Odd One Out:

The Fate of Jinju 14

In the last, frantic year before the start of World War III (what we now call the Sixty Minute War), the great nations of the old Earth filled the skies with tokens of their power. Every country on the planet that could send even the smallest thing into space did so. Satellites, both civilian and military, sensor packages, space stations...

And weapons. Many, many weapons.

The two most powerful nations of the time, the American Empire and Greater China, sent up the most orbiting killing machines, with two each; the Orbital Defense Initiative (ODIN) and the StarHammer by the Empire, and the Diamond Bat and Nine Sisters by China. But they were not the only ones.

Other, less grand nations also launched weapons in a bid for power or as shows of force. One of these, United Korea, launched one of the more famous; Jinju 14.

Jinju 14 was different from most of the other orbital weapons. Unlike the majority, which used lasers or other forms of energy, Jinju 14 relied on an older (but still undeniably effective) plan of attack; solid-fuel rocket projectiles.

One of the main bonuses this less-technologically advanced plan was that the weapon's masters could arm it with just about anything they wanted. For reasons lost to the mists of time, however, the United Koreans with their fingers on Jinju 14's trigger armed it with only one thing; a biological weapon, bearing the same name as the satellite that carried it.

The origins of this "Jinju Virus" are, ironically, known better than most of the data about the satellite itself, partially due to the decryption of a see-dee recovered from the remains of the traction city of Speedwell. The name comes from the diseases "patient zero"; Jinju Suresh, daughter of Dr. Mohinder Suresh, a world-famous geneticist from India-Nepal. Despite his impressive pedigree and access to some of the most advanced medical equipment on the planet (much of it designed by himself) Dr. Suresh was unable to cure his daughter of the virus she contracted. To make matters worse, the frantic rush to save his daughter had also driven Dr. Suresh deep into debt. With his creditors closing in on him, Suresh turned to United Korea's military for help. In return for complete payment of his debt and a six-figure salary, Suresh agreed to advance Korea's biological weapons program. Using the samples he had obtained from his late daughter, he did just that.

Fueled partially by anger and sadness, Suresh turned the virus that had killed his daughter into the ultimate bioweapons; fast acting, horrifying, and almost incurable. When the leader of United Korea green-lighted the plans for a new orbital weapons platform and asked for a way to arm it,, Suresh presented his greatest creation; Jinju 14.

Sadly for United Korea, the Sixty Minute War struck before they had a chance to unleash Jinju 14 upon the world. The entire peninsula that made up United Korea was effectively severed from Asia by a combination of Slow Bombs, Earthquake Nukes, and regular Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. All life on it was obliterated, including Jinju 14's controllers.

Hanging in low orbit, however, the satellite and it's cargo survived intact. For centuries, it floated, undisturbed.

But the tale of Jinju 14 was not to end there.

20 years before the beginning of the end of the Traction Era, the great city of London unearthed another superweapon; MEDUSA. This is well known; anyone in the Great Hunting Ground saw the first firing of the weapon, and stories from the Anti-Traction League tell of it's seconds attempted firing and the destruction of the city by the weapon.

But London was not the only thing that MEDUSA destroyed. When it detonated, the weapon released billions of watts of electromagnetic energy, which reached as far up in the atmosphere to escape the planet all together.

High enough to touch Jinju 14. It was this blast that brought the great satellite down. Where it crashed is unknown. At that time, no city had the right technology to observe such an event.

What happened to part of it is known; after crashing into the Ice Wastes, the debris was retrieved by a group of Snowmad scavengers, who unloaded their catch on the ice city of Anchorage.

Though intel is scarce (effectively limited to the book Predator's Gold, written by the notoriously pathetic "historian" Nimrod Pennyroyal) and confirmation practically impossible (as Anchorage now adherently lays at the bottom of the great ocean under the Ice Wastes) it is more than likely the people of Anchorage accidentally exposed themselves to Jinju 14.

And so, once again, Jinju 14 can be considered the odd one out of the old orbital weapons, along with MEDUSA and ODIN; it struck at a target long after it's makers were dead.