1. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    A Nuke in Disguise

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Catrin Lewis, Feb 14, 2015.

    Help! I'm trying to skirt my way around a big radioactive plot crater.

    My arch-villain has a device
    • That is a proto-suitcase nuke type of atomic bomb
    • That he tells everyone is an atomic bomb
    • Which my protagonists have reason to believe is an atomic bomb, and
    • With which he threatens to blow up himself and everyone in the vicinity if he's not allowed to go free
    but
    • It can't look like any sort of bomb at all to the police who have him cornered
    such that
    • Quite a few of them are ready and willing to shoot him full of holes if he makes one false move.
    It might help to say that the year is 1982, before "suitcase nuke" was a household term, and the setting is a very remote backwoods location in the Appalachians or the Ozarks: some mountainous region like that. The police involved are the county sheriffs' departments and the state highway patrol, but I don't want to make them out to be a bunch of ill-trained, toothless hillbillies. It's just that the villain is a local boy gone bad, they're tired of his crap, and they've never heard of John Aristotle Phillips.

    So what can this device look like? It has to be something he can hold in his left arm (not wear) while wielding a handgun with his right. He refers to it as "his baby." Previously I'd described it as looking like an oversized steel-encased stereo tuner, but even in '82, that would read "bomb of some sort," wouldn't it?

    However it looks, it has to come off as so innocent that the cops will say, "Okay, cut the BS about an A-bomb, put down the gun or we'll shoot." Which, per my other thread on "Whose POV"? will cause my female protagonist to freak out and try to get to the sheriff to convince him that what the villain says is true.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Quoux
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    Quoux Member

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    I suppose your asking for something that looks like an ordinary item (not a suitcase) but is instead an A-Bomb? What an interesting concept. Prior to 1982 in the 70's, the cameras they used for filming movies (back when they actually used film and not pixels) were a tad hefty. One would expect them to weigh a decent amount and make all sorts of noises when in use. I don't know if your antagonist would have such a device, however, as the ones I'm thinking of were used explicitly for film production and not hobby.
     
  3. Megalith
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    Megalith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe something that looks like it is holding a large instrument? Keyboards where pretty popular in the 80's.
     
  4. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    If she was female she could probably hide it in her 80's shoulder pads or big hair. In fact, if he was into glam rock he could probably conceal a reasonable sized bomb in his hair. Otherwise an 80's mobile phone is roughly the size of an intercontinental missile.
     
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  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    A dead man's switch gets you around the cops shooting you.

    I'm unclear. So what you are asking is for a bomb that the cops don't believe but the girlfriend knows is real?
     
  6. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yep.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Size could be enough to do it. If the cops think the box is too small to be a nuke, it doesn't matter what it looks like.
     
  8. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. They also can't believe it's an ordinary bomb.

    Now, that might be more likely because the villain's explosives cache has just gone up in flames about 20 minutes before.

    I think.
     
  9. Dunning Kruger
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    Dunning Kruger Active Member

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    How about a large dufflebag? It's called that for a reason. Anyway, supposedly the Soviets had one stashed in the Shenandoah valley in the event of war, in case that helps.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suitcase_nuke
     
  10. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I may have it. It could be shaped like an oversized steel breadbox. How innocent is that? :D
     
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  11. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    And my idea was that the villain wouldn't threaten to detonate it himself; rather he'd tell the cops if they shoot him they'll set it off themselves.
     
  12. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Or just a guitar, I don't think it has to be period specific.
     
  13. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    Yeah go with a guitar nuke like a sequel to Desperado. "When I finally learn to hit this E chord, you guys are screwed."
     
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  14. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Although E is one of the easier chords - Eminor even easier. I'd go B7.
     
  15. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    How about a tool box?

    Have you ever seen the movie The Manhattan Project with John Lithgow?
     
  16. Bryan Romer
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    Backwoods folk would be very familiar with dynamite, and a suitcase or large paint can filled with dynamite and nails would be tremendously destructive at close to medium range, so the police would be unlikely to lightly dismiss the claim of a bomb even if they didn't believe in an atomic one.

    Maybe if he hollowed out a large shortwave radio, or if he made it look like an ACME bomb, ball shaped with a big fuse sticking out the top and TNT painted on the side.
     
  17. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, but that's an idea.
     
  18. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    What about a boom box? A literal boom box? It's roughly the right time period for one of those old silver ghetto blasters that you'd stuff full of D batteries.
     
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  19. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    A villain with a warped sense of humour?
     
  20. bossfearless
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    bossfearless Active Member

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    "Stay back pigs! This is my boom box. It goes boom baby, BOOM!"
     
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