History Literature / TheAndromedaStrain

12th Jul '17 2:37:17 PM TvTroper20152014
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* ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure: The back-up plan to prevent a release of agent from the Wildfire facility was to destroy the site with a nuke. Heroically averted, as a nuclear detonation might only have fueled Andromeda's rampant growth.

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* ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure: The back-up plan to prevent a release of agent from the Wildfire facility was to destroy the site with a nuke. Heroically [[spoiler:Heroically averted, as a nuclear detonation might only have fueled Andromeda's rampant growth.]]



* MagicCountdown: Averted in that Hall disarms the nuclear self-destruct with more than half a minute to spare. Subverted in that the lowest level of the facility is ''evacuated of atmosphere'' '''thirty seconds before detonation''' to increase the yield of the nuke - the researchers were only seconds from being '''''suffocated.'''''
* SelfDestructMechanism: The Wildfire facility has a nuclear device beneath it that is set to automatically go off in the event of a breach to prevent any nasty diseases from getting out. Unfortunately, the scientists calculate that the heat and radiation from a nuclear blast would cause the virus to mutate into a potentially much deadlier form. In addition, the book goes into detail about the necessarily psychological profile of the one person who should be entrusted with the "off" key. The people in charge calculated that an unmarried male with no strong family connections would be best able to make the decision to allow the bomb to go off. And the device is even designed so only Hall can use it, so another person less willing to sacrifice himself than Hall can't just take take the key from him and stop the countdown.

to:

* MagicCountdown: Averted [[spoiler:Averted in that Hall disarms the nuclear self-destruct with more than half a minute to spare. Subverted in that the lowest level of the facility is ''evacuated of atmosphere'' '''thirty seconds before detonation''' to increase the yield of the nuke - the researchers were only seconds from being '''''suffocated.'''''
''''']]
* SelfDestructMechanism: The Wildfire facility has a nuclear device beneath it that is set to automatically go off in the event of a breach to prevent any nasty diseases from getting out. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:Unfortunately, the scientists calculate that the heat and radiation from a nuclear blast would cause the virus to mutate into a potentially much deadlier form. form.]] In addition, the book goes into detail about the necessarily psychological profile of the one person who should be entrusted with the "off" key. The people in charge calculated that an unmarried male with no strong family connections would be best able to make the decision to allow the bomb to go off. And the device is even designed so only Hall can use it, so another person less willing to sacrifice himself than Hall can't just take take the key from him and stop the countdown.
12th Jul '17 2:32:49 PM TvTroper20152014
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** The government never considered a possibility that the nuclear-sterilization protocol going off could make things ''[[ILoveNuclearPower worse]]'', so they purposefully left out any means to shut it off from inside the facility once it's been armed. Once the scientists discover that Andromeda not only ''eats'' radiation but uses it to evolve, they have to begin an extensive off-site procedure to shut it down. [[spoiler:When Andromeda eats through the plastic gaskets in the containment areas, this threatens the ''entire world'', and Hall is sent scurrying through a DeathCourse to shut it down]].

to:

** The government never considered a possibility that the nuclear-sterilization protocol going off could make things ''[[ILoveNuclearPower worse]]'', so they purposefully left out any means to shut it off from inside the facility once it's been armed. Once [[spoiler:Once the scientists discover that Andromeda not only ''eats'' radiation but uses it to evolve, they have to begin an extensive off-site procedure to shut it down. [[spoiler:When When Andromeda eats through the plastic gaskets in the containment areas, this threatens the ''entire world'', and Hall is sent scurrying through a DeathCourse to shut it down]].
12th Jul '17 2:31:41 PM TvTroper20152014
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* DisabilityImmunity: the eponymous Strain kills an entire town save a baby and an old man. Turns out that the contagion is actually extremely sensitive to abnormal [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pH pH]] levels - outside the range of normal blood pH (7.35-7.45), the organism dies. The old man was an alcoholic who drank denatured alcohol from canned stove fuel, resulting in metabolic acidosis, and the baby had cried himself into respiratory alkalosis due to a combination of infantile colic, hunger and fear.

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* DisabilityImmunity: the eponymous Strain kills an entire town save a baby and an old man. Turns [[spoiler:Turns out that the contagion is actually extremely sensitive to abnormal [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pH pH]] levels - outside the range of normal blood pH (7.35-7.45), the organism dies. The old man was an alcoholic who drank denatured alcohol from canned stove fuel, resulting in metabolic acidosis, and the baby had cried himself into respiratory alkalosis due to a combination of infantile colic, hunger and fear.]]
17th Jun '17 1:27:15 PM nombretomado
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* BodyHorror: Andromeda dispatches its victims by near-instant clotting of blood - such that most of Piedmont was "cut down in mid-stride." The team get to see wonderful visages, such as a smiling family gathered around rotting food. The autopsy on the man who opened the probe carrying Andromeda also counts, as they chop him open - and only get clotted blood. It's hinted that a few survived long enough to "go quietly nuts". [[spoiler:The identities of this latter group - among them, a diabetic, a teen who built model airplanes, a WW1 vet, and an old chain-smoking lady - provide an early hint to how Andromeda targets its victims. All would have been mildly acidotic, from uncontrolled diabetes, the paint thinner they worked with, old age, and COPD respectively, which allowed them to survive long enough to develop dementia. All cases commit suicide in an unnatural and/or painful way in Piedmont, such as one via self-immolation, and the diabetic literally filling a tub with water and holding his head inside until he drowned, and nearly all leave ranting, paranoid notes. A final case which appears later - a diabetic cop that survived initial infection and then shot up a diner - which cements the acidosis theory.]]

to:

* BodyHorror: Andromeda dispatches its victims by near-instant clotting of blood - such that most of Piedmont was "cut down in mid-stride." The team get to see wonderful visages, such as a smiling family gathered around rotting food. The autopsy on the man who opened the probe carrying Andromeda also counts, as they chop him open - and only get clotted blood. It's hinted that a few survived long enough to "go quietly nuts". [[spoiler:The identities of this latter group - among them, a diabetic, a teen who built model airplanes, a WW1 UsefulNotes/WW1 vet, and an old chain-smoking lady - provide an early hint to how Andromeda targets its victims. All would have been mildly acidotic, from uncontrolled diabetes, the paint thinner they worked with, old age, and COPD respectively, which allowed them to survive long enough to develop dementia. All cases commit suicide in an unnatural and/or painful way in Piedmont, such as one via self-immolation, and the diabetic literally filling a tub with water and holding his head inside until he drowned, and nearly all leave ranting, paranoid notes. A final case which appears later - a diabetic cop that survived initial infection and then shot up a diner - which cements the acidosis theory.]]
13th Jun '17 12:25:35 PM ironballs16
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* ComputerVoice: The computer in the Wildfire secret underground base plays pre-recorded messages spoken by a pleasant female voice. It is revealed that the voice, which one scientist describes as "luscious," is that of a woman in her 60's, turning it into in-universe FetishRetardant.

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* ComputerVoice: The computer in the Wildfire secret underground base plays pre-recorded messages spoken by a pleasant female voice. It is revealed that the voice, [[ArousedByTheirVoice which one scientist describes as "luscious," "luscious,"]] is that of a woman in her 60's, turning it into in-universe FetishRetardant.
15th Mar '17 6:23:22 AM morenohijazo
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Added DiffLines:

* GemTissue: The story centers on an alien crystal that can survive in vacuum and even a nuclear blast. Tragically, it also tends to restructure the proteins in people and animals, most notably converting fluid blood into a reddish powder in its victims' veins.
17th Jan '17 4:55:48 PM Kalaong
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* FailsafeFailure: ''Lots;''
** A warning bell that's supposed to alert the team when important information comes in on their telex machine is defeated when a scrap of paper peels from the roll and wedges itself between the bell and striker, preventing the bell from ringing, and they miss the warning.

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* FailsafeFailure: ''Lots;''
'''''Lots;'''''
** A warning bell that's supposed to alert the team when important information comes in on their telex machine is defeated when a scrap of paper peels from the roll and wedges itself between the bell and striker, preventing the bell from ringing, and they miss ringing. This cuts them off from ''lots'' of important information; little things like [[spoiler:Andromeda eventually learning to eat anything remotely organic - such as the warning.airtight plastic gaskets used in clean rooms. Cue ''really'' unwanted nuclear-sterilization protocol.]]
17th Jan '17 4:48:00 PM Kalaong
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--->These were highly-trained electronics men, Senator, looking for an electronic fault. The trouble was purely mechanical of the simplest kind. But for them, it was like trying to see an elephant through a microscope.

to:

--->These -->These were highly-trained electronics men, Senator, looking for an electronic fault. The trouble was purely mechanical of the simplest kind. But for them, it was like trying to see an elephant through a microscope.
17th Jan '17 4:47:16 PM Kalaong
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*** A warning bell that's supposed to alert the team when important information comes in on their telex machine is defeated when a scrap of paper peels from the roll and wedges itself between the bell and striker, preventing the bell from ringing, and they miss the warning.

to:

*** ** A warning bell that's supposed to alert the team when important information comes in on their telex machine is defeated when a scrap of paper peels from the roll and wedges itself between the bell and striker, preventing the bell from ringing, and they miss the warning.
17th Jan '17 4:46:40 PM Kalaong
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* FailsafeFailure: Several: first, the control stations allowing the override for the nuclear-sterilization protocol weren't installed in several compartments of the center due to bureaucratic delays, necessitating [[spoiler: Hall crawling to the upper level through the central core to find a working shutdown station]]. Second, [[spoiler: the core was equipped with automated guns firing curare-tipped darts to stop any potentially infected escaped lab animals, but the dose was calculated for primates less than 20 kg, and [[NoSell not for the much larger human]], thus making this mad scramble possible.]] Also, a warning bell that's supposed to alert the team when important information comes in on their telex machine is defeated when a scrap of paper accidentally jams itself between the bell and striker, silencing it when it tries to go off, and they miss the warning.

to:

* FailsafeFailure: Several: first, the control stations allowing the override for the nuclear-sterilization protocol weren't installed in several compartments of the center due to bureaucratic delays, necessitating [[spoiler: Hall crawling to the upper level through the central core to find a working shutdown station]]. Second, [[spoiler: the core was equipped with automated guns firing curare-tipped darts to stop any potentially infected escaped lab animals, but the dose was calculated for primates less than 20 kg, and [[NoSell not for the much larger human]], thus making this mad scramble possible.]] Also, a ''Lots;''
***A
warning bell that's supposed to alert the team when important information comes in on their telex machine is defeated when a scrap of paper accidentally jams peels from the roll and wedges itself between the bell and striker, silencing it when it tries to go off, preventing the bell from ringing, and they miss the warning. warning.
**The government never considered a possibility that the nuclear-sterilization protocol going off could make things ''[[ILoveNuclearPower worse]]'', so they purposefully left out any means to shut it off from inside the facility once it's been armed. Once the scientists discover that Andromeda not only ''eats'' radiation but uses it to evolve, they have to begin an extensive off-site procedure to shut it down. [[spoiler:When Andromeda eats through the plastic gaskets in the containment areas, this threatens the ''entire world'', and Hall is sent scurrying through a DeathCourse to shut it down]].
**The control stations allowing the override for the weren't installed in several compartments of the center due to bureaucratic delays, necessitating [[spoiler:Hall crawling to the upper level through the central core to find a working shutdown station]].
**The core was equipped with automated guns firing curare-tipped darts to stop any potentially infected escaped lab animals, ''again'' with no emergency shutdown. Luckily, the dose was calculated for primates less than 20 kg, and [[OneDoseFitsAll not for much larger humans]], [[spoiler:thus making Hall's mad scramble possible.]]


Added DiffLines:

* HiddenInPlainSight: Wildfire is effectively [[ClosedCircle isolated from the outside world]] because [[FailsafeFailure a bit of paper got wedged in the telex alarm bell]]. Absolutely ''no-one'' noticed this until ''long'' after the events of the story, simply because the technicians didn't have the mindset to '''''look at the bell that won't ring!''''' The government is Not Happy™ to find out their $90,000,000 facility was knocked out by a ''[[CherryTapping sliver of paper]].''
--->These were highly-trained electronics men, Senator, looking for an electronic fault. The trouble was purely mechanical of the simplest kind. But for them, it was like trying to see an elephant through a microscope.
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