Nuclear Football Item in Starkeeper | World Anvil

Nuclear Football

A legendary device held by an Ancient American President for military purposes.
  The Presidents first acquired the Footballs at the start of the Nuclear Dark Days between Ancient America and the Soviet Empire. Most historians agree its primary function was as a control device for the nation's arsenal of ballistic missiles equipped with thermonuclear warheads, enabling the President to quickly initiate a launch if the situation arose. It is thought there were multiple Footballs, upgraded over time and possibly manufactured new for each incoming President. How the device got its name remains unknown, Ancient American portrayals of it in entertainment usually depicted a metallic briefcase not at all resembling the round shape of a football.
  Possession of the Nuclear Football gave the Ancient American Presidents the destructive potential to wipe out potentially all of Terra's civilization if they so desired, making them (and their Imperial Soviet counterparts) some of the most proportionally dangerous individuals to ever exist. As this was the human species' first encounter with man-made existential risk, management and control procedures over the Football and the nuclear weapons behind it were sometimes haphazard, with numerous close calls that almost resulted in global thermonuclear war.
  What the Presidents' attitudes towards holding such destructive power were is unknown, no surviving writings mention it. But the decades-long period of standoff between the Americans and Soviets implies at least an implicit willingness on both sides to risk the future of human technological civilization for the sake of nationalistic conflict (or an unawareness of the existential danger so caused), else the leaders would have surely agreed to abolish their nuclear weapons for the good of mankind. Strategy at the time consisted of Mutually Assured Destruction, an amoral doctine by which the civilian population lived in constant fear of atomic annihilation as the two superpowers sought to deter each other from starting a war. The Nuclear Football was the linchpin of this, an instrument of apocalypse capable of wiping out most people then alive.
  Its legacy lives on in the form of a ceremonial football or football trophy held by the leaders of Americanist societies as a symbol of office, and archaeologists on Terra have searched for an authentic relic to no avail, though there are always rumors that an ancient Nuclear Football was discovered and spirited away to disappear into a private collection.
Unknown, light enough to carry

Cover image: 100px Transparent Header by AntimatterNuke


Please Login in order to comment!
Powered by World Anvil