Nuclear Technology. Or, how the worlds military could screw up everything

The subject of nuclear weapons is always a tricky subject to tell. If brought up in polite conversation, it could trigger quite a number of interesting reactions among the party. Nuclear weapons were first created in the 20th century when humans were looking to develop an explosive powerful enough to deal with their enemies in a violent and very show-biz like way by  going out with a bang (if you’ll pardon the expression). And because of the “great” (point of view term) success that was had for the Americans when a group of middle aged men sitting around an oval table decided to drop two on different locations in Japan, the United States decided to put time, money, and effort into the development of nuclear technology that could do even more indirect self harm to their habitable space called “Earth” on the grounds of self preservation. There will probably be an added note somewhere in this story commenting on the level of stupidity that certain humans can exhibit when given too much power.

This story happens to center around a man named Ben Williams. He was just promoted to a Lieutenant, and he is about to discover something rather shocking that could affect the course of his entire life, in a very short time period. He is at an airfield in Las Vegas, and is about to meet up with a general of the military government who will introduce him to the special project that he has been assigned to. But as of right now, he has no idea what the project actually is.

“Lieutenant Williams!” The General shouted. “Good to see you again!”

“Likewise General,” Ben replied.

“I hear you’ve been assigned to our division.”

“That’s right. I have.”

“Well, that’s good. I could sure use a guy like you to oversee this project.”

“What type of project are we dealing with?”

The General laughed.

“What? No one told you?”

“No, they’ve kept me in the dark about that one. They just said it was special”

“I can see why though. You know, top secret and all that. Come on, I’ll show you the project firsthand.”

The General led Ben through a door that led to the outside of the airfield, where a large military plane was sitting outside. It looked like a giant metal tube with two wings attached to it.

“Let’s move out!” The General announced enthusiastically.

“Cool. Where are we going?” Ben asked.

“You’ll see.”

The two boarded the plane, went through the pre-flight checks, and took off from the airfield.

Inside the cockpit, Ben suddenly realized that he had no idea where he was going.

“Where are we going?” Ben asked.

“Area 51,” the General replied.


“Well, that’s where the plane is headed.”

“Oh, okay… Wait, what?!”

One of the things that is most peculiar about the world is the greater populations addiction to military power. The world is divided up into sections known as countries. Most countries have a military. And these military groups’s sole point of existance is to attack the military in other people’s countries or defend their country from the attacks of other countries militaries. Either way ends in usually disastrous results mostly due to the casualties of the wars, especially the great ones. It could be argued that history can be defined by the great wars that took place along the timeline. With random footnotes on important assassinations, right behind world changing inventions, all tied together with time periods where the control of these countries has changed hands through instances of violent conflict. Many aliens from other planets have stated their curiosity and bewilderment over this earth’s idea of war. Their main argument is this, “if they can get along well with people from their own country, why can’t they get along with the rest of the world like they get along with their country?” So far, that question has gone on unanswered and with good reason. Honestly, the aliens just avoid earth altogether since their reasoning is that there is going to be a major self caused catastrophe if the human race keeps up its ridiculous tradition of going to war with each other every other decade or so. Even worse that they keep shoveling money into it like their life depends on it.

Meanwhile, Ben and the General have been traveling for about a 100 miles towards area 51, and at this point they’ve overshot it. Not accidentally though.

“General, we’ve overshot area 51,” Ben said.

“Don’t worry, the plane is turning around to go there,” the General answered.

The General flicked the switch to autopilot. The plane started turning around. The General led Ben through the plane to the tail end. The General gestured his hand to the row of parachutes.

“Pick your favorite,” the General said.

“We’re parachuting?” Ben asked.

“How else would you get to Area 51.1.”

“I thought the plane was taking us to area 51!”

“No, I said that plane was going to area 51. We’re actually going to a place that is so secret, you have to parachute to get there.”

“How will we get out of area 51.1?”

“That part will be explained later.”

Ben proceeded to put on the parachute along with the General who seemed to have done this a thousand times already.

“How many times have you done this before?” Ben asked.

“I come out here every two weeks for two days to oversee the construction,” the General stated


“Yep. Come on, we’re approaching the drop zone.”

The light on the plane turned red and the rear door started to open.

“Wait!” Ben exclaimed. “Who’s going to fly the plane?”

A voice spoke from the plane. “Autopilot engaged.”

“Well that’s convenient,” said Ben.

“Wait for it…” the General said.

The light blinked red for a few moments, then turned green.

“Let’s move out!” The General shouted as he jumped out of the airplane. Ben cautiously followed.

The feeling of being in the air was sensational. If felt like flying, or falling with style if you want to put it that way. The General was falling like a graceful swan that had been through this a million times whilst Ben was falling through the air like a fat pigeon that had never flown before, was attempting to fly, and had simply fallen out of a hole in a plane on it’s way to Paris. He of course had parachuted out of a plane before, but only few times and hadn’t gotten the hang of it.

The General flew over toward Ben and showed him how to position himself so he would have an easier time falling. It worked, and soon Ben was falling like a graceful brick. It got to the point where he started showing off, and the General had no other alternative but to fly over to Ben and pull his chute manually. The parachute opened and Ben floated to the ground exactly the same way that a plane without wings wouldn’t. The General pulled his chute soon after that and they touched down on the ground.

They came down on a barren desert wasteland with white sand covering the surface of the ground.

The General walked up to Ben as he struggled to untangle himself from his parachute.

“Not bad at all eh?” The General asked, a smile imprinted on his face.

“Not bad at all. Actually Quite fun,” Ben said. “Do you have any more surprises I should be informed of before we continue?”

“Well I can’t say I have more surprises for you, but-”

Before the General could finish, he took out a remote and pressed a button. The ground below immediately below them as well as the ground within a 40 foot radius started sinking into the desert sand.

“What the hell is going on here?” Ben asked.

“Were taking you to your destination,” The General replied.

“Okay then,” Ben just stood there as he said this.

Two panels closed above them, encasing them in darkness. Then a bunch of lights came on. Meanwhile, the platform was sinking ever more into the earth at a gradual rate. It seemed to keep going down inevitably.

“How long before I get the bends?” Ben asked.

“Very funny,” the General replied. “We’re not going down that far.”

After about a two minutes, the floor came to a stop.

“And disembark,” the General said as he pointed his hand to a metal wall.

“But there’s nowhere to go,” said Ben.

The giant metal wall parted revealing a very, very high tech facility.

“I see now,” Ben replied.

“Let’s give you the tour,” said the General.

The General led Ben through the facility. A very high tech laboratory with lots of important scientists running around operating various apparatuses that would make any normal person go insane from the amount of buttons and dials marked using the type of english that is confusing for a dictionary. Then Ben saw something that really surprised him.

“Oh my god, is that Stephen Hawkings?” Ben asked.

“Yep, he’s been a helpful insight into our project,” the General replied.

“What is this project?”

“This project is one of the most important projects since the Manhattan Project.”

“The Manhattan Project?”


“Is this project related to the Manhattan Project?”


“How could a more powerful energy source be made?”

“By adding more of the powerful energy sources together,” Stephen Hawkings replied.

“AH! Stephen Hawkings!” Ben shrieked. “It’s you.”

“Yes, it is me.” Stephen replied. “I’ve been helping the United States by providing my knowledge on advanced nuclear technology.”

“That’s wonderful,” said Ben.

“It certainly is,” the General replied. “Let me show you the main attraction.”

The General escorted Stephen and Ben through the complex to the ‘main attraction,’ a large Nuclear Reactor and processing facility.

“This is where a lot of our government funds have gone into. Lieutenant, I give you the worlds most powerful nuclear weapon that has ever existed. Capable of not only splitting the atoms we have in there, but capable of splitting the atoms of at least 2000 pounds of surrounding material. Enough to blow a pretty big crater on the side of our planet. We also have been developing a nuclear reactor based on the same technology. Capable of powering all of North America without having to be refueled for 50 years ”

“But, why would you need a bomb as powerful as that?”

“In case those damn Russians figure out that they can get us at any point in time, or use our technology against us. We’ve got mach 12 scramjets on this thing that’ll send it to Russia in minutes and POW! Instant crater 1000 miles wide. That’ll show those bastards they can’t mess with us” The general’s face produced a smile that seemed to match the width of the intended crater.

“These people are crazy” Ben thought to himself.

“Isn’t this power too much for any one nation to have?” Ben asked.

“Maybe,” the General replied. “But if there’s any country out there that can handle these types of nukes, it’s us.”

“Agreed, science and logic are on our side,” said Stephen.

Throughout Earth’s history there have been many instances where power and might has been grossly mishandled under the assumption that they have complete control over it. Human error more than often plays a part in it because most people underestimate how stupid and careless they can be. That’s not even taking into account the state of being of humans under various substances and liquids. Even if they do manage to control the power and human error doesn’t play a part, in a lost of cases the power is misused.

Meanwhile, you are about to witness the Nuclear Research facility experience some trouble, mostly due to when about a year ago. When in a small house in Silicon Valley, a Polish coder was coding away at the program for keeping the reactor in check. he was about a week behind and had been forced to stay up all night for about a month, only surviving on Red Bull and coffee while listening to Deadmau5. Under this hypnotically trippy state, he accidentally put in a wrong word in his code. This line of code would have the readout display that the Nuclear Reactor wasn’t overheating and melting down, when in fact it actually would be. This would cause the meltdown to go totally unnoticed until it was too late. This current scenario that would produce disastrous results if it actually happened is now being re-created in real life. And one of the technicians is pointing out the scenario in real life.

“The reactor’s overloading! We can’t contain it at this rate!” A scientist yelled.

“How the hell did this go unnoticed!” The General shouted across the room.

“We need to contain it before it reaches the critical point!” Another Scientist shouted in response.

“Get a technician in there and remove that plutonium!” Another scientist shouted.

“I’m on it!” A scientist named Bob yelled as he rushed across the floor with a device meant to remove the plutonium while cooling down the reactor.

Ben looked at a screen that displayed the new calculations coming in. He was very startled to read what it said.

“You’ve got twelve seconds before something bad happens according to this screen!” Ben screamed.

“God-damn-it!” The general screamed as he kicked a chair halfway across the design floor.

10. 9. 8. 7. the worker ran across the metal bridge to the center of the reactor that contained the plutonium. Unfortunately, the reactor suddenly shook violently in the exact same way that a regular brick house doesn’t. The scientist fell in the reactor pool along with the device meant to calm the reactor and remove the plutonium. 3 seconds left on the clock.

“Well,” said Stephen Hawkings, “We are all fu-”

At that precise second, the reactor blew up. After about a minute, it was revealed that their calculations were in fact wrong. The nuclear device did not blow up and incinerate everything within a thousand miles, but it did completely obliterate the entire half of the planet that the nuke had settled on.  After the dust had settled, The nuclear device left a large half sphere of what remained of the earth. Obviously this created a lot of problems for the rest of the earth to deal with. But at this point you have to admit that what Stephen Hawkings was going to say was in fact true. That we are all totally and inevitably screwed.

Comments (2)

Jian Zhang (Student 2015)
Jian Zhang

I like that you have taken a sorta modern spin on this story. I'm not sure how many of it was fiction, but the idea of improving nuclear weapons and a real person that we know, made the story a bit more relatable. But I really don't think you can just stop a meltdown in like 10 seconds even if you remove the plutonium.

Max Amar-Olkus (Student 2015)
Max Amar-Olkus

The science fiction was interesting and I can tell how you've been inspired by Doctor Strangelove. It was believable, too. I think this story succeeded in its use of dialogue. I was confused about the first two paragraphs though, were they part of the story or were they like an outline?