The first salvo of the Soviet nuclear attack on the Midwestern United States (as shown from the point of view of the residents of central Kansas and western Missouri) occurs when a large-yield nuclear weapon air bursts at high altitude over Kansas City, Missouri. This generates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that shuts down the electric power grid to nearby Whiteman AFB's operable Minuteman II missile silos and of the surrounding areas. Thirty seconds later, incoming Soviet ICBMs begin to hit military and population targets. Higginsville, Kansas City, Sedalia, Missouri, and all the way south to El Dorado Springs, Missouri, are blanketed with ground burst nuclear weapons. While the story provides no specifics, it strongly suggests that U. S. cities, military, and industrial bases are heavily damaged or destroyed. The aftermath depicts the Midwestern and Northwestern United States as a blackened wasteland of burned-out cities filled with burn, blast, and radiation victims. Eventually, the U. S. president delivers a radio address in which he declares there is now a ceasefire between the United States and the Soviet Union (which, although not shown, has suffered the same devastating effects) and states there has not been any surrender by the United States.
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