1. jdhowell0916
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    jdhowell0916 New Member

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    Need help with a biological/chemic warfare scenario

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by jdhowell0916, Jul 25, 2011.

    What real world massive chemical attack could turn the world, or at least large pockets, into a gas-mask wearing society?

    I am writing a book about the NEAR future in which gas masks are vital to survival. It would involve a past in which a massive chemical attack was let loose on the world in an attempt to manually bring forth the end of all things. This attack would need to be FAST ACTING, and it must be real or at least something that could be conceived within the next 5 years realistically. It has to be something that kills or causes fatal illness upon inhalation. The point would be to cause HIGH casualties right off the bat and force the rest into a gas mask culture. These masks would not be part of full body suits, so this can’t be something that can be absorbed through the skin.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be STRONGLY appreciated. Please don’t say NOVA 6 (COD:BO) or some kind of ANTI-matter bomb. Thanks for your help
     
  2. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    My guess is that if your goal is simply to create a gas mask culture, you likely don't need to conjure up an unspeakably noxious substance/ devastating attack. Look at the number of folk who took to wearing masks during the relatively recent bird-flu outbreak. You've got to laugh.

    Perhaps think in terms of the media treatment/exploitation of the matter rather than the matter itself.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The problem you're going to have is explaining the persistence of the chemical in the atmosphere. It has to be breathed, so it has to be airborne. You could have a chemical attack that would kill people who breathe the chemical (i.e. are not wearing gas masks) but you're going to have a hard time explaining why people would need to wear such masks indefinitely into the future. Think of the atmosphere, the sheer volume of it, and then the effects of wind, rain, simple diffusion of the airborne-chemical. Seems to me it wouldn't take long for any airborne chemical to disperse completely, and then there is no longer a need for masks.
     
  4. Cain
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    Cain Member

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    How about a day of the triffids type thing where a genetically modified crop goes haywire and is not only unstoppable (rhododendron gene?), but also the pollen is highly toxic.

    Probably not feasible on a world wide scale, or wouldn't be deadly all year round, but a starting point maybe...
     
  5. Lost_in_Thought
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    Lost_in_Thought Member

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    I use to live in a Igloo, but it melted :)
    How 'bout this. Another world war has started, but neither side is using nukes. Instead they're using bombs that fill the air with deadly deases that could kill millions of people. Because of fear of a sudden biological attack many people whose nation is invovled in the war wear gas masks. It doesn't even have to be the countries at war wearing them. It could be a country thats at risk of being attacked.
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You should watch the classic Naussica: Valley of the Wind by Miyazaki. It's set about 1000 years into the future and every human who wants to venture outside must wear a gas mask due to massive jungles that release toxic fumes.

    Or play Fallout - might inspire you some.

    You could have some sort of mutation caused by a made-up chemical, where animals, insects or even humans begin to emit a certain gas upon death? (and the mutation would cause the death within days) So the more dead bodies are around, the more gas gets released. Body count would pile up high because at first people wouldn't know, so the moment they approach the dead bodies, they'd die, and then release the gas themselves. And pretty soon, there're too many bodies to be got rid of and the world is filled with the gas. This gas can then poison even vegetation, which - now stealing the idea from Naussica, the film I mentioned - release the very same gas, only the plants can survive. Now you have a device where the gas levels will only ever go up, and never down, and be maintained even if you got rid of all the bodies in the world.

    Not sure how well that works - I made it up just now.
     
  7. ShatteredHopes
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    ShatteredHopes Member

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    This is actually my specialty and I know quite about these substances due to some classes I took in University as well as some things I learned in the military.

    Also, you don't have to use a real chemical, you can make one up, because in modern day chemical warfare, most of the time the enemy doesn't like using "old" chemicals because most of them have been caught on to prevent. Plus, if you make your own, you can mould it into the effects you want and make it a branch off of some other chemical with similar effects.

    But some real chemicals are phosgene, which was used in the world wars, it causes choking due to pulmonary breakdown of the blood-air barrier. But phosgene is quite easily mitigated. Of course, there's also Mustard gas, but it also has acidic properties to the skin and bertholite. Bertholite isn't quite as strong, but its more easily prevented by gas masks, which might be appealing to your story.

    My suggestion though, would be to choose something like bertholite or phosgene and make a new chemical from them, possibly it could be formed as a rare or new isotopes?
     
  8. Word Dancer
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    Word Dancer Member

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    You also need to consider the effect on plants and animals. If you have a persistent chemical agent hovering in the air it would kill them as well as people. You could have a chemical made to kill only Humans but that would probably be biological rather than chemical.
    If this gas was persistent for years houses would have to be sealed and have some kind of filter to take in air and clean it or they would have to wear the masks in doors as well.
    Also would absorb into food? If so you could not eat outside all food would have to be protected when outside.
     

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