The Reaper weapon nicknamed "Blackstar" is so advanced that Alliance scientists can only offer speculation about how it works. The gun appears to exploit an element zero core and mass effect fields to fire gravitational singularities - micro black holes - that revert to their natural lethality when they impact a solid object. Researchers theorize that the blast tears apart the strong nuclear forces that hold the target's atoms together, resulting in a localized fusion reaction in light atoms and a fission reaction in heavy atoms. If that hypothesis is correct, the weapon alters nuclei, thus changing the chemical composition of the target. It destroys organic tissue, corrodes surviving armor, and leaves a visible trail of light-emitting particles.