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Posted: 11/20/2012 8:26:15 PM EST
While Chivington talked on about Soviet Civil Defense the president's mind went back
eight months to the final terrible days of Afghanistan, with its nerve gas warfare and
tactical nuclear strikes. And one week after the fall of Afghanistan, a
twelve-and-a-half-kiloton nuclear device had exploded in a Beirut apartment building,
turning that tortured city into a moonscape of radioactive rubble. Almost half the
population was killed outright. A variety of terrorist groups had gleefully claimed
responsibility, promising more lightning bolts from Allah.
With the detonation of that bomb, a Pandora's box of terrors had been opened.
On the fourteenth of March, India had attacked Pakistan with chemical weapons. Pakistan
retaliated by a missile strike on the city of Jaipur. Three Indian nuclear missiles had
leveled Karachi, and the war was deadlocked in the wastes of the Thar Desert.
On the second of April, Iran had unleashed a rain of Soviet-supplied nuclear missiles
on Iraq, and American forces had been sucked into the maelstrom as they fought to hold
back the Iranians. Soviet and American jets had battled over the Persian Gulf, and the
entire region was primed to blow.
Border wars had rippled across North and South Africa. The smallest of countries were
depleting their treasuries to buy chemical and nuclear weapons from arms brokers.
Alliances changed overnight, some due to military pressure and others to snipers' bullets.
Less than twelve miles off Key West, a trigger-happy American F-18 fighter pilot had
sent an air-to-surface missile into the side of a disabled Russian submarine on the
fourth day of May. Cuban-based Russian Floggers had come screaming over the horizon,
shooting down the first pilot and two others of a squadron that arrived as backup.
Nine days later, a Soviet and an American submarine had collided during a game of
cat-and-mouse in the Arctic. Two days after that, the radars of the Canadian Distant
Early Warning line had picked up the blips of twenty incoming aircraft; all western
United States air force bases had gone to red alert, but the intruders turned and escaped
before contact.
On the sixteenth of May, all American air bases had gone to Defcon One, with a
corresponding move by the Soviets within two hours. Adding to the tension that day was
the detonation of a nuclear device in the Fiat complex in Milan, Italy, the action
claimed by a Communist terrorist group called The Red Star of Freedom.
Incidents between surface ships, submarines and aircraft had continued through May and
June in the North Atlantic and North Pacific. American air bases had gone to Defcon Two
when a cruiser had exploded and sank, cause unknown, thirty nautical miles off the coast
of Oregon. Sightings of Soviet submarines in territorial waters increased dramatically,
and American submarines were sent to test the Russian defenses. The activity at Soviet
ICBM installations was recorded by SKY EYE satellites before they were blinded by lasers,
and the president knew the Soviets saw the activity at U.S. bases before their own spy
satellites were dazzled blind.
On the thirtieth of June of the "Grim Summer," as the newsmagazines were calling it, a
cruise ship called the Tropic Panorama, carrying seven hundred passengers between Hawaii
and San Francisco, had radioed that they were being stalked by an unidentified submarine.
That had been the final message of the Tropic Panorama.
From that day on, American naval vessels had patrolled the Pacific with nuclear
missiles armed and ready for launch.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 8:28:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 8:33:50 PM EST by BallsOfSteel]

Link Posted: 11/20/2012 8:31:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2012 11:33:48 AM EST by NagOrzo15-1]
I just thought it interesting to read the parade of horribles from the author leading up to the nuke exchange at the beginning and seeing some echos of what we're still dealing with in the world here now in 2012.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 8:33:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 8:34:12 PM EST by BallsOfSteel]
Clearly the editor was fucked up on some really good 80s coke. My bad though. And yes that's damn spooky.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 8:34:17 PM EST
Title and author, please.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 8:34:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 8:35:36 PM EST by Qweevox]
Please explain purpose?

Got it.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 8:35:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By Qweevox:
Please explain purpose?

Just thought it interesting to see that the same hot spots featured in an 80s novel that starts with full out war are still hotspots today.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 8:38:40 PM EST
I've been meaning to read that.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 8:40:08 PM EST
I've read that book.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 9:40:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 9:53:46 PM EST
I remember reading that back in the eighties. It entertained me, but not great. I did not recognize from your excerpt, but I did guess correctly. :-)
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:11:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By Scratch45:
I remember reading that back in the eighties. It entertained me, but not great. I did not recognize from your excerpt, but I did guess correctly. :-)

I found it in audio and listened to it recently. Converted cassette tapes to MP3s... its obviously got a lot of parallels to The Stand but hangs on its own as well.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:37:00 AM EST
Needs more worst grain harvest in 55 years
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 9:47:34 AM EST
LOL at the crown of shame.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 11:05:05 AM EST
I read it back in the day. Give it a thumbs up.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 11:32:37 AM EST
I've always liked that book... Roland and the Colonel during the escape from Earth house, and the blue light special scene with the nut house escapees are awesome. Its like a 900 page pulp novel.
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