1. easyhell
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    easyhell Member

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    The logic of KABOOM.

    Discussion in 'Research' started by easyhell, Feb 5, 2014.

    I know that a major piece of my story is the elimination of multiple cities by air. I
    know that there will be bombs dropped, massive explosions and high death tolls.

    However i'm struggling with the logic of it all.
    I want something fiery, and therefore 'cleansing', so I know it has to be a thermobaric. However . I am cautious of Nuclear bombs as the fall out may lend an unrealistic edge to my story. Fall-out would be too difficult to work around, the effects too long lasting to be navigated around. In the time-line I've set my MC she would have limited time to escape the blast zone, so it cannot be something with too large of a 'shock' zone. It would however have to have a high casualty ratio. I'm not opposed to multiple targets and detonations.

    I am not well versed in the subject of bombs, so majority of my research has come from google. If you can think of a better way to blast my fictional city to bits, please enlighten me :)

    I believe my question is this: What bomb(s) would both eliminate a large percentage of a city's population while not having a visible effect on a area approximately 120-200 kilometers out? Would this require strategically placed detonations or would it be a wham-bam-thank-you-m'am type scenario with one detonation?

    Help :)

    Em
     
  2. easyhell
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    easyhell Member

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    Just dawned on me that this should have been placed in research instead of plot. I'm sorry.
    -facepalm-
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know much about your story. If it's science fiction, mass drivers could target cities with rocks from high orbit - artificial meteors.
     
  4. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    Incendiary bombs can start fires that rage for large areas and cause a high death toll. The MC may have time to escape before the fires reach her location.
     
  5. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Also search for 'fuel-air' bombs.
     
  6. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    This. As the velocity of an object gets higher, the energy it imparts is greater. Think E = mc*c.

    A 1 kg mass could wipe out a city if it's moving at a high enough velocity.
     
  7. easyhell
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    easyhell Member

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    I like the fire idea, only real reason for that is the plot of my story. Perhaps I should have shared a little bit more.

    Essentially, the bombings are to be a drastic government action, a 'cleansing' if you will, of the country. A sickness has spread across the land (Think of H1N1 going on a date with the Black Plague, having a sweet sweet love, and the child borne out of the relationship is this disease), as expected it has rooted itself deep in large urban areas of high population density. My MC's city has over 70% infected citizens and the number just keeps going up. The government has decided on a 'clean-up' project in which they try to stop the problem before it spreads by burning the disease. This mentality is one of, sacrifice 200,000 odd survivors to save millions.

    Fire appeals to me because it is perhaps the oldest known ways of fast and rather effective disinfection; the incineration effect will hopefully eradicate the disease on both the living and the dead.

    Although artificial meteors would be amazing, all I can envision is dropping a rock on an egg.. a big bang and a whole lot of crap flying out the sides. :p

    Thank you all for your advice!
     
  8. Joe C
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    Joe C New Member

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    What about chemical weapons? They kill people without really doing much damage to structures and the chemicals disappear pretty fast afterwards. It might also make for a dramatic escape if your MC is running from something that's invisible, and it could be escaped not just by running but by covering herself up and wearing a gas mask until the chemicals have dispersed. Not sure which chemical - I guess you could invent one that sounds vaguely realistic, and have it both kill people and neutralise the virus. (Fire is also a really good option too.)
     
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Doubtful that a 1 kg mass would make it through the atmosphere without burning up and it certainly wouldn't do much damage.

    http://www.barringercrater.com/education/craterfacts.php
    If you want the science to be right here, typically chondrite and achondrite meteors which don't have extremely high velocities tend to explode in the air, and you'd get a nice Tunguska air blast. The meteorites that resulted would then just rain down at terminal velocity.

    A nickel-iron meteorite with enough velocity would blast a crater like the one that hit Arizona 50K years ago.

    The idea sounds intriguing. And there are probably enough NEOs (near Earth objects) to make it feasible.


    A fair number of facts can be gleaned from this Wiki entry on Tunguska impactor models.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  10. Storysmith
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    If the government wants to destroy the city, while limiting how far out the damage goes, how about a swarm of tiny robots, each searching for people to kill but limiting its search to within a certain distance of the city center? If they're numerous and as small as insects, people won't be able to avoid them, but infrastructure wouldn't be directly damaged. They don't even need proper weapons - they could kill by burrowing.

    The robots won't destroy the disease, of course, but they will stop it spreading and allow for a more leisurely clean-up.

    If that's too high-tech, then fire-bombing by plane might be a good option - they did that to part of London in the zombie film 28 Days Later.
     
  11. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Neutron bomb. Living things all dead. Infrastructure intact. Ideal for removing troublesome neighbors. Range would depend on the size of the bomb.

    Thermobaric/Fuel air bombs are pretty destructive, and you would need an awful lot of them for an entire city.

    Limited lifespan flesh eating bacteria. Governments would have the capability.

    More simply - cities are delicate things. Cut off water, fuel, and food supplies to the city. Surround with troops. Wait.
     
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  12. easyhell
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    easyhell Member

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    Genius. However, how would my MC get out? Also, since it is a virus, how would you protect possible infection of the troops?
    In my minds eye I saw about five to seven bombs, targeting locations of high infection such as Hospitals and lower class suburbs. After the initial fire bombings, troops would move in and 'dispose' of survivors, that way there would be no chance of the infection spreading outside the city. I figured an advanced hazmat suit could be useful here, after all it would just be a one day sweep. But a prolonged siege would require more protection and hazardous materials handling..

    Unfortunately I'm of the mind that if I don't believe it I cant write it :p I can picture a siege, but escape would be extremely difficult, especially if they are trying to wipe out a disease.

    Would it be illogical to think that troops would then fan out around the countryside around the city and eliminate any possible infection/witnesses?

    Thankyou!
     
  13. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just a suggestion - the top local government officials (Mayor, etc) are given the vaccine/antidote but can't all bug out until the last minute so as not to alarm the residents. Your hero finds out and steals/takes it.

    Or he could just shoot his way out like the heroes in Resident Evil 2.
     
  14. Fizpok
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    Fizpok Member

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    SO... you want a clean bomb with a sharp border between a guranteed kill and safety zones? There is no such thing. You also can not go underground from nukes, and you can not outrun the shockwave. You can hide behind a hill or a cliff though.
     
  15. Monte Thompson
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    Monte Thompson Member

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    Depends on the technology of the civilization you're writing about.
    There are ways to kill just the people and leave the buildings and machines. There are ways to just take out the power. Consider anything that would devistate a city including natural disasters. Is it possible that the attackers coulod cause natural disasters to befall the cities? If you;re going to have a big boom then you;re going to have fallout. It may not be radioactive but it;s goign to clog the atmosphere and cause hard, winter conditions across your world and not just over the areas that are destroyed. Weather is a major factor in the results of your cataclysm.
     

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