Say a sorceress secretly enchanted 1 million kids, 12 years old, and under and made them break into Area 51 from all directions what would they do?

These kids appear very normal and sane apart from the fact that they will die before abandoning their mission, like suicide bombers.

The media are tipped.

What do they do?

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    $\begingroup$ The title of this question says the children are heavily armed, so what weapons are they carrying? Who is the "they" in the title and are they the same "they" of the last sentence of your question? If a sorceress can secretly enchant 1 million kids, why can't she secretly enchant the Area 51 personnel to do whatever she wants? $\endgroup$ – a4android Aug 6 '16 at 13:31
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    $\begingroup$ The use of "they" is ambiguous, making this very difficult to answer. (I can't even tell for certain if the "they" in the title refers to the children, or Area 51 personnell. Let alone the last "they"; is that asking about what the media will do? Asking about multiple disparate groups of people probably in itself makes this too broad.) This question might also be off topic for us as asking about actions of characters and/or elements of plot rather than elements of the world. See What topics can I ask about here? in the help center. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Aug 6 '16 at 20:19
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    $\begingroup$ Note that the "how" of this will likely make far more of a difference than the "what." The process of bringing a million kids to Area51, the process of arming them, how well these children "learn" to shoot, all of these will matter. This is not a static situation, but a dynamic one. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Aug 6 '16 at 21:39

Looking at a map of the area around Area 51, I will say that there aren't a million people for miles and miles around, let alone children, let alone one million children exactly the age of 12. Las Vegas Nevada is 2 hours away. The TOTAL population there is about 600 thousand. About 25% are under the age of 18. That's only 150,000, and of those, only a very small percentage will be age 12. (With an even spread of ages, that would be a bit over 8,000). The age range isn't clear. Are we talking toddlers as well? 12 is a good age because, at least then they can reach the pedals of a car.

That means that many of these children will have to travel some distance. The media wouldn't have to be tipped--people would notice that their children are gone long before they get there. We are not living in an era where parents say "I'll see you at dinner kids, go play outside!" Nope.

Let me add as well, that parents often have social circles with other parents who have kids the same age. If one kid is missing, they will start calling other parents. Even if those other parents are somewhat neglectful, they will immediately want to know THEIR kid is safe. Then, they will find their kid is missing. It would not be long before these groups notice all the kids are gone, nor would it be long before those parents inform the police. If even 1/8 of the parents of just the 12-year-olds opt to call the cops in Las Vegas (and I am thinking that's a conservative estimate) they will get 1,000 calls. And the cops will communicate with other, nearby cities. Then they'll notice a pattern and will start calling all the cities in the area. Nothing motivates like kids, so there will be a task-force so very quickly.

Plus, the kids will have to steal vehicles in order to survive the journey at all. That means that some will die in car accidents because they don't know how to drive. And they'll be stopped along the way. So long before they even get to Area 51, there will be incidents of violent children. The media will already know about this, and will already be tracking them.

While the pre-game stuff (getting there) is not in your question, it's highly relevant, because it means this will not be a surprise for anyone, not the military, and not the media.

Because of that, there will be enough time to formulate a non-lethal response, which is exactly what they will do. Law enforcement will likely be asked to help, things will be locked down, and there will be at least one child that's been captured and studied, so they know what they are dealing with. Much of it will still be mystery, but there will be more advance warning than your question indicates. Tear gas, knock out gas, non-lethal weaponry will all be brought to bear. Lethal weaponry will be a last resort, but it will be used.

Remember too that because many of these kids will be travelling from a long way away, and they do have to sleep.

Just checked the national census as well. There are 324 million people in the United States. 12 year-olds make up roughly 1.25% of our total population in the United States. There are 4 million of them in the entire country. That definitely means that you will have to draw from several days journey away. This will involve the population of more than one state. The amount of time means that it will be national news long before they all arrive at Area 51. Going to say that several days will have to pass in order for them all to arrive. The West Coast has some decent population centers, don't think you'll have to delve into the East Coast. Know you've got kids under 12 on that there, but will they be able to travel well? Kids younger than 12 are generally fairly well-supervised. Is it during the school day? On a weekend?

If we use 10% of the population (which is roughly what kids from 6-12 make up) then there are larger numbers, but there are far more problems when it comes to getting the younger kids there, and the younger they are, the more quickly that folks will notice their absence.

  • $\begingroup$ I think you meant that there are 324 million people in the US? $\endgroup$ – Areeb Aug 6 '16 at 23:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Areeb edited. Math still tracks though. Thanks for the catch. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Aug 6 '16 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ No problem, yeah it was just a typo nothing wrong with the math. $\endgroup$ – Areeb Aug 6 '16 at 23:49

Let's assume that enough of those children made it to the gate of the installation. Three distinct questions here:

Are there standing orders to use (lethal or non-lethal) force against 12-year-old intruders?

I guess so, because the guards of such an installation won't just let the kids through. How can they tell a 12-year-old from a scrawny 16-year-old child soldier? The orders probably include a reminder to use the minimum necessary force, but they will cover a situation where crowds are trying to break through.

Will the commanding officer order the use of lethal force?

Difficult to tell, especially if it is known that they are "ordinary American kids" who are somehow "sleepwalking" to the site. There will have been round-the-clock coverage in the media of desperate parents pleading for their children to come home. There may be reports how police all over the country tried to restrain the sleepwalkers with physical force. (What happens if one of them is in a jail cell? Do they try and fail to bash the door open? Run their head against a wall?)

Wild Card: Have the police shot any of those unarmed children for failing to obey an order to stop? If there footage on the web? How did that play in the national media?

Will the soldiers obey an order to fire?

My guess it most but not all. They know they're guarding a vital national security site, they know that something evil is controlling the kids, they have a clear order.

So it all turns on the commanding officer.


Well, a million children leaving their parents and setting off towards Nevada would be noticed quite quickly, before many of them reached the area. There aren't many people round there, and if about a quarter of all the twelve-year-olds in the USA ran away at the same time, it would be pretty obvious.

So most of them would be rounded up for their own safety and would not reach the site. If they fight to keep on with their mission, it's a national problem, not an Area 51 problem.

The few who got there would be exhausted from the trek through the desert, and probably couldn't get through the fences.

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    $\begingroup$ Not only woudl they be obvious to the average person, but I think it's reasonable to assume the government has a slightly above average intelligence network helping guard Area 51. They will have quite a lot of time to prepare. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Aug 6 '16 at 21:37

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