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?