1. Rickswan
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    Rickswan Member

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    How to escape a room using a dead demon

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Rickswan, Nov 26, 2015.

    So here's the setup: a group of characters are trapped behind a metal door in a subway. There is a dead demon in the room that they killed with firearms. I'm trying to come up with the physiology of said demon. I've decided that part of its physical makeup will be sulfur (brimstone = sulfur). I'm thinking they could use the demon's physiology to escape the room.

    It is your traditional fireball throwing red horned demon. Perhaps they have a gland that secretes some sulfur-based contact explosive in order to create the fireballs, or something that allows them to spit sulfuric acid. Perhaps they can manifest a thermite-like compound that could melt through metal. I don't know enough about chemistry to really know what is possible; I have no idea realistically how long it would take for sulfuric acid to dissolve enough of a door or metal bars in order for one to make an exit.

    So, what do you think would be most feasible, in a hard sci-fi sense? Obviously demons would have a magical element to them - perhaps they could synthesize volatile chemicals at a faster rate than physics would allow, and perhaps their body parts can go on living after their vital parts are destroyed - but you know, as realistic as reasonable.
     
  2. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    Getting through a metal door definitely won't be achieved with sulfuric acid. There might be some slight bubbling and oxide formation on the surface of the metal, but that alone would take multiple minutes. Heating the acid with fire could slightly accelerate the rate of corrosion, although that would produce fumes that would likely result in the deaths of the group.

    Melting the door could be somewhat plausible.

    The most believable solution would be to have the characters shoot the lock on the door with their firearms.
     
  3. Rickswan
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    Rickswan Member

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    [Here] is another forum where I asked this question. There has been some brainstorming. Let's say the door isn't going to budge, even if you shoot the hinges. The current scene is that they are stuck in some sort of utility room or service tunnel. I chose a subway tunnel because there is a big group of characters who don't know each other, some are civilians and others are law enforcement. They must come together and work as a team, and they need a valid reason to do so in New York City - hence subways.

    About some of the characters: there is an FBI Bomb Defusal expert (probably the one figuring out the bomb), some SWAT guys (bullets), a biologist (figures out how the different demons function which helps the team out), etc. At some point the biologist observes that the demons chuck fireballs as projectile weapons. This would mean they are able to somehow extremely quickly synthesize a contact explosive (Picric acid? Flash powder? Something similar to nitroglycerin?) inside a flaming shell - like a biological/magical molotov cocktail.

    So thermite is an option, but I'm wondering if there's a way they could utilize the biology of the demon a little more.
     
  4. NeighborVoid
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    NeighborVoid Active Member

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    In that case, magic would definitely need to be involved. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, and biologically synthesizing an explosive capable of melting through a metal door would require a massive consumption of energy beforehand.

    For the substance itself, thermite might just be your best option. It burns instead of exploding immediately, so most of its energy is converted to heat instead of being used to create a shockwave.
    Other options either explode too quickly or don't burn hot enough to get through a metal door. The door could be blown apart, but the shrapnel and shockwave might pose a danger to the group.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What about using a horn from the demon to pop one of the hinges, or gouge at the stone/cinder block around the door frame?
     
  6. Rickswan
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    Rickswan Member

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    Interesting, I didn't think of that. I want to take advantage of all the characters' unique skills though, so maybe the demon's horn is made up of a material which could be ground up and used as a fuel or additive for the explosives/thermite.
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Manipulating and establishing a demonic creature's physiology around one scene so characters can escape in a way that you envision will further character development...might that have detrimental effects in the long run.

    Questions: How large is the room? What equipment do they have to dissect, grind, manipulate, dry or proportionally combine the different elements that make up a demon? Might each type of demon have a different makeup to its physiology? If the demon has toxic or volatile elements that make up its body, what protective gear (physical and respiratory) do the characters have on hand to protect themselves, not only from the carcass being in close proximity and while cutting it up, but also from the chemicals toxins released in the explosion, in addition to the explosive effects?

    Just some thoughts that occurred to me.
     
  8. Rickswan
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    Rickswan Member

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    Maybe you have a point. I'm starting to think that maybe it's impractical to use the demon's physiology to get out of the room - it seems mundane methods may simply work better.

    As to what kind of room it is, I'm imagining something like this "relay room" at the 1:54 mark in [this] video. (more subway areas: [1] [2] [3] [4])

    I'm thinking now that maybe while they're finding a more down-to-earth method of escape, the biologist could use this time to examine the demon's physiology. He notices that this variety of demon has green blood because of something similar to Sulfhemoglobinemia, and it reeks of sulfur. He determines that sulfur is a component in its physiology - and that a chemical that reacts violently with sulfur may be useful. After a bit of search engine research, I found that zinc and sulfur have a neat violent reaction resulting in a bright puff of green fire [video]. It also appears that Zinc is fairly cheap and legal to purchase in raw powder form [Amazon], so it wouldn't be a stretch for the biologist to say something like "we have a bunch of Zinc powder in the university labs, not far from here. Maybe we could weaponize the stuff."

    The trick then would be for the weaponization to be more useful than simply using bullets. Maybe normally the demons are immune to fire, but small beakers or flasks could be turned into molotov cocktails filled with zinc powder, with the wick dipped in kerosene or something. Then there could be a pun in there about fighting fire with fire. I'm wondering if it has to be in powder form for it to work properly... but what do you think, does it sound somewhat plausible?
     
  9. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps the demon could be used as a step so that they can reach an air-conditioning duct. Maybe that's not enough extra height. If the demon is 8ft tall, and rigor mortis sets in, then perhaps the demon could be propped up against the wall and used as a ladder.

    Since we're talking about a demon, then acid blood that does eat through metal would be plausible. At least, as plausible as demons themselves. However, I think that it would look like a simple steal from the Alien movie franchise.

    Using devil fingernails to pick a lock?
     
  10. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think Defiantly Maybe loves me. Yes Defiantly., I have heard of that silly shit with the bad voice, and given the option I would punch the silly prick in the face, and no he is not hard, he pretends in the mos embarrassing manner.
     
  11. Rickswan
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    Rickswan Member

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    Ha ha, I'm liking the input. I may keep these ideas for this or a later scene. Maybe the crazy guy of the group could keep a demon horn or fang around with him as a trophy, having it come in handy later. I actually shied away from their blood being hydrochloric acid for the same reason you mentioned, similarities to the Alien franchise. That doesn't mean that this or another variant of demon couldn't have acidic blood or spit (possibly hydrosulfuric acid) though. Speaking of crazy, I have no clue what Chinspinner is saying, but it doesn't sound relevant.
     
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  12. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    When demons die, a gigantic devilish hand breaks through the earth, through floors and anything else in its way, grabs the demon corpse and drags it back down to hell. The heroes escape through the hole in the floor into a space under the building and out.

    I was disappointed in my contribution to the thread as all my suggestions were normal and boring. The suggestion in the previous paragraph is a much better example of the kind of writer I want to be. Particularly if the hand appearing is preceded by; shaking, the room twisting and the floor buckling, creating a serious WTF moment for the reader.
     

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