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Subanese crystal, colloquially known as Blamite, is a crystalline, high-explosive material used in the ammunition of Type-31 needle rifles, Type-33 Needlers, Type-56 Needlers, and heavy needle cannons. The crystals are mined from veins found throughout the interior of Suban, one of Sanghelios' two natural satellites.
Blamite is one of the few unique ammunition types in Covenant arsenal. When used as ammunition, blamite is capable of two types of damage to a target; penetration, damage caused by the needles impacting flesh and entering it; and the usually-resulting supercombine, the combined explosion of multiple (usually seven) needles wedged in the body. A crystalline projectile can cause fatal damage to its victim—a single shard can cause internal bleeding or strike a vital organ, with untreated wounds resulting in death. The resulting detonation of the shard upon penetration also spreads micro-shrapnel throughout the victim. Depending on the impact area and angle, several crystalline shards can cause amputation of limbs, and impacts to the chest are in most cases fatal; the supercombine properties can easily crack ribs, damage the lungs or heart, and cause severe flesh damage that can be very difficult and often impossible to repair. If enough rounds impact and detonate simultaneously, the unfortunate target can quite literally be blown apart.
While used exclusively in needle rifles and Needlers, the needles behave differently in both weapons when fired. Needles fired from a Needler appear to have some sort of "identify-friend/foe" function, as they will home in on hostile targets, but not allies of the wielder. Needles fired from a needle rifle lack this function, behaving more like traditional projectiles, but are much faster and require fewer embedded rounds to cause a lethal supercombine. The energy cutlass, a melee weapon used predominantly by Kig-Yar, uses a blamite shard as the blade. When thrust into a soft target, the blade will explode violently similar to a Needler shard.
Blamite was used by the Sangheili in their early weapon designs, prior to the establishment of the Covenant in 852 BCE. Suban is the only known location of blamite veins, and some believed that the moon is the only world where the crystals exist. Although the crystals had been studied and documented for thousands of years by the Covenant, the properties of blamite remain perplexing to all. However, it is believed that the San'Shyuum may have covertly created highly specialized publications on blamite and its properties, but any such documents would have likely been destroyed alongside High Charity and its vast records complexes in 2552. Due to the vast size of the Covenant Empire, hundreds of carefully curated storage facilities were employed across dozens of systems to serve as local waystations for Covenant fleets seeking to restock their stores, blamite being among the stocks of these facilities. Following the Human-Covenant War, these facilities were often raided by numerous factions and blamite became a relatively attainable material. Subanese miners, while primarily serving the Swords of Sanghelios, have also supplied other factions and species—willing to pay the gekz—with blamite, regardless of affilation.
With the Covenant's demise, Sangheili artisan-armorers garnered renewed interests in discovering the properties of blamite. Many pre-Covenant design patterns incorporating blamite have been uncovered to assist in the research. Human scientists had also began to express interest in the crystals, especially in regards to exploiting the energy-storage properties of blamite. UNSC and Sangheili researchers have since collaborated in an attempt to discover the properties and functions of blamite in Kolaar Manufactorum on Sanghelios. However, the results yielded from the research was listed as inaccessible by the Office of Naval Intelligence. AMG Transport Dynamics Motorsport Manager Erik Burch proposed the creation of an M12 Warthog variant which would have made use of a pair of experimental blamite afterburners, but the project was canceled by AMG's Special Projects Director Tyse Jenkins as he found Bursch's idea too outlandish.
The Blood of Suban variant of the Type-57B carbine fires carefully carved Subanese crystal shards capable of penetrating armor and sympathetically detonating in lethal 'supercombine' explosions. The Sword Needler Warthog features an M343A2 chaingun that fires blamite and is one of several innovations stemming from cooperation between the UNSC and the Swords of Sanghelios. Unggoy Goblins are armed with a double-barreled heavy needle cannon capable of dealing significant damage to vehicles and fire a barrage of blamite that can target up to eight different hostiles. In the post-war era, Covenant remnants and the Banished commonly employ Blamex; an explosive substance derived from Subanese crystal.
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