|The Mismeasure of Mensa 1|
Issue #28 (December 1983)
PART ONE: Piercing the Nuclear Shield; Beware the Clean Bomb
Precious little is known of the years after 1967, but our forebears had personal knowledge of that period and wrote down the main trends. This supplements the meager scientific compilations they kept at their Antarctic workstations before the end of the world in 1984. Perhaps in anticipation of coming catastrophe, the colony had but shortly before been vastly enlarged in equal numbers of males and females. Randall Pierce wrote in explanation:
The women's lib(eration) movement was so politically potent (I question his choice of word here, but recall that none of our first writers were literary, even the women - or did he have some hidden meaning here that only his generation understood?) that the public was not alarmed at this major breaking of precedent. No well-wishers seemed to feel that the "door of the ark" had been closed against them as we departed in our ship from San Francisco in early 1984.
Of course, if those who authorized the expedition had estimated much of a probability for the events of later that year, they would have managed to get themselves aboard. They would also have sent a library of knowledge for safekeeping. Instead, we have had to start almost from scratch - until the recent fabulous find. More of that later.
It's all hearsay, of course, but our ancestors recount how paranoiac their entire lives had been in fear of nuclear weaponry. They lived constantly in terror of nuclear power plant accidents, birth defects, and thermonuclear war. We still have some hazy reproductions of the "Wargames" movie that was displayed (strange how the Prior World used "displayed" and "played" to mean the same thing in terms of the entertainment arts, but in this context "displayed" may be better, it not being all fun and "games") in the ship en route to Antarctica, so we all have this poignant reminiscence of our lost world.
Of course "Wargames" was obsolete almost before its long run at theatres had finished its course. Shocking rumors were heard of Russia's development of the "ultimate weapon." The "balance of terror" had kept either side from H-Bombing the other. The new laser de-ionizer being readied by Russia rendered enemy bombs useless. It was the perfect weapon in the ultimate Machiavellian sense (it was no surprise to anyone that the recent finds showed that Machiavelli was a man; "Old Nick" as a name for the Devil traces to him, it now seems), was what was called a "clean bomb" (that is, leaving no residual "fall-out" to kill, burn, or sterilize by radiation). This "molecular Bomb" would destroy all organic material, living or dead, de-populating the enemy country for colonization. By separating all carbon from hydrogen in molecules above ground, all fuels would likewise be destroyed, so no retaliatory bombs could be delivered. Strangely, the delivery systems for nuclear weapons had never gone nuclear, so they remained vulnerable to this weapon. Fearing no reprisals, Russia continued all-out development.
Technology was already too highly developed for the "safe" use of this ultimate weapon, however. Outer space around Earth was littered with man-made satellites which could reflect back the laser beam where unintended. In typically Communistic heedlessness about human life, even of non-enemy peoples, the device was employed (or tested prematurely) and malfunctioned. (Did Russia take the same chance of an end-of-the-world reaction as was risked at the Alamogordo A-Bomb test in World War II?) We are, of course, without scientific knowledge of the device except for its effects. In any case, the beams reflected back from the multitude of satellites in line-of-sight from eastern Siberia. All the Old World, Australia, and the Northern Hemisphere were "fried" in the first phase of devastation. Molecules were split in all plants, wooden buildings, books, fuels, and animals. The temporary continued functioning of electrical devices provided sparks for massive firestorms which wiped out all life and stored hydrocarbons (books, microfilms) in otherwise protected underground or inorganic structural buildings. No life survived there.
World War III quickly concluded, therefore, with survivors only in South America and (of course) in Antarctica. The free carbon and hydrogen atoms released by the Molecular Bomb that burned universally in the rest of the world, generated so much heat that Antarctica became a temporary paradise about equivalent to what England had been. The laser de-ionizer probably was fired from near the Sea of Okhotsk. We deduce this from the extreme sensitivity of Russia to the accidental flight over this area by the Korean airliner on September 1, 1983. The Russians shot down this passenger plane with the loss of all 229 aboard. The idea for the survival colony in Antarctica came after this incident. The planners did not necessarily at that time know that Russia had a secret weapon, but the immediate surge of International hostility may have been the motivation. Our forebears recall that 230 U. S. Marines were killed by a truck-bomb suicide attack on October 23rd. The very next day, the U. S. invaded Grenada to destroy the Cuban military airbase for Russian warplanes which had almost been completed. Randall Pierce wrote:
Whether or not the Commies lured the Korean airliner off course with the Laser Deionizer to assassinate Larry McDonald or not, their KGB spies were everywhere and knew he was on that plane. Finding their worst enemy aboard a plane flying right over their secret, ultimate weapon, they could not doubt that the U. S. was doing exactly what they would have done. That is, McDonald must have been running a pseudo-civilian KGB-type spy mission like all Russian foreign delegations really do. President Reagan did not yet know about the Molecular Bomb, so his response to this provocation was to checkmate Russian expansionism in Grenada, though this counter-thrust was widely misinterpreted as a futile fit of anger at our unforgiveable security blunders that let 230 Marines get massacred by one fanatic - though rightly motivated and apparently delivering a stunning strategic military conquest in exchange for mere civilians and only 18 soldiers killed, Reagan's right move in retrospect would have been immediate nuclear annihilation of all of the Kamchetka and Sakhalin military technology breakthrough which militated such ruthlessness to shield, and pre-empt Andropov's strike he wanted to make before he died of cancer!
Such a dreadfully long sentence! This demonstrates that paranoia they said that they lived under – or is this just typical mannish belligerence run wild in a society which they controlled?
More next month...
Lotte Fish-Bate describes herself as "a time traveler from 2168." Unfazed by the prospect of retaliation from "Mensa fundamentalists," she has transmitted to us her vision of the future for serialization in these pages. Stay tuned.