All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Author's note: I wrote the story for English during our short story unit. Currently it's 18 pages double spaced and about 5400 words. I would also like to thank my teacher for not making us write another persuasive essay and letting us really write without structure.
Location: Ukraine, UCAR
Time: February 4, 2018; 1850
“Major, when do we get to attack Russia?” the corporal asked quietly.
“When we are ordered to, corporal,” the major replied.
“I know, but it’s just that we’ve been parked here in this Humvee for two days and haven’t gone anywhere,” the corporal whined.
“Then, why don’t you tell a good joke or something to keep yourself entertained?” suggested the major.
“Okay, so… what do you get when you take the derivative of Optimus?” queried the corporal.
“He said a good joke, not a stupid one,” complained the bored sergeant. “The next stupid joke you tell will get you extra watch.”
“You think it’s stupid because you never took calculus. The answer is Optimus Prime, so there,” retorted the corporal.
The private looking through his binoculars chimed in, “I see something moving in the distance… Wait, it’s only a squirrel.”
“I’ve got another joke for you. Ready? When was the last time the government was creative?” posed the corporal.
“When they hired you!” replied the sergeant.
“Ha! Ha! Very funny. No, it’s the Seven Years War, because it really lasted for nine years,” answered the annoyed corporal.
“That’s enough of the stupid jokes. Do your job and look out for Russians trying to cross the border,” ordered the major.
“Look, the squirrel is coming closer,” interjected the private. They all watched as the squirrel playfully scampered under the Humvee.
Two seconds later, the Humvee exploded into a ball of fire flinging its four occupants into the surrounding shrubs. Three lay dead. Only the corporal showed any signs of life as he slowly faded in and out of consciousness lying in the dirt by the burning Humvee.
Location: A bunker in the Colorado mountains, UCAR
Time: February 4, 2018; 1855
“Sir, the surveillance video feed just picked up an explosion in the Ukraine,” the surveillance specialist alerted the general.
“Can you pull up the last few minutes of videotape sent from that area so I can see what happened just before the explosion?” asked the general.
“Yes, sir,” answered the specialist. He soon brought up the video on the computer screen. In the lower left hand corner, he noted the bumper of a Humvee. He saw a squirrel run under the Humvee, and then the video cut out showing only static on the computer screen.
The general ordered the closest helicopter to fly any survivors to the nearest hospital.
Location: Ukraine, UCAR
Time: February 4, 2018; 1902
The corporal gently stirred from his bout of unconsciousness as he heard the hum of the med-evac helicopter flying overhead.
The helicopter landed. One of the medics assessed the situation and darted over to the barely conscious corporal. The medic reassured the wounded corporal that he would be just fine, and the corporal passed out again.
The corporal remembered nothing until he awoke in a daze at the hospital. He was numb to the pain and could not move. He heard the doctors talking over him but could barely make out the words. He did hear them say that all of his limbs were present but that he had a severe head wound causing increased intracranial pressure. He passed out again.
The corporal could barely feel the needle as it punctured the skin. It contained the medications that would place him in a drug-induced coma.
Location: A dumpster outside of UCUR Hospital in Ukraine
Time: July 17, 2025; 2210
The soft, summer rain was lightly hitting his face as the corporal slowly awoke from his long slumber. He overheard two, deep, male voices growing fainter, but he could not see anyone. Their fading conversation surprised him.
“It’s sad that we had to throw him out,” said the first voice.
“Yeah, but we don’t have any more room to keep him. We gave him over seven years to come around without a hint of waking up,” replied the other with a fading voice.
The corporal became acutely aware that they were talking about him as his now adjusted eyes saw the surrounding trash and his nose smelled the awful stench. He tried to move his arms and legs, but he was so weak he could barely move. He was not sure what to do. He had been left for dead.
Suddenly, his final memories started to flood back. He remembered the exploding squirrel and waking up in a hospital. Then, his recall came to an abrupt halt, and he could not remember anything else. Had he really been in a coma for over seven years?
Slowly, he gained his strength and focused his energy on climbing out of the dumpster. Thankfully, the dumpster was nearly full of trash, so he could maneuver his way over the wall. As he stumbled away, the corporal looked up to see a single light bulb illuminating an old, dilapidated sign that read “Ukrainian Hospital” hanging over a loading dock. He headed out into the barren terrain behind the hospital without anyone noticing.
The rain was still falling as he found his way to a muddy road that led away from the hospital. The corporal continued down the road for over an hour. The rain had long ago seeped through the thin hospital gown, and now it mimicked the cloth wrapped around a mummy. He was also growing as cold as the rigid Arctic Circle.
In the distance, he saw a few lights glowing in the misty darkness. As he walked closer, the corporal made out a shabby structure that warmly reminded him of the barn at his grandfather’s ranch back in Montana. The corporal picked up his feet with more hope in each step. He mustered all of his remaining strength to open the heavy wooden door, and his emaciated arms shook as he strained against the resistance of the squeaky hinges.
As he faltered through the door into the small, dimly-lit room, he was greeted with a glorious vision, one straight out of an old western movie from his childhood. A saloon with walls covered in used liquor bottles and a bar with leather-seated stools surrounded him. He could hardly fathom the paradise that enveloped him, a delirious curtain of alcohol. When he was hospitalized, he was only 18 years old and too young to drink. Now, thankfully, he was over twenty-one.
A stout, elderly bartender was drying a shot glass behind the bar. “Hello,” he said in a surprised manner. “I haven’t seen anyone for weeks, especially not a soaked through skeleton with a wet mop for hair. Come sit down while I get you a blanket and some dry clothes.”
The bartender returned with an old flannel shirt and jeans that swallowed the corporal, but they were dry and warm and he appreciated the generous gesture.
“Now that you are comfortable, what will you have?” asked the kindly gentleman.
Still taking in the wonders around him, the corporal replied, “Nothing special, just beer.”
“Sorry, mister, I don’t have any beer. Only vodka, vodka, and more vodka. I haven’t had any beer since Russia took over the world,” responded the barkeeper.
“Ok, vodka’s fine,” answered the drying corporal as he tried to remember when Russia took over the world. He sat down on one of the bar stools.
As the vodka was served, the barkeeper added, “How about some food? Sure looks like you could use a few good meals and a haircut. I’ll warm up some leftover stew, if you like.”
The corporal sheepishly nodded yes, trying not to look too eager as he sipped his vodka. He flashed back to the dumpster. A coma for seven years? When was the last time I ate? Wonder if my stomach even works? It must, because I sure am hungry.
The stew’s homey aroma filled the small room. The corporal slowly ate it, savoring every bite and wondering how he lived for seven years without eating. Those years were a lost void of time and space.
The bartender kept him company while he ate. “Where are you from?” the barkeeper asked as he had many times before to previous customers, but none lately.
“Montana,” replied the corporal, looking up from his delicious stew. “What year is it?”
The bartender was astonished by this simple question. “What do you mean, what year is this? It’s 2025, of course.”
“So I really was out of it for seven years,” thought the pale corporal without saying a word.
“Man, you look sick. Is the stew that bad?” queried the stout gentleman.
“No…, I just haven’t eaten solid food in over seven years,” whispered the corporal.
“What? You’re kidding, right?” the alarmed barkeeper replied.
“No, I don’t think so,” responded the emaciated corporal.
“Well, you are pretty skinny. How do you know it’s been seven years?” asked the bartender.
“Because, the last year I remember was 2018,” answered the customer.
The astonished barkeeper spoke softly as he pulled up a stool beside the corporal, “So, tell me your story.”
He told the barkeeper about being a corporal in the army of the United Countries Against Russia and about how a squirrel exploded underneath the Humvee he was patrolling in along the Ukrainian-Russian border back in 2018. He then ended his short story with the events of that evening. The barkeeper sat mesmerized taking in the bizarre tale.
“Wow! You sure have a lot to catch up on. First, there is no longer the United Countries Against Russia. In late 2018, UCAR was replaced with UCUR. That is the United Countries Under Russia. Here, read my journal. It explains everything,” the bartender said as he pulled a little, worn, brown book from behind the bar.
The corporal pushed aside the empty bowl and carefully opened the journal. He was not sure if he really wanted to know what happened, since it sounded like Russia was in control. He had been there at the beginning of the fight against Russia, but had spent most of his adult life in a coma. One of his last memories was of him asking his commanding officer, “When do we get to attack Russia?” and the major’s reply, “When we are ordered to.” Now, Russia controlled everything.
The corporal gingerly took the journal from the bartender and started reading from the beginning. Meanwhile, the bartender concentrated on cleaning up the dirty bowl and wiping down the counter. The corporal started to put a mental timeline together as he read the important document. In early 2013, the United States and every other country in the world signed a treaty stating that all radioactive arms would be destroyed within a year. They also agreed that English should be the international language. All countries were given the right to inspect each other in order to enforce the treaty. In 2015, the United States went into an economic depression as a result of its overwhelming debt. States started fighting against the federal government insisting that the US pay off its debts immediately in order to stay solvent. Unfortunately, it was too late to save the country’s economy. States started fighting over food, resulting in the Second Civil War. A weakened federal government remained in power, but the furious states did not recognize its authority. Therefore, each state functioned independently under martial law.
Meanwhile, Russia secretly hid its nuclear weapons during periods of international inspection. Every other country honored the 2013 treaty. In 2017, all countries, including Russia, decided to eliminate all arms to create a safer and more peaceful world. The deadline to destroy all weapons was 2020. Instead of following the dictates of the treaty, Russia initiated its Animal Explosive (AE) program in 2017. The corporal instantaneously recognized that the squirrel that had blown up his Humvee had been part of this undercover program. On January 29, 2018, Russia launched nuclear missiles worldwide. Only the countries bordering Russia were spared as the Russians did not want nuclear fallout to destroy their country. The other peaceful nations had unknowingly become sitting ducks and were now outraged at Russia’s attacks. The following day, every country except Russia signed an agreement and formed one giant federation called UCAR, United Countries Against Russia. UCAR quickly organized a counteroffensive, such that the corporal was on the frontlines of the offensive by February 2nd.
Then, he spotted a miniscule detail about the events of February 4th. The bartender’s journal mentioned his mission, the explosion, and the rescue. How could the bartender know all this? He looked at the bartender questioningly.
“You look puzzled. I guess you found the entry about your mission. I suppose you want an explanation,” posed the bartender. “I will give you one, but this must remain a secret between you and me. This is an order, just like the one I gave to send out a helicopter to rescue the survivors of your Humvee explosion.”
The corporal realized that the bartender was once his highest commanding officer, his general. His face went paler than a ghost. “What are you doing here?” he questioned.
The general explained, “I knew that there was only one survivor of your operation. I looked at the surveillance tape of your mission over and over again. The whole time period was so volatile and chaotic. Your simple desire to attack Russia and regain our freedom from tyranny was simplistic but admirable. Your naïve courage haunted me. My post tracked you to the Ukrainian Hospital, but I was dismayed that you were in a prolonged coma.”
“When I retired from the military five years ago, my wife and I wanted to live in a place with minimal radioactivity. I know it seems strange after the Chernobyl nuclear accident here thirty-nine years ago, but Ukraine has one of the lowest radioactivity levels in the world. It was one of Russia’s neighbors, so it was not attacked by nuclear missiles in 2018. That should tell you how horrible the rest of the world is now. So, I bought this little tavern and now I serve only Russian vodka.”
“After the war, Russia destroyed most of the technologies of the other countries in order to assure its dominant position. Keep reading, and you will see how UCAR became UCUR. In late 2018, the whole world succumbed to Russia. The Russian attacks were so swift, and there was very little to fight back with since we had destroyed our own weapons. Most of the world’s infrastructure was destroyed. The chaos in the United States meant that there was no world leader to guide the resistance. Therefore, for the past seven years, the world has been called the United Countries Under Russia,” finished the general sadly.
“I know you are tired, so why don’t you get some rest? We will talk more in the morning,” advised the general.
“Even though I just woke up from a seven year nap, I am tired and overwhelmed. Thank you so much for taking me in and saving my life for a second time. How can I ever repay you?” the corporal graciously asked.
“I promise that we will talk about that in the morning. Now get some rest, Rip Van Winkle,” the general replied as he led the corporal into a small bedroom in the back of the tavern. The corporal was still carrying the journal. It was his link to the life that had passed him by.
Location: The Tavern in Ukraine
Time: July 18, 2025; 0842
The bar keeping ex-general entered the side door of the bar to find the corporal sitting at the counter reading the final page of writing in the journal. The corporal looked up in a daze and commented, “I can’t believe how bad it has gotten. What’s left outside of Russia is only a human wasteland. I feel like I let everyone down by not being here to help for the past seven years.”
The general replied, “You’re right. We are lucky here. Most of the world has no electricity, because Russia blew up their power plants. The destruction of the nuclear plants created even more problems with radiation poisoning, especially here in Europe. Probably, only ten percent of the world’s population is still alive. Most of them live in Russia. It’s shades of the Stone Age outside the countries bordering it. Here, I get a trivial amount of electricity from tapping into Russian power lines. The Russian police don’t turn me in, because I give them free vodka when they pass through on patrol. It’s my only way to survive these days. Sometimes, my wife is the only other human I see for days at a time. The only functioning city in Ukraine now is Kiev, and it is only a small village compared to the previous bustling metropolis it once was. Russia provides it with some support, since it is near their border and provides for good propaganda. I spend my days secretly dreaming about destroying Russia and freeing the rest of the world. I, too, feel like I let my country down when we were forced to succumb to Russian rule. Beating them at their own game would be so sweet. Everyone deserves a second chance to get it right.”
“Yep. Maybe, someday, we can turn our destiny around. Did you come up with any practical plans when you were daydreaming?” asked the downhearted corporal.
“A few, but it is hard to carry out anything alone,” answered the general. “I did happen to steal a proposal and blueprints for Russia’s newest power plant from some drunken construction workers who passed out on my floor a few years ago. Didn’t think I would ever have an opportunity to use them until a few weeks ago when I overheard a Russian military envoy say that their newest nuclear power plant just went on line southwest of Moscow. I pulled the plans out of their hiding place and confirmed the attached timeline. The plans described a new form of power generation called fusion. The reactor is supposed to simulate a star. You know, like the ones in the sky. Now, they are in the process of destroying all their other power plants. Within a week, this new fusion plant should be the only power source in the world. The military diplomats were bragging to each other about how this would secure their position as the world leader. They would be invincible.”
“What do you plan on doing with this information?” inquired the interested corporal.
The general responded, “I’m not sure just yet, but I sure would like to pull the plug on that plant. Want to join me?”
The corporal thought for a few seconds and replied, “Sure would!”
Over the next week, the corporal and the general planned their expedition to the nuclear fusion plant located outside of Moscow. They knew that they would have to walk, since there was no transportation, not even a horse. They organized their provisions for at least a ten day trip.
The corporal gained physical strength as he increased his nutritional intake. He shaved his overgrown beard, and the general’s wife cut his mangy hair. He was starting to feel more human.
The one thing that they still did not have was a plan for how to destroy the plant. That is, until the day before they were due to leave. The new Russian Czar of Energy just happened to stop at the bar for a drink on his way to hunt ducks on the Dnebr River. He was in a very gregarious mood and let it slip that he and the Emperor of Russia were paying a visit to the new plant in two weeks. They were to get a personal tour by the plant manager and an overview of the science behind fusion from the premier physical chemists in the country.
This was just the information that they needed. They were ready to proceed!
Location: On the road to Moscow
Time: August 1, 2025; 0624
The vagabond pair was just starting out on the eighth day of travel. They were tired from the long journey along dry, dirt roads through fields of scrubby bushes, but they were exhilarated at the thought of freeing the world from Russian domination. They had only three more days of walking to go. The two became close comrades on this journey, no longer just a corporal under the command of a general. They even started joking together. The corporal flopped with his repertoire of math jokes. The general reminisced about old cartoons to create code names for their mission.
“Did you ever get to see Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons when you were growing up?” asked the general.
“Never heard of them. Who are Rocky and Bullwinkle?” responded the corporal jovially.
“Rocky J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle the Moose had their own cartoons back in the 60’s. They kind of remind me of us,” stated the general.
“How so?” asked the corporal.
“Well, you remind me of Rocky. He was the smart flying squirrel. I bet he liked math jokes, too. Bullwinkle was his kind-hearted, but slow to catch on sidekick,” quipped the general.
“Ok…, but I think I’m done with squirrels. The last one I ran into nearly eradicated me,” the corporal laughed.
“Then, you can be Rocky Balboa instead. You know, the come-back southpaw boxer from the movies. Fits you to a tee,” joked the general.
“I know that Rocky. My grandfather loved those movies. I used to hum the theme song while I sparred with hay bales as a kid,” quickly replied the corporal as he started to hum the tune.
“So, you can be Rocky…Balboa, if you must, and I can be Bullwinkle. What code names!” stated the general. “Now, all we need is Mr. Peabody.”
“Who?” asked the new Rocky.
“Mr. Peabody was the genius dog who wore horn-rimmed glasses on Rocky and Bullwinkle’s cartoon show. He knew everything about everything, but his specialty was history,” retorted the general.
“I guess Mr. Peabody can be the code name for the scientists at the reactor,” the corporal replied warmly. “What about a code name for the Emperor of Russia and his energy czar?”
“I have the perfect names for them, Boris and Natasha. Pretty Russian sounding, too. They were the villains in some of the cartoons. Rocky and Bullwinkle were always after them. The best part was that they always lost,” the general looked more serious as he spoke his final words.
The pair laughed as they walked further down the road, growing more excited with each step. The general said thoughtfully, “You know, the US military always named their missions, too. Sure they had code names, but the name of the mission conveyed the importance of its objective. I’ve been thinking that we should call our operation ‘Referendum’. That would tell the Russians exactly what the people left in this world think of their domination. We are taking a vote to take back our world.”
“I couldn’t agree more. Referendum, it is,” concurred Rocky as he started humming the movie’s theme song again. Bullwinkle joined in.
Location: Fusion Power Plant outside of Moscow
Time: August 4, 2025; 1408
The two conspirators had already taken out two guards surrounding the plant and had changed into their forest green uniforms. They were not a perfect fit, but they had to do. It was only for a little while anyway. The pair had also confiscated the two guards’ AK-47’s, old but still effective.
Rocky and Bullwinkle jauntily walked down the long hallways of the reactor, looking inconspicuous in their Russian uniforms. They were searching for the party of dignitaries who was scheduled to be in a conference with the reactor’s group of scientists, aka the Mr. Peabodies.
The conspirators were standing on some scaffolding high above the floor when they spotted the group fifty feet below touring around the giant room that held the infamous fusion reactor. The general and corporal could easily overhear the discussion as the sound echoed through the room. They listened intently as the Emperor and Russian Czar of Energy were updated by the scientists and were relieved to find Boris and Natasha in the same room.
For the next fifteen minutes, the general and the corporal lay flat on the scaffold quietly eavesdropping on the technical conversation. They got a complete rundown on the science behind the reactor, just the information they needed to shutdown the plant.
The Emperor posed the first question, “What exactly is fusion and why is this plant superior to the other power plants that we just shut down?”
The chief nuclear scientist stepped forward to answer the question, “Sir, fusion is the synthesis of a new heavier molecule from two smaller molecules. In the process of fusing the two molecules together, massive amounts of energy are released. Fission is the splitting of a molecule by a neutron traveling at a speed close to that of light. When the molecule is split, it also releases some energy, but not as much as fusion creates. Fission requires the use of radioactive elements, such as uranium-235, but fusion does not require highly radioactive elements and is, therefore, considered to be far safer. That is one of the advantages of fusion. Our older reactors used fission to create energy.”
The Czar of Energy asked the follow-up questions, “So what elements do you need for fusion to occur? I guess I really mean, what molecules do you use, and what is the product of fusion in our reactor?”
One of the Mr. Peabodies spoke up to explain, “We have found that the most successful reaction involves isotopes of hydrogen, specifically deuterium and tritium. Scientists know these isotopes as hydrogen-2 and hydrogen-3, respectively. Deuterium and tritium combine to form helium and a neutron. The great part is that deuterium is plentiful. There is about one gram of deuterium per eighty liters of water. Tritium is not found in nature, but it can easily be made by combining two deuterium molecules together to get one tritium molecule and one molecule of regular hydrogen.”
The Emperor sounded impressed with all the scientific talk, but responded by saying, “That sounds so easy. Why haven’t we been using fusion all along?”
A third scientist tried to clarify this misconception, “Sir, with all due respect, this is not as easy as we are making it sound. Combining tritium and deuterium requires very high temperatures up to 200 to 400 million Kelvin, so there has to be another fuel source to start the process. Therefore, we still need natural gas or coal to get started and to keep the process going until fusion starts releasing energy to self-perpetuate its own process. It took us months to get the reactor up and running using conventional fossil fuel. Now, we no longer need other fuels and have stopped all mining and drilling. This temperature is hotter than the sun that is thought to be 13 million Kelvin. The sun’s hydrogen burns more slowly than the fusion created by our reactor, so therefore it is cooler, if you call that cool. Every other star uses this same process, and the color of each star is determined by how hot it burns. Our reactor would instantly incinerate a living being and would melt any metals.”
“You’ve got to be kidding,” replied the amazed Czar of Energy.
The scientist continued, “The device is called a thermonuclear reactor for just this reason. We contain the elements within really high-powered magnets. As you can see, we are fine standing right outside of the torus or donut-shaped reactor. A plasma of deuterium and tritium is contained within the donut-shaped vacuum. The two hydrogen isotopes must be in high enough density to assure constant collisions of the molecules for continuous fusion to occur. The nuclei of deuterium and tritium are both positively charged, so in order for fusion to occur, extremely high temperatures are required to overcome the repulsive forces of the like-charged nuclei. The magnets are in the walls of the donut, and the extreme temperature is contained within the donut’s walls. The donut hole is empty.”
The Emperor remained confused about just one thing, so he asked, “How does this energy become the electricity that powers my luxurious palace?”
The chief scientist fielded this question, “The heat from the reactor is used to fuel steam turbines just as natural gas and coal used to do. The turbines drive electric generators and these create the electricity that you see at home. And that is how our small, man-made sun works. We can make so much electricity here that we could power the entire world for thousands of centuries, that is, if we wanted to share our ‘star’.” The group chuckled. “Any other questions?”
The Czar had one last question for the chief scientist, “Can this reactor melt down and create the same kind of mess that occurred at Chernobyl?”
The chief scientist answered, “In a word, no! Only tritium is radioactive, and its effect is minimal compared to uranium. Tritium undergoes beta decay which means it releases an electron when it decays. Uranium undergoes multiple different types of decay, and this is what caused the havoc at Chernobyl that has persisted for so long. Also, for safety reasons, we can push one button and close down the whole operation before disaster strikes. Later when we get to the control room above us, I will show you this blue button. It is protected by a plastic cover so we don’t accidentally push it.” The group chuckled again. “So far, we have not needed to use it, and we should never need to since this plant is foolproof.”
The Emperor looked relieved at this response, since he had been marketing the safety of this reactor to the Russian public for the past two years. Now, it was their only source of power. He was glad he had not made a mistake in authorizing its construction. The Emperor had complete confidence in the scientists at the power plant.
The general and corporal had heard enough. They now understood how the reactor worked and how to turn off the process. That was the final piece of information that they needed to carry out their plan. To make matters even better, the government was so complacent about the safety of this power plant that it was not guarding the control room closely.
They quietly made their way further up the scaffolding to the control room. The operating scientists were all still on the first floor with the Emperor and energy czar, so the pair of conspirators easily entered the small room filled with buttons and digital LCD read-outs. They spotted the large, blue button under a plastic cover. It was labeled ‘electromagnet shut-off.’
Without further ado, the corporal sat down at the counter by the blue button. He looked eagerly at the general for his authorization. The general nodded his head in agreement. The corporal had been waiting for over seven years for the order to destroy Russia. Now, he finally had it. He carefully flipped up the plastic shield that protected the auspicious knob. The corporal slowly placed his right palm over the button. His heart was pounding, and the Rocky theme song was flowing in the background of his mind. He was about to destroy the world’s enemy and set UCUR free. This one valiant act would change the destiny of the world and he would be responsible.
With a second nod from the general to reaffirm the order, the corporal took a deep breath and firmly pushed the button. The soft hum of the magnets slowly dissipated and nothing else seemed to happen. The corporal looked disappointedly at the general. Referendum appeared to be a complete failure.
What they did not realize was that without the magnetic field surrounding the plasma, the collection of superheated hydrogen isotopes was expanding rapidly and putting ever increasing pressure on the reactor walls. Without warning, there was a massive explosion that catapulted them thousands of feet in the air. As if in slow motion, the corporal watched the earth be consumed in a ball of fire. His final thought was that at least Russia had been destroyed. Sadly, so had the rest of the world. The destiny of the world had indeed been changed and he was responsible. Milliseconds later, the corporal and the general were incinerated.
The huge ball of fire became the solar system’s second sun. The new star’s gravity was so strong that it collided with the original sun to create an incredibly bright supernova, and then it dissolved into utter darkness.
Brown, Theodore L. Chemistry: the Central Science. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 918. Print.
Giancoli, Douglas C. Physics: Principles with Applications. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005. 874-75. Print.
Heppenheimer, T. A. The Man-made Sun : the Quest for Fusion Power. Boston: Little, Brown and, 1984. Print.
Herman, Robin. Fusion: the Search for Endless Energy. Cambridge [England: Cambridge UP, 1990. Print.
Longworth, Philip. Russia: the Once and Future Empire from Pre-history to Putin. New York: St. Martin's, 2006. Print.
Riasanovsky, Nicholas Valentine. A History of Russia. New York: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.
Rice, Christopher, and Melanie Rice. Moscow. London: DK Pub., 2007. Print.
Shachtman, Tom. Terrors and Marvels: How Science and Technology Changed the Character and Outcome of World War II. New York: William Morrow, 2002. Print.