Twenty Four

When the united religious council came out unanimously against nuclear weapons nations were forced to bow to their will. So they immediately started looking for alternatives, many of them were considered. Gallia Nova, Sinclair and Nerissa’s homeland decided to invest in the Orbital Hypervelocity Bombardment System (O.H.B.S). While the system is considered fully functional it is still technically theoretical since it had never been tested on a ground target. However the technical advisors have all said that this should not be a problem.

The O.H.B.S. consists of twelve satellites in high orbit. These satellites are bare bone setups with just enough equipment to stay in orbit and hold their cargo. Each satellite holds twelve separate solid tungsten rods that apart from some minimal maneuvering and targeting equipment were nothing more than they appeared. A nine ton six point one meter long rod could be dropped at eleven thousand meters per second and yield something in the range of one hundred and twenty tones of TNT. Thanks to the twelve satellites any part of the planet could be targeted and hit in under ten minutes.

After eight hours of battle over and around Buenos Aires the generals were willing to take drastic steps. By this point most of the survivors had been evacuated; over nine hundred and eighty million dollars in military hardware had been destroyed. The generals elected not to drop a nine ton tungsten rod at eleven thousand meters per second on the city. They elected to drop three thirty ton tungsten rods at eleven thousand meters per second on the city: simultaneously. Fortunately by this point in the battle the angel wasn’t flying around; it was sticking to the ground. It really was and impressive blast.

After eighteen hours of searching the rubble with no sign of the angel the military was able to say it was; probably dead, or retreated. By the end of the week they were able to give rather more definitive statement of the angel being gone. No body was ever recovered, not that anyone expected to find one; there really wasn’t much left of the blast site. Everything was wrapped up nicely, with almost no answers and massive amounts of collateral damage.

Every country that had a military put theirs on high alert, or whatever their equivalent name for it was. Gallia Nova doubled the budget for their O.H.B.S. program, as did every other country that had one. By the end of the week more super weapon budget proposals had been funded than in the last fifty years. It would have been the weapons manufacturing industries wet dream; if any of the money went to conventional weapons. It didn’t, most of the money went to the space industry as everyone wanted more orbital bombardment options. Not that orbital bombardment was the only suggested option; by the end of the week there were over three hundred new R&D think tanks sprang up all over the world.

The united religious council came out with a statement 8 hours after the impact. The statement took fifteen minutes for the spokesperson to read out loud; this was the abridged version. The full version was ten pages long. For such a long and verbose document it really didn’t say anything. The document was one of the most noncommittal piece of writings ever; law students would go on to write papers about it. The whole thing could be translated down to one sentence; without any meaning being lost. ‘It probably wasn’t one of our gods’. ‘Probably’ being the operative word here.

Not that anyone expected it to have been an actual god, but possibly one of their servants. This ruled out most of the religions actually. Since very few gods actually had servants; the few that did, usually didn’t have winged servants. All but two of the major religions were off the hook, and no body thought the Arlethian god was responsible. Well thats not quite right, plenty of people thought the Arlethian god was responsible; just no one worth listening to.

It wasn’t all denials of course there were plenty of people willing to claim responsibility. Both for themselves or on behalf of their own impotent gods. The general public didn’t take them very seriously, not that no one did. Every claim of responsibility was very thoroughly investigated before being thrown out.

The smart money appeared to be on the angel being an immortal. If it was, than it definitely wasn’t dead; it might have been injured… maybe. With immortals it really was hard to tell. No human, dwarf or elf had ever managed to kill an immortal before and no one could see that trend changing. Gods could kill immortals, immortals could kill immortals but mortals could not. Apparently orbital strikes could drive an immortal off, something that previously never seemed to work very well.

If the angel was an immortal it clearly was insane, or at least certain educated minds hoped it was insane. As terrifying as the thought of an immortal insane killing machine was a sane one was many times worse. Immortals have rules, no one quite knows exactly what they are; or if they change periodically. One thing that is known is that immortals aren’t allowed to go on indiscriminate killing sprees. This tends to piss off the really powerful immortals, and they deal with the responsible party. The angel could have already been killed in one of the other planes by whomever decided to enforce the rules. So everyone who knew much about immortals hoped that the angel was insane. Because if it wasn’t than it was simply powerful enough that no one would want to or could enforce the rules.


 

The night of the attack and subsequent orbital strike was a busy one for Lisbeth. She had so many things to do. Over half her floor, Nerissa included, accepted her offer of a dreamless sleep, they had all been watching the fight on T.V. till the bitter end. This night Nerissa was to one to ask Lisbeth to stay with her for the night. Lisbeth was more than happy to oblige since she didn’t feel up for being alone, but neither did Nerissa. After quelling the dreams of those around her Lisbeth spent the night checking on every new connection she could find; there were so very many of them.

 
*Vote on Top Web Fiction*
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