Thank you for the new chapter, Stuart. I was somewhat surprised to see it on Friday, but only because you mentioned earlier that you intended to get some extra work done on Pantheocide
"They fled Sir. When the battle turned against them, they abandoned their human troops and fled. The fighters from our allies got many but the rest escaped."
Fucking cowards. And abandoning the Human Levies (is that like "human shields?") to be slaughtered. But then again, they might have figured it was better to run away and fight some other day. Little did they know the range and power of human weaponry. If Gen. Petraeus is right that angels would primarily fight in a very conservative manner, then it would have been expected.
501st Tactical Missile Wing. Heaven.
The transporter-erector-launch vehicle groaned as the four-round missile launcher module elevated to the firing position. It paused there for a few seconds, then the whole system rocked as a missile emerged from one of the tubes. Originally a long cylinder with a rounded nose, it changed as soon as it was out of its tube. Wings sprouted from its fuselage, tail surfaces deployed and an air intake dropped out from under the belly. What had once looked like a torpedo now was an unmanned aircraft. With the Ground-Launched Cruise Missile on its way, the TEL lowered its launch module. The deed was done.
Oh, a cruise missile. Hmmm. I wonder what its target is.
The missile, known officially as the Gryphon but actually called the Glickem by everybody, had its course carefully laid out. It climbed to 100 feet and then set off along the planned route, the radar set in its nose measuring the height of the ground ahead of it and ensuring that the clearance of 100 feet was carefully maintained. By its standards, the missile didn’t have far to go and the task it had been given was insultingly easy. Just fly to the specific point it had been aimed at and then do its thing. A few miles short of that point, another program cut in and the missile began to climb. It was of no interest whatsoever to the missile that the final point on its pre-planned course was directly over the center of a mass of 50,000 angels and more than 450,000 of their human levies.
Oh, Elhmas's main force. okay.
It was at this point that warhead signals from both radar and air pressure sensors prompted an electronics package to begin the initiation process. That package sent an electrical impulse down 72 different wires to various points on an explosive shell at the very heart of the W83 warhead at the center of the missile. After 0.003 microseconds those impulses set off a pair of detonators at each of those 72 points, causing the mixture of explosives to converge into a perfectly spherical explosive wave travelling inward. After 10 microseconds the explosive wave had already started to compress successive hollow spheres of various metals. In 3 more microseconds the compression wave had crossed an empty layer to reach the heart of the warhead--a sphere of uranium 5 inches in diameter. The blast from the explosives crushed that sphere into a fluid mass 2 inches in diameter.
A NUKE?! Oh, shit.
At that time, 19 microseconds after detonation, a small particle accelerator in the front of the warhead fired neutrons into the uranium sphere. These neutrons were absorbed by uranium atoms and caused them to decay. In the highly compressed mass, there was nowhere for the decay particles to go; they hit other uranium atoms and caused them to decay as well. This chain reaction cycled 60 times in the next microsecond before a small amount of compressed deuterium-tritium gas was injected into a hollow in the center of the uranium core, increasing the cycling rate to 80 times in the next 0.1 microseconds. By then, the uranium core had reached a temperature of 40 million degrees fahrenheit. That didn’t matter too much, what was important was that the gamma rays given off by the nuclear reactions radiated through the exploding mass and were absorbed by the weapon casing, 0.003 microseconds later. The casing was heated and reradiated the energy as x-rays. It was those X-rays that set the next part of the chain into action.
At least it looks to only be a fission bomb. (I have only a layman's knowledge of nuclear weapons.) Any reason for using "0.003 microseconds" instead of 3 nanoseconds?
At the rear of the core of the W83 was a cylinder of lithium-deuteride, 10 inches in diameter and 30 inches long with a radiation shield protecting it from direct radiation from the primary. It was surrounded by an inch-thick layer of depleted uranium; it also had a rod of uranium in the center. The x-rays reradiated from the warhead casing heated and compressed the outer wrapping of depleted uranium. In 0.1 microseconds this crushed the lithium-deuteride to a cylinder only 2 inches in diameter. At this point, neutrons from the primary arrived at that inner rod of uranium, coming through a hole in the radiation shield. These caused a nuclear chain reaction to occur in the rod, super-heating the lithium-deuteride from within. Neutrons from the chain reaction split the lithium atoms into helium and tritium atoms. The colliding tritium and deuterium atoms fused into helium for another microsecond. Then, the force of the fusion reaction crushed the original core of the device so thoroughly that the dying fission reaction was revived and what was left of the original fission fuel was consumed in the inferno.
An H-BOMB?! Holy fucking shit.
At that point, 20 microseconds after initiation, the temperature was 600 million degrees Fahrenheit and yet the outside of the warhead was only just beginning to disintegrate. Gamma radiation from the nuclear reactions had already radiated up to 1,300 feet in every direction. A region of space about the size of a small angel over the main body of the Incomparable Legion Of Light now held the equivalent explosive energy of 1.2 megatons. This enormous release of gamma radiation had been absorbed by the surrounding air, heating it to a point where it released radiation itself. This formed a glowing ball of gas that was already 400 feet across and yet was continuing to expand at many times the speed of sound. Oddly, the center remained extremely hot while the temperature of the outer part fell as it pushed the surrounding air away. The heat radiated by the outer layer had produced an initial flash of light as bright as the Sun to the observers at the Third Armored Division 25 miles away, now it generated a blast wave that separated from the fireball surface. This travelled at ten times the speed of sound and pushed the air away before creating a partial vacuum behind it. The blast wave reflected off the ground and the surrounding hills, reinforcing itself in some areas, cancelling itself in others to produce a crazy-quilt pattern of blast effects on the hapless Incomparable Legion Of Light below.
A mere 0.08 seconds after initiation the fireball was no longer pushing the blast wave before it and so it began to release the large amount of thermal energy it contained. At 1.07 seconds after initiation it started to rise rapidly as its surface temperature and brightness began to decline. However, it continued to expand until at 8 seconds after initiation it finally reached its maximum size. With a surface temperature of 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit, the fireball was glowing a dull evil red as it topped the traditional mushroom cloud..
If Elhmas is commanding from the field then this will certainly be the last time he gets "baked." I wonder how far away the blast will be seen, and if Yah-Yah will even understand what happened. Maybe Michael can get another of his multicolored lightning displays when he reports this destruction, and the Mason's bunker will actually be necessary. Either that, or a BSOD, more severe than after Wuffles was killed.
And so it was that the prophecies were fulfilled. The Sun Of Man was indeed rising over Heaven.
Okay, I've gotta
ask as well, when did you first think to yourself, "Oh, yeah...I've got to use that line"?