Slowly Melting: When the sun sets off the bomb by Yuval Hollander

Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. On a high cliff above the Pacific Ocean, long-range missiles, concealed in hidden silos, are being prepared for action. Helicopters come and go. Heavy radar equipment is being put into place. The most significant, sensitive, dangerous military experiment in the history of the world is about to begin. Deep underground, in the command bunker known as “Fort Knox,” a final briefing is taking place. President Harry Brough, is seen on a large screen. On another screen, a live feed from NASA’s solar radiation monitoring system displays the progress of a solar storm. When the storm reaches its peak, the surveillance window for launching a nuclear-armed Minuteman missile will begin. Professor Burt Arnold, NASA Director of Solar Anomalies, is explaining the President about the massive storm’s potential for devastating global impact. Five-Star General, Thomas J. McAllister, has just received a situation update from U.S. Navy supercarriers and jets on full alert off the coast of North Korea. All the pieces are in place; the operation will commence as soon as solar radiation levels are right. About to retire after a stellar career that included Kuwait, Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan, McAllister was supposed to begin transition leave today, but the president and Joint Chiefs of Staff convinced him to delay his departure. The most highly classified mission in history needed the leadership of America’s top soldier. McAllister thought about how difficult it had been to tell his wife and daughter he would not be joining them for a planned vacation in Thailand. It wasn’t the first time duty’s call had changed family plans, but this time was different. The leaders of the United States and North Korea have their fingers poise over the so-called “red buttons” that could ignite nuclear war. will the sun sets off the bomb?

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