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Backstory

In 2014 a meteorite lands in the British Countryside, and it's quickly discovered that the rock contains energised metals that are unique to Earth and whilst studying this rock it's also learnt that a much larger (earth destroying) meteorite would be hitting earth in a years time (having been undetected by our current systems till now). News of the rock that is on a collision course with London spreads around the world as experts claim they have the best solution to deal with it, in the meantime news of the technological uses of the metal are spreading through intelligence agencies as the info leaks from the UK somehow.

Time skips to a year later and the solution that's used to deal with the meteorite is a UGM-133 Trident II (Trident 3 in the story) because it's thought that the metal is strong enough to withstand other weaponry. However as the weapon comes into contact an emp-like wave is emitted and the rock shatters in an irrational pattern, spreading across the globe. At the same time spikes of light (from the meteorite) fly out and hit people, changing them either into mindless raging mutants or by giving them photokinetic constructs (modern level swords, armour, guns, etc).

So now we have chunks of flaming metal hitting the world (including buildings, power plants, etc), we have civilians running around with superpowers and mutations and also there are organisations that want this metal for it's potential to boost a country/groups military technology.

The Question

What would be the first priorities for the UK government? Would they prioritise helping the country (prioritising human life) or gaining an edge over other countries? Looking mostly for answers around the short term and first month or two, though long term ideas are welcome.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello, and welcome to the site! This question is really, really broad. The social, political, and military aspects could each fill a novel. Try to narrow it down for us, please. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Apr 28 '16 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ And the award for broadest question of the year goes to............. $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Apr 28 '16 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ CEObrainz!! congratulations, but seriously try to narrow this question down so I can give you an answer. $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Apr 28 '16 at 20:02
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreiROM hopefully the change is less broad, haha. $\endgroup$ – CEObrainz Apr 28 '16 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ I noticed your edit. Any government in particular that you'd like to focus on? Do all the governments of the world know for a fact that these events are taking place? There's usually a pretty big communication's lag in events like this. People might not realize that the meteor is directly responsible for the "terrorists" running around blowing stuff up with their "weird weapons" (superpowers). Over what time frame are we supposed to judge their reaction? The first hours? Weeks? Months? Long term approach? But yes, it is much better. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Apr 28 '16 at 20:18
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Disclaimer, I have no way of backing up any of this to please take it with a pinch of salt

I have also made the assumption that your meteor is quite big, please correct me if im wrong

Depending how baddly everything is affected the Government will either leave it up to the police to deal with the ensuing chaos, as long as the damage done to buildings isnt overly bad, or if its the coming of the apocalypse then will likely enfoce martial law to try and to keep the peace with force, any military personal affects either as a mutant or with super powers would be quarantined until they are deemed fit for service.

At the same time they would have scientists try to reverse the effects of the people with the photokinetic construct super power, how these power affect people and if you want them to be cured I will leave up to you, it could be something that changes the person physically, the scientists should be able to identify what causes it to happen or its some handwavium and they are affected for life.

The NHS would most likely be crippled and unable to help much in the early days of this event, as random people are being affected by this mutating light meaning their already over worked staff will be forced into worse conditions and with people seeking medical help injurys from the fragmented meteorite or from the mutations, I could easily see the NHS just breaking down completely. If the leaders of the UK are smart they would give alot of protection to the NHS to try and prevent this we are so screwed.

The Fire department would struggle severely at first as the amount of destruction caused, buildings colapsing/on fire or both, people trapped. If no help is given to the Fire department then its likely that a fair-few people will die due to the fact that they cant help everyone. If they do recieve help, from any source, then alot less people will die.

After the first few weeks/months and help from either military and/or volunteers the chaos would start to die down a bit, as long as its done correctly. If they tried all this and did it sloppy and ineffectivly then its likely that unrest would rise with the population riots would become more and more frequent and the Government would become more heavy handed leading to a civil war, but lets assume this didnt happen.

Basic overview of what might happen

The UK population would go into mass panic as they were expecting to either be saved or just have London obliterated, people would likely believe that they would be safe as long as they werent close to London.

When the Army gets involved any raging mutant would likely be shot on site or possible capture of a few for scientists to study.

NHS, Fire department and Police would would either be supported or support the army in restoring peace.

After the initial panic by people they will look to the Government for answer as to what is happening and what they are going to do/doing about the issue at hand. The Government would say they are doing what they can and everyone needs to be patient and just do what they are told to do.

At this point it would be body count and total damage done and plans to see what should be done first, if they bailout the banks again then please set the country on fire, food and water should be first, after that they should have tempary shealter for everyone who needs it, reconnecting families would be important (there would be deceased but they would be dealt with differently)

The first year after this event would be hectic but as long as nothing major impedes the repairs to the country (IE mass death of everyone) then it would slowly start to come back to live again.

On a side note, people who lost loved ones and friends and family would likely blame people with the super powers and there would be quite a bit of discrimination agaisnt them.

This would only happen after several hundred meetings within the Government, thousands of hours spent debating the right colour of the logo needed to represent this disaster and millions of pounds towards the creation of a flag

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Job #1 would have to be to deal with internal problems. The immediate fallout of the first wave of impacts, putting down riots, keeping the population calm, and so on. It seems implausible to me that inside the first couple of months the government would deal with international rivalries while the country itself disintegrates.

I can think of a few questions with answers that would have a huge impact on government response.

Question 1: How destructive are the impacts of the meteor fragments, and how spread out are impacts over time?

Bombardment by lots of meteor fragments isn't really less destructive than a single, massive impact. Depending on some plot events (such as, the meteor is shattered far enough away and in such a manner that a lot of its fragments will now miss the Earth, or will take random orbits that spread out impacts over time), we're looking at anything from full-on apocalypse to periodic natural disasters with mostly local effects. This would matter a lot for the government response-- in the face of the end of the world there would be little point in struggling for future advantage against other countries.

Assuming that the world will survive, and that humanity won't be reduced to living in isolated bunkers for five thousand years of dust blocking all sunlight, I would imagine the government would strive for internal stability first, if only to support its other objectives. With that in hand (or mostly so), I could see focus shifting to other countries.

Question 2: How much do the impacts and super-human activity deprive the U.K. of things that it needs?

They would need to replace anything critical which is lost. For example, if territory controlled by the U.K. ends up totally unusable for agriculture then there would be an overwhelming need to find (or develop) and control new food sources.

Question 3: How does the U.K. fare compared with other countries, and how does the global balance of power shift as a result of the impacts and super power related instability?

The following assumes that the U.K. is stable enough that it can spare resources and attention to deal with other countries.

If most other countries are destroyed, the surviving nations could pursue their own interests without having to compete directly with others in a lot of cases. One obvious exception would be in securing stores of the metal from meteorite impacts which, if I were the government, I would make every possible effort to obtain (even if just to deny it to potential rivals).

If globally dominant countries (the U.S.A., China, etc.) are crippled by these events, and many other countries survive well enough, there might be a scramble for dominance to fill the vacuum. If countries are mostly fine after the impacts then I think the focus would be mostly on the international side. There would be a lot of changes in how war is conducted due to super humans and the new metal. I imagine lots of relatively small conflicts, like border skirmishes, as countries try to take advantage of whatever disorder arises. Also, lots of covert, special-ops style raids to get more of the metal and take advantage of new super powers.

Question 4: What is the rate at which new people are granted super powers, and how quickly do those powers manifest/become controllable?

More people gaining powers more quickly = more instability domestically. Some people would probably go mad with what their new powers allow, becoming public menaces in various ways, while people who were already criminals would suddenly be far more effective. This could be anything from comic book super villainy to petty, everyday amorality. Well-meaning people might try to become vigilantes, variously aiding and undermining law and order. If anyone who develops powers needs time to learn to use them well, that might be better (in that it takes longer for the full consequences of the powers to play out) or worse (if there are terrible accidents as powers run amok).

Question 5: How quickly can new technology be developed and manufactured from the new metal, and what new things might be possible with that technology?

This one is pretty open, because gaining a lot of totally new capabilities really quickly would permit (or even require) radical changes in government behavior and priorities. Exactly what those are would depend on the nature of these new capabilities. And, similar to above, more applications of the new metal would intensify competition to recover it from impact sites.

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