Fancy Ben, The World's Last Nuke

Ol' Fancy Ben,
Last of his kind,
They went quiet,
But he'll go loud.  
— The Ballade of Fancy Ben
Fancy Ben is the last known nuclear bomb left in the world since the fall of all nations. For a long time, it looked pretty likely that Earth would nuke itself into oblivion, and that didn't look any less likely when the world went straight to corporate-run hell.   But once the Megacorps decided that the weapons were a threat to shareholders and an unacceptable risk to future financial quarters, that was that. No matter how many fell into nefarious hands or rotted away in abandoned silos, Megacorp kill-teams had a can-do-attitude and blatant disregard for human rights that got the job done. Thousands of nukes were decommissioned and turned into commemorative trinkets over a decade-long purge.   Except for Fancy Ben. Somehow, Ben avoided destruction and has spent the time since changing hands, from corporations to terrorists to cultists, each one fighting and killing to get a hold of ol' Ben. No one's really sure what to do with him, other than keeping him out of the hands of those other jerks.   Ben's the last of his kind, and some think it's just right that he gets to go out in style.  

Who's Ben?

It's not the size that counts,
But the fuse to the fission.  
— The Ballade of Fancy Ben
Fancy Ben is believed to be a Mark VI, made-in-America nuclear bomb, over three tons in weight, and enough juice to wipe out an entire section of the Megacity. Originally described as having suffered superficial damage when struck by gunfire and explosives in what was likely an exhilarating moment for everyone around, Fancy Ben has since been rendered unrecognizable.  
Living up to his name, Fancy Ben has been painted, re-painted, decorated with beads and golds, precious gems hammered into the case, and cupholders for beer welded onto the side. The last known photograph of Fancy Ben was initially believed to be a particularly gaudy piece of modern art.   Every new owner has added their touch to the bomb's casing in what almost seems like a compulsion. Some estimate that Ben's weight has nearly doubled by now, overburdened by the gilded alterations. There's probably a metaphor in that, somewhere.
Some think all the tinkering has rendered Ben permanently inoperable, but no one is willing to take the chance.
by Wikimedia Commons

Where's Ben?

No one's really sure, but there are a few ideas. Everyone wants to find him, and it's probably best that they don't, all things considered.  

Cult of the Kaboom

Worshipping every violent combustion as something divine, the Cult of the Kaboom are a bunch of loons who believe Fancy Ben to be something akin to a messiah. It's thought they've owned the nuke at some point in the past, trying to see if they could set it off with praying.   The cult desperately wants their savior back, and they're willing to blow up a lot of stuff to get it.  


A cross between artists and engineers, Explosioneers are a sub-culture that appreciates explosions to a fetishistic degree.   Having a nuke has long been a final bucket list item for the more radical Explosioneers who want to go out with a real bang.  


Pretty much every corporation wants to get their hands on Fancy Ben. Some want to decommission him. Others want to put him on display and sell tickets. A few just want to have him for the sake of having him.   Despite popular conspiracy theory, no corp wants Ben to actually nuke anyone, though. They already have much better weapons.  


Owning a nuke has always been something of a dream for any ragtag team of terrorists who really wants to emphasize their point, and the malcontents in Megacorpolis are no different.   So far, they're fighting each other just for the chance to figure out where Fancy Ben might be.

Ben & The Big City

Merchandise! It's what every radioactive mushroom cloud really needs!  
— Mae Rose, Villainous Marketing Inc
These days, Fancy Ben has become a pop-culture icon. Instead of a dreaded weapon of mass destruction, citizens have come to see him as some sort of adorable mascot of a bygone era. The nuke has been the star of video games, TV shows, used as a plot device in more than a few books and movies. To fill that Ben-shaped void in our hearts, corporations created merchandise, enough to fill a medium-sized radioactive crater. Everything from Corporate Mascot Costumes to Ben-themed Mandatory Happiness Mobiles to lunch-boxes and anything else you can think of.
Yes, even that; especially that.
As the last of his kind, there are regular calls to treat him less as a threat and more like a museum piece. They usually brush over the whole nuke thing with a sort of 'just because he can explode and wipe out a sector doesn't mean he will' attitude. At least one woman, Hannah Orlando, has reached a type of famous through her claims of marriage to Fancy Ben and the god-awful fiction she puts out about their adventures together. The honeymoon scene is still quarantined as a memetic infohazard.  
Word on the street is that Centurion Arms & Armor are even considering a limited run of fully armed and nuclear capable recreations, to the delight of Benorabilia collectors city-wide.
What's the worst that could happen?
by Wikimedia Commons

Cult of Explosioneer's Drawing of Fancy Ben


by Emy (Serukis)

It's still unknown if the drawing is accurate or just what they felt like drawing that day. Other accounts differ greatly, so chances are most people don't even know what Ben looks like anymore.


Author's Notes

Special thanks to Emy for the fantastic drawing of Fancy Ben :D

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2 Jul, 2020 20:33

Knocked it out of the park on this one. The black humour is delightful!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
2 Jul, 2020 20:35

Originally described as having suffered superficial damage when struck by gunfire and explosives in what was likely an exhilarating moment for everyone around, Fancy Ben has since been rendered unrecognizable.
  This is the best part. <3 Another amazing article, as always!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
2 Jul, 2020 20:38

"Open fire - oh no hold up!"   Real player-character moment, I'm imagining.   Thank you so much <3

Grandmaster PBE
William Belley
2 Jul, 2020 21:38

you know, if the next fallout has this plot, i would allow it ! Send your resume to Bethesda ! Nice read   if you can get an artist to do the 'last picture', i'm sure it would look stellar.   Happy summercamp!

2 Jul, 2020 21:57

That's very high praise indeed, thank you very much! :D   Ooh, good idea. I'll have to look into that! I think I know who to ask... :D   Thank you so much for reading and commenting <3

Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
2 Jul, 2020 21:49

Gendering the bomb really adds a lot of personality. At this rate I'm surprised nobody has claimed that the bomb talks to them!


Admin of the WA Codex & Discord

Ethnis | Ko-Fi | Twitter

2 Jul, 2020 21:57

There might be a part 2 to this story in the Myth about an Item prompt where that may or may not come up :D   Thank you so much for reading and commenting <3

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Jul, 2020 22:26

Cult of the kaboom!? I love this world so much! Lol excellent work as always.

2 Jul, 2020 22:29

I might give them a full article on their own since they're attracting attention :D   Thank you so much <3 And thanks for commenting :D

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Jul, 2020 22:30

DOOOO ITT! talk about counter culture, yeah?

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
2 Jul, 2020 23:26

Love the snark in shareholders being the key to nuclear disarmament!  

Ben avoided the purge and have spent the time since changing hands
Originally described as having suffered superficial damage when struck by gunfire and explosives in what was likely an exhilarating moment for everyone around, Fancy Ben has since been rendered unrecognizable.
Alongside the bomb's name, I'm getting some big British vibes here!   THE CULT TRIED TO SET IT OFF WITH PRAYING!?
I LOVE THIS!   A fun read! Keep it up!

3 Jul, 2020 06:52

When you don't know how nuclear bomb works, why not try some blind faith? Fortunately, it didn't work - next time, they might be better prepared!   Thank you so much <3

3 Jul, 2020 00:27

C-Commemorative trinkets O_O;;;; I feel like the Cult of Kaboom is going to go out in style one day too. But how fun would it be to play one as a character XD I love this line: "They already have much better weapons." Creepy, world-buildy, and calls right back to the vibe of Megacorpolis corporate, while you've got other flavor humor happening. Great article Q! :)

You are doing a great job! Keep creating; I believe in you!
Luridity: Love is love, and chivalry is most certainly not dead. A galaxy of sweet, silly, sensual & downright sexy characters, their lives, & their loves. Contains NSFW content.
3 Jul, 2020 06:50

Are you saying you wouldn't like a spoon or plate or hubcap rim made from the shell of a nuclear bomb? :D   And thank you! I'm glad you picked up on that - the Corps really don't need nukes when they got so many options for that quiet kind "oh yeah that's not good" vibe. :D   Thank you so much for reading and commenting <3

3 Jul, 2020 06:56

I love the humorous tone to this. And the image of Fancy Ben all encrusted with gems and cupholders is giving me life! XD

3 Jul, 2020 07:09

Someone asked me if Fancy Ben ever had a top hat... Therefor, Fancy Ben now has a top hat stapled to the top of his case.   Thank you so much for reading and commenting <3

3 Jul, 2020 07:12

Love it!

Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
3 Jul, 2020 21:24

I wish I was as fancy as Fancy Ben. :(

Cait x
Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
3 Jul, 2020 07:28

Oh my goodness, what a treat to read. I absolutely love the humor in this article!

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
3 Jul, 2020 07:40

Thank you very much <3 That's really good to hear!

3 Jul, 2020 07:58

Everyone else has said all the amazing stuff! So I will say thank you for writing it and I really enjoyed it!

3 Jul, 2020 08:16

And thank you very much for reading it and commenting! <3

3 Jul, 2020 12:39

Yay! Another new Megacorpolis article!!!   And really that "The Ballade of Fancy Ben" ... just wow. I read that and started literally humming it to various tunes while I read the rest of the article. This one is just amazing. You outdid yourself this time.

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
3 Jul, 2020 14:33

Your enthusiasm for Megacorpolis is so encouraging and gives me a lot of energy to write more for it <3 Thank you   I started the entire idea with that opening quote, and that's kind of when I decided I needed to write everything else for it. Who knows, maybe the Ballade will see a return for a later prompt too!   Thank you so much <3

3 Jul, 2020 14:47

You're welcome! Thank you for coming up with something so fun to read about as Megacorpolis!

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
3 Jul, 2020 21:23

I absolutely love this article. The worrying thing is, I can totally see something like this happening in the distant future...

Cait x
3 Jul, 2020 21:34

On the bright side, that'd mean there's only one nuke left in the world. :D   Thanks so much for reading and commenting! <3

4 Jul, 2020 06:25

I really loved both the lay out and the tone of this one. <3 Nicely done.

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
4 Jul, 2020 08:07

Thank you <3 And thank you for reading and commenting!

4 Jul, 2020 20:58

You have a lot of awesome articles Q, but this one right here might be my absolute favorite.   Everything from the overall humor, the colorful factions fighting over "Fancy Ben", all the stuff added the bomb, and the fact that a cult tried to set it off by praying to it (the Adeptus Mechanicus would be proud), all make for an absolute megaton-blast of a read :D

Author of Cenorad ; a bleak-dark sandbox of creativity.
5 Jul, 2020 09:34

That is very high praise, thank you so much <3 I'm glad it was a good read! :D

4 Jul, 2020 21:35

I think it's interesting how there's only one nuke left, however, I'd like to know what happened to the material in the other nukes when they were decomissioned.

  • ASJ
  • 5 Jul, 2020 09:34

    It's briefly mentioned - they were turned into trinkets and sold off, pretty much. Would you like to buy a dinner table made from a nuke's shell casing? :D   Thank you so much for reading and commenting <3

    5 Jul, 2020 23:37

    The formatting of this sole article makes my entire world look like garbage, and the amount of black humor further makes it brilliant.

    6 Jul, 2020 09:11

    Fortunately, the formatting is easy to accomplish! If you need some pointers, I have a guide up on my world called Grand Grimoire that talks about formatting! You got this :)   Thank you so much for reading and commenting :D

    6 Jul, 2020 05:41

    This is absolutely hilarious and I love it! From the killer starting quote, to the humour sprinkled through it, and the wonderful picture I get in my head when imagining Ben after all those years of being decorated, it's all fantastic!   That final quote is the million dollar one-of-a-kind bedazzled cherry on top, too.

    Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
    6 Jul, 2020 09:11

    Golden, gem-encrusted cherry. I'm definitely going to end up commissioning an art piece of Ben, I think. :D   I'm really glad you enjoyed it - and welcome back from camping! :D

    Eternal Sage AmélieIS
    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    25 Apr, 2021 19:20

    "having suffered superficial damage when struck by gunfire and explosives in what was likely an exhilarating moment for everyone around" ... I'm sure   "who really wants to emphasize their point," XD that would certainly emphasize any argument!   This is a fun article, I love the descriptions of the different groups :D And Emy's amazing drawing really sets the mood :D

    Feel free to check my ship challenge article.
    28 Apr, 2021 09:02

    It is an amazing drawing :D   Thank you, I am glad you like it :D