It's the Only Way to Be Sure


(permanent link) added: 2010-03-15 20:20:40 sponsor: Vitruvius (last reply: 2010-03-15 20:20:40)

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This is a revision of "Nuke the Site from Orbit" which I suggested a while ago.

The Virus or some similar infestation has gotten out of containment and threatens to spread uncontrollably. If any conventional means have been deployed to control it, they were grossly inadequate. Plan B - maybe even Plan A - is sheer overkill: a conflagration which will destroy the whole facility, the whole city, or the entire region. It could be a nuke, it could be a fuel-air bomb, it could be orbital bombardment - but whatever it is, high civilian or friendly casualties are chalked off as "acceptable losses."

Sometimes this strategy works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm going to avoid phenomena like ships with self-destruct systems or ships being intentionally scuttled, focusing more on cities and facilities being blasted from the sky, or high-yield fail-safe options.

Once again, the title is inspired by the familiar quote from Aliens: "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Film examples include Alien vs Predator, Alien vs Predator: Requiem, Resident Evil Apocalypse, The Crazies (2010), 28 Weeks Later, Return of the Living Dead, and Outbreak (where it was used in the beginning and averted at the end). Oddly enough, Aliens is not an example, although the characters do talk about this option. The option was mentioned in Dawn of the Dead (1978), The Andromeda Strain, and The Crazies (1973), but not used.

Video game examples include most of the Resident Evil games, several Aliens vs Predator games, and - oh, I don't know. I don't have the budget for games these days.

Literature examples include Day By Day Armageddon (J.L. Bourne) and Contagious (Scott Sigler). If I recall, Jurassic Park also involved the Costa Rican government bombing the hell out of Isla Nublar, but this didn't make it into the film.

I'm hoping the title change will clear up some of the confusion about nukes present in the earlier version. Nukes are not necessary to invoke this trope - just contamination being purged by lots and lots of kaboom. If the general consensus is that this is still the same, but more specific, I will defer to the wisdom of the wiki and lurk some moar.
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