Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chapter Sixty-five

Monier tried to figure out what would be the most disasterous thing to happen to the Citadel. What would it fear more than anything, if it could feel fear of anything. And then she had it.

She created a single large ship that hovered above the Citadel, positioning it to drop a gigantic bomb. She created the bombbay that opened slowly and let it release the single weapon it carried. She let it fall slowly ignoring the force of gravity. The Citadel brought a series of weapons to bear, but the bomb kept falling, almost as if the weapons weren't shooting at it, or were failing to hit it. Abruptly the Citadel stopped shooting because it had determined that the bomb would miss the outer wall by more than one hundred feet. Although the Citadel believed that the weapon would be thermo-nuclear, it calculated that it would survive the blast created by the weapon.

But the bomb didn't detonate at the optimum altitude as expected. It didn't detonate at ground level. It penetrated the ground, sinking into the soil as if it was so much water. When it reached a thousand feet below the surface, Monier created a minor blast and then a secondary that shook the ground around it, sending seismic shocks through the planet. They seemed to reflect from the core of the planet, echoing toward the mantel. She remembered the vast lava plain on which the Citadel sat. It was not unrealistic to believe that a volcanic eruption could be triggered by a well placed nuclear device.

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