|Banned Weaponry: A Use in the Modern Day|
|Date||December 21, 2042|
December 21st, 2042:
Banned Weaponry: A Use in the Modern Day -
A Newswire Exclusive
By: Terri Kopp
Today is the 14th anniversary of the Great Vancouver Earthquake, which devastated the city and caused the loss of so many lives. It coincides with the Forbidden Technologies Conference in Berlin, where scientists, politicians and military organizations are meeting to discuss what to do with the banned chemical, biological, environmental and informational weapons developed during the Resource Wars. One example on everyone's mind is of course the well documented Weather Modifications Facilities which while internationally banned following the Resource Wars, have been long suspected by fringe conspiracy theorists as being the cause of the Vancouver Earthquake.
So why are people talking today about trying to find new uses for this sort of technology? The primary goal being to find a use for the betterment of mankind. This doesn't really fly all that well to those opposed, as the many protesters outside the conference demonstrate.
The weather modification facilities (such as the very first one built by the Americans in Alaska, called H.A.A.R.P.) were used primarily in the first few years of the Resource Wars, and were initially developed as a method of increasing irrigation and combating global Climate Change. Being able to control when it's going to rain seems like a rather harmless thing, but the fragility of the environment and our infrastructure means that severe damage can be done with even a %10-15 increase in rainfall. Many cite the usage of these facilities as one of the primary reasons Russia was not all that active in the Resource Wars (aside from their dispute over North Pole oil drilling). During 2013 and 2014 there were floods, mudslides and other catastrophes which rocked their agricultural centers.
In today's world, when there isn't that sort of global saber rattling, people argue that this tech could help many parts of the world still suffering from famine and drought. Certain parts of Central Asia and Western Africa, despite all forms of help from developed nations, still have trouble feeding their largely rural and disenfranchised populations. Being able to provide them with a wetter climate through the control of global weather patterns is one of the primary arguments for the reintroduction of these facilities.
On the other side, opposing scientists and environmental activists are quick to quote the butterfly effect, referring to chaos theory. It always comes back to the fragility of the global environment, and how changing the patterns, even slightly, of an area could greatly affect things well beyond the scope of our understanding. Animal development and habitat, the yearly migration of birds, and even the economic strength of the countries could all be thrown into disarray by a sudden wet season in a country not used to them. These activists say more effort should be put into global agriculture, and technology offered to those living in poverty so they can increase their own education and living standards.
It is a debate that continues but unfortunately the conference is closed to the public (reporters included) due to the nature of the technology being displayed and demonstrated.
The other hot tech that is on everyone's mind is the press-dubbed "Mass Bombs" which were seen wielded by suicide attackers near the end of the Wars. These bombs, which come in various sizes, create such a high heat (similar to thermite) that they actually disintegrate any and all trace of the attacker and his or her victims. Large scale versions of these bombs were used in only a small number of occasions, with the total destruction of part of the Los Angeles Skyway leading to the death of hundreds being the tipping point for this tech. Even at a time of unheard of global tension, the nations agreed to not use this tech.
The argument for using Mass Bombs in current society does not lie in warfare, but in mining and excavation. As the mining companies delve deeper into the Earth in search of minerals and metals they are finding that current tech is simply not enough to break through the hardened and pressure heavy crust. They want to use the Mass Bomb technology to cut through extremely hard sections of rock and access untouched reserves below.
While the opposition to this has not been as violent when compared to the weather mod facilities, there is still many who remember the terror that came with the use of Mass Bombs. There is significant worry that these devices may cause untold damage and be too volatile for use in the mining sector. A call to have some of them taken on the Athena by SK Mining, heading to Europa, was denied by the Global Senate.
While some of the aforementioned banned weaponry may be up on the auction block for potential uses, there are many weapons developed during the Resource Wars that will never find any useful application. A recent discovery in Antarctica of buried barrels of the VXY Nerve Agent, thought to be fully destroyed, sent shockwaves of controversy throughout the world. Developed in South Africa as a "weapon of last defense," the South African Government had stated that all VXY had been round up and destroyed by the Senate and the Consortium.
One of the deadliest weapons devised during the War, the VXY agent dissolves organic materials, leaving anything inorganic behind. Only ever used twice in the Resource Wars, the VXY agent, launched from a satellite and requiring enough power from Earth to keep New York City lit for a year, was responsible for the death of 6,873 people in the city of Avignon, France. Considered the most banned substance in the world, suddenly finding a huge cache of it has led to some very difficult questions being levied at members of the Chemical Biological Weapons department of the Global Senate.
As protestors continue their march outside the center in Berlin, back in Vancouver people somberly remember those who died and the destruction of one the most beautiful coastal cities in the world. People argue that the weather modification facilities, made by human hands, could help many escape a life of suffering and poverty, but it is hard not to look at the underwater ruins and wonder what the cost would be.