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The destruction of Vulcan took place on stardate 2258.42 after the Romulan Nero drilled to the planet's core and detonated red matter there, 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. 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, and Nero captured Spock and marooned him on the 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 planetary government sent out a distress call which led to a Federation task force to pursue and the assess the situation. The Narada 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 out in short order. It is unknown if any crew members managed to escape this destruction via shuttles. One starship, 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.
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, and resulting in the near-total destruction of the Vulcan species. (Star Trek)
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 defense schemes from Pike. Knowledge of Federation's defenses would later be utilized in a 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, recovering the SS Botany Bay and awakening Khan Noonien Singh. Alexander Marcus threatened to kill his 72 surviving crew members, blackmailing him into helping 31 design 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)|