Approaching at 30 kps, the 30 km diameter meteor begins to break up as it spirals into Thrawn's gravitational well. Like a huge crumbling dirt clod, the shower of shattered comet enters the atmosphere and strikes the surface along a wide swath reaching halfway around the globe.
The individual impact sites varied greatly depending upon the size of the fragment, ocean or land impact and local seismic conditions. The chunks that hit in the Ocean exerted the greatest effect on the ecological balance of the planet.
The speed and size of the objects easily punched holes in the relatively thin oceanic crust. The semi-liquid mantle welled up to meet the inward flow of ocean water. Vast circles of Steam driven clouds made up of pulverized rock, water vapor and nitric acid, instantly formed and grew in size.
The body of Thrawn rang like a bell from the rippling seismic waves. In a matter of minutes the shock waves blasted through the atmospheric ocean of air, spilling a great deal forever into space. Surrounding water was rapidly sucked into the hole, heated, and pumped into the expanding cloud.
The extreme size of the wounds coupled with Thrawn's rotation before long started a series of massive spinning cyclonic masses. From space, they appeared as bazaar black hurricanes, with small glowing red eyes, throwing off an enlarging black cloud.
This scene was repeated in a lesser or greater degree in a half dozen other sites around globe. In the Central Pacific the impact was in the center of a oceanic plate. The object burrowed deep into the mantle, and was destined to be a site of continued volcanism for millions of years. In the North Atlantic, one site was dead center on the mid-continental ridge. Several continental sites also resulted in continued local volcanic activity.
Even areas separated by vast distances were affected. The partial vacuum created by the meteorite fragments resulted in the atmospheric pressure to drop near high altitude levels after being sucked out to sea with 200 kph winds.
Within several hours, half the Northern Hemisphere was covered by an impenetrable cloud of darkness that had silently moved across the sky. Shortly after the sky went black, crystals of frozen nitric acid began to snow as the vaporized ocean condensed out.
After six hours, it had covered half the world, plunging everything into darkness as it went. It was as if Thrawn had received a savage lash from a cosmic whip that continued to exert the monstrous effects long after the initial blow.
Stage II - The Day After
Return to the SLU Home World