A time traveling scientist's 'harmless' tinkering, just before World War II, leads to Nuclear War in the present.
40 minutes into the war most of the northern hemisphere was destroyed. A cycle of annihilation, which once started became impossible to stop.
The launch of missiles, detected by satellites, set the wheels in motion for the retaliatory strikes to begin.
No nation escaped the cascade that followed; even those neutral in the war.
Detonation was the only warning for most that things had escalated beyond reason as the use of thermo-weapons had never been discussed. A huge electromagnetic pulse, which fried all electrical equipment inside the strike zone, shut down power grids and plunged the region into darkness. A microsecond later there followed a flash of intense white light, which filled the sky, as a small sun erupted within the city.
As the glare burned the corneas from their eyes, it simultaneously cauterised their optic nerves, but the blindness and pain only distressed for a nanosecond. Superheated air, expanding at a rate of 400 metres per second, dwarfed all previous torment. Skin was seared and lungs disintegrated as a last agonised breath choked in the furnace.
On the fringes of the inferno, fires erupted in every direction whilst in the centre, where temperatures reached millions of degrees centigrade, everything was vaporised in a millisecond. The scorching, dust-filled air tore upward in a fiery plume, looking, to all at a distance safe enough to witness the madness, as though hell had broken loose. Seconds later it hit the stratosphere where, cooling, it began to fan outwards, forming the terrifying calling card of man’s most destructive weapon.
There was no hope on January 28th. The mercy for most was death came swiftly.
On a worldwide scale, billions died immediately following the initial strikes, and in the weeks after, millions more from radiation and starvation.
None of this had to happen; none of this should have happened; and it wouldn’t have happened had it not been for the good intentions of one man.