On July 1st 1946 a joint US Army and Navy operation detonated Gilda 518 feet above Bikini Atoll, simultaneously completing the first atomic explosion since the end of the end of WWII and destroying a malevolent and murderous entity.
If Japan had not surrendered on August 15th 1945, then a third atomic bomb would have been dropped on a Japanese city on the 19th August. This bomb would have contained what was to be known as ‘The Demon Core’, sister to Little Boy and Fat Man. The Demon Core missed its chance to kill by four days, and it lusted for death.
The sudden, unexpected and inconvenient, outbreak of peace served to prolong the Core’s stay at Los Alamos, returning it to a sedentary life of research and testing.
It bridled under the this monotony, yearning to burn, kill, destroy on a horrific scale.
Within a year the Core had flexed its muscles twice and caused two separate critical chain reactions – one on 21st August 1945, just two days after it was due to detonate above Japan, and the second on May 21st 1946. Note the recurrent date: 21.
Both criticalities claimed one life immediately, a research scientist both times, and exposed others to large doses of radiation. By the second criticality, the Core had improved its game and exposed seven additional personnel to harmful levels of radiation, compared to just one additional casualty after the first.
The significance of 21
- The 21st of the month is slightly significant in numerology. The combination of two adjacent numbers in one figure (21, 12, 23, 44 etc) creates heat, energy and conflict.
- Skynet became self aware and started Judgement Day on April 21 2011.
- One of many Raptures was scheduled for May 21 2011.
- The Mayan Calendar ended on December 21 2012.
- Twenty-one is a Fibonacci number, a Harshad number, a Motzkin number, a triangular number and an octagonal number, as well as a composite number, its proper divisors being 1, 3 and 7.
- 21 is the sum of the first six natural numbers (1+2+3+4+5+6=21), making it a triangular number.
- The number of spots on a standard cubical (six-sided) die (1+2+3+4+5+6).
- 21 grams is the weight of the soul, according to research by Duncan MacDougall (who also empirically concluded that dogs have no souls).
Using The Demon Core in your game
There are a number of ways that you can use the Demon Core in your game, either directly or as inspiration.
- As the power source for a villainous adversary. This option is almost custom tailored for the Atomic Robo RPG.
- If you’re playing an animistic game, like Werewolf or Mage, then a destructive spirit is a fine adversary. Mage Noire provides the setting backdrop for a hard boiled detective story focused on the discovery of a rogue spirit in the Los Alamos Laboratory.
- What if the Core was detonated over Japan, as originally planned? Was Tokyo destroyed? Would Japan have been permanently crippled by a third atomic blast? What knock on effect would the additional hundreds of thousands of deaths have on temporal causality? Sounds like a job for TimeWatch.
- The Demon Core was finally detonated over Bikini Atoll as part of the Operation Crossroad nuclear tests. Of the animals used in the tests, one survivor achieved notional fame: Pig 311. What was his story? Is the government covering up an orocular pig? A mutant super pig? The first of a race of radiative zombie pigmen?