult with heavy artillery is similar to an infant with a toy hammer."

Finian, 2266

A Death Cloud was a weapon developed by the Shadows to devastate the entire surface of a planet, rendering it uninhabitable.[1]


A Death Cloud is made up of a nano-tech cloud surrounding an immense movable latticework superstructure. The cloud itself does not register on normal sensors; only Vorlon sensor technology appears able to properly resolve any details of the system. It also seems to have the ability to drain heat energy from enemy ships, shutting down their jump engines. When the Death Cloud is unleashed upon an inhabited world the superstructure unfolds, enclosing the planet before launching thousands of multi-gigaton thermonuclear missiles that penetrate the planet's crust before detonating, thereby tearing the planet apart from the inside.[1][2]

To help protect against destruction, the device's main control center is hidden in a seemingly ordinary lattice junction beside the main hub, only differentiated by defensive beam weaponry.


During the Second Shadow war, the Shadows began to use this weapon against worlds that were supporting the Vorlons, though only after the Vorlons started using their own planetkillers against worlds that the Shadows had influenced.[3] One of the last worlds destroyed by the Shadows was Zander Prime, homeworld of Dureena Nafeel. Although Dureena later stated that they had been neutral, the Shadows clearly thought Zander Prime had been influenced by the Vorlons enough to make it a legitimate target.[4]

When the Shadows left the galaxy with the other First Ones they took most of these devices with them. However, one remained in storage somewhere and their former servants, the Drakh, managed to gain control over it from the Shadow base at Xha'dam. In 2266, as part of his preparations for their imminent revenge campaign, they successfully launch the weapon, razing a planet, Daltron VII, as a testing ground, while a second one is under construction, though shortly afterwards the base and the partly completed Death Cloud is destroyed when the techno-mage Kane and Vir Cotto prematurely trigger the mechanism.[5]

While this is taking place, the first Cloud heads to Earth with the Drakh fleet, but was destroyed when the Victory rams into the hidden control center causing the device to be triggered early, thereby closing over himself, trapping much of the Drakh fleet within, destroying them, firing upon itself and the Drakh vessels within it.[4]