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Anders May 25th, 2008 08:05 AM

Scars from the Twilight War
 
Is there any complete list of the places that were nuked in the Twilight war?

By 2320 most such places would have been rebuilt (or if small, unimportant like many of the tactical nuclear strikes along the European front, bulldozed). It might be interesting to consider what old landmarks remain and what have been reconstructed.

For example, knowing the British, they would probably work very hard at reconstructing Westminster and a number of other key London landmarks (as well as add a second Monument at ground zero). The city also would finally get a more effective street pattern. But in more hard-hit places like Berlin rebuilding probably occured much later and many classic landmarks were not restored at all. Now ones have taken their place - there might be a Siegessäule, but it relates to the War of German Reunification and the Kafer War instead.

I would expect that in 2320 there are still school outings to the nearest blast zone monument and students are shown documentaries about the horrors of the war. The emotional impact may not quite be what it was, though. The people in the documents seem so alien and old-fashioned: they speak and dress strangely, and have ideologies long forgotten.

Border Reiver May 25th, 2008 10:41 AM

There are a number of "Hit List" sources in published T2K and Challenge Magazine. I remember US, UK, Canadian and Soviet hitlists for certain. There may be others (European??) that I can't recall.

Would it be a breach of copyright or fair use to make a definitive list here on this thread?

deniable May 25th, 2008 11:14 AM

The Twilight 2.2 main book (Didn't fell like digging for 2.0, but it's probably the same) has target lists for the US, Canada and USSR. The Survivors Guide to the UK has some indications of cities that were hit on the map. Otherwise, you're looking through individual modules. I did a quick google and didn't find anything useful. I did find a DIY google maps tool to plot the destruction, though.

Colin May 25th, 2008 03:09 PM

In my original draft, many major cities had significant areas that hadn't been rebuilt, or only rebuilt to a certain level, and then seemingly abandoned. This was pure social engineering. Give the dregs a place to hang out, provide a safety valve against the sheer conformity prevalent elsewhere in society. The idea was cut by the editor...

TheKiwi May 25th, 2008 05:45 PM

My last 2300 game scenario revolved around an anti-cancer "top-up" drug for people who lived in areas subjected to nuclear strikes during the Twilight War. (That, and some very nasty blackmail).

Peter Schutze May 25th, 2008 08:44 PM

>There may be others (European)

The adventures usually had info on most of the country they were set in. Assembling a polish / german one should be a matter of looking in 2 or 3 adventures

jcrocker May 25th, 2008 08:50 PM

I got my v2.2 book - it lists US, Canadian, and USSR targets starting on p234 [it reverses Grand Forks, ND and Minot, North Dakota on the map, by the way] and it has a short list of British targets in a sidebar on p. 226.

It has short paragraph summaries for conditions in different regions of Europe, and a bit more detail for Poland. Most of the rest of the planet gets a paragraph or two.

Basically, you can have a target hit or not based on what you want for your campaign - even the hard and fast target lists only cover the big strategic nukes, and if you want a place to have been hit by a tactical weapon, so be it.

Anders May 25th, 2008 09:01 PM

I don't think there is much radiation left after 300 years. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were rebuilt very shortly after the strikes and are not overly radioactive today.

Most of the Twilight war strikes were tactical airbursts; this means that fission products gets dispersed by the fallout (and most tend to have a fairly rapid halflife; the "rule of seven" says that for every sevenfold increase in time after one hour you get ten times less radiation), and that neutron activation of elements on the ground is relatively mild. The most risky fallout isotopes are strontium 90 (halflife of 28.9 years), cesium 137 (30 years) and iodine 131 (8 days). Calcium (in concrete) can get activated to calcium 45 (halflife 165 days) - important for the direct aftermath and rebuilding, but not much of a concern by 2100. Chlorine 36 might have one of the longest halflives (300,000 years) of the activation isotopes, but would likely diffuse quite a bit.

The places that still might be dangerous are groundbursts that activated particular rocks and nuclear power plants that got blown up - there (and downstream/downwind) there might be long-lived nasty isotopes. Places like the Amarillo warhead factory, military bunkers (where groundbursts were desirable) and old industry complexes are the likeliest to have some remaining hazard. But there might be small nasty surprises like a piece of cobalt close to ground zero that got activated. Early ruin clearance required careful dosimetry.

Still, anti-radiation drugs are relevant even in 2320. With the number of fission reactors around, radioactive colonial environments (after all, space is filled with radiation), tactical nukes in the Kafer war, facilities that make reactors and missile warheads, and general paranoia against background radiation on Earth, they have a big market. Beside chelators to block particular isotopes there are DNA-repair inducers and radioprotectants that increase antioxidant levels to deal with the local damage (this is apparently where most current research is, although 5-androstenediol apparently helped monkeys with acute radiation damage).

rfmcdpei May 26th, 2008 02:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anders (Post 264010)
I would expect that in 2320 there are still school outings to the nearest blast zone monument and students are shown documentaries about the horrors of the war. The emotional impact may not quite be what it was, though. The people in the documents seem so alien and old-fashioned: they speak and dress strangely, and have ideologies long forgotten.

The long-run consequences of the Twilight War for the human geography of the world might also be pretty interesting. I came across this passage from Otto Friedrich's The End of the World (New York: Fromm, 1986).

Quote:

One would think that any disaster that killed 25 million people in Europe alone would leave the entire Continent paralyzed for at least a generation. If the streets of New York City were suddenly littered with a corresponding number of corpses, roughly two million, or if the United States as a whole suffered more than fifty million deaths by bubonic plague within three years, the process of recovery would be hard to imagine. And so it is that we retain from the chronicles of the fourteenth century an image of deserted cottages falling in ruin and untilled wheat fields reverting to wilderness. Thousands of villages all across the face of Europe did simply disappear. The buried remnants are faintly visible in aerial photographs, spectral outlines of a vanished people, and in England alone more than two thousand such ruins have been recorded. The Germans even have a world, Dorfwüstungen, for the process of villages turning into wilderness. The depopulation of the cities was no less remarkable. In Toulouse, to take only one example, the number of inhabitants not only shrunk from an estimated 30,000 in 1335 to 26,000 in 1385 but continued shrinking to 20,700 in 1398 and 8,000 in 1430. Virtually no city anywhere regained its population of 1300 in less than two centuries (134).
(And even in 2320, the populations of Ukraine and America still fall short of their pre-Twilight peaks by about a quarter.)

There should be a fair number of ghost towns on Earth. If there aren't, it might be because they've all eroded, or been rebuilt as (say) 23rd century suburbs.

epicenter00 May 26th, 2008 06:39 AM

It's hard to say how many direct scars there are from the Twilight War. 300 years is usually long enough for entire paradigm shifts in the way people think and dress - long enough for something to be important, then for it to be important to be remembered as important. Then forgotten as to why it's important, and then forgotten entirely.

It's also possible that the Twilight War might be something so traumatic and unpleasant that the survivors didn't want reminders - it was all bulldozed over, the radioactive parts cleaned up and carted away, parks planted there without even a monument. Later, perhaps there would have been small, sober memorials put in. Eventually land prices in the cities would have encouraged those parks to be sold off piecemeal, then the memorials picked up and centralized elsewhere and the parks to vanish entirely.

Perhaps the most concrete remains of the Twilight War might be in the form of mouldering "sewers" under Berlin or Paris where tourguides take people on tours - not students, but adult tourists: "All right, now here we step up these stairs and through this tunnel here and we change from the stacked stones of the earlier Parisian Sewers, and now we're in ruins from the Twilight War. In this particular case, it's the remains of a Banuele along with an intra-city automobile artery. No no, this wasn't all underground. Once this was all on the surface before the Twilight War's bombs levelled Paris. In the rush to rebuild, much of Paris was built over the graded and stabilized rubble of old Paris. The Bastille isn't actually so low in its moat as it seems. Rather, it's that the average level of Paris has actually risen about 1 meter on average in some neighborhoods. The pleasant "hills" of the East Bank actually didn't exist prior to the 20th Century and are indeed large piles of rubble. However, this street here will give you an idea of how 20th Century Paris looked along with a hologram of the skies as well as reconstructed automobiles of the period. No no, the sky really was blue. I'm sure a lot of you have heard about the horrible smog problems of the period. The skies really weren't brown and yellow as in many of the vids. On most days it was blue like this, smog for the most part was more a whitish or grayish haze..."

How many beyond historians can even name major battles that occurred 300 years ago? 300 years ago, it was still considered perfectly masculine and socially acceptable for a man to wear tights and a powdered wig (I think or was that in the mid 1750s?).

I think the scars of the Twilight War would be about changes in ideas where the ideas and thinking have shifted, but hardly anyone really remembers why they changed (or would care even if they did). Like the I attribute the "socialist nanny states" of 2300 actually to be a response to the Twilight War - after the abject failure of all governments to help their citizens at the end of that war, people have it in their heads a government that doesn't do a lot for its citizens (ie; isn't visible in day to day life) isn't a government worth having. They're willing to pay high taxes and lowered privacy for this kind of security. Another factor might be large families. While 2300's Earth/Cybertech Sourcebook takes it as canon that family sizes are shrinking, it's entirely possible that governments see nothing wrong with large families after the severe depopulation of the Twilight War - generous government subsidies, tax breaks, and easy access to family counseling (it might even be required - something unthinkable to us today, but maybe it's required that every family go to a counselor every week and discuss things to have an outsider look at family disputes that would normally fester into abuse or divorce) might encourage large families and keep them together. After all - even if there's not enough room on Earth, there's always the colonies to ship people off to.

Oh, and that pesky Kafer War killing people, that is.


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