2045-The Damocles Protectorate
[By Dan Verssen]
In 2045, the growing number of border skirmishes turned disastrous when the Russian Federation landed a major invasion force in Kuwait with the objective of seizing its oil fields. The US deployed a carrier battle group to the area, and the Russians soon made their objections clear. The Russians launched a nuclear-tipped ICBM warning shot that mushroomed 30 miles in front of the task force. It inflicted no casualties, but the message was clear – withdraw or be destroyed.
The US (as was later discovered) responded by launching the prototype Stuxnet XXX virus to target the strategic control centers of the world’s superpowers. The goal was to cut off the ICBM sites from their governmental control centers and make the missiles unlaunchable.
Instead of making them unlaunchable, the virus unintentionally released the weapons to local control. For hours, the world’s powers unsuccessfully scrambled to regain control of their missiles.
Then, a single ICBM arched up from a North Dakota missile field. Radar centers around the world quickly determined the target to be Tehran. Within minutes, a missile broke the surface from an unidentified submarine cruising under the Pacific waters, heading for the North Dakota launch site.
Tehran was incinerated, but they were soon followed by the inhabitants of the North Dakota missile base. Fortunately, the missile targeting North Dakota were dialed down to the minimal yield needed to destroy the underground launch center.
In the ensuing minutes, several other missiles leapt into the air from their silos and submarines, and in every case, one of the world’s major cities burned.
The world waited in silence for the fiery end everyone had been dreading for a hundred years. Then, General Charles Taylor of the United Kingdom’s Strategic Forces made The Speech through commandeered military and civilian comm channels…
“Attention strategic force commanders of the world. We stand at the brink of nuclear Armageddon. At this point in time, our select group of men and women now hold the fate of human civilization in our hands. We must now decide if this is the day mankind dies. I hereby put before you a proposal. We remove the power of nuclear destruction from our leaders, and form a sovereign force independent of national ties. Our organization will have the one and only directive of preventing the use of weapons of mass destruction. I await your replies.”
In the days that followed, the crews launched ICBMs and targeted the world’s nuclear weapon storage sites. In the end, the world’s nuclear weapons stood at only a tiny fraction of what it had been only a week earlier.
It was later determined that the missile crews used military comm satellites, and in some case personal cell phones, to communicate and coordinate their actions. In the minutes following the initial North Dakota launch, the crews quickly decided that the world would not end in nuclear fire, and they would remove the Armageddon Option from their leaders.
Within a week, ICBM crews announced the formation of the Damocles Protectorate, and issued the following decrees:
– Deploying nukes, even tactical nukes was prohibited
– Deploying bio/chem weapons was prohibited
– Manufacturing new nuclear weapons was prohibited
– Approaching a nuclear weapon site was prohibited
– Damocles Protectorate installations were to be kept fully supplied by their regional governments
Between 2045 and 2050, several countries have broken one decree or another. They each paid a heavy price when a nuke took out one of their command centers or armies.
One such incident happened when the Chinese government tried to sneak a Special Forces unit into a missile base outside Beijing to regain control of the missiles. The Special Forces unit was part of the monthly supply convoy mandated by the decrees. Before the team could breach the inner defenses, the missile crew was able to send out a distress call, and a European submarine launched a missile and destroyed a Chinese army invading Alaska.
In one documented case, the residents of Norfolk Virginia delayed US Army troops, with great loss of civilian life, from seizing a ballistic missile submarine that was in port to resupply. The troops were withdrawn under threat of nuclear destruction to the port and surrounding area.